very nervous about 1st semester of nursing school

  1. 0
    Hi everyone! I just passed my fundamentals of nursing course with a C. It was just a 3 hr lecture once a week. I am doing an ADN program and a C (70) is passing. I honestly thought I did terrible on the final and thought I was going to fail, but somehow I made it. Anyways I am starting my 1st clinical semester in January and I am super nervous. I am scared I won't pass and won't be able to keep up with the pace or that I won't understand the material. I have made C's in all my science pre reqs and now C in my fundamentals. I study a lot and make a lot of notecards until I understand the material but I'm a visual learner so it takes a lot of writing down in order for it to stick in my head.I'm just scared that all this studying I do barely makes me pass and I feel like its not worth it to even study sometimes because I don't reap the benefits. Are there any tips to help me survive my nursing I semester? I have a tough time getting material to soak in my head and I don't want to fail. I am 20 yrs old and also a CNA at a hospital for 2 yrs now and I absolutely love it and it is motivating to work there.Anyone give me their best advice. I would love to get a B for once but I'm not sure I have what it takes given my science history with all my C's
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    Hi!! i totally understand where you are coming from. I am in the same situation. What I started doing is reading and typing/writing at the same time. Do not just read, summarize what u have read and when you finish even if you do not really remember much when that test comes you will be prepared. i started doing this in my pharmacology class, but i did it in the middle of the class. The 1st test i failed but the 2 left I passed with 84, 86. It did work at least for me. Read ahead!!! I am starting my semester on Jan 10 and i am starting to read now. Good Luck!
    TeeGuneys23 likes this.
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    If you learn by doing then you might shine in clinicals versus theory/fundamentals classes. If your school has a sim lab, see if there are open lab hours or if you can make an appointment to practice skills. Our school has this option. If you become a pro at doing procedures on mannequins, then performing that same skill on a live patient seems a little less daunting. It seems like everyone at my school passes clinical rotations, it is the theory and pharmacology classes that trip people up. You pretty much pass clinicals if you show up on time in a clean uniform, ask questions, don't harm your patient, and complete your careplan. As far as fundamentals goes, maybe your study method just isn't working for you. It sounds like you are working awfully hard to get C's. I am a visual learner too. Instead of writing notes, I highlight directly in my books using different colors. When the instructors lecture, I follow along in the chapters and mark anything that they emphasize. When I study, I go back and look at what I highlighted/marked only. I like to spend time studying the charts and pictures in my books. Sometimes they make more sense to me than the text. I will make my own concept maps and drawings to try to relate the information. I try to come up with my own mnemonics and memory tricks. Simply reading the book over and over again and using flash cards does not help me. I have to actively engage my mind in order for the information to "stick". You might also try a small study group. Our group does what I call a "brain dump" session. We pick a chapter or concept, and the 5 of us take turns saying out loud everything we know/remember about the subject. It's a good way to jog your memory because someone else always remembers something that you forgot! We also have the option of reviewing our tests after we take them. We have to make an appointment with our instructor to do so, but it is a highly valuable study tool. If that is an option for you, then you can try to figure out if it is the material that you are struggling with or just the question format. Another thing that may help is explaining concepts to someone who is not in nursing school. That is good practice anyways because you need to be able to communicate to your patients what is going on without being too technical. If you are able to "teach" someone else about a concept in simple terminology and they understand, then you will cement your own understanding of the material. I think everyone struggles with studying at the beginning of nursing school. It is a completely new beast to conquer. Find your rhythm and if you truly want to be a nurse, you will make it happen. I wish you the best of luck!
    bellafsu89 likes this.
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    Quote from 2bnursekis
    Hi!! i totally understand where you are coming from. I am in the same situation. What I started doing is reading and typing/writing at the same time. Do not just read, summarize what u have read and when you finish even if you do not really remember much when that test comes you will be prepared. i started doing this in my pharmacology class, but i did it in the middle of the class. The 1st test i failed but the 2 left I passed with 84, 86. It did work at least for me. Read ahead!!! I am starting my semester on Jan 10 and i am starting to read now. Good Luck!
    Thanks for your reply. It is true I really do bust my butt studying. I have stack loads of index cards and I make the information into questions like if I am learning about stress I will do something like "Define stress" or "What are 4 stressors of stress?" so that I know the definition verbetim in my head. I am very good at memorizing but I realize that it is not going to get me by. I usually write out the notecards but im realizing im probably wasting my time writing down 400 notecards and that I could have studied another way and it would probably save me alot more time. I am very good at hands on things, so I believe I will do well in the clinical. But as for lecture, I zone out and the info goes thru one ear and out the other. And when I read the books I always feel like if I summarize what I just read, I will miss a question that will be on the test because some professors sneak some questions in there that you really had to READ into the sections in order to know the correct answer.

