Any study tips for an upcoming 2012 nursing student?

  1. 3
    I am an upcoming nursing student that just got accepted into the full time R.N. program for spring 2012. I'm super excited but nervous at the same time.

    I have heard that nursing school is difficult so I want to make sure that I'm as prepared as possible. I finished all of my pre-reqs about 3 years ago, so naturally, I have forgotten a lot of the content. For the core nursing classes, will I need to brush up on my Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology, etc? Also, would it be a good idea to study medical terms as well? Any feedback will be much appreciated.
    Last edit by Joe V on Nov 16, '11 : Reason: formatting for easier reading
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  4. 6
    Brushing up on anatomy would help, but to be honest, I'd forgotten a lot of things I learned from pre-reqs but I am doing ok! (first semester student) One thing I would defintely recommend (and wish I did from the start) is getting various NCLEX review books w/CD questions. You can search amazon and see which has the best reviews from students and purchase those! The ones I have are Prentice Hall, Saunders, and Fundamentals Success. I found nursing exams to be very different than what I was used to.. just studying the reading material wasn't enough for me. Before an exam I do a bunch of practice questions and read the rationals and understand the reasoning behind the correct answers. I think that will help you the most as you start nursing school and get acclimated to the exams. My grades went from C's in the beginning, and now I'm Acing the exams! Good luck!

    Otherwise...enjoy your freedom now because nursing school will take over your life.
  5. 0
    Quote from stud3nt_rn
    Brushing up on anatomy would help, but to be honest, I'd forgotten a lot of things I learned from pre-reqs but I am doing ok! (first semester student) One thing I would defintely recommend (and wish I did from the start) is getting various NCLEX review books w/CD questions. You can search amazon and see which has the best reviews from students and purchase those! The ones I have are Prentice Hall, Saunders, and Fundamentals Success. I found nursing exams to be very different than what I was used to.. just studying the reading material wasn't enough for me. Before an exam I do a bunch of practice questions and read the rationals and understand the reasoning behind the correct answers. I think that will help you the most as you start nursing school and get acclimated to the exams. My grades went from C's in the beginning, and now I'm Acing the exams! Good luck!

    Otherwise...enjoy your freedom now because nursing school will take over your life.
    Really? I was totally expecting to get material that required us to use a lot of the science pre-req content that we learned. Nursing school seems to go a different direction than I expected. Thank you so much for your advise. I will definitely look into purchasing some of those NCLEX review books and CD's.

    Omg, I hear ya! I have heard horror stories about how grueling nursing school is. How much time do you find yourself studying and reviewing? Also, I have heard of students getting kicked out for getting a grade below 76%! It's freaking me out! Is this true?
    Last edit by Crystal360 on Nov 15, '11 : Reason: Need to add something
  6. 3
    I am almost done with my first semester, just three more weeks! Every school is different and your experience will be unique, however I can tell you what has made it so difficult for me. First of all, you will be doing physical exams on someone (and vice versa) and if you have body issues this can be difficult. I have psoriasis on 80% of my body so needless to say I have major body issues. When I started the program, just the thought of pulling up my sleeve to have my BP taken sent me into an emotional tailspin. But I got through it and I am a better, stronger person because of it. Second, you will be performing many skills in front of the critical eyes of your professors. Our professors are hard on us, and expect us to "connect the dots" and "critically think" meaning, they are expecting us to know stuff that isn't necessarily in the book or that they havn't necessarily taught us. This aspect left many of us feeling beaten down and stupid, but after we started talking and realizing that we were not alone, it has become easier to bear. Third, the exams/quizes are just a different kind of hard. I could read and study a chapter exhaustively and still fail a quiz. The questions are often abstract, obscure, and what makes it most frustrating is you could take the same exact question with possible answers to each of your professors and you would get a different "most right" answer. So the right answer in one class may not be the right answer in another class. To cope with this I have just started making sure I understand the material and if I don't do so well on a quiz I do my best to just let it go. In our program, there is a lot of self studying, self teaching and self motivation. Our professors will show a skill (sugh as inserting a foley catheter) ONE TIME, and if you didn't happen to be in open lab during that time, then oh well. But, you better still know the skill when skill check-off time comes. The emotional journey has been a series of peaks and valley, triumphs and defeats.

    My reccomendation for you in brushing up on your anatomy is to know the heart (anatomy, blood flow, systole, diastole, pulmonic, peripheral, BP, etc), and to know lung anatomy and gas exchange (hemoglobin, chemoreceptors). Those are the biggies. next I would brush up on the bones and the major arteries (brachial, femoral, etc)

    If I could go back in time I would buy the Prentice Hall Nursing Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN and start practicing NCLEX style questions. In the chapters, start with the basic reviews of the heart, lungs, fundamentals, safety, infection control, and then take the quizes if for no other reason than to get an idea as to what NCLEX style questions are like, what the rationales are like, etc. This would have helped me emmensely.

