Hardest part of nursing school - page 2

Hi! I will hopefully be starting nursing school in July, and I was wondering what exactly to expect. I saw on the schedule bulletin that for the summer term (my beginning term) courses will run MWF... Read More

  1. by   ZASHAGALKA
    In secondary schools all across this nation, teachers are held accountable for a proficiency test that students must pass at selected intervals and the schools are graded on the results of that test. It is a result of 'no child left behind'.

    The result: many parents, myself included, complain that far too much time is spent in the classroom 'teaching the test'.

    An interesting parallel exists with nursing schools. Instructors are ultimately held accountable to one standard test.

    The result, whether you realize it or not, instructors of nursing school spend far too much time 'teaching the test'.

    My advice: buy you a good NCLEX review book and spend some time studying the section that is the subject of your upcoming tests. You might be surprised to find just how closely your instructors are trying to 'teach the test'. In more ways than one. They are trying to teach the content of the test. AND. They are trying to teach the style of test.

    Don't wait until you are getting ready to study for NCLEX to crack an NCLEX review book. Use it as a common study aid throughout your program. You might be pleasantly surprised how your routine tests during nursing school so very closely resembles those review aids.

    At the very least, instead of being frustrated with the style of nursing school tests, the NCLEX review books might provide some context to explain that style. AND. It might help you more quickly learn to adapt to that style.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Apr 7, '07
  2. by   nj1grlcrus
    Take one day at a time when you feel overwhelmed, make friends FAST, they are a lifesaver, and try not to be scared of the instructors, I become all thumbs when I am be watched...try and relax a little. Good luck
  3. by   CT Pixie
    Time management is the hardest for most in my class. Learning how to schedule your time, whats of utmost importance, whats middle ground and what can wait until tomorrow or the next day.

    If (rarely) when I have free time and I'm caught up on all reading, assignments and studying, I'll go ahead and read up coming chapters, do some of the upcoming homework etc. Like today I just read 3 chapters ahead of where we are and completed the assigned pages that corrulate to the chapters in the workbook, I also went ahead a did some extra Dosing Calculation chapters. Now, I am a few steps ahead of the assinged reading etc and I can feel a bit of relief knowing if I choose, I can have a bit of one day to just do nothing.

    My advice would be learn time management early! Make a schedule with class times, study times, work times, etc and try to stick to it. Also, give yourself some time to just be you and not worry about assigned reading..you can do that by taking one or two days when you have little to do for school and go ahead
  4. by   TemperStripe
    This is all really good advice. I'm starting an accelerated program in June. Thanks for your posts, everyone.

    Bump.
  5. by   luckylucyrn
    Quote from Megsd
    * Don't read the syllabus too closely before school starts. You will see a gigantic mountain of readings, papers, exams, assignments that will look impossible to complete and (if you're anything like me or my classmates) you will freak out before you walk into the classroom. I assure you everything they are asking you to do IS possible. Take it one day at a time.
    I definitley made that mistake! Before I started Nursing school, I went to my friend's house and she gave me her old notebooks for the classes I was taking (she had graduated from the same program). I looked through the syllabus of my Foundations class, and thought to myself, "there is NO way I can get through all this!" After that class (which i got through with an A) I looked no more than a couple weeks ahead at a time, and concentrated on only what I needed to do for the next class period.
  6. by   ladyinred667
    The hardest part for me is just trying to find time to do all the things I need to get done outside of school. Cleaning, socializing, etc. I could be a lot more organized and a lot less lazy though.
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from suninmyeyes
    One last thing, I never would have made it without my classmates who I study and cry and laugh with. They have been my lifeboat. Be sure and reach out and connect with those around you.
    My .02 cents to this conversation is to elaborate on what suninmyeyes has written....I read too often on these boards about petty, high-school type of antics that are going on while in NS...I can't imagine anyone having the time or energy....thank heavens, with the exception of a very small group in our class, we don't seem to be dealing with this....

    I am an older student, and one thing I started to realize toward the end of the 1st semester is that we are all STUCK together for 2 years in this program. That means, when they assigned a group project a month or so ago, the instructors picked the groups and I would be working with whomever they assigned me to work with. It was nice to know that I could do that with just about anyone in the class. When you go to clinicals, you will most likely be randomly assigned a group of other students you will be working with....you'll want to know that you've each got each others' back if something comes up and you need help....

    Unlike regular college classes where I can sign up for different instructors or times/dates of class, you'll be spending the next 2 - 4 years with them all, over and over and over again.....

    Best to make nice now....that doesn't mean you need to become a doormat for anyone, but work now on developing those skills you'll need in clinicals with difficult patients and families....

    Best wishes!!
  8. by   happynewLPN
    I'm in an ADN program, and I have lab/lecture T,W from 8am to noon, and clinical days are Th,F from 7am to 3pm. I also work full-time 2nd shift at the same hospital where my clinicals are located.

    So far, so good...I've been able to keep my 4.0.

    The biggest piece of advice? Stay ahead of the game. Read ahead in your chapters, take a few notes before lecture if possible, and BE ORGANIZED. Don't take shortcuts. If you can organize your notes and materials, you'll be better for it.

