I am a first-semester nursing student in an accelerated nursing program (15 months). I am currently taking Med Surg I, Pharmacology, Health Assessment, and a transitions course.
I have my previous bachelor's degree in psychology and have experience working as a case manager for adults with disabilities.
I am incredibly excited and passionate about becoming a nurse and am doing everything that I feel I can do to do well in my classes. However, I am finding it hard to do well on tests.
I started out with a 90% on my first pharmacology test. I was incredibly pleased, but in my former degree, I was used to getting straight A's (with a few B+s not in my major) so I was expecting an even higher grade.
Since that first test, I've been consistently getting high 70s on my exams. I got a 76% on my first Med Surg exam, and a 76% and 78% on my two health assessment exams. For the supplemental assignments, I've been doing really well -- I've gotten 95% on the two care plans we've had to write and 100%s on the papers we've had to write about diseases, PICO questions, my journals for clinicals, and on the cultural exploration assignment we had. I am having an incredibly amazing time at the LTC clinical site, and already have established a great relationship with my clinical instructor.
I realize that there's a learning curve, since we have to think differently to answer NCLEX-type questions, but I feel that, after I've already taken three tests, I should be getting the hang of it. It's comforting to know that I'm doing well at some things, but it's really disheartening that I am not able to do better at this point in time in Med Surg and health assessment. I participate in the lab and have passed all my competencies without any issues thus far. It is just the written tests that are getting me, and I'm not sure why.
There's a ton of material, and I don't feel like I am having a hard time understanding it, but that also concerns be because I can't really identify where I'm going wrong. I am having a pharm test this week and have made index cards for all of the prototype drugs (we're being tested on ten chapters) and that seems to help somewhat. I am wholeheartedly prepared to do the work that is expected of me, and have been putting all of my time into learning and understanding the material.
I guess what I am looking for, is perhaps some tips/suggestions for studying or ingraining the material into my brain. I really want to understand how to approach the material effectively.
If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. I appreciate any assistance that anyone can provide.
Thanks so much.