    Prentice Hall has a series of books for nursing students called "Reviews and rationales". I bought many of them and they have helped me emmensly because they take what the book has and put it in bullet points. One other must have book is the NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses Handbook. If your teachers are like ours, they won't really explain what nursing diagnoses are all about, but they will expect you to know and fully understand it. The NANDA book has been essential for homework assignments that required me to give or understand a certain ND.

    Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!!!!
  7. 0
    Quote from Crystal360
    Also, I have heard of students getting kicked out for getting a grade below 76%! It's freaking me out! Is this true?
    In my school you need an 81 or better. A 76 wouldn't cut it. Out you'd go.
  8. 0
    Quote from JenniferWilson74
    I am almost done with my first semester, just three more weeks! Every school is different and your experience will be unique, however I can tell you what has made it so difficult for me. First of all, you will be doing physical exams on someone (and vice versa) and if you have body issues this can be difficult. I have psoriasis on 80% of my body so needless to say I have major body issues. When I started the program, just the thought of pulling up my sleeve to have my BP taken sent me into an emotional tailspin. But I got through it and I am a better, stronger person because of it. Second, you will be performing many skills in front of the critical eyes of your professors. Our professors are hard on us, and expect us to "connect the dots" and "critically think" meaning, they are expecting us to know stuff that isn't necessarily in the book or that they havn't necessarily taught us. This aspect left many of us feeling beaten down and stupid, but after we started talking and realizing that we were not alone, it has become easier to bear. Third, the exams/quizes are just a different kind of hard. I could read and study a chapter exhaustively and still fail a quiz. The questions are often abstract, obscure, and what makes it most frustrating is you could take the same exact question with possible answers to each of your professors and you would get a different "most right" answer. So the right answer in one class may not be the right answer in another class. To cope with this I have just started making sure I understand the material and if I don't do so well on a quiz I do my best to just let it go. In our program, there is a lot of self studying, self teaching and self motivation. Our professors will show a skill (sugh as inserting a foley catheter) ONE TIME, and if you didn't happen to be in open lab during that time, then oh well. But, you better still know the skill when skill check-off time comes. The emotional journey has been a series of peaks and valley, triumphs and defeats.

    My reccomendation for you in brushing up on your anatomy is to know the heart (anatomy, blood flow, systole, diastole, pulmonic, peripheral, BP, etc), and to know lung anatomy and gas exchange (hemoglobin, chemoreceptors). Those are the biggies. next I would brush up on the bones and the major arteries (brachial, femoral, etc)

    If I could go back in time I would buy the Prentice Hall Nursing Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN and start practicing NCLEX style questions. In the chapters, start with the basic reviews of the heart, lungs, fundamentals, safety, infection control, and then take the quizes if for no other reason than to get an idea as to what NCLEX style questions are like, what the rationales are like, etc. This would have helped me emmensely.

    Prentice Hall has a series of books for nursing students called "Reviews and rationales". I bought many of them and they have helped me emmensly because they take what the book has and put it in bullet points. One other must have book is the NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses Handbook. If your teachers are like ours, they won't really explain what nursing diagnoses are all about, but they will expect you to know and fully understand it. The NANDA book has been essential for homework assignments that required me to give or understand a certain ND.

    Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!!!!
    Sounds just like a place I know...
  9. 0
    Quote from JenniferWilson74
    I am almost done with my first semester, just three more weeks! Every school is different and your experience will be unique, however I can tell you what has made it so difficult for me. First of all, you will be doing physical exams on someone (and vice versa) and if you have body issues this can be difficult. I have psoriasis on 80% of my body so needless to say I have major body issues. When I started the program, just the thought of pulling up my sleeve to have my BP taken sent me into an emotional tailspin. But I got through it and I am a better, stronger person because of it. Second, you will be performing many skills in front of the critical eyes of your professors. Our professors are hard on us, and expect us to "connect the dots" and "critically think" meaning, they are expecting us to know stuff that isn't necessarily in the book or that they havn't necessarily taught us. This aspect left many of us feeling beaten down and stupid, but after we started talking and realizing that we were not alone, it has become easier to bear. Third, the exams/quizes are just a different kind of hard. I could read and study a chapter exhaustively and still fail a quiz. The questions are often abstract, obscure, and what makes it most frustrating is you could take the same exact question with possible answers to each of your professors and you would get a different "most right" answer. So the right answer in one class may not be the right answer in another class. To cope with this I have just started making sure I understand the material and if I don't do so well on a quiz I do my best to just let it go. In our program, there is a lot of self studying, self teaching and self motivation. Our professors will show a skill (sugh as inserting a foley catheter) ONE TIME, and if you didn't happen to be in open lab during that time, then oh well. But, you better still know the skill when skill check-off time comes. The emotional journey has been a series of peaks and valley, triumphs and defeats.