    Lisa
  9. by   carolinapooh
    I'm in an accelerated program myself, and I have to say - I never have time to READ anything. I look over the assigned readings, looking at important stuff - ie, anything in a box or in bold print. Then when I do my study guides for the test, I know where the important stuff is in the textbook. Our professors and instructors use PowerPoint a lot, and let us know that they've already pulled out the important stuff other than x, y, and z in the text that we should review for the exam. Hopefully what's in your notes/presentations will be highlighted as what they essentially want you to know.

    Typically I have about eighty to 120 pages of reading per class per week (with four classes a week, plus three full days of clinical). I'd never get all that done and remain sane. You have to figure out what's important, and you have to figure it out quick. Heaven bless my instructors for "getting it"; I hope you're as lucky as I am.

    Time management is the hardest thing to figure out.

    I agree with not overreading the syllabus; you'll only drive yourself to distraction in the process. Take it one or two weeks at a time, record all your deadlines and due dates, and REVIEW your calendar weekly.

    We have formed study groups; we break down and distribute the study guides among ourselves on a Google group, set a deadline, and then submit our work to the group online. Then we can print it out and we have a COMPREHENSIVE outline of the exam material. I really started kicking butt in Med-Surg when I joined the online study group. My test grade went up eleven points, and normally I despise study groups. If someone doesn't deliver quality work, they're barred from the group by the moderator and can't get the guide to download. (Work not up to par is defined as someone BS'ing their way through their assigned section and obviously not being thorough; when someone pulls a fast one it's obvious, believe me. The last med-surg study guide we put together was seventy-four pages long.)

    IGNORE the petty, high school things that are going to go on. It's not worth your time to get dragged into the drama that some of these people find the time for - believe me. I've seen WAAAYYYY too much of it, and it shows when people get wrapped up in it. Your program is probably small like mine is (we have 54 students; most ABSN programs are on the smaller side) - believe me, your instructors will know you, which could be both good and bad, depending on what you make of it. I make sure it's a good thing.

    Here's the kicker - look at all of the people who made it through your school before you. Look at those of us living through the madness of an ABSN program now. If we can do it, you can too.

    Good luck, congrats, and keep us posted!

    (Oh, and by the way, I have a 3.76 GPA. That's with 2 Master's level classes under my belt, and one in progress now. The B+ in a master's level Patho class sort of annoyed me. But I never thought I'd be able to say that about nursing school grades when I applied. You'll be fine.)
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Apr 8, '07
  10. by   TCUgirl15
    i'm also about to begin an accelerated BSN program in a couple of weeks (mid-May). My concern is that I don't have a medical background at all. I received my bachelor's in communications (public relations), and then went on to get my MBA. Do most students in an ABSN program come in with experience to some degree already under their belt? Will that hurt me at all? I am so excited to begin the program. It will be a breath of fresh air compared to business school. I did really well in my nursing pre-reqs...I'm just a little anxious/nervous to get started on the program. I wondered if al of you currently in the accelerated programs have classmates that came in with a lot of experience or had experience yourself? That might be kind of intimidating. My first class is pharmacology also. It's a three week mini term. I'm sure that is going to be pretty strenuous! I'm excited though. All these posts are really helpful. Good advice! Thanks!
  11. by   Megsd
    Quote from TCUgirl15
    i'm also about to begin an accelerated BSN program in a couple of weeks (mid-May). My concern is that I don't have a medical background at all. I received my bachelor's in communications (public relations), and then went on to get my MBA. Do most students in an ABSN program come in with experience to some degree already under their belt? Will that hurt me at all? I am so excited to begin the program. It will be a breath of fresh air compared to business school. I did really well in my nursing pre-reqs...I'm just a little anxious/nervous to get started on the program. I wondered if al of you currently in the accelerated programs have classmates that came in with a lot of experience or had experience yourself? That might be kind of intimidating. My first class is pharmacology also. It's a three week mini term. I'm sure that is going to be pretty strenuous! I'm excited though. All these posts are really helpful. Good advice! Thanks!
    I wouldn't worry too much. My accelerated program emphasized that while none of us necessarily know anything about nursing, we all have "life experience" that we bring to the table. Most of my classmates had biology or exercise science degrees, but I have a BA in Spanish and am doing just fine.

    It can be intimidating, but just speak up if you don't understand something, work hard, use your classmates' expertise, and just keep marching forward.
  12. by   hlfpnt
    Keep yourself organized & don't get behind. I had a color-coded calendar for due dates, tests/quizzes, classes & clinicals...took some work to put it together, but it kept me on track! Good luck to you! :spin:
  13. by   susanlwins
    Thank you for mentioning that "there really is no such thing as a 2 year RN. There is a solid year of prereqs.) I am finishing my prereqs (took me 2 1/2 years going part time), and there were prereqs for the prereqs. Fortunately, I finished a lot of those when I went to college the first time around 15 years ago. Add it all up, the gen ed classes, then the year of prereqs, then the 2 year ADN, and HOLY MOLY you're just a few credits shy of a 4 year educational effort! I am looking forward to it, in all of it's gritty, mind blowing misery and majesty!

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