Need some suggestions

  1. I'm a pre-nursing student,hopefully to become a nursing student Fall of 2008. I have 2 young children, ages 4 and 1. I'm a little intimidated by nursing courses and was looking for some suggestions about how maybe I can prepare ahead of time or some helpful hints. ALso, how to balance family, I'm a single mom, possibly working and school. Im very determined to get this degree and nothing will stop me.
    Thanks!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   nurseangel47
    Good for you! Take the time to learn how to study. There are courses, self help books, etc available for this task to be learned/relearned.
    Get organized at home. Whatever organized means to you. Have yard sales until all the junk in your home is eliminated making it easier for storing what you do want/need to save. Stock up on recipes meant to be frozen for quick thaw supper in the years ahead to save your behind in pinches.
    Pack lunches the night before class to save on money maybe spent in the canteen at school. Pack lunches or snacks/bottles, whatever the night before for your kids. Clip coupons to save on grocery money. Search for used clothing for you and the kids at yard sales. Many times the clothing at these treasure finds is either gently used or never been worn.
    Try to train your eye to pick out the meat portion of text now. Perhaps you can retrain your eye/mind to find what is the most important in text so that you can save yourself valuable time when studying nursing verbage.
    Practice saying "no." Period. You will need to remember this word when you are in nursing school. You will only have time for you, your kids, the books and clinical. Good luck! We need you in the trenches. It sounds as though you will succeed. You have the willpower and determination to, now go forth and prepare!
  4. by   PurrRN
    Well, hmmm. IF you have the time (definitely hard to find between kids and school, even pre-req courses), First, I would make sure I had a really good grasp of A & P. If you've already taken it refresh often or when you take it, pay really close attention to "understand" how the systems work instead of just learning the material for testing purposes. Second, get a book on pharmacology and start learning the classes of drugs and how they affect various body systems. Third, get a book on med calculations and practice, practice, practice. My school uses Math for Meds by Anna M. Curren, 9th ed. Pretty straight forward I think (and I'm math challenged, LOL). The things that I see people in my class getting hung up on (failing over) are these three areas. The rest of nursing school is just the kind of experience that you can't really prepare for in my opinion. Kind of a sink or swim kind of thing, but if you have a good grasp on #'s 1,2, and 3, you should be ahead of the game. Good luck to you.
  5. by   katiem
    SiamCat1,
    Thanks soo much for the suggestions, I will definately start studying the 3 areas that you mentioned as soon as I pass the TEAS test That is my first obstacle, so Im studying for that now! I will have to take A&P in the Fall and Im already preparing for that. Like I said I am very determined to be a nurse.
  6. by   katiem
    nurseangel47,
    Thanks soo much for the suggestions!! It's soo great to be able to "talk" to nursing students/nurses and hear their recomendations.
  7. by   allthingsbright
    I would work on really organizing my home and creating some good support for myself. I have absolutely no time to do any of the housework/organizing/etc at this point and my hubby is playing mr mom. Get really organized, make a quiet study space for yourself, get your kids into some kind of routine (normal bedtimes really help), start buying NCLEX books and school supplies a little at a time to help with costs, review A&P, study skills and read some cool books like Echo Heron's books on real-life nursing, etc. Also, review your math!!!!!!!

    Enjoy your kiddos and spend LOADS of time with them now! Good luck.
  8. by   dani_girl
    Try to get Pre-req out of way.. you may think, but then I am only taking one class.. but that one 8 credit nursing class is 4 days a week. I took Pharmacology before nursing, b/c it isn't in my program (supposedly you learn it as you go.. :spin: ) and it really helped me.. there are so many new things you have to "learn as you go" that one less is great.. also medical terminology.. grab a book and learn the basics.. if you can then when they are lecturing you arent trying to figure out how to spell something so you can look it up when you get home.. b/c as I told my instructor it is kinda hard to look something up when you can't spell it LOL..
    also find a good place to study.. I can't study at home.. it just doesn't work for me sometimes.. I get distracted by dishes or people.. the coffee house in my town now knows me.. and they don't care that I sit there for 5 hours and ignore them and drink water and eat a biscotti.. Good luck!
  9. by   Daytonite
    hi, katie!

    i want you to know that i felt the same way as i was waiting to get into actual nursing classes. my mother had always wanted to be a doctor. she came from a very poor family that had some other social problems and her chances of going to medical school back in the 1930's during the depression years was pretty much next to nil. still, she loved the idea of medicine. my father had a part time job working with a salvage company (we called it a "junk yard") and he would bring home bundles of old medical journals that were being discarded. she poured over them like they were important ancient manuscripts. we kids were all exposed to this reading material if we chose to look at it.

