Help for a returning nursing student

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    Hi, I am currently a LPN going back to school for my RN. In LPN school I got a's now going for my ADN i am also working partime and the stress is greater. I havent been doing good on my tests. Geting low low b's and c's. I get so upset because I never did that bad in college before. This is a new college for me also. I need help studing. I am currently doing my peds leture. I have bought a RN neclex to help me study and no luck! Any suggestions???????
  2. 2 Comments so far...

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    Hi there. I can empathize with you on the difficulties of RN classes. I know it is frustrating to not get the kinds of grades you know you are capable of getting, but try to remember that you have a much fuller plate now than you did in LPN school. First of all, you are working - that definitely takes alot of study time away from you. You probably have quite a few classmates who are not working, thus freeing them to put alot more time into bookwork. Second, it sounds like you have been out of the "study mode" for a few years, and study skills are something that, for many people, are a "use it or lose it" type thing. Essentially what I'm saying, when you're not used to studying day in and day out, and suddenly go back into that type of environment, it is difficult until you get back into the swing of it and rediscover your studying strategies. Third, RN curriculum is much more intense than LPN curriculum. The body systems and disease processes are covered alot more in depth - all the pathophysiology, meds, treatment plans, etc. Also, you are probably spending alot of time on care plans, which aren't covered in depth in LPN school. Finally, the test questions are probably alot harder than in LPN school - there are alot of questions with 2-3 correct answers and you have to pick the best one. They are tough, but they are designed (hopefully) to prepare you for the NCLEX-RN, which is the queen mother of all tests. It sounds like a combination of all these things are making it rough on you. So try not to get down on yourself about the grades - remember passing and graduating is what is important - you don't have to be an "A" student to get through this. And take heart, these words are coming from a guy with perfectionist drive - I know it is hard to swallow B's & C's! Let me share a couple of things that helped me get through school and the NCLEX. I used two study books that I thought really helped me: Mosby's Review Questions for NCLEX-RN 3rd edition by Saxton, Pelikan, and Nugent (it has a green front cover and an orange side cover) - this book has >3000 questions which are challenging. The second book is Saunders Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN by Silvestri (I think there is a new addition out). This book has an excellent review and >3000 questions, plus a CD-ROM that you can load onto a computer and go over the questions. I thought this book was well categorized and very thorough, and the questions are hard - very similar to what I saw on the NCLEX-RN. I also borrowed NCLEX-2000 computer program from a friend - it has alot of questions as well, but not quite as difficult as the ones in the 2 books I mentioned. If you have a Barnes & Noble or Waldenbooks in your area, check and see if they have these. I think they are definitely worth looking into. One other thing: eat a good meal before tests - something with complex carbs and protein. I know this may sound silly, but it was a tip from one of my instructors and really helped me. My first year of nursing school, I never ate before a test - I was too intense on reviewing test material (see the perfectionism now - ha ha!). Anyhow, my concentration and thinking improved once I started eating before tests, and my grades went up - not drastically, but it made a difference. Well, I'll stop for now, because this is going to be a long note already. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions. Hope this helps
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    Congratulations on going back to school. That takes courage. I think MarkRN gave you some excellant advice. Both of the books he suggested are great study guides. Some ideas to help you get back into the swing of studying: Try to just focus on one thing at a time. Set a regular study schedule. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to gets A's . It sounds like you are hanging in there! Even though you may not feel this way, sometimes just getting by is doing great! Give yourself credit for the fact you're doing this school thing again. Your experience as an LPN can really help you. When you are taking a test, try to get a mental picture of the patients you've taken care of and I promise the questions will get easier. In some ways you might have an advantage over a new student. Take a deep breath and hang in there!

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    Diane


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