Spring 08 Acceptance. HOW TO STUDY?

  1. :spin:Hello ,

    First off I want to start by saying I am excited about my acceptance to nursing school for SPRING 08! I have a question i am interested in someone giving me information on studying techniques period while in nursing school. I have done a pretty good job in community college studying , but I want to get a more in depth idea of how studying should be done in nursing school. Because i know its crucial. Lastly the class medsurg Ive heard of so many people failing that class in nursing school what do i need to do to pass that class. why do so many people not pass that class? I am interested in any answers thank you and have a nice day. I just want to be prepared if you know what i mean.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   neeniebean
    get a good review book and do lots of practice questions. Nursing tests are different than other tests that you're used to. There's usually more than one right answer, and its all about Prioritizing. Understanding concepts isn't enough- you need to know how, and when, to apply them. I, personally, dont find nursing school to be ridiculously hard, but its extremely time consuming. Its kind of like a roller coaster ride- sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, sometimes you really have no clue where you are lol Don't stress- just try to stay on top of your work, anything that you can do early, DO IT (we had different date options for handing in our research paper this semester, i took the earliest possible date and handed it in in September- one less thing to worry about for the semester). But anyway, with the studying-study like you usually would, but then do as many pratice questions as possible on top of that.
  4. by   dave5000
    Theres a multitude of ways to study, but I feel the two most important items I discovered so far is FLASH CARDS AND STUDY GROUPS. good luck Dave5000
  5. by   jtjames
    Quote from N4Nurse
    :spin:Hello ,

    First off I want to start by saying I am excited about my acceptance to nursing school for SPRING 08! I have a question i am interested in someone giving me information on studying techniques period while in nursing school. I have done a pretty good job in community college studying , but I want to get a more in depth idea of how studying should be done in nursing school. Because i know its crucial. Lastly the class medsurg Ive heard of so many people failing that class in nursing school what do i need to do to pass that class. why do so many people not pass that class? I am interested in any answers thank you and have a nice day. I just want to be prepared if you know what i mean.
    I have only 2 more semesters to go and I am about to finish med surg 1. Med surg is very difficult and yes in the next two weeks we will loose people. The only advice I can tell you is to take good notes and use a tape recorder. When you get home relisten to lecture and add to your notes. I have to say that this really works for me as in the beginning of this semester my grades had dropped and I was in TROUBLE why because I gave up listening to the tapes. I got lazy. I started to do the tapes again and my grades have gone back up to a 90 on the last two tests. Study in a group 1 to 2 days before the test as this will help you when you are miss understanding something. Somebody will always be able to clarify. Do not study with people who are failing. (this sounds harsh but a friend of mine did this and yep she failed out everybody was learning misinformation). Take advantage of appointment hours with instructors, and do not start to study at the last minute. Break it up. My tests are every 2 weeks therefore on a non test weekend I listen to the tapes and do my notes and on a test weekend I pound the info with my study buddies. Good luck. You'll do fine
  6. by   MB37
    Hopefully you have enough experience with your own education to know what methods work for you - I'm the opposite of dave5000 - through 2 semesters of NS, I have yet to receive a grade of less than an A on any exam, and I do not make flash cards or study in groups. Ever. I tape all my lectures, take notes by hand in class, then go home and listen to the tapes and type everything up. I also read every page we're assigned and highlight. I make study guides for each exam, and once it's made I don't really need to study it - I learned all the material while creating it. I spend the day before an exam just doing NCLEX style practice questions, I have about 5 books of them. I also have two books on NCLEX test-taking strategies (I recommend Kaplan) and I read it cover to cover early in first semester. I know myself very well, and I know what works for me. That's the most important thing to figure out.
  7. by   emtb2rn
    Like MB37 said, you probably already know what works for you. Here's my approach as I'm finishing the 3rd of 5 semesters (but the 5th is only 6 weeks long).

