Second time around: what did you do differently?

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    I'm looking for some students (or former, that are now nurses) to help me help my students who have to repeat their nursing classes. The reason I am asking for your help is because.... you guessed it. They don't believe me But when they hear real-life students (especially success stories), they tend to take that advice more seriously. Even if you haven't repeated a course, feel free to add your input. But, my focus is on trying to get them on the right track, and not make the same mistakes again. Whether it has to do with study habits, social life adjustments, time management, or anything that you really think could help them, I'd love to hear from you.
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    I have maintained a 4.0 with a little luck, good habits, and better stress management. The strategies I would recommend to your students are as follows:

    1. Practice good study hygiene. Get in the habit of doing the same thing, same time each day...preferably twice daily or more PRN, like tooth-brushing. I rise early to read and take notes from my texts. In the evening, I do practice NCLEX questions, assignments, and research. Herein, I stated READ THE TEXT right?
    2. Stay organized and STREAM-LINED. I buy a cheapo 1" notebook for each unit/exam. I fill it with powerpoints, handouts, etc. from the unit we are studying. I label it for quick reference when done. This makes it easy to locate and review material when it's brought back up in class.
    3. Form a *small* study group. Mine is four people who are serious about studying. Chit-chat is minimal. We meet every Saturday before tests in a private location. We are very supportive of one another and dedicated to learning about nursing. ALL of our grades improve as a result.
    4. Be a curious sponge. Ask a ton of questions from anyone...your instructors, classmates, people who frequent health care settings, health care workers, doctors, nurses, the universe. You want knowledge? Remember the saying..."Ask and ye shall receive."? Well it's true. Do it. You will! Then you must soak up all that useful information.
    5. Manage your stress! Be confident! Meditate! Rock out to music on your way to school! When ever you doubt yourself, repeat the affirmation: "I will succeed!" Do what ever is need to make you comfortable, confident, happy, and peaceful when you go into tests. Love on yourself! It works, probably better than anything I mentioned above.
    2bAngilRN and ProfRN4 like this.
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    I have a friend who was re-instated at top 10 nursing university and recently graduated. So, it is possible to fail classes and fail out of nursing school and still become a nurse!
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    My suggestion is to do lots and lots and lots of NCLEX style questions related to your exam topics and read ALL the rationales. I pick up little tidbits and it trains my mind how to focus on what the question is really asking. I learn how to pick up on little clues. Also, I try to relate things as much as possible to things I have experienced or seen. It's easier for me than to just memorize facts. For instance, a friend has a mother with COPD. I picture her coughing, see how rail thin she is, and imagine myself feeding her a small high protein meal. I put a lot of things into scenarios. Hope this helps.
    ProfRN4 likes this.
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    Quote from 2bAngilRN
    I have a friend who was re-instated at top 10 nursing university and recently graduated. So, it is possible to fail classes and fail out of nursing school and still become a nurse!
    And what did your friend do to accomplish this?
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    Quote from TrophyWife
    My suggestion is to do lots and lots and lots of NCLEX style questions related to your exam topics and read ALL the rationales. I pick up little tidbits and it trains my mind how to focus on what the question is really asking. I learn how to pick up on little clues. Also, I try to relate things as much as possible to things I have experienced or seen. It's easier for me than to just memorize facts. For instance, a friend has a mother with COPD. I picture her coughing, see how rail thin she is, and imagine myself feeding her a small high protein meal. I put a lot of things into scenarios. Hope this helps.
    Yes it does help. Esp. the picturing/relating to clinical. I have told my students to try to do this during the exams, to think about the pts they've seen. Not sure how much they listen (esp during exams, when anxiety levels are through the roof), but perhaps while studying may help.
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    Quote from ProfRN4
    And what did your friend do to accomplish this?
    My friend studied hard, practiced her skills very hard, changed her work schedule, and most importantly stayed humble. She didn't challenge the professors or the school.
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    Several of my friends failed a nursing class or two. They all had the same bad habit. They would memorize the material but have no clue what to do with that information. You can't just memorize it and not understand the ins and outs. Great you know the , workings of the neurological system but do you know the s/s of diseases, what you do for those conditions, what to expect, and what to watch for, what labs may be wonky etc?

    Once they realized memorizing the text word for word wouldn't help them pass an NCLEX style exam and they started applying that knowledge to 'what if' and 'how come' situations their grades came up signficantly.

    I also suggested to them to use the NCLEX test books as supplemental info. Doing the questions and reading the rationals to ALL the questions gave them more info on the subject. Ok you got it right but do you know why it was right and the others are wrong? many times the 'wrong' answer gave info on other conditions and that helped build a nice solid base.


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