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A&P gaps-Will it hurt in Nursing School?


Unfortunately, we were supposed to cover 8 systems in A&P II, but we ran out of time in our class. We rushed through 4 systems -respiratory, digestive, lymphatic, and excretory--briefly learning them. Is this going to hurt a lot in nursing school? For example, if you aren't 100% sure how gas exchange pressure works....will we be learning this topic again, in detail???? Will we only have to be familiar with them, or will we have to know and remember a lot?



Specializes in CVICU, CCU, MICU.

My class did the same thing. We learned nuitrition, urinary system, and fluid and electrolytes in a whole hour and are expected to test on the whole chapters. I went back once finals were over and read the chapters at my own pace so I didn't feel like I missed anything.


Specializes in NCT- rehab, BSN student.

may hurt if you are planning on taking pathophys. may also be a problem in pharm. go back and look at the cardiovascular system for sure, as well as renal. you won't need to know the exact parts of every system or the function of every single thing, however, to understand many pathophysiological mechanisms in the body, you should know basic A&P of all systems. Same with pharm, to understand how a drug is affecting a certain system, you should know the basic A&P. Just go back and read the chapters you missed to get a basic idea!

I graduate in August.

They did not re teach A&P, they expect you to understand those concepts because they are teaching you conditions based on those concepts. I would advise you to brush up on that section of A&P


We had a few students in your situation and the teacher advised them to use their A&P book to review.

Our teacher told us you first have to know what is normal, to know what is wrong. Def. go back over it, that was suggested for our group to do over our 5 wk. break.

Thanks for the responses. I guess I DO have something to do this summer, now.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Has 9 years experience. Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

You probably won't be going back over those exact topics in detail, but you won't really need to. In your other nursing courses, you will learn the important parts of those systems and how they apply to nursing care. You might need to know the basics of how the digestive system works, but it's like starting from scratch when you have to learn how to care for a patient with a bowel obstruction, insert an NG tube and listen to bowel sounds. Sometimes even knowing the A&P isn't helpful. It won't hurt you.

Nursing is NOT a detail-oriented curriculum. I've found in the nursing texts the limited amount of A&P that you need to know, that which will be covered in the unit, is reviewed at the beginning of each chapter.

That said, I've also found that the kids who either didn't learn A&P, the ones who were rushed through A&P, and the types that crammed for an A but didn't actually learn anything have a difficult time in nursing school.

Here on the forum, those of us with a strong science background, be it a previous science degree or those that changed majors from bio or chem to nursing, generally find the nursing curriculum to be somewhat less challenging.

You can (and should) teach yourself the physiology. It's, what I believe, is the elemental foundation of healthcare. The anatomy will never go into great detail in a nursing book, yet a rich understanding of physiology will take you far and make everything else so much easier later. You can, however, get through it all knowing nothing. Many seem to, but the pressure will be greater. Having said all that I think if you read your book for quality over quantity you'll learn it as much as any of us.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

another suggestion (the above are all good) is to purchase the Gray's Anatomy Coloring Book. You will learn the systems by coloring them in. Elementary but helpful. The physiology part will have to be self-taught unless you decide to take the course again, or elsewhere.

Our fundementals book has a&p review but I have yet to look t it. I took a&p 3-4 years ago.

You learn what you need as you go eg diffusion, oxygenation etc;

the test questions are nothing as involved as a&p ones, for instance they might ask what part of the urinary system are the ureters in, upper or lower? simple stupid stuff.


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