    I will definetely try to summarize each section I read and see if that helps. I just get really hung up on the information. I just finished fundamentals and there was going to be lots of questions on nutrition so when I was reading over the material I didnt know if I needed to know EVERY SINGLE FOOD that had Vitamin D,A,K,E so I did not even bother to study that since the professor told us to look at the "general concept" and little did I know there were questions on the test like "Which food has Vitamin D in it?" And I just blankly stared at the paper like you have got to be kidding me!
  7. 0
    Quote from mind_body_soul
    If you learn by doing then you might shine in clinicals versus theory/fundamentals classes. If your school has a sim lab, see if there are open lab hours or if you can make an appointment to practice skills. Our school has this option. If you become a pro at doing procedures on mannequins, then performing that same skill on a live patient seems a little less daunting. It seems like everyone at my school passes clinical rotations, it is the theory and pharmacology classes that trip people up. You pretty much pass clinicals if you show up on time in a clean uniform, ask questions, don't harm your patient, and complete your careplan. As far as fundamentals goes, maybe your study method just isn't working for you. It sounds like you are working awfully hard to get C's. I am a visual learner too. Instead of writing notes, I highlight directly in my books using different colors. When the instructors lecture, I follow along in the chapters and mark anything that they emphasize. When I study, I go back and look at what I highlighted/marked only. I like to spend time studying the charts and pictures in my books. Sometimes they make more sense to me than the text. I will make my own concept maps and drawings to try to relate the information. I try to come up with my own mnemonics and memory tricks. Simply reading the book over and over again and using flash cards does not help me. I have to actively engage my mind in order for the information to "stick". You might also try a small study group. Our group does what I call a "brain dump" session. We pick a chapter or concept, and the 5 of us take turns saying out loud everything we know/remember about the subject. It's a good way to jog your memory because someone else always remembers something that you forgot! We also have the option of reviewing our tests after we take them. We have to make an appointment with our instructor to do so, but it is a highly valuable study tool. If that is an option for you, then you can try to figure out if it is the material that you are struggling with or just the question format. Another thing that may help is explaining concepts to someone who is not in nursing school. That is good practice anyways because you need to be able to communicate to your patients what is going on without being too technical. If you are able to "teach" someone else about a concept in simple terminology and they understand, then you will cement your own understanding of the material. I think everyone struggles with studying at the beginning of nursing school. It is a completely new beast to conquer. Find your rhythm and if you truly want to be a nurse, you will make it happen. I wish you the best of luck!
    Thanks for your reply! It seems like you have your studying techniques down, lucky you! Maybe im better off looking at the charts and making my own chart in a way that I understand it. Its just hard to know if I need to get into the knitty gritty of the material or just the overall picture since my professors dont necessarily clarify what will be on the test. They may have a powerpoint and skip a section that might be in the book, then they tell the class not to worry about it but then end up having a couple questions on that section so it is very frustrating to find out what i really need to know for my exams, thats where I get hung up on the most.


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