    one of the books she had lying around as i was waiting to get into nursing classes was a nursing textbook that was about 10 years old. i would pick it up and read through it. i didn't always understand what was in it, but the pictures and explanations about some of the procedures were fascinating. i have a very vivid recollection to this day of reading about a sengstaken-blakemore tube and the picture that went with it. when it came up in my nursing classes, the information was hard to find. i knew what it was and had a reference on it back at my mother's house!

    anyway, i believe that what makes nursing classes so "difficult" for most people is that the information they are being asked to learn is brand new to them. learning information for the first time is always overwhelming. and, if you have no basis or background upon which to organize and place it (which most people don't) you feel as if you are learning but it isn't always making sense. so, my recommendation would be that you start to study some of these subjects now.

    in nursing school you will be asked to learn about the signs and symptoms of many different diseases. this does build upon the anatomy, physiology and microbiology you will have taken. from those signs and symptoms you will be asked to learn what the expected medical treatment and tests are going to be. from the signs, symptoms and medical orders of these diseases will come the nursing interventions, or actions, that you will specifically learn about in nursing school. nursing schools often break down this learning into modules of medical, surgical, obstetrics, pediatrics, cardiology and pulmonary, renal and gastrointestinal, cerebrovascular, intensive care, psychiatry and community nursing. they focus on specific types of disease and disorders that occur to patients within each of those categories. usually, the first nursing classes are learning how to give basic nursing care (almost the same as a cna course) and basic nursing procedures such as handwashing and giving medications. this all has to be learned before you can go into a clinical area and take care of patients.

    where would i start, if i were you? get a used nursing textbook, just like i had, and start reading about medical diseases. get a book on pathophysiology which organizes diseases by the various body systems and that might be a good place to start. a company called lippincott williams & wilkins which has bought up many of the major nursing publishers publishes all kinds of nursing related books. however, you might check the bookstores of the nursing schools around you to see what kind of textbooks they require. you don't have to be a student to purchase a textbook from a college bookstore. i have always been a big believer that using textbooks or other supplemental books outside what any instructor has suggested for a course is only going to make my understanding of the subject better. i wouldn't spend a lot of money on these, however. if you decide to buy books, get used ones. you should also be able to find a lot of information on the internet for free. there are a number of consumer websites that are easy to read and understand where you can get plenty of information on all kinds of diseases.

    medline plus (use the search box) http://www.medlineplus.gov/

    medicine net diseases & conditions a to z index http://www.medicinenet.com/diseases_...ns/article.htm

    web md index list of medical conditions (i noticed last night that they had a huge tv ad promoting their website) http://www.webmd.com/a_to_z_guide/health_topics.htm

    aetna intelihealth (use the search box) http://www.intelihealth.com/ih/ihtih...0/408/408.html

    peacehealth consumer information (use the search box) http://www.peacehealth.org/

    emedicinehealth first aid and consumer health information list of topics from a to z http://www.emedicinehealth.com/scrip...ticlekey=60185

    encyclopedia of surgery http://www.surgeryencyclopedia.com/index.html

    many of the large medical centers (perhaps even the ones in the area where you live) have informational sections on their websites for consumers. some of them are big organizations too! do some searching. i have links to patient information on diabetes from vanderbilt university medical center that are absolutely excellent. some of the national cancer centers have superb information about cancer and it's treatment on their sites. and, these are all geared toward the consumer, so you can understand them--a good place to start learning! some subjects i would recommend that you learn about are diabetes mellitus, heart failure, asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, liver disease (in general), arthritis, aids, kidney (renal) failure, burns, pressure ulcers, and benign prostatic hypertrophy. read about cancer as well since cancer affects all organs of the body.

    i am hesitant to even suggest that you look into the nursing process or care planning as it encompasses nursing interventions as well as the medical disease information. don't want to overwhelm and confuse you. read the posts on the various forums. use the search function if you want to find out something about a specific subject.

    happy reading! welcome to allnurses!
  10. by   katiem
    Daytonite,
    Thank you SOO much for all of that information! That is going to be SOO helpful to me and I definately plan on researching and reading way before A&P starts and microbiology, as well as the nursing classes. Right now I have to pass the TEAS even before they consider me for the nursing school. Sooo....hopefully I pass that and I will start to get busy with studying A&P- I will have to take that this Fall. Im really excited and 100% dedicated to this. This is a huge stepping stone for me after being a SAHM for the past 4 years and now almost divorced at age 26. I know I can do this
  11. by   Daytonite
    I left you a reply on another thread with a link to information about the TEAS.

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