    My reccomendation for you in brushing up on your anatomy is to know the heart (anatomy, blood flow, systole, diastole, pulmonic, peripheral, BP, etc), and to know lung anatomy and gas exchange (hemoglobin, chemoreceptors). Those are the biggies. next I would brush up on the bones and the major arteries (brachial, femoral, etc)

    If I could go back in time I would buy the Prentice Hall Nursing Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN and start practicing NCLEX style questions. In the chapters, start with the basic reviews of the heart, lungs, fundamentals, safety, infection control, and then take the quizes if for no other reason than to get an idea as to what NCLEX style questions are like, what the rationales are like, etc. This would have helped me emmensely.

    Prentice Hall has a series of books for nursing students called "Reviews and rationales". I bought many of them and they have helped me emmensly because they take what the book has and put it in bullet points. One other must have book is the NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses Handbook. If your teachers are like ours, they won't really explain what nursing diagnoses are all about, but they will expect you to know and fully understand it. The NANDA book has been essential for homework assignments that required me to give or understand a certain ND.

    Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!!!!

    Thanks for this insight! I too am starting nursing school in January and I've been reviewing a&p but didnt quite know what to cover! Do you have any study tips for nursing school?
  10. 0
    Quote from JenniferWilson74
    I am almost done with my first semester, just three more weeks! Every school is different and your experience will be unique, however I can tell you what has made it so difficult for me. First of all, you will be doing physical exams on someone (and vice versa) and if you have body issues this can be difficult. I have psoriasis on 80% of my body so needless to say I have major body issues. When I started the program, just the thought of pulling up my sleeve to have my BP taken sent me into an emotional tailspin. But I got through it and I am a better, stronger person because of it. Second, you will be performing many skills in front of the critical eyes of your professors. Our professors are hard on us, and expect us to "connect the dots" and "critically think" meaning, they are expecting us to know stuff that isn't necessarily in the book or that they havn't necessarily taught us. This aspect left many of us feeling beaten down and stupid, but after we started talking and realizing that we were not alone, it has become easier to bear. Third, the exams/quizes are just a different kind of hard. I could read and study a chapter exhaustively and still fail a quiz. The questions are often abstract, obscure, and what makes it most frustrating is you could take the same exact question with possible answers to each of your professors and you would get a different "most right" answer. So the right answer in one class may not be the right answer in another class. To cope with this I have just started making sure I understand the material and if I don't do so well on a quiz I do my best to just let it go. In our program, there is a lot of self studying, self teaching and self motivation. Our professors will show a skill (sugh as inserting a foley catheter) ONE TIME, and if you didn't happen to be in open lab during that time, then oh well. But, you better still know the skill when skill check-off time comes. The emotional journey has been a series of peaks and valley, triumphs and defeats.

    My reccomendation for you in brushing up on your anatomy is to know the heart (anatomy, blood flow, systole, diastole, pulmonic, peripheral, BP, etc), and to know lung anatomy and gas exchange (hemoglobin, chemoreceptors). Those are the biggies. next I would brush up on the bones and the major arteries (brachial, femoral, etc)

    If I could go back in time I would buy the Prentice Hall Nursing Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN and start practicing NCLEX style questions. In the chapters, start with the basic reviews of the heart, lungs, fundamentals, safety, infection control, and then take the quizes if for no other reason than to get an idea as to what NCLEX style questions are like, what the rationales are like, etc. This would have helped me emmensely.

    Prentice Hall has a series of books for nursing students called "Reviews and rationales". I bought many of them and they have helped me emmensly because they take what the book has and put it in bullet points. One other must have book is the NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses Handbook. If your teachers are like ours, they won't really explain what nursing diagnoses are all about, but they will expect you to know and fully understand it. The NANDA book has been essential for homework assignments that required me to give or understand a certain ND.

    Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!!!!
    Wow, thank you so much for the extensive insight! It's extremely helpful to hear what a nursing student such as yourself, with first hand experience has gone through. Your a true fighter! You give hope to so many others who have some type of illness or disability.

    I will definitely take the advice you have provided me and use it to my advantage. I now know what to expect and it's given me some peace of mind. Hopefully, this will help many other upcoming nursing students get some peace of mind as well.

    Best wishes and good luck on your journey!
    Last edit by Crystal360 on Nov 15, '11
  11. 0
    Quote from CT Pixie
    In my school you need an 81 or better. A 76 wouldn't cut it. Out you'd go.
    Yikes! Well, I guess it's expected. As a nurse, your dealing with human beings so there's not much room for errors. They want to make sure you know your stuff!
  12. 3
    None of my prereqs are at all recent, and honestly I do better with that sort of thing than anyone else in my class who just had them. It's really up to you. I personally wouldn't do anything extra. You'll have enough silly assignments (yes, actually ridiculous assignments) in nursing school that will suck the life and enthusiasm from your being. At this point, I don't even open the nursing text books anymore. But it wouldn't hurt you to bone up either! Good luck.


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