Have you tried concept maps? Try writing down a diagnosis in the, like heart failure. Then make a list of the signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, treatments. It's easier for me to see it all in one place to understand it. Knowing the patho behind it also really helps understand the s&s, and the treatments.
Another thing I do is rewrite my all of notes the week before the exam. Some of my classes are only once a week, and the tests are each fourth week....so I tend to forget the material from the first lecture. By rewriting my notes, it refreshes my memory. It's honestly the way that I study. If the professor is heavy on taking material from the textbook, when I read through the chapters I take my own notes.
When it comes to thinking like a nurse, all I can suggest is MAKE SURE YOU READ THE QUESTION CAREFULLY!!! Most of the time they want to know what you will do FIRST or what is the PRIORITY! (Which is usually never call the dr). You want to know what you AS A NURSE can do right away to solve the problem. If you are familiar with maslows hierarchy, think the bottom first! Meet the physiological needs first! ABCs. Then comes safety. And so on....
You can do this! You will get it
you just have to figure out which studying method works best for you.