I completed the first semester a year ago, then I had to take a year off because of a pregnancy. I'm starting NUR 120 next month...
I didn't think NUR 119 was so bad, but a lot of people failed. The lecture exams weren't too difficult - my main downfall with those was overthinking the questions. Go with your first instinct. The hardest tests were the lab quizzes by far, so pay attention to the lab readings and watch the videos and memorize the numbers and procedures. It's easy to completely freak out over the practicums, but don't... if you go practice in the lab and ask the lab assistant for help you will do fine. Even if you don't, you can retake it and it's no big deal. The girl who is in charge of the lab seems like a b*tch when she addresses the class but if you get her one on one she is really nice and helpful - don't be afraid to talk to her. You have to go to the lab to practice your skills - set time aside for this and make some friends to practice with right away. The clinicals are easy enough, it really depends on your instructor. With mine, geriatrics was very easy because they set us up with patients who were very willing to work with us. My med/surg was at Virtua Marlton and unfortunately we didn't get to do much because the nurses there were just too busy to deal with explaining every little thing to us. You will learn to read charts. There will be a 'paper' you have to write - they'll dedicate library time and give you a tour to learn to use it. Then you have to write about an article in a peer-reviewed journal. It's really short and you will do fine as long as you do your citations and references page according to APA standard. Then you will have to do a couple of "care plans
" which is very easy - the most challenging thing is getting all to fit into a nice chart so familiarize yourself with MS excel and word so you don't have to waste a lot of time just to get the formatting correct.
I ended up with a B+ because I had an 89.7 average... they don't round up. If I just hadn't overthought a few exam questions I would have had an A. For the lecture, take notes, study the powerpoints that the instructor makes available online, and just focus on common sense. Honestly I didn't feel the lecture exams were too focused around the text readings. Much of it was just common sense + whatever was highlighted in the lectures.
Don't ever be late - they'll count it as an absence and they're not lenient with that. Don't raise your hand and tell some stupid story about how so and so was in the hospital and this and this happened... the instructor will hear you out but it just wastes everyone's time and no one cares. Stay organized and don't let others' nerves rattle you. I thought SO many people were overly nervous and worried over nothing. Unless you're the type who feeds off nervous energy - ignore it. Show up right on time for practicums and tests - don't go early because so many people will be there early and they'll be a big bundle of nerves. After the tests everyone tends to hang out in the hallways and parking lot and discuss the whole exam... which can be fun, so if you can plan to spend an extra hour after the test, set it aside because it's nice to decompress.
Hope you're still around since your post was a week ago... good luck and I hope this helped.