Jump to content

Fundamentals of nursing


hey i am in nursing one which i believe is all fundamentals of nursing, I am kind of struggling with studying...I am looking for a good Fundamentals test question book to review I really think it would help me put all of my notes together and be able to practice critical thinking..has anyone used "Fundamentals Success" by Nugent and Vitale?


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

One of the key things to do when studying is to begin thinking "how will I see this manifested in the patient, what will i do, what is the safest thing to do?" Studying to just memorize will not work because on test day you have to be able to take that information and apply it through your critical thinking skills.

One of the best things you can do is read and go over your lecture notes, once you have a grasp of the concept get together with a group of 2-3 people and openly discuss the material.

I also use Saunder's NCLEX RN study guide which I found extremely helpful and it also has questions appropriate to systems as well as nursing fundamentals which you may find valuable.

Bedside_Life RN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care. Has 3 years experience.

Fundamental Success is decent, but you have to understand the basics. I cannot stress this enough. Yes you will have to memorize material but you have to, have to, have to, be able to apply it. This is going to be the most frustrating part of nursing.

Saunder's is also a pretty good resource. At this point NCLEX review text may confuse you because they are based on the understanding that you are preparing for, you guessed it, the NCLEX. Those people preparing for NCLEX have graduated or are close to it so some of the questions may be way over your head and confuse/frustrate you.

If you can find someone with a Hurst review workbook that was filled it out during the course; this may be of some benefit.

Also, ExamCram is a pretty good resource. Whatever it is that you choose to review (Even your textbook and case studies will help some) get together with a small group and have everyone write their answers down and then discuss why you think your answer is right. When there is a disagreement take the time to look it up in the book and read that section from the beginning so that you have a good understanding of why the right answer is the right answer.

Ask if there is a Senior student that is available to tutor. The instructors will pick someone who they know is doing well and "gets it" or as you will hear, so god awfully many times, "thinks like a nurse". Remember THIS IS YOUR GOAL! THINK LIKE A NURSE! HAVE A QUESTIONING ATTITUDE! And I really agree with Okami that you have to choose the SAFE answer. This will follow you through licensure. Every test that you take is not only a Nursing test but it is a Safety test. That is what Nursing tests are and that is what the NCLEX is. One big giant Safety test.

For example, think about this ever so often used scenario......You are the nurse taking care of Mrs. Pat. Mrs. Pat has been admitted to your unit from step-down, and has a temporary tracheostomy. Mrs. Pat has been very congested and you decide to change her crusty saturated collar because at your hospital respiratory therapists do not always take care of this issue. So, like suuuppperrr Nuuurrrssssee you are going to rise to the call of duty and take some action! You are a Nurse now, remember?...... So you get all of your supplies ready, you have put her on the pulse oximetry monitor (because this has to do with Respiratory right, and you are going to do everything you can to shine like a star for Mrs. Pat). You have hyperoxygenated her and have wall suction ready (because you are thinking ahead of course). Now, you have removed and cleaned the trach, using aseptic technique of course, and you are about to attach the trach. strap, and wouldn't you know it, it is one those real fancy nice ones that has pads and velcro. At this point you are already thinking of ways to rub it into your friend's face about how you saved Mrs. Pat's life today. And about this time sweet Mrs. Pat decides to help you out by clearing her throat and you watch her cannula fly across the room like a bottle rocket and it lands right on the floor next to the trash can. I mean, you saw that line hanging from her trach. and you know it had to be used for something right?..... so you deflated the balloon at the beginning; that is what it is there for right? Obviously not considering the circumstances..... So now think about what do you do, super nurse....? The nurse who gave you report left out the size, details, and forgot to send the bedside replacement trach with the patient "because the family must have grabbed it". Now you have some very important decision making to act upon..... Do you call for help? go to parstock for another kit? put oxygen on Mrs. Pat and bag ventilate her? grab the cannula next to the trashcan, wipe it off, and pop it back in, or maybe just stand there, frozen, hoping someone will save you, in awe of how things went from top of the world to "OMG FML" with one cough?........ What would you do? Really think about it.

I am sure Nurses are having to sit on their hands to keep from jumping at this one. haha........ but the correct answer is how a Nurse should think. When you get that down, You will be good to go.

Good luck to you, Become the best nurse you can and stay that way.

I know what you guys are saying but it's so hard for me to put it into thought because I only started nursing school a week ago, and haven't even been to clinical yet so to make connections is hard..so far I've learned lifespan, geriatrics, sensory, and hygiene..vital signs is this week and that is my whole exam one. I don't really know how to study for it expect memorization for now..maybe after one test I'll feel more prepared and know how to study Better

Bedside_Life RN

Specializes in Surgical Intensive Care. Has 3 years experience.

If your next test is on vital signs alone..... Ask your instructor if the questions will be based on Airway, Breathing, Circulation of priority of needs, or the new practice of Circulation, Airway, Breathing.

The correct answer in the scenario would be to pick up that cannula and reinsert it; dirty or not. Without it the patient cannot breathe. And breathing is pretty important right....? How long will it be before your patient will have irreversible damage from not being able to breathe....? In Mrs. Pat's case her problem was an airway that was no longer patent. This comes from the original practice of Airway first!

But if the patient does not have adequate perfusion/circulation, the patient with a patent airway will not be taking that oxygen to vital organs.... so this is a catch twenty two and a nursing judgement call. which you will learn.

But in my personal "Nursing" opinion, respirations should always be within normal limits, anything outside of the normal range of respirations that is sustaining is a problem.

When looking at the vital signs on your next test, first look for what is WNL (within normal limits). Obviously these are not something you would worry about.

Consider the aspects of the each clinical scenario and the answers you are provided with and do not add anything to the information provided; do not assume. Use EXACTLY what the question provides you with.

Is your test on vital signs throughout the lifespan or for a specific age group?...

Alright thank you!! And I am not sure yet I think it's throughout the lifespan but it is apart of my exam one which is in a couple weeks

For fundamentals, it takes a while to understand the concept. I understand that it might be your first time being exposed to this type of thinking. This was my way of studying. Depending on how well your teacher teaches I would record the professor, then after class I would review my notes for a few minutes. Later in the day, I would review my recordings (I used a random app for my ipad to record the class), at the time I took fundamentals I had Saunders and Fundamentals success. I practiced questions as much as possible related to my topic being taught that day. Definitely do practice questions using those books. I also used NCLEX 4000 and some other programs. If your school has a computer lab stop by and browse the programs. And since this is fundamentals, to avoid confusion, just do questions based on the topics you went over in class. Good luck!

Thanks! I am going to search for an app for my iPad also to record the lectures.

hey i am in nursing one which i believe is all fundamentals of nursing, I am kind of struggling with studying...I am looking for a good Fundamentals test question book to review I really think it would help me put all of my notes together and be able to practice critical thinking..has anyone used "Fundamentals Success" by Nugent and Vitale?

U should try PrepU. It's very helpful with practice questions. It's an online tool we use in school which I'm sure can be purchased on Amazon. Oh yea and ATI def helps! Good luck!