Need Advice

  1. We just finished our first half of nursing 120 (med surg). We will return in the fall. I have a firend that I have become very close with, we study for all of our tests together and really have clicked. I can't imagine continuing without her. Well, she failed this last test (below 80 is failing), as well as 2 others and the instructor has suggested she drop. She doesn't want to drop b/c she feels she knows the material, and I agree with her. For example, on this last test, she got 14 wrong. 12 of those, she narrowed it down to 2 answers and chose the wrong one. She said it wasn't a matter of guessing wrong between the two, it was a matter of second guessing herself, or choosing wrong because of "rules" we've been taught about test taking (i.e. never call dr, always assess, etc).

    Anyway, I would never have suggested she stick with it if I didn't feel she knew the material, but she does. I just think that maybe she isn't as confident in the material as she should be, and studying more should take care of it. We have 2 more tests, so if she studies all summer on the next unit and pulls an A, she'll be back in the game.

    I am looking for advice to tell her, tips to help her study, and ways that we can get her through this class. I really don't want to lose her, I think she'll make a great nurse and dropping this class just isn't an option for her (once she drops, she won't get back into the class until fall 2004, which is when we are due to graduate, and that would kill her to wait that long).

    Please help me help my firend, she is so down on herself right now and I want to help.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Jennerizer
    Just keep reviewing the material with her. Get some nclex books to help with the study tactics. Those questions can be tricky...especially when there is more than one right answer. Try to get her to understand why one answer might be better than the other.
  4. by   KidsLuvMe
    It sounds like she is able to retain all the information she is given she just needs some experience to help her when choosing between the more correct of two answers. Maybe she should do some volunteering/shadowing or become a part-time CNA so that she can gian confidence in herself and have some experiences to fall back on when answering questions. Maybe you could become CNAs together for a "summer job"
    Hope this Helps
  5. by   geekgolightly
    Use NCLEX CD's. Figure out how each instructor tests and study according to that rather than one format of studying. (example some of my lecturer's take exams from the notes, some of my lecturer's could babble for days and it makes no difference all exam questions come from the book). Don;t think I have to know all of it now about absolutely everything. Study in two or three hour spurts with plenty of time to absorb inbetween. Also I have found that going over the lecture material/book before bed each night especially the lecture I may have had that day helps me retain information and intergrate it. Also study by throwing out questions randomly and also throw out questions from one system when they relate to another system you may be studying at that moment. example when you talk about hyperkalemia, throw out a question about fluid electrolytes as well as caridac which helps fully integrate information.

    And some questions you will never get right because it is a matter of opinion and you may not be aware of a particular instructors opinion. learn to let those go.

    This is all I can think of that has helped me.

    oh, and if they allow it, suck on the same kind of candy or mint while taking the exam that you do while studying. i read somewhere that this helps to remember and jolt the memory. Hell, i'll try anything for a better grade.

    good luck.

    xxgeek
  6. by   rnnurse2be
    You giving her support will be a huge help. Between the two of you, maybe talk to the prof and figure out a plan of action, then impliment it.

    That might be testing her in writting, verbal, ect... maybe someone has an old test she could practice on.

    One thing that helped me in A&P (our prof was so extremely tough...) was to have a friend TWIST words around in her questions. After we had our first test we knew more of what to expect, so we began wording our questions like the prof would.
    IE: What does NOT belong and why...
    T/F questions
    Fill in the blanks...
    Compare and Contrast....

    Anything you can think of, it really does help to prepare.
    It saved my butt
  7. by   Jenn_RN
    Thanks for the advice, guys. She works in oncology now as a tech, and she loves it. That is where she wants to be, and I think she's perfect for it. It has helped her some, but not as much as she needs, I guess.

    I do have 2 nclex books we can work on together, and one is the Kaplan that actually breaks down the questions and teaches you how to answer them. I will loan her that over the summer (I am a GREAT friend to part with that book, lol).

    Other than that, I know she just needs to study more, and that I can't do for her. She just nees to step up and bite the bullet and studies sometimes when she doesn't want to. I hope that I can report back in October that she's passed the class. If not, I'll be here, crying to you all. It'll be a very lonely time without her.
  8. by   cna on her way
    What school are you attending in Charlotte? I am from Statesville. Anyhow, I would have her talk to the prof and tell her that she feels she knows the material and that she truely thinks she can bring up her grades. Maybe she needs some test taking skills that someone can help her with at a learning center in the school. Here we have tutors at the Community college that help for free for 3 or 4 sessions to help you brush up on skills such as test taking.
  9. by   Jenn_RN
    We are at Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing. What school are you in?

    Anyway, I am really going to try over the summer and help her work on her confidence and studying/test taking skills. I wrote her last night and told her that I was very confident in her and that I'd be honored to have her be my nurse anyday.

    It's not the norm for me to make such a great friend, so I hope we can pull this off and we can graduate together.
  10. by   redwinggirlie
    That's a hard place for you and your friend to be.... Not trying to make light of the situation, but ask your friend how many answers she changes during tests. That can be a killer... Also, ask her if she is reading into the question. The question is what it is. There are no additions or what if's..... I was a question changer. I wound up pulling off all my erasers. Also, when you two study, try practice tests. Answer the questions and say why you answered it that way before you check the answer. A good book to use to do that is NCLEX-RN Q's and A's made Incredibly Easy!. It has the Q's with the A's right across from them. Includes rationale and it is easy to understand.
    I wish you both well. Tell her to hang in there.
  11. by   michele08540
    I haven't even begun the nursing program , but I have completed an Associates in Humanities. One thing I learned in all courses is to make my own test. Turn everything you read and study into a question; EVERYTHING. I hope this helps.

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