First semester woes

  1. Hey everyone.
    It is my fourth week of nursing school and we had our first tests in Fundamentals, Health Assessment, and Skills back-to-back Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
    I made a 78 on the Fundamentals exam, an 82 on the Health Assessment, and 84 on my Skills exam. I have been doing well in my skills check-offs.
    In my school, a 75 is passing in all classes. I have studied A LOT for these tests by reading the material, reading lecture outlines, and doing study guides. I would really like to make only A's and B's.
    I am pretty darn discouraged right now.
    There are about 35 of us total in the program and I am the youngest one at 19 years old.
    Almost everyone are nontraditional students or a couple years older than me.
    I feel very out of place and overwhelmed because everything is completely new to me and it seems like EVERYONE, even the ones closest to my age, have been around doctors and nurses or have parents who are in the medical field.

    I would absolutely love it if someone could send some words of encouragement my way. I love this site and have gone through many posts about first semester...to those of you who make A's and B's----BE HAPPY.

    I would give anything to figure out what I'm doing wrong to be making these lower grades.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   abbythetabby
    Hey Tiffany,

    Our entire class failed our first test in our first semster. Nursing tests are little different than most in that there are several correct answers, but you have to choose the "best". Most of the class showed significant improvement with each consecutive exam. I even managed straight A's. Don't despair. No one cares if you get A's or C's once you graduate. As long as you have enough knowledge to pass the NCLEX, you'll be fine.
  4. by   moongirl
    Your grades are wonderful, they truly are. Nursing tests are totally different than other classes you have taken. I am in a class of 60 and only 1 person got an A the first semester, the second semester there were 3- and no I wasnt one of them, and I dont care. I passed with a B, and I am no better or no less that those around me. We will all sit for the same NCLEX test. I just believe I will be less stressed overall than the ones who cannot rest without an A. I have one girl in my class who at this moment is beating herself up for her 98% because " I should have known better on that ONE that I missed" give it a rest, get a little bit of a life already!

    As far as being the youngest, dont worry about it. In nursing, age does not equal experience, I bet you most of your older non traditionals havent had a lick of medical experience either.

    This time is about YOU- how well you learn, how well you apply it. Do not compare yourself with others- thinking you are less or that you NEED that A. do the best you can, and be proud
  5. by   bcskittlez
    Quote from abbythetabby
    Hey Tiffany,

    No one cares if you get A's or C's once you graduate. As long as you have enough knowledge to pass the NCLEX, you'll be fine.
    Is this really true? How about if you want to become and CRNA, PA, or NP? Do they look heavily on these grades or even request them at all?
  6. by   Daytonite
    nursing tests are usually composed of application questions. they require critical thinking, something that is not usually taught, or are a focus, in high school or other basic college classes. nursing instructors give these kinds of questions to help students learn to think critically as well as to prepare you for the nclex licensing exam that you will take when you finish nursing school. here is a website from another nursing school that talks about what these questions are.

    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/study_skills.html - study skills for the nursing student from daytona beach community college nursing department with some good advice.
    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/test_taking_skills.html - test taking skills also from daytona beach community college nursing department. a couple of sample questions and how to chose the correct answer for these application type questions.

    you need to get a nclex review book. there are several on the market, the one by saunders being the best-selling, and read the beginning sections on the strategy behind answering these kinds of application questions. many nursing instructors recommend that students buy one of these review books and use them to prepare for their tests. here is a website where you can get a free question weekly along with the answer from the people who write the nclex test. check the site weekly for each new question:

    http://www.learningext.com/students/qofweek.asp - question of the week. every monday a question from the online nclex-rn examination course from ncsbn and it's answer is posted here on this page.

    don't give up! keep working at this. try to anticipate what you are going to be asked on tests. also, always ask yourself "why" you, as the nurse, are doing something for the patient. these reasons, or rationales, are important to know and are often the basis of the thinking behind the correct answers to these questions that you may be missing. review all the questions you got wrong on your tests to find out where you went wrong in picking the incorrect answers. this will help you "learn" how to pick the right responses in the future.
  7. by   michar
    Quote from Skittlez
    Is this really true? How about if you want to become and CRNA, PA, or NP? Do they look heavily on these grades or even request them at all?
    If you are working as an RN, it's true. If you want to further your education, they do look at your grades among other things.

