What was your first semester like?

  1. I am finally starting my NS journey in a PN program! I start my journey January 7, 2013. I know that this next year will be challenging, but I am ready to tackle any obstacles head on. My orientation isn't until Jan 4th, so I don't have much information about what to expect. I am curious to know what was your first semester like in your PN program? How many hours did you spend studying each night? What did your first quiz/test cover? Did you pick a day to have "me" time? When and where did you have your first clinical experience? How did it go? Lastly, do you have a study group? I heard that it is a good idea to form a group with 2 or 3 dependable people. My experience with "groups" have not been so positive, mainly because I end up doing most of the work. However, I am very open to the idea.
    Any feedback would be appreciated!
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    About AlyseB

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 36; Likes: 12
    LPN; from US


  3. by   Louisiana
    I start LPN school Jan 14, 2013 and I would have to know what happens on orientation day, which will be on the 9th for me..good luck to u !!
  4. by   Dilaudid
    First semester is nerve wracking. Fundamentals was a breeze (made an A) but I had issues with critical thinking questions in Med Surg. (passed with a C) :/ Care plans are a cinch, just buy a really good care plan book and you're set. Pharmacology is actually pretty easy and this is coming from a person who absolutely hates math. I don't do study groups because I tend to work better alone but I do have one person in class that we share notes and study guides. Clinicals (passed with an A) are fun and probably the thing you'll enjoy the most. Have fun and the time will fly by before you know it. I start my second semester Jan.
  5. by   CatLee128
    I just finished my first semester of the LPN program. Fundamentals was my toughest class (still came out with a B) and more than just reading and listening in class, you need to apply the information in order to do well on the tests. Health assesssment is lots of application and memorizing. You will have to do a complete head to toe assessment by the end of the semester. It really isn't as bad as it sounds. Pharmacology was probably the easiest class for me. Just make sure you know your math! Always set aside some "you" time. You can't be studying all the time! I tried to have some "me" everyday. It's going to be a busy time for you, but have fun! Get the know the people in your class. You can never have too much support! We didn't do our clinicals until closer to the end of the semester. Your instructor will probably give you more information on that on the first day of class. Best of luck to you!
  6. by   Philly_LPN_Girl
    My first semester was a little hectic (for me) due to having 2 exams a week BUT, it was easy I had A&P in college and I always knew how to think critically due to previous college experience. I spent hours studying at a time (they say you shouldnt do that because your brain shuts down) but I did what worked for me. My first exam for A&P covered the cells, etc and Fundamentals covered Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, the sart of practical nursing as well as the nursing process ADPIE (assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, Implementation, evaluation). I didn't really have to much "me" time because after finishing one exam I had to study for the next and then the next after that exam. I had my first clinical experience in a nursing home which was pretty easy because I already did majority of the work as a nursing assistant. Last but not least, I tried to have a study group but only one person showed up at my home besides, I work and study better alone. Good Luck with nursing school
  7. by   prettymica
    My first semester wasnt that bad. I had class mon-fri from 9-3. I studied every day. I made great grades. I did fail my first check off(blood pressures) and I would fail my math test on the first try(2nd-4th semesters) but I passed on the second chance. I had clinicals at the nursing home the last 2 weeks at the nursing home. It was an eye opening experience since I was from a non clinical background. Med-surg(2nd semester) and Ob(4th semester) were the hardest for me. Now doing the LPN_RN bridge and I just finished my second semester and it was very tough. I have one more to go. Good luck and have fun on your journey..HUGS !
  8. by   Compassion_x
    I did very well my first semester. Just found out today that I got a 4.0 GPA. I think what helped me a lot is that I already finished all my gen eds and prereqs, so I had only nursing classes, and even then only 3 classes, for 6 total credits. It's been a good introduction to what to expect next semester (or so it seems so far!!). The classes I had this semester were nursing calculations (2 credits, 8 weeks), intro to client care (1 credit, lecture 8 weeks, clinical 4 weeks), and fundamentals of nursing 2 (exempt from funds 1 because I'm a CNA), which was the last 8 weeks of the semester. So my plate wasn't too full class-wise.
  9. by   mandasue89
    I just completed my first semester of LPN and it was Amazing. I mean everyone is gonna have their up's and downs and at one point I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I feel like you need to have a good support system as well. I finished off with a 3.5 GPA with an A- in both fundamentals (7 credits) and pharmacology (1 credit). Always read prior to class and take notes. My best investment was a voice recorder though I have to say. Don't become a procrastinator when it comes to clinical and clinical paperwork. Our school we had to do a Care Plan (very time consuming) and a Head to toe physical assessment along with drug cards each rotation and I had three this semester. I have a close nit of friends in the program and we developed our own study group and work very well with one another. I typically studied anywhere's from 6-8 hours a day and left Sunday's as "Me" day. Good Luck on your start of nursing school. As I am heading into my second with Materniy, Med-Surg, and another round of Pharmacology.
  10. by   Kikikins
    Get your books early. Read read read. I can't stress this enough. Get on Khan Academy and brush up on your mathematics (the have a great video on nursing calculations). If you start now you can get through a lot of material without being confined to the class' pace.

    I am almost at the halfway point in my program and I have an A in every unit. You can do it!
  11. by   scrlet
    I just finished my first semester of RPN and it was busy. My brain hurt lol A&P was crazy. They took 2 classes, so what we should learn in 2 semesters and shoved it into 1 semester INSANE !!! I had nursing Theory, which I think is your fundamentals. I found that class really easy, but others in my class didn't, so it's really in how you learn and how your brain understands things I guess. By that I mean, on tests there's always more then one right answer as everyone in nursing knows and loves oh so much lol but it's the critical thinking you have to do and apply what you learned. Clinical was good. I started clinical I think week 5 so really soon into it. I don't don't start health assessment or pharm until Jan, so I'm looking forward to that. Being a nursing student is challenging, I'm not going to lie. My friends learned very quickly that I wasn't going out on weekends anymore, I was home studying. Any free time I somehow found, I spent it with my kids and bf. Balance though is the key. I never stayed up till midnight studying, or pulling all nighters. I was in bed and asleep early. Just use your time wisely, study however works best for you. You will find your way. Good Luck
  12. by   GivingLove
    What are care plans?
  13. by   shae_dashawn
    A care plan is your plan of care for he patient. What you know about the patient, what you plan on doing with the patient, and your expected outcome of your actions.
  14. by   JmarLPN
    My advice is to be on your A game! Read before class, participate in discussions, and look happy to be there. My experience showed many instructors "labeling" students and those they thought weren't serious, they really gave it to them. Not to scare you or anything. But, I think it was a hard semester but def. doable. I pulled of a 3.77 GPA my first semester and I attribute that to doing the above, and keeping a small but tight circle of fellow classmates who were just as serious about school as me. Good Luck, you will do great, just keep your eyes on the prize and try not to associate to much with the people who will try to bring you down.