Gateway LPN Fast Track - page 24

Verah interesting........ Looks to me like it's a separate application process. Don't know what the wait list is like for it, but for those of you on the waitlist for the RN program, it might... Read More

  1. by   miteacher
    Thanks for the suggestion. I have an iPod touch, and will look for some apps.
  2. by   Marlene39
    I bought the book package and the lab tote plus about every other nursing school book on the market. Here are my suggestions for getting a jump start on PN school at Gateway:

    1. There are often questions on the tests from both the Foundations of Nursing textbook and the Saunders Nclex-PN book. Not in the first month of class with the first teacher, but definitely the rest of the first semester. Do as many Nclex questions as you can for each and every section before the tests. Getting the hang of Nclex questions is essential for passing. A lot of really great people didn't pass my first semester because of difficulty with test taking skills. Read about test taking strategies on allnurses as well as in the first part of any Nclex book. Strategy is the key to these questions even if you have a good knowledge base. They are just tricky even when you know your stuff!

    2. I also found questions from the online resources on evolve/pageburst for the FON book, the Lippencott Nclex book, and Nclex questions online. If you type in "Nclex questions skin integrity" or whatever you're studying, you will find a ton of practice questions. Great sites:,00.html (just click on the subject lines for the chapters, then click on Nclex review on the left side)

    3. The evolve online website was beneficial to me because I could access my books from anywhere that has internet (including work) for some extra study time. I do read the book, do the study guides from the teachers, etc. This is not a walk in the park for most students so if you read from this website that you just need to do Nclex questions to pass, don't think that will work for you personally. Do everything assigned and more the first few weeks and see what helps you and what doesn't. You may need to read the book cover to cover to pass, you may only need to do Nclex questions, you may only need to listen and understand the lecture to pass. For some, you need to do all of the above to barely squeak by. We lost 13 wonderful people out of 40 the first semester! You can be the best clinical student in the class and still not pass if you don't know test taking strategies. Points only come from tests (homework and projects don't earn points, but are required. Don't spend your study time on them but do the best you can with the extra time you have).

    4. If you get the books and want to read ahead for the first semester, read the chapters 2, 3, 4, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19 and that will get you through the first month or so. Don't bother with learning the history of nursing (it's not really covered). So much of the first semester is about nursing theory and communication. Closer to the middle you start into body systems and cover skin, periop, mental health, endocrine (very hard chapter - spend extra time on this one), basic fluid and electrolyte, musculoskeletal, digestive and cancer.

    5. For the first month: Brush up on your anatomy and physiology of the heart (especially the blood flow through the heart), ROM terms and process, anatomical positions, quadrants and espeically cranial nerves! Oh, and pain assessment whatever chapter that is in. Know PQRST. Know your CNA skills and reveiw medical terminology. If you don't know what "gastro-, osteo-, arthro-, -itis and cysto- means off the top of your head, then you really need to brush up.

    6. Watch the videos from the book box on wound care, foley insertion and anything else that looks cool to watch about procedures (and only if you have time). You will not get a lot of lab time in the beginning to practice (unless they listened to us and made sure there was more lab time and less lecture during scheduled lab time).

    7. If you work full-time understand that you will have almost no life outside of school and work (if you want to pass) at least for the first semester. Semester two is a little less hectic so far, but there are tests every week for the last month and a half, so I'm taking a day off work each week to study.

    8. Library books: Utilize your local public library. I checked out some Nclex books and downloaded the cd's from them and I can still use the cd content without the cd in my machine. So, I basically got hundreds of Nclex questions for free. The Silvestri ones are particularly good on cd.

    9. Math! It's a big issue for some people, so if you struggle with math then you will want to study up on drug calculations before you start into the craziness of semester 1. There are several really cool websites online for drug calculations, but my favorite for practice is: Just remember for calculaing the dosage needed to divide the dosage ordered by the dosage on hand and multiply by the transmission route (1 tablet, 5 mL, etc).

    Dosage ordered X Vehicle = amount to give patient
    Dosage on hand


    The doctor order 500 mg of Tylenol for the patient. On hand you have 250 milligram tablets. How many tablet do you give the patient?

    500 mg X 1 tablet = 2 tablets
    250 mg

    The doctor ordered 25mg of a drug. The drug you have on hand is 50 mg per 2 mL. How many mLs would you give?

    25 mg X 2 mL = 1 mL
    50 mg

    And know your conversions (F to C, inches to centimeters, pounds to kilos, grams to milligrams, etc). This is tested in the first month and to pass you must get 100% on the math quiz.

