what are your tips/tricks for doing well in nursing school?

  1. 0
    Hey everyone!

    I just finished my fundamentals of nursing course and I start my 1st semester of actual nursing school in 2 weeks. I am nervous as ever. I always did pretty well in my pre reqs like english and psychology but all of my science pre req's I got C's. Im kinda disappointed because I would love to get an A or B in these courses, but these courses really kicked my butt! I got a C in fundamentals of nursing too which makes me feel like im just cutting close to being a failure

    Anyways, I want to do well in this upcoming semester. I am in an ADN program and passing is a C (70). I am a visual learner and in order for me to study, I write things down continuously on my dry erase board until it is in my head and I make my own flashcards and I am very hands on which will help in clinical (and the fact that im a CNA already). When it comes to the nursing material I get frustrated because the professors will go over things in class and wont go over other things, so I never know what to base my studies on. I hate wasting hours trying to understand something and then nothing ends up being on the exam about it. I dont know if I should invest and buy a recorder to record the lectures since im not an auditory learner

    What im really trying to get at here is what is the best studying technique you have used that works for you visual learners like myself? Also how do you gather what to really FOCUS on in the millions of pages you are assigned each night? Do you go into the knitty gritty details (example: tables in the book explaining each and every thing each person did to contribute to the nursing profession or another example is for nutrition knowing EVERY single food in the book that has vitamin D in it) or just summarize what you just read? That is my weakness which is trying to sort out the info.


    Please share I would love to hear from others!
    Last edit by TeeGuneys23 on Jan 5, '13 : Reason: add
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Hi! What works for me is to read the chapters assigned over and over until I understand everything and things make sense. Use the study guides that come with your textbooks. They were very helpful as they focus on the objectives from each chapter. Good luck!
  5. 0
    I am the same way. I just recently graduated from the ADN program. What helped me was doing flashcards for each disease process or abnormal labs etc. As I was studying what I had wrote down or was reviewing I pictured myself in the clinical setting actually doing it, pictured what steps I would take and what to watch for etc. I also used this on exams as I am a horrible test taker. Good luck!
  6. 2
    When I was in nursing school, I relied on NCLEX study guides. They simplified things to be very understandable and I loved it. They also had a lot of practice questions so I could gauge my knowledge on a subject. Anything I did poorly in I'd try to focus on out of the big med surg book.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
    joselyne and itsmejuli like this.
  7. 0
    When I started foundations we did everything, from basic, basic care (linen changes, baths, etc.) to actual work at our clinical sites (giving medicine, starting IVs, catheters, etc.) So we HAD to know our stuff before we could even attempt to do it. I am also in an ADN program.

    My thing is to read, no matter what anyone else in your class or someone else's class says, just read the book. Usually at the end of the chapter they have the practice questions you can do to see if you retained any information. And depending on the book you have, some of them some with online resources or websites that you can access.

    flash cards for the terminology you don't understand, but 99% of test questions aren't going to be like "what does this mean?" so when you are writing down any significant words you are trying to remember, try to use them in a sentence or write it in question form, I think it helps you retain the information. A lot of my classmates who were visual learners used colored flash cards and YouTube videos. They would just search whatever they are studying, you'd be surprised how much information and study material there is on there, some of my foundations professors even used it during lecture.

    Nclex questions!!!!! You will not regret it!

    And something that also works, if youre trying to remember certain steps or processes, you can do like what they do with little kids, make a song out of it

    And you don't need to know every single piece of information! A majority of the time, if you pay attention in class during lecture, the teachers tend to harp on certain topics and specifics longer than another section which usually means there's high chance of it being on the exam. When we were learning about potassium (which is very important btw!) My professor kept up a discussion about cantaloupe , and lord behold : test answer.

    Good luck!
  8. 0
    Go to lecture, take notes, go into my textbook (skim those sections in the book that was mention in lecture),
    whip out my Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination (which is like nursing cliff notes)
    and read its take on the material.
    After that, do tons of NCLEX-RN questions on the same concepts.
    If I'm really ambitious, make flash cards (but thats hardly sufficient for me since flash cards = rote memorization which is NOT
    the way to go for nursing school exams...)

    Wash and repeat for future lectures :]

    I have no idea how people read a whole entire chapter..I think that is a highly inefficient use of my time I could
    be practicing NCLEX-style questions on the material =/. Just use the textbook as a reference for material you do not understand.
    Time is of the essence and reading that textbook will get you NOWHERE but being BURN OUT. Don't be
    the burnt out student


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