    Chin up, I've decided I'm working more on learning and knowledge than my grades. The 2 are not always interconnected.
  8. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from Tiffany_H2005
    It is my fourth week of nursing school. There are about 35 of us total in the program and I am the youngest one at 19 years old. Almost everyone are nontraditional students or a couple years older than me.
    I feel very out of place and overwhelmed because everything is completely new to me and it seems like EVERYONE, even the ones closest to my age, have been around doctors and nurses or have parents who are in the medical field.
    Hi there!!

    I had to comment....we just completed the end of our 5th week of NS!! YEAH!!! There are about 40 of us, and I believe I am the oldest (50)!! It also seems like EVERYONE in my class has experience in the medical field except me, too!! Unless you count having 3 kids, 1 husband and a son who have each had surgeries, and dealing with my medical insurance co. experience!! (I think it all helps, though!!) However, it seems almost everyone is overwhelmed and worried!

    It sounds like you will do fine if you keep doing the things you are doing!! As others have said before me: "C = RN". I don't think that negates giving NS your all; but the bottom line is, you're passing!! From what I've gathered, some of this takes some time to get in to the swing of things; I'm hoping it all comes together as I go along!!
    Hang in there!!
  9. by   MySimplePlan
    Hi Tiffany,

    Here is some advice on studying for nursing tests I found right here on this website. I'm not sure who posted it but am I sure glad s/he did: I did really well on my first exam, and I thought I would only pass. I couldn't believe I did as well as I did, and I think it's because I used the following study strategy:

    Take every single objective they give you in your module and answer it like a question. Actually get out some loose leaf and answer every single module question with the answer. This becomes an important study guide. To augment this great information, I paper-clipped this packet to the Power Points I received in class, as well as a glossary page, if any. Between these three pieces of information, I didn't have to reread the text. It was all covered on the PP's and O's. (If you've done a good job on answering the objectives, you will have to flip through the text anyhow and review.)

    This method worked well for me and I am going to keep using it. I hope you find some aspect of it useful. As for the C=RN, I wouldn't want to be that close to the edge of failing. There's not enough buffer space for me fall back on should I choke on a test.

    It took some bit of time to do the packets, and I spent the whole weekend last weekend for four modules, but they paid off. The packets were efficient, focused, and portable.

    Good luck to you on your studies, and I hope you reach your goals.
  10. by   smk1
    I alos don't want to rely on C=RN. As long as you pass, and don't want to go on to grad school then it is true, but I wouldn't recommend resting on your laurels if you are making mostly "C's" all the way through the semester. It would be too stressful and it is only going to get more difficult. You are doing the right thing by asking for help early and advice. Your grades are fine. but there is nothing wrong with improvement. A little buffer zone is a nice thing to have going into finals.
  11. by   Tiffany_H2005
    I just want to thank everyone for the advice they have given me.
    MySimplePlan, thank you for that study tip. Oddly enough, I have thought about doing that already but haven't actually "made it happen."

    You all have been very encouraging!
    And just so everyone knows, I DO want to go to a grad school of midwifery ultimately. So I am REALLY going to try to make at least B's in everything. I would be so happy if I make all B's!

    Much love to all of you. Thank you so much!!!!!

    Tiff
  12. by   ladybugsea
    Tiffany - I also want to be a CNM! I understand how you feel; most of my classmates are CNAs or working in the medical field in some aspect. I'm also worried about my grades. I'm a stellar and well-seasoned student, but this is different from my past studies. Now that you have a better idea of what to expect, and as you get better at taking these kinds of tests, your grades will surely improve. Good luck on the next set! I'm sure you'll do fine.

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