Thoughts from a graduating SN. - page 4

Nursing school for me is officially over. Our pinning ceremony happens this afternoon; with plenty of alcohol and finger foods to follow. I thought I would share my experiences in nursing school to... Read More

  1. by   Sheri257
    Quote from mysterious_one
    Our instructors also do not cover a lot in class and sure enough things will show up on the tests, that you could only have read in the books. And often it is more then 10 percent. For anyone reading this thread , be careful and evaluate your instructors first before you decide not to read your books at all.
    Exactly ... many our tests also had more than 10 percent. My point in mentioning the 10 percent was that ... even in cases where it may not seem like a lot ... it can still really bite you on tests because the overall margin of error is so small to begin with.

    And, just my personal experience but ... never believe anyone when they tell you not to do the reading ... even if it's teacher. There's a good chance they'll test you on it anyway.

    We had an instructor who was also running a study group and she told people not to do the reading. Well ... she wasn't the instructor who was actually writing the tests and, half of the test questions came from the reading.

    Needless to say ... everyone in that study group bombed the tests.

    To me: you really don't know if you don't have to do the reading until you've taken a few tests with the specific instructor who's actually writing the tests. That's the only way to be sure but, even then, there's no guarantee.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 24, '06
  2. by   EnigmaticParadigm
    After reading what I wrote and then seeing your comments, I'll have to alter my advice.

    I agree with the comment that you should take the first major test (quiz, etc) and feel it out to see if it vibed with the lecture at hand. If it did, then awesome, keep on going. If it didn't, then unfortunately, you'll need to not only memorize the lectures, but dive into the book as well.

    Again, as stated before, these were tricks that worked for me. It will never work for 100% of the people out there, but I think it's a good place to start.
  3. by   EnigmaticParadigm
    Another piece of advice for when you pass medications:

    All medications have side effects, however when passing meds, list off the main ones and the side effects that are directly relevant to your patient. Take the following scenario:

    We were all in the MICU and getting ready to pass meds. One student was getting ready to push IV Dilantin. The instructor asked the student what she should be watching for while pushing Dilantin. Her and three other students immediately said "hyperplasia of the gums." The instructor just stared at them, looked around the unit, then asked the rest of us. Most of us said "hypotension and arrhythmias." The instructor stated that we were correct and then made us all laugh:

    "What, do you think that you're going to push Dilantin on this acutely ill patient and all of a sudden their gums are going to jump out at you?"

    We all laughed. While hyperplasia of the gums is technically a correct side effect, it is not relevant to the patient, nor the disease process at hand. So, in closing, when you are getting ready to discuss your meds with your instructor prior to administering, wow them by listing relevant data.
  4. by   Sheri257
    Quote from EnigmaticParadigm
    After reading what I wrote and then seeing your comments, I'll have to alter my advice.

    I agree with the comment that you should take the first major test (quiz, etc) and feel it out to see if it vibed with the lecture at hand. If it did, then awesome, keep on going. If it didn't, then unfortunately, you'll need to not only memorize the lectures, but dive into the book as well.
    The problem with this is, if you bomb the first major test because you didn't read the book then ... you have to spend the rest of the semester trying to make up for those lost points.

    This is why I always read until I was relatively sure the reading wasn't showing up on test questions.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 25, '06
  5. by   luv4nursing
    Wow, you have just described how I got thru LPN school to a "T". Glad to know Im not the only one who uses these methods...lol. At some point I did find flash cards too time consuming to make, so I would always type my notes(I can type faster than I can write)...print them and hightlight, outline, and color code my notes then skim them over and over to memorize the material. Also, I would take our list of objectives and I would find where they were answered in my notes and number them accordingly.

    Other than that, I did the same thing as u and I graduated top of my class. I would study for a couple of hours the night before, go to bed early, wake up in the middle of night and study straight thru the night (I study better when Im fresh...and absorb very little when Im tired at the end of the day). Go to school in the AM about an hour or so before school....sometimes I would study in a group but I tend to do best just going over it in my own head over and over. I know ppl dont recommend cramming, but this is how I got my most effective studying done. I did have one friend who learned the same I did and we studied well together...we would show up with our notes, coffee, and quiz each other and remind each other of certain things. "Dont forget ____" ....lol. I rarely read the book...I would mainly just read the end of chapter summaries.

    I consider myself a professional crammer lol.