    1) A's are nice but not required. I've settled into a steady B groove with a 93 average.
    2) Go to class. Instructors will pretty much tell you what to focus on for their tests.
    3) Understand things. Don't simply memorize. Nursing school tests are about critical thinking, that is: what do you do if? There will be 2 right answers to every question, but 1 will be more right. Think safety and then ABCs.
    4) I don't tape, do flash cards or long and involved study groups. I have 2 classmates that I meet with for an hour the day before and a hour just before tests.
    5) I review lecture notes the same day and casually review them on a regular basis. I'll scan the texts, usually just reading the chapter intro and summary.
    6) I do NCLEX practice questions for whatever class topic we're covering. I use Davis. Reinforces knowledge and helps with test taking skills.
    7) Laugh and have fun. Seriously. Laughter is great and you're going to see a lot of funny things along with a lot of not very funny things.

    Remember, school is easy. Real life is work.
    Last edit by emtb2rn on Dec 5, '07 : Reason: coherency
  8. by   Kevin RN08
    Quote from MB37
    Hopefully you have enough experience with your own education to know what methods work for you - I'm the opposite of dave5000 - through 2 semesters of NS, I have yet to receive a grade of less than an A on any exam, and I do not make flash cards or study in groups. Ever. I tape all my lectures, take notes by hand in class, then go home and listen to the tapes and type everything up. I also read every page we're assigned and highlight. I make study guides for each exam, and once it's made I don't really need to study it - I learned all the material while creating it. I spend the day before an exam just doing NCLEX style practice questions, I have about 5 books of them. I also have two books on NCLEX test-taking strategies (I recommend Kaplan) and I read it cover to cover early in first semester. I know myself very well, and I know what works for me. That's the most important thing to figure out.
    A NCLEX test strategies is the #1 advice.

    The best I will give you, PRE-READ and listen to the instructor and ask the "stupid" questions during class and RE-READ the material.

    I never was a group or flashcard person but, if you are in an accelerated program I would recommend groups, diverse groups that have different learning styles. My class of 8 (used to be 10) has listeners, readers, doers and visual learners all have something to bring to the discussion. We normally gather over the weekend for an hour or 3 to make sure we are all on the same page (FYI the other 2 didn't participate in groups), if nothing else maybe a question will be tossed because we all missed it. The group must be diverse and focused on studying, it is not chit-chat time;the key is all questions need to be researched, trust no one person.
    We aren't allowed recorders, so I can't speak for that.
    Also, if you don't have to work full time, DONT! If you can work around your school demands (and there are many), great. This is exponentially true if you're new to healthcare (as I was/am).
    And finally, RELAX and HAVE FUN ... take it seriously but don't forget to enjoy it.
    Last edit by Kevin RN08 on Dec 5, '07
  9. by   FAworld
    Great thread - a lot of good advice for those of us new to nursing school.

    I start in January. One of our recommended (but not required) books for first semester is Test Success by Patricia Nugent and Barbara Vitale. I'm about halfway through reading it and I am so glad that I purchased it early. I can already tell it will help me get in the right frame of mind for learning as well as what to focus on (critical thinking versus memorization, for sure!) in Nursing school.
  10. by   Daytonite
    hi, n4nurse, and welcome to allnurses!

    there are two sticky threads on allnurses related to studying that you need to check out and look at the weblinks on:
    in nursing classes you will be pulling together all the information you took in your prerequisite science classes. this information will help to explain why a disease is doing what it does to a person. part of nursing classes will be to learn about the different diseases and how they are treated by the doctors and then how nurses also help to treat the patient's response to them. there is a thread that has lots of weblinks to help you find information on medical diseases and their treatment:
    it's a lot of information to pull together and this is why many people end up not doing so well. however, the information is quite logical and can be arranged very rationally. if you open up the link critical think flow sheet for nursing students at the bottom of this post, you can print it out and use it for each major medical diagnosis to help you organize that kind of information to help you study. doctors generally treat the underlying cause of the problem and the patient's symptoms. we nurses carry out many of the treatments that the doctors order. we also can perform some independent treatments (which you will learn about in nursing classes) and those are also, in general, aimed at the patient's symptoms of their disease or their reaction to the disease. and, that's it broken down in as simple terms as i can make it for you.
  11. by   mytwosons
    Quote from MB37
    Hopefully you have enough experience with your own education to know what methods work for you - I'm the opposite of dave5000 - through 2 semesters of NS, I have yet to receive a grade of less than an A on any exam, and I do not make flash cards or study in groups. Ever. I tape all my lectures, take notes by hand in class, then go home and listen to the tapes and type everything up. I also read every page we're assigned and highlight. I make study guides for each exam, and once it's made I don't really need to study it - I learned all the material while creating it. I spend the day before an exam just doing NCLEX style practice questions, I have about 5 books of them. I also have two books on NCLEX test-taking strategies (I recommend Kaplan) and I read it cover to cover early in first semester. I know myself very well, and I know what works for me. That's the most important thing to figure out.
    I like your study habits, MB37, and I can relate to preparing for tests this way in my prerequisite classes. Of the 5 NCLEX practice question books, do you have a favorite that seems to cover the subject material the best? I only know of Saunders and Lippincott. Thanks for your help!
  12. by   User123456
    i think the best advice and the things that have worked for me and theat im going to add are the following:

