WANTED: Nursing student tidbits of advice - page 8
hey guys, I start this fall in my nursing program and Im extremely anxious!!! Im looking for any advice that will help me in school. Whats the thing you can NOT live w/o during nursing school? What... Read More
Jun 17, '09Quote from studentinnursingI have 2 books, Clinical Calculations, 5th ed. Kee, and Med Math, 3rd ed., Henke. Yes, the math uses basic concepts, but it is still hard for some of us to get the formulas straight (btw, solving for x is Algebra ) so review if it helps you feel comfortable. Like I said, Summer is for doing whatever you want so feel free to study or not...whatever helps you! And I don't mind questions so ask as many as you want, lol!Thanks beth6635! Math scares the heck out of me, but I always do well, so apparently I know it, just have to study, study, study to feel confident. What part of math, though, algebra or getting a medication book of conversion charts/formulas and learning those? IV conversions really scare me, but I'm told there are about three or four formula must-knows and that it's not so bad . . .
That's my last question and I'll leave you alone I promise
Jun 17, '09You're totally right. Solving for X is algebra! I was thinking of the NET, which I don't think had any algebra (ratios, decimals, etc.). I guess I was doing algebra in Jr. High, though, so I was half right.
Jun 17, '09Yeah, I wish I had done Algebra in Jr. High or even HS...my guidance counselor stunk back then! He probably thought I would never go to College, nice guy huh? That is why formulas confuse me, but I'm getting much better. I am going into 2nd year after a whole year off so I am studying this Summer for sure...it scares me not to, everybody I will be with this Fall just finished a whole year of lab and clinicals!
Jun 17, '09Congratulations on taking the plunge. I am in my second semester of the RN program, so I well know the anxiety that you face. Before I started the program, someone told me that for the duration, your life is no longer your own. Boy, was that the truth!! My best suggestion is to get into at least one good study group. What one person misses during lecture, another usually picks up. Just keep reminding yourself that it will all be worth it when you graduate. Hang in there, sister!! The road ahead will be quite a ride!! :typing
Jun 17, '09*Prioritize! I have a planner, but never look at it. I do use a huge dry erase board in my office that I write all my assignments on and when what is due.
*Dont be worried about everyone else. People are going to be lazy, just get by, cheat, etc & you're going to wonder how they are still there when you are working your fanny off. It will come around to them when applying for jobs.
* Become friends with coffee
* Love your drug book. It's impossible to know all the drugs, routes, dosages, implications, etc to all the drugs available
* Get a decent stethescope. My hubby bought me a Littman & I love it. It never leaves my side either
* Orthopedic shoes never looked so sexy
* This may sound weird, but I swear it works. Before tests, I record my study guides to the computer & put them on my iPod. When I go to sleep I play the recordings. Next thing I know I wake up, the iPod is done. I have never received anything less than an A on an exam.
* Eat protein the day of an exam. I always do 3 egg whites.
* Make time away from studying. You deserve a break & you wont die or fail a class if you make some personal time. Better yet, schedule break times in your planner.
* Try to never get behind in reading. This may be tough, but make a point to look over the chapters & read the bold info or info in the boxes. ( I read on the stairmaster, talk about multi-tasking!)
* Study how you would want a nurse taking care of you to have studied while in school. Would you want the nurse that never looked at the book or the one that read?
* Most importantly, when you feel like giving up ( I have one of these moments each semester) reflect on how far you have come. It may seem like you have sacraficed alot, but really it is only for a short time compared to how long you'll be a nurse. Or atleast call another student & cry together
* Aknowledge that you dont know everything, you never will. Be open to all information given to you. Be respectful to you fellow students, instructors, nurses, MD's, etc... Not all of them will be nice to you, but just keep smiling!
Congratulations & Good Luck!
