Quote from gkash
so....do tell!! I just got into nursing school. I start this spring, and I am freaking out. I feel like I have the hardest time retaining information that I read, and I get really bad test anxiety. I keep reading all of the posts from students, and I am wondering how I am going to pull this off. If you have any other tips please let me in
Two words.....Voice Recorder. Seriously saved my behind. A few years ago, I came on AllNurses.com freaking out about my A&P class. Basically I was having the most difficult time cramming all of that info into my head in such a short time. I was failing. It was a lot! One of the members here, recommended I record my notes and then listen to them to study. I then began to record, verbatim, the material from any PowerPoints or notes in my own voice and any other "reading" materials as well. The trick is while you are recording, you're also reading it, hearing it, and saying it out loud. It was a Godsend. That's when I learned that I was mostly an audio learner. Not everyone is, but it's surely not going to hurt to try it out. Oh, but recording the lectures didn't work for me. I found them boring with a lot of unnecessary fluff. The Instructors can get side tracked often, and I didn't need to study the "one time, when I was on a med/surg unit and had 15 patients...." story. I actually paid more attention sitting through the lectures listening. No note taking or anything.
Now, that worked well for the memorization part of school. I'm not sure if your prerequisites are integrated into the nursing program or not, but mine were not. So after I got through all of those, I could begin actual nursing classes (8 grueling semesters, no breaks in between). I began with my usual study habits and they weren't working. I was quickly introduced to "critical thinking", which is what nursing school and nursing is all about. And that's when I turned to my NCLEX study questions books. I used every single one of them(buy as many as you can afford) to study for my exams. I even recorded from them too.
The great thing is you can take your recordings with you and listen to them literally anywhere you'd like. My car stereo even had a plug in for it. So.... I listened while driving, waiting in traffic, waiting in lines, while shopping, eating, resting, getting ready, etc. But yeah, you see the point. And if you're really techy, you could download them onto your pc, make copies onto cd, or even translate to text via software.
Congratulations! And enjoy this time before school starts. Relax as much as possible and try not to stress out about what's coming up. You'll have plenty of time for that in school. Also, make a few friends. They will be your guiding light when you need it most, as only those who are going through exactly what you are, can truly relate. Be there for one another. Oh, and don't forget you're always on stage, so to speak. Your reputation and behavior is paramount in this environment. Every person you meet along the way will be a great resource and networking opportunity.
Sorry this was so long. Congrats again and best wishes, you'll do just fine.