I am just finishing up my first year of nurse practitioner school and I have made all A's thus far, so I thought I would share some insight on how to prepare for nurse practitioner school. I searched for so much advice before starting and it is surprising at how little help nurse practitioner students give to each other. So here you go!
1. Review all your anatomy, but not super in depth. For instance, know what is the functional unit of the kidney, and what are the different parts of the nephron. Know what cells secrete insulin. etc. This is especially important if you haven't had an anatomy class in a decade (like me!). A basic understanding of the Kreb's cycle will also help.
2. Become well versed in what an action potential is. Study the 2 types of action potentials found in cardiac cells. Study the nerve and skeletal action potentials. Knowing action potentials before you start patho will save so much time and headache.
3. Really study and understand the inflammatory response (e.g. mast cell degranulation, coagulation cascade, arichidonic pathway) and immune system response (e.g. how T Cells and B Cells work together to target antigens and such). If you get these 2 things, you will be able to figure out virtually any disease process that you will go over.
4. Watch YouTube! Some of my favorites: 1. Khan's Academy has amazing anatomy lectures. 2. Osmosis has great lectures on advanced pathology of diseases for medical students and the like. 3. AKLectures is such a cool dude and saved my life when learning action potentials.
5.For pharmacology, there is no easy way to prepare for it. A good start is to review what the CYP450 system is and how it works. Pharm was harder for me because my line of work only involves about 5 medications total! When you get to pharm, make sure to really understand your pathology of a disease process before beginning to memorize the meds, and this will make life much easier. For instance, if you know that acetylcholene is broken down in the nerve synapse by an enzyme called acetylcholenesterase, then you will understand that cholinesterase inhibitors will keep acetylcholene from breaking down as quickly which means it will be able to do its job for a longer period of time.
Well that's what has helped me get through my first year of FNP school. Some of it I did actually do before starting, and some of it I wished I had done. Good luck to you!