Jun 17, '09I've been out of school for a couple of years but I used a digital recorder in class, burned the lectures onto cd's and listened to them several times. Plus I would listen with laptop in lap and make myself study guides (I'm a little OCD when it came to the study guides...they were color coded etc... lol). I found my recorder to be the best purchase I ever made.
Also used lots off coffee, chocolate and the best group of friends from class I could have ever asked for.
Jun 17, '09Oh and the best supplemental book I ever used was the NCLEX made incredibly easy.....I bought it in my 2nd semester and used it all the way through, bought a new version of the same one to study for the nclex....
Jun 17, '09One thing that really helps my students is to do the NCLEX questions that are relevant to the area they are studying. Also, don't try to cram, try to understand. For example, if you just try to remember the norms for blood sugar, that is a lot different than asking yourself "What would I teach a newly diagnosed diabetic about preventing hypoglycemia?" Always look for how you would apply the situation to the major risks/safety factors with the condition. Also, try to apply both Maslow and the ABCs to each situation. For example, what would be different about the psychosocial needs of a newly diagnosed teen with diabetes vs someone who was born with diabetes and is now 8 years old?
Jun 17, '09Good luck. Study. Don't be afraid to say 'No' to friends, relatives, co-workers...for anything.is the most important thing in your life while you're in school.
I used multiple study methods; study cards, group study sessions every Sunday, recording classes, recording information that didn't seem to stick in my memory and then listening to any of the recordings on the way to and from nursing school...or any time that I was alone in a car. Bring those study cards with you AAT (at all times). Make three piles once you've studied them. One pile that you know, one that you sort of know and another that you don't have memorized very well at all. Slowly as you memorize them they can be moved from one pile to another. I color coded the index cards on the top for different chapters/units.
I know this did take a lot of time to write out, but if you get your objectives before nursing school even starts, then you can fill in the front of the index cards for the whole semester, before the first day of classes!
If you purchase a recorder, get a nice one. Mine was made by Olympus and was ~$130. Pricey, I know, but well worth it. The sound quality was amazing! It had the ability to record differently in a lecture hall and a classroom.
Jun 17, '09a good attitude in my class there were few people with really bad attitude
they were always distrub class and clinical. thanks god they did not make it to
third semester. i will never let my parents go under there care. please have humble and good attitude
Jun 17, '09It may or may not be in your required texts, but having a good labs results book helps a lot.
I like my Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications (Seventh Edition) by Joyce LeFever Kee. Written with nursing in mind. Its a lot more expensive than when I bought the 1st ed. (yeah, yeah, I'm showing my age ). But it is very straighforward, lists significance of abnormals etc.
Jun 17, '09I too, used the NCLEX book (Saunders) for studying, but not until the last year of, cause that's when I got it. I was mainly trying to caution the OP about trying to do too much too fast. I graduated last weekend, and I've been studying NCLEX books hardcore since March. (Thanks to the OP for doublechecking me on this!
I definitely think there's value to the books, but while you're in the classes I'd recommend focusing on what your instructor focuses on. The books are good for general knowledge/test-taking practice but you may find yourself overwhelmed if you're trying to learn all the book content on a topic plus what your instructor wants. There's a lot of content for each topic and you don't have to know it all! Just don't pressure yourself too much. If it works for you, great, if not, reevaluate and see what does!
Math could be something to review, Check out Math for Nurses. This book can be found for as little as two dollars on :
This book provides a review of basic algebra as well as more nursing specific problems like the IV ones referenced earlier. I will caution you that the answer key does have a few errors (the author confirmed this). I say this not to deter you from buying the book, but just to suggest that if you keep getting a "wrong" answer, try another one of the same type instead of frustrating yourself with a possibly right "wrong" answer.
Jun 17, '09The lab values book was most useful for understand what high/low labs meant and what treatments would be used to fix them. Each hospital sets their own "normal" lab values, so knowing a ballpark is good, but if you try to memorize them all from your book it may not match what you see in the clinicals where you will be using it.