Are you in M****, Texas? Sounds like my old school. I heard about an alternative, and opted for that this past fall. I have never regretted it, not for one minute.
However, most of my former classmates toughed it out (some transferred to other traditional schools
) and maybe half of our original class are graduating this week.
Here's what we did (I did succeed those first three semesters!):
1) As much as possible, become a cohesive group and help each other. Schedule time to meet outside of class and discuss the topics you are covering. Be prepared to look stuff up in your books and notes, so that everybody gets a good clear shot at the info, and you don't learn something wrong because you accepted somebody's word for it without checking it.
2) Use your syllabus--and study questions if you've got them--and develop and outline of the information. Divide it up and have it be "due" a week before your exams--some of your classmates aren't going to get theirs done. You'll have to make up the slack, and you'll have to decide whether you are going to let them have the info the others worked hard to produce.
3) We developed a Yahoo group website for notes and info to be posted on. That got a lot of flack from the administrator, who suspected we were using it to cheat. (I'm not sure how that was thought to work! But it was an interesting in vivo example of paranoia in action.) Eventually our system broke down, but before it did, it helped a lot of people get enough of a grasp on the basics that they survived those early classes and made it to the later semesters. Some people graduating next week were openly grateful for the help they got from the notes on that yahoo group. (It made putting up with the administrator almost
Good luck. I probably made it sound awful. I didn't mean to, necessarily--when people say it's not easy, they don't always mean it's because the material is complicated. Set your eyes and your heart on your goal (graduating) and focus on today. Don't cut class, do take notes. Share what you have learned with others, it cements it into your own head.
Almost forgot! Nursing questions are different from exam items in other courses. Be sure, for example that if the question asks for what would be done in the evaluation
phase, you select THAT answer, even if it's not a very good evaluation technique. Sometimes there will be great assessment and great intervention choices, and only a mediocre evaluation choice. If you pick one of the "great" choices, your answer will be wrong, even if it was a better action.
This is probably a lot more than you are looking for, but I hope some of it is helpful.
I wish I had known about allnurses (and the Yahoo groups!) when I was a student.
Good luck!!! And let us know how it goes! And don't stop asking questions!