Quote from thuynwin
I try not to stress, but it's always in the back of my mind. I try to tell myself that I've made it this far, so it has to account for something and that I'm on the right track. So I just need to hang in there. I'm so jealous that you are finish! Congrats! Are you preparing yourself for the NCLEX? If you don't mind me asking so that way I can get an idea how to prepare myself- how long are you planning on taking time to study for the NCLEX? I've been researching ways other people are studying for the NCLEX and some say that you don't really study for the NCLEX like a flashcard test. Some just buy alot of NCLEX books, and study the questions over and over again. What are your plans?
I took the onsite three day HURST review in the break between level 3 and 4. It is a great course and really prepares you for the final semester and its a great review of the things you've already covered in school.
During level 4, we had representatives from both Kaplan and Hurst come and speak with us about their courses. The Kaplan rep did a drawing and I actually won their review course for free. So I took it live online over two separate weekends. Then I just recently retook the onsite three day course for free again after graduation.
Hurst does a good job of making sure you understand the concepts of things while the Kaplan course does a little of that, but mainly focuses on how to take NCLEX questions.
Since nobody in our graduating class has our permission to test letter yet, nobody has a test date. This is frustrating because for me, it is hard to sit down and focus on material when I have no set deadline. What I've been doing so far are practice tests, both through Kaplan and Hurst. I've been scoring pretty well on them so far.
What I would recommend would be to buy a good NCLEX book before level 1 starts. Saunders is highly recommended and I used it through all four semesters. The biggest adjustment for most students are the nursing tests, the way the questions can be worded are seriously difficult for some people to adjust to.
What helped me get good grades in all 4 semesters will not work for some but I figured I would pass it along anyways.
I would always read the required textbook readings for the upcoming tests. It might seem like tons of material, and it is, but just remember, you are in nursing school, not medical school. A lot of the readings in the textbook start out with a basic anatomy and physiology review before going into the stuff you really need to know for the tests. A lot of my classmates were getting overwhelmed in level 1 because they spent so much time trying to focus on the pathophysiology and memorizing this and that, they didn't focus on the nursing aspects. The Lewis Med/Surg book does a great job of breaking down the diseases and disorders you are studying by sections like : pathophysiology, A&P review, nursing considerations, complications, nursing diagnosis, and so on.
Yes you need a basic understanding of the pathophysiology, but do you need as much detail as you did in pre-reqs....no. One of my level 2 instructors said it best when she said...."do I care if you know all the dozens of different types of surgeries which could be done for this problem?? NO! I care about whether or not you as a nurse understand the complications, expected outcomes, and nursing interventions in case something does go wrong."
So after reading the required textbook material, I would look at the powerpoints and notes on blackboard, then I would review the material again in the Saunders NCLEX book so I could look at some example test questions and see why the answers to the questions were right or wrong.
I had classmates who felt like they couldn't pass the exams unless they printed out every single page they could....forests around the world cried out in protest. Some had HUGE notebooks full of notes and powerpoints. That was fine for them because they needed that to help them pass. I started out level 1 with that mindset but found out quickly that I could do just as well by doing what I stated above.
My grades in nursing school were much better than they were in pre-reqs because the majority of the pre-req classes were memorizing things. Nursing school is not about memorizing things, but critically thinking. That's why I got a B in Anatomy but an A in physiology.
All of you will find out quickly what works for you best when beginning the program. The instructors at ACC are there to help you, don't be afraid to utilize them. They want to see you succeed.