How do you use EC guides to content?

  1. Hello all,

    Im new to Excelsior and I was just looking for some direction as to how to get started. I have been reading up and am happy I learned NOT to sign up with a publishing company (a friend of mine did though), and if anything Ill pick up a guide here and there from Ebay.

    When using the free guide to content for the various exams, how do you study them? I have printed out the guide for NC1, but it seems very general/broad.

    Do you study the guide itself or do you look up and elaborate on each topic listed? What is the best way you have found to study for these tests? I plan to try to do one test a month. I work in peds home health on night shift so I have lots of downtime where I can study. thanks everyone and continued success to all you EC students/grads.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    I highlighted everything the guide tells you to read.. each chapter and each individula course and book. After highlighteng this in my guide, I would then make sure I read/studied every bit of it ! It is essential you do so. You might have to read/study dozens of chapters in three different books.

    I would then use my guide to cross out what I've done, and what needed yet to be done. At the end I'd go over the few example test questions in the back. I also used my guide to jot down my own little *must remember* notes next to each topic or chapter.

    No, you don't study the guide.. you study from the course books, and use the guide to GUIDE you.. to know just what you need to be studying. It tells you chapter by chapter what you need to study.

    In the back there are also the various books listed.. you can choose ONE of the three or so they list for each course. Each course will have a selection of books you may choose from. I always went by what they recommended.. buying ONE of the recommended books per course to study in this particular guide.

    Wish you the best !!!
  4. by   luv4nursing
    thx jnette, that makes sense

    But I wonder how everyone else who says they didnt purchase the recommended books used the guide to content?
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from luv4nursing
    thx jnette, that makes sense

    But I wonder how everyone else who says they didnt purchase the recommended books used the guide to content?
    They would have had to use some textbook. I used the EC guides and purchased the books from www.half.com You don't have to buy the latest edition. The same book several years old is just as accurate and alot cheaper. I looked up everything and wrote it down in a spiral notebook and then used the spiral book to study. I did buy several chancellors guides when I could find them at a good price on e-bay. I remember buying A&P and Commonalities. Here is an awesome website that will be an invaluable help to you. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rnstudygroup/ Good Luck! I graduated in 2001.
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Nov 27, '05
  6. by   luv4nursing
    thanks Dutchgirl!

    Do you think my books from LPN school will work?

    I have a fundamentals book, A&P book, Pharm, Medical Dictionary, Med/Surg, and Peds/OB, oh and Saunders NCLEX review which is identical to the RN review bc I took a review class with RN students who had the RN version and it was almost identical. I just graduated a few months ago. In a way its good bc the material is still fresh. I was messing around with the NC1 study guide and got most of the practice questions right just from glancing at them. Im confident I can get through the exams, my biggest challenge will be the CPNE, but Ill cross that bridge when I get to it!
  7. by   pedinurse05
    Quote from luv4nursing
    thanks Dutchgirl!

    Do you think my books from LPN school will work?

    I have a fundamentals book, A&P book, Pharm, Medical Dictionary, Med/Surg, and Peds/OB, oh and Saunders NCLEX review which is identical to the RN review bc I took a review class with RN students who had the RN version and it was almost identical. I just graduated a few months ago. In a way its good bc the material is still fresh. I was messing around with the NC1 study guide and got most of the practice questions right just from glancing at them. Im confident I can get through the exams, my biggest challenge will be the CPNE, but Ill cross that bridge when I get to it!
    I also bought some books from half. You don't need every single book listed on the content guide. You can go through the content guide and look up in your text book each topic. Read the topics and make notes. On many of the yahoo sites you can get free notes and study questions. Lisa's notes from the study groups are great. I also purchased Chancellor's guides from ebay. You also don't need the most current Chancellor's edition (however, I would make sure it was fairly recent). I think the basic books you need are med/surg, peds/ob, and fundamentals. The EC workshop is good for preparing for the CPNE. EC also has a great care planning conference.
    Missy
  8. by   sarmedic70
    Hi.........I have finished with NC 1-7 and am waiting for my CPNE date. Yeeeehhhhhaaaawwwww (and scaaaaaaaaary, too). At any rate, the guides are just that GUIDES. They are a great reference to get down the pertinent information you need. For the first 3-4 Nursing Concepts, MOST of the information essentially comes right out of the Fundamentals book, so I would really use that one the most. I found a LOT of information on the test came from the areas that were shaded/blocks.

    It can be very overwhelming when you see all of the reading you need to do. Again, go by the Guide, highlight the information, study those areas, and also tick them off as you go down the listing. Making notes also helps out as well.

    I did use some of the Chancellor guides from time to time, but did find errors and inconsistencies in some, so the Guide is your MORE reliable way. There are NO short-cuts in this program either, so don't expect nor look for that.