    read the material for lecture befor the lecture and then again after the lecture. its a ton of reading but worth the extra effort. esp. since you have pre-read the material you can ask questions abot things you dont get during lecture. also note that you arent going to need to know everything in the reading so pay attention to the lecture. those things will be on the test. even things mentioned in passing are usually on the test some how. i havent ever recorded my lectures but im going to add this to my next semesters study aids. so number 2...


    record lectures. you can listen to them over and over while doing laundry, cleaning, cooking, whatever, it learned in psych that it takes atleast 21 times of repatitiion to have info retained in long term memory. so listening to the lecture is a great idea. im a more auditiory learner by nature. find out what kind of learner you are and follow that path.

    i dont do study groups just because i think its to easy to get off track. everyone has differant areas they need to focus on and i want to focus on my weaknesses not areas im ok with. plus im kind of add so its easy for me to go off on a tangent. lol i usually study alone or with my nursing buddy.... which leads me to number 3

    find a buddy to go thru classes with. i met a really great girl who i am so glad i met. we support eachother and have even gotten the same classes for next semester. we study together on occasion and its a huge help to have someone who can relate to talk to about clinicals or classes or things i dont get ect.

    really its all about trying to get ahead and using methods that work for you. congrats on beginging the journey. just try to stay ahead. ask for help and push thru it.
  13. by   MB37
    In my opinion, the best NCLEX book is the Saunders Comprehensive Review. It has info on almost everything for Fundamentals, and it has pharm chapters which a lot of the books don't. They all have their merits though. Our instructors highly recommended the Mosby Illustrated Study Guide, which I don't find as helpful as some people do. I have a Mosby book with just questions (no review material) that starts at med-surg, so you have to hunt for questions that are relevant until you get that far - but I've seen some of these questions, verbatim, on exams. I also have a Fundamentals: Reviews and Rationales book that makes things really simple and is Fundamentals specific, and I've seen those questions on my exams too (they might have slightly different answer choices, but the question and the rationale are the same). I bought their Med-Surg one for next semester already. Then I have the review book put out by HESI, which is my least favorite, but since we take HESI exams every semester I thought I should own their product and know what they want me to know. I also have the Kaplan and Saunders strategies books, and I think Kaplan is much better - my school offers NCLEX strategies courses that we use these for, I just finished the first one, and they're really helpful for the cost of one credit.

    If you want to start with one book, get the Saunders comprehensive review. Then go to a bookstore and browse through what else they have, go on amazon and read reviews, and then slowly add one here and there when you have some cash. Try e-bay and get them used, or see if your library carries any. If a book doesn't have any sections before med-surg, you may not want to invest in it first semester on a limited budget. I've been slowly accumulating mine over the last two semesters, and there may be more before I graduate. Good luck!
  14. by   KrysyRN
    I brought a tape recorder to class then listened to the recorded lecture again that night. I was able to fill in parts of my notes that I was not able to catch during lecture. The night before a test I would memorize the notes, then read the required textbook pages for that test. It's an extremely time-consuming process, but it worked and helped me to retain the info in my head and get good test scores.

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