    Anyway, Im starting the LPN to RN transition program in a couple of weeks and I hope I am successful with my previous study methods this time around. My concern is my program is online (we only have clinical and lab to physically go to)...so we have no lecture. Hopefully I will know the key things to study from the learning questions, etc, they provide. I have a friend who just graduated the program with a B average and said she never did the assigned readings so thats comforting lol.
  6. by   trjohnson0213
    i just completed my first semester of lpn school at a local community college and it was a struggle for me my grades were not as strong as i wanted some of the things that u suggested i had tried the flash cards did not work for me i do not do all the book readings but i do skim the pages and take notes from the book & in combination w/the lecture notes&power points it helps so i hope it will help for next semester as well
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from lizz
    The problem with this is, if you bomb the first major test because you didn't read the book then ... you have to spend the rest of the semester trying to make up for those lost points.
    So this subject brings up something I didn't see in the original post (and I haven't gone through the remainder to see if it was there), but it's REALLY nice if you can make a friend/mentor with later semester students who have been through your program....they can be a WEALTH of information about instructors, tests, clinicals, checkouts, etc.....you may find someone who you went through prereqs with or see if your school offers a mentor program....be sure to join your SNA if one exists on your campus, too!!

    Just remember to take some of their "opinions" with a grain of salt until you see how things are for you....not all personalities will mesh, so that instructor that is consider "dreaded" may actually be the one you will learn the most from...
  8. by   Sheri257
    Quote from wdwpixie
    So this subject brings up something I didn't see in the original post (and I haven't gone through the remainder to see if it was there), but it's REALLY nice if you can make a friend/mentor with later semester students who have been through your program....they can be a WEALTH of information about instructors, tests, clinicals, checkouts, etc.....you may find someone who you went through prereqs with or see if your school offers a mentor program....be sure to join your SNA if one exists on your campus, too!!

    Just remember to take some of their "opinions" with a grain of salt until you see how things are for you....not all personalities will mesh, so that instructor that is consider "dreaded" may actually be the one you will learn the most from...

    This is excellent advice. Friends from the previous class can be a wealth of information and, a lot times they are right but ... teachers will sometimes change things around for the next class also so ... you also have to take it with a grain a salt and check things out for yourself.

    As far as teachers, the ones people hated I actually got along with fine. I think if the teacher sees that you're willing to do the work, it can be different ball game so to speak.

    :typing
  9. by   SoulShine75
    These are really great tips. Except sometimes it's hard not to miss a class when one of your children are sick, so that's when you give your friend your recorder and have them record lecture for you that day. I also loved how you said to never assume things on a test....that is so true and I'm sure has gotten a lot of us in trouble (ie, missed the question) , including me.

    Thanks for the advice, I'm going to try your study strategy next semester.
    Congratulations on graduation, you must feel elated and proud! :hatparty: Way to go man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edit by SoulShine75 on Dec 28, '06
  10. by   SoulShine75
    Quote from tutored
    Hi Moongirl! My point is that he shouldn't call himslef a "male nurse"....He's a nurse, period. it would help, I think, all nurses, but particularly male nurses, if we stop calling them something different from what they are, mainly, nurses. we don't call oursleves female nurses, do we? Nor did women entering the previously-dominated medical profession call themselves "female doctors", though I"m sure they were called as such in the late forties and early fifties. He's a nurse, and should be proud. Vocabulary such as "male nurse" is, I think, exclusional and labels nursing as a female profession (it isn't, as we all know).
    I think he said 'male nurse' to clarify that he was a male. If we were standing in front of him I doubt he'd say..Hi! I'm a male nurse.
  11. by   Ayvah
    Not missing class - definitely a good thing to follow
    Notecards - good for the memorization portion (Drugs, arrhythmia treatments, terminology, etc)

    But I have to agree with other posters that not reading the book is dangerous. Though reading every assigned page is often not necessary, you need to know the teacher's style before you can safely dismiss a portion of reading. For example, in my last class we had 3 books. One book did not need to be read at all, but the other 2 needed to be read word for word.
    When studying, definitely study class notes first as those are most likely the points that will be tested on. But then go over the major reading assignment. Unfortunately I did not have all star instructors who gave us all the information for the quizzes in lecture, and I feel I taught myself 90% of what I know about nursing, from doing textbook reading.

    We had a 25% pass rate at our school when I graduated; I was one of the lucky few. We were hoping it would be 30% but we lost some at the end. I don't know of any of the few remaining students who did not live and breathe nursing for 2 years because we had to in order to pass. I lost a lot of friends along the way who did not devote the insane amount of time necessary to pass. Just a warning!

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