Advice for First semester nursing students!!!!!!
The first semester of Nursing school is considered the "shocker" courses, because that is exactly what it is, a shocker. However, with adequate rest, creating good study habits at the beginning of the semester, you will be able to succeed. I found that I was struggling for a while, until I finally realized what I was doing wrong. My advice for all first semester Nursing students is to remember that you are not alone in this, and a lot of people are going to be feeling the same way you are. Just relax, and don't worry about hearing about the horrors of Nursing school. Just look at my advice for the first semester, and to "Just Keep it Moving!"
I am going to give a little advice and maybe it will help me, and future nursing students...
First, when they say you don't have to read all the chapters, you should really read the chapters. Just try to put things in your own words so you can understand it better. Buy some little help books such as Nursing fundamentals Demystified ! My teacher always had outlined the power pts with the chapters, so I would write a few more notes than ususal.
Second, do the practice NCLEX style questions at the end of the chapters, so you have somewhat a feel of what the questions are like.
Third, DO not I repeat DO NOT over anaylze the questions. They are going to be tough, and a lot of them are not the answers you really think they are. I had a lot of questions on my exams where I also changed my answer, and the first answer I had was right...And you guessed it, my second answer was wrong!
Fourth, Record your lectures if you are able to! There may be an incident where you may accidently dose of in your class and you may of missed an important part your teacher may of said and you missed it on your exam!
Fifth. Don't miss any EXAMS! Make-up tests are a lot harder than they should be, but if you can, don't miss one. I had to do two make-up exams, and it was 10x harder than the regular one. If a circumstance calls for you to miss one, just be sure that you know you are in for a rough ride, like I am.
Sixth. Ask your teacher any questions you may have problems with, I did, and she did explain it a lot better, but I still struggled. I was doing better in the end.
Seventh. Study hard, outline the chapters as much as you can in your own words to the best of your knowledge. A lot of things that are in the book may not make any sense, and you may be able to learn better if they are in your own words. For example, Right-Sided heart failure--Can cause edema in the lower extremities.
Eighth-- Be prepared to read, a lot. Don't try to memorize everything that are in your textbooks, because a lot of it isn't neccessary. That's why I said record your teachers lectures and try and note anything she had said that was improtant.
Ninth--Try and join study groups, some may be helpful, some may be not so much. I found I study better by myself and I get the information better.
Tenth--Don't over anaylze your careplans! Get a nursing diagnoses book! Your medical diagnoses has almost nothing to do with your nursing diagnoses. Learn how to do careplans, they get easy towards the end. Trust me, care plan writing can be tough, but I got it almost down to a tee, it only took a few tries.
Eleventh--Get plenty of rest when you can, you may feel like you are not getting a lot of rest, and trust me nursing school IS exhausting. Try and relax, don't stress out, you are not the only one out there that is going through this, Make friends in your classroom and have your own little support group!
I hope to be another first semester nursing student in the fall, and do it right the second time around, I know I am not alone!Last edit by Joe V on May 7, '13
May 5, '13 by Blue Jam, ADN, RNThank you for this! I start in the fall, and I already know I'll be referring back to this once the semester starts.May 5, '13 by KvedaaThank you for useful advice! I also start in the fall and all the advice people seem to want to give is useless, like "nursing school will steal your soul!" Nice to read something rationalMay 6, '13 by crw017These are great tips! For me, a lot of my professors also seem to use the tables and charts a lot for test puposes. Good luck to everybody!!May 6, '13 by BBB<3Actually I think it's a good idea to look at the NCLEX type questions that pertain to the area you are studying BEFORE you read the chapter. This gives you a little more idea of the key points you should be paying attention to while reading. Then once you have read the chapter answer the questions.May 6, '13 by JaRoJoCTThanks tabz4u2...I know you have to go through it again, but it is clear you have learned a valuable lesson here, and I am grateful for you wonderful advice! Good luck in the fall!!May 6, '13 by stewartfamily2010Thank you so much for the advice. I hope to be starting my first semester this fall (fingers crossed).May 6, '13 by kldepp08WOW!! Thanks for all the POSITIVE advice, instead of sending out "scary warnings" about how hard it is and such. Yes it will be hard, but, you put in in such a way that it feels a little less scary now!
Thanks again and good luck to you!!!May 6, '13 by Tinker88, BSN, RNIt was very thoughtful for you to share this information with us! Thank you! I need all the advice I can get before August!May 6, '13 by Snowangel7390Great Tips. I can see myself sticking to this plan. I can never be in a group of 3 people. Only two. Me + 1. I get so distracted and start messing around if I have one more person in a study group.May 7, '13 by tabz4u2Trust me I am not going to say it isn't hard, it is. I kept calm and collected all semester. I am going go go back as a readmit and kick butt. I know now that I am not alone. Just don't be afraid to ask questions, and also remember try and word things in your own words like something you will be able to understand! I am not going to scare anyone, because I have read the "You will have no life" in some of the advice, and I don't want to say that. Try and have some rest, and your welcome! I am going to stick to my own advice next semester and kick butt, and earn for an A! Me and another girl in my class are both struggling and we are going to probably be repeating. Just realize that, if it what you want, and it's meant for you, it will happen. Good luck everyone!
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