    10. Going to class and clinicals is not optional. You miss more than one class or one clinical/lab you will be dropped. It happened to students in my class, so they are very serious about this. And don't be late - ever! Plan ahead to be 15 minutes early to everything just to be sure you aren't late. They take this seriously in the first semester and you will get written up for it and potentially be dropped if you are late multiple times. It's sad to have to tell adults this, but I can't believe how many people don't understand that this is very important.

    11. Make sure you do your drug test on time and that the lab you use in reputable. People actually get dropped if their lab doesn't send in the specimen properly. If you are on any pain meds or anything that will come up on a drug screen, make sure you have all your ducks in a row (current prescription, doctor's note, surgery proof or whatever) to prove why you have drugs in your system. If you use drugs illegally you are in the wrong profession and you should just not bother to go (IMO) unless you are recovered and serious about never using them again.

    12. Don't lie or try to cover anything up. If something bad happens in class or clinicals - fess up! The teachers are there to help you succeed and have made their share of mistakes for sure. If you make a mistake tell your teacher immediately and you will be treated respectfully.

    I'm sure there are lots of other little things I'm missing but this will get you started. I spent the entire summer before starting school obsessing about every little thing and wish someone would have just given me the first few chapters to start on. There is a lot of reading and it is good to get a feel for what is ahead. We didn't even get our books until the fist week of class and I felt like I was catching up for at least the first month. Get a lot of time in with your family and friends now since you may not get to spend a lot of time with them after you start school. I'm sure there will be people who will come and say I'm crazy and they breezed through without any of this stuff, but I would say the majority of the students in my class struggled to keep their heads above water in that first semester and we lost a lot of really intelligent people. I was a straight A student before nursing school and I only got a 90% the first semester (a B in nursing school). I did my very best too and only got a B. If my grade was based on clinical alone I may have gotten an A, but it is only based on test scores. We have a few people in class who seem to just sail through for whatever reason, but there are more who are like me and are working like crazy for that B. Many many are working like crazy for a C and they will be just as good at real nursing as those sailing through (I betcha). C means Continue, right? My teacher was just telling us that no one has ever asked her what her grade was in nursing school. If you pass, you have done an amazing thing and should be proud!!

    Good luck to everyone starting in the Fall. Feel free to use me as a resource.
  3. by   miteacher
    What is the name of the book that you referred to when you mentioned reading specific chapters? I would like to order just that book online.
  4. by   miteacher
    You said the book was called Foundations of Nursing. What is the author or the ISBN number? Thanks!
  5. by   miteacher
    Sorry, I keep adding more questions. Did you think it was worth it to just buy the book box ahead of time now for the Fall?
  6. by   Marlene39

    It is in the book box. It's the Christensen & Kockrow: Foundations and Adult Health Nursing, 6th edition that we are using. If you start in the Fall this will probably be the book you will use. If you can find this used cheap, maybe it's worth the money to buy it now, otherwise wait for the book box. They may even change the books for Fall, hard to know.

    You will not be behind if you wait to read these chapters until school starts or until you can purchase the book box. I'm sure the semester two students for Spring will be more than happy to sell you their books in May or June. Me included!

  7. by   miteacher
    You are so helpful! Thanks so much for taking the time to give out this information.
  8. by   miteacher
    So how long is the wait in between the LPN and going to block 3 of the nursing program through any of the Maricopa Community Colleges? Are there other colleges that offer advanced placement that do no have a wait? I was going to look into the University of Phoenix program once I finish the FTPN program.
  9. by   Matt's Girl
    Congrats to the grads! Did any of you have a problem getting into Block 3?
  10. by   miteacher
    What lab did you use to get your test done?
  11. by   Marlene39
    Quote from miteacher
    What lab did you use to get your test done?
    Do you mean the drug test? If so, I used the Sonora Quest lab at Gateway hospital. No problems.
  12. by   miteacher
    I just got my acceptance letter for the fall evening program! I'm excited, but kind of terrified at the same time!
  13. by   miteacher
    For anyone else who is currently in the program, I have a few questions.

    After you receive the acceptance letter, do you need to do anything else besides register before the deadline? Were you able to register online through My Maricopa, or did you have to register another way? Or did you have to go in to register or fax it in? It doesn't really have any instructions on how to register.

    Did you use the same uniform as all the other Maricopa Colleges? I am going to see if I can find a used one on craigslist. What color scrub pants did you have to buy? Did you have to purchase them through a certain place, or could you just go ahead and order them elsewhere online?

    What types of shoes or styles were considered acceptable? Did you need to purchase a tote or something on wheels to carry around your books and supplies?

    Did anyone bring a laptop to class? What about an iPod touch for clinicals?

    I am off all summer, so I would like to try to do as much as I can before I start and buy the shoes and stuff like that while I have extra time.

    I am so nervous, and any help/tips is greatly appreciated!