    Another valuable resource for me, IMHO, were the on-line practice exams for each Concept. If nothing else, they helped me in my weak areas (with the rationales) and review those areas. As a result, I was essentially pulling all "A's" in my NCs (I am a VERY in-depth learner and did NOT rush through the NCs...to do so does the program injustice and yourself, IMHO)..........that is where this program gets the reputation of us being "text-book nurses".......

    Also, another HUGE helpful thing was having a study buddy or better yet, a study group. We, here in UT, formed a study group (and Excelsior student nurses association), and it has been extremely beneficial. We all bring to the table a variety of experiences (most of us are EMS types/ED), and we are sticking together as well for the CPNE preparations and going through the study guide together, practicing, going to a CPNE prep course together, et al.

    It has been a GREAT and HUGE support to say the least..............

    At any rate, develop good study habits, discipline yourself to stay on track, use the Study Guide from EC, find/get a study buddy or form a study group, take it easy (don't rush), and have fun with it. I don't miss the stress of taking the tests (I am a HORRIBLE test taker even though I know the materials) but I do miss studying/reviewing for the tests. Wealth of information & interesting.

    To get in the mode for the CPNE, really review the Fundamentals book through and through as you go along to know the "school way" of things.....also, I would advise to get the book, PHOTOGUIDE OF NURSING SKILLS by Sandra Smith (it is recommended in the CPNE Study Guide)...it is also VERY valuable. Not knowing your level of experience, one of the factors, as has been told, in failing the CPNE is bad habits developed from "experience", not adequately preparing and nerves causing one to fail the critical elements.

    My downfall at this point is the Care Plan and formulating the nursing diagnoses since we do not do those in pre-hospital/ED/clinic settings..........so believe me, I am studying, studying studying and practice, practice, practice.

    Ooops! This got to be considerably more lengthy than I intended.

    Good luck! And hope to hear about your successes as you go through the program. :-)
  9. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from luv4nursing
    thanks Dutchgirl!

    Do you think my books from LPN school will work?

    I have a fundamentals book, A&P book, Pharm, Medical Dictionary, Med/Surg, and Peds/OB, oh and Saunders NCLEX review which is identical to the RN review bc I took a review class with RN students who had the RN version and it was almost identical. I just graduated a few months ago. In a way its good bc the material is still fresh. I was messing around with the NC1 study guide and got most of the practice questions right just from glancing at them. Im confident I can get through the exams, my biggest challenge will be the CPNE, but Ill cross that bridge when I get to it!
    Go through the study guide and look up the answers in your LPN books. I would think you would find them. I think your books would be fine. On half I think I only paid $3-7 for used textbooks that were only a couple of years old. Good Luck!
  10. by   luv4nursing
    Thanks so much for the information! Ill definitely get some books from half.com

    last night at work I did find the majority of what I was looking for in my fundamentals book. But one thing I notice is that the study guide is very repetitive. For example (NC1), it just keeps listing the nursing process as it applies to different areas over and over and it seems that most of that stuff is common sense. Am I missing something?On the plus side, I am pretty good at care plans so I think I will be ok in that area. We were made to do them all the time in my LPN program and my instructor said I was one of the few students over the years who really got care planning to "click" and I was good at them. She even told students who were having trouble to ask me for help.

    Im pretty psyched right now to get on the ball!
  11. by   jnette
    It's up to you, but I did not use any "older offbrand" books, but only the ones THEY recommend in the study guides, and I'm glad I did. The exams material is definately and directly related to these texts.

    I'm sure you could find these very books used on half.com or other places.

    Good luck to you !
  12. by   dbowens02
    I signed up with the College network. It was very expensive. They led me to believe they were part of Excelsior. Has any one else done this?
  13. by   luv4nursing
    dbowen,
    dont feel bad, it has happened to many many others. The only reason I knew better was bc Ive been researching this since before I even started LPN school. Ive been lucky and have picked up guides for like $25-50 bucks and even had someone send me copies of about 4-5 guides for $50 total! that covers paper/toner/shipping. One of my friends just signed up with College Network, and now she is moving to Cali. So she has to do it anyway since she is paying for it and she will have to later do the 30 unit deal which is extra clincal time so she can be licensed there. Even though I will never move to CA, I still thought there was no way those guides are worth over $400 each. In that case u could buy all the books off half.com, ebay,etc. and still come out cheaper than u would for even just one guide.
  14. by   dbowens02
    Quote from luv4nursing
    dbowen,
    dont feel bad, it has happened to many many others. The only reason I knew better was bc Ive been researching this since before I even started LPN school. Ive been lucky and have picked up guides for like $25-50 bucks and even had someone send me copies of about 4-5 guides for $50 total! that covers paper/toner/shipping. One of my friends just signed up with College Network, and now she is moving to Cali. So she has to do it anyway since she is paying for it and she will have to later do the 30 unit deal which is extra clincal time so she can be licensed there. Even though I will never move to CA, I still thought there was no way those guides are worth over $400 each. In that case u could buy all the books off half.com, ebay,etc. and still come out cheaper than u would for even just one guide.
    It is a ripoff. But we live and learn. Have a great day!

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