Advice for First semester nursing students!!!!!! - page 2

I am going to give a little advice and maybe it will help me, and future nursing students... First, when they say you don't have to read all the chapters, you should really read the chapters. ... Read More

  1. by   nancy999
    Quote from tabz4u2
    I am going to give a little advice and maybe it will help me, and future nursing students...

    First, when they say you don't have to read all the chapters, you should really read the chapters. Just try to put things in your own words so you can understand it better. Buy some little help books such as Nursing fundamentals Demystified ! My teacher always had outlined the power pts with the chapters, so I would write a few more notes than ususal.

    Second, do the practice NCLEX style questions at the end of the chapters, so you have somewhat a feel of what the questions are like.

    Third, DO not I repeat DO NOT over anaylze the questions. They are going to be tough, and a lot of them are not the answers you really think they are. I had a lot of questions on my exams where I also changed my answer, and the first answer I had was right...And you guessed it, my second answer was wrong!

    Fourth, Record your lectures if you are able to! There may be an incident where you may accidently dose of in your class and you may of missed an important part your teacher may of said and you missed it on your exam!

    Fifth. Don't miss any EXAMS! Make-up tests are a lot harder than they should be, but if you can, don't miss one. I had to do two make-up exams, and it was 10x harder than the regular one. If a circumstance calls for you to miss one, just be sure that you know you are in for a rough ride, like I am.

    Sixth. Ask your teacher any questions you may have problems with, I did, and she did explain it a lot better, but I still struggled. I was doing better in the end.

    Seventh. Study hard, outline the chapters as much as you can in your own words to the best of your knowledge. A lot of things that are in the book may not make any sense, and you may be able to learn better if they are in your own words. For example, Right-Sided heart failure--Can cause edema in the lower extremities.

    Eighth-- Be prepared to read, a lot. Don't try to memorize everything that are in your textbooks, because a lot of it isn't neccessary. That's why I said record your teachers lectures and try and note anything she had said that was improtant.

    Ninth--Try and join study groups, some may be helpful, some may be not so much. I found I study better by myself and I get the information better.

    Tenth--Don't over anaylze your careplans! Get a nursing diagnoses book! Your medical diagnoses has almost nothing to do with your nursing diagnoses. Learn how to do careplans, they get easy towards the end. Trust me, care plan writing can be tough, but I got it almost down to a tee, it only took a few tries.

    Eleventh--Get plenty of rest when you can, you may feel like you are not getting a lot of rest, and trust me nursing school IS exhausting. Try and relax, don't stress out, you are not the only one out there that is going through this, Make friends in your classroom and have your own little support group!

    Good luck!

    I hope to be another first semester nursing student in the fall, and do it right the second time around, I know I am not alone!
    Thank u so much for ur advice. I am just accepted by ADN program in this fall. And also, I am new here. So nice to meet you all.
  2. by   Kencanwin
    Many thanks for this sage advice.

    Will definitely put these in action this fall.
  3. by   windsurfer8
    I have been a nurse 8 years. I am not "old school", but have a fair amount of experience. All I can say is get out of the habit of using excuses. If you don't do well on a test no one cares if you had a flat tire, or your mom is sick. I hate to say that, but when you work in a hospital docs and bosses don't really care. It is all about YOU. If you do poorly on exam don't freak out. Look at what you did and what to do different. When I was in my ABSN program I would say "ok..I studied 20 hours and I failed. So for the next one I study 40 hours" No ones cares if you are sad about it..they want you to get up and study HARDER. That said..I think the idea that "nurses eat their young" is not totally true. If you start working and work hard and LISTEN to the nurses..people will help you. If you ask the same question 30 times and never pay attention..are late to work....etc...well..good luck with that.
  4. by   bellafsu89
    I just finished my first semester of nursing school and I'm about to start my 2nd tomorrow (we had skills check off's the past 2 days.) My additional advice is get a good multivitamin and B complex vitamin! It will help with the stress and especially when you are not sleeping well. I also found that the study group was a HUGE help! A few girls in my class were the only ones to form a solid study group and we continuously scored higher on exams than those who opted out of groups. Good Luck everyone!!
  5. by   abeckham
    Get the test success book!
  6. by   ShyeoftheTiger
    I just had a question about your 8th point and not trying to memorize the book; is that to say that I should focus more on the concepts/application of concepts in the book rather than the specific details?

    Thank you!
  7. by   tabz4u2
    Yes, trust me there is a lot more to memorize in that book than you should even try to memorize. I know my Nursing Fundamentals book is extremely boring and I had dozed off reading it--Therefore I wasn't able to contain any of the information I just read. Focus more so on the concepts and learn how to apply them to questions. The questions in the tests aren't based off of knowledge, you need to learn how to apply them! Look at NCLEX style questions, realize that they are a lot different than you have dealt with.
  8. by   tintin_rhea
    I miss nursing school.... the graveyard shifts and everything in between..
  9. by   kailss
    Good topic....I like reading these so I can hopefully better prepare myself for my first semester this fall!
  10. by   donovasu
    I understand why you are saying to read the chapters, but if you do, remember that while you need to know the information, you need to apply it more.

    So when you learn about hip replacements and it says the patient should not flex it more than 90degrees, if someone asks you about lifting the cat, you know that they should not reach down to the floor to pick it up. That is what we mean when we say you have to apply the knowledge you learn.

    If you are not in healthcare now in some form, learn your prefixes and suffixes (knowing these will cut down on the actual number of words you need to memorize).

    Start doing nclex style questions now. Don't wait until you are in class. Read the rationales even on the ones you get right. This will help you to learn how to answer these types of questions. There are many free nclex style questions/quizzes available online and if you haven't already, purchase a saunders or lippencott nclex review book with CD. Honestly in block 1, this was the only "extra" text I needed to use along with my required ones.

    If you have trouble with the first test don't fret, do test review with your instructor if offered and if you still have trouble by test two, go get a tutor. They are available! Don't let it get to the end of the semester so you need an A on the final to pass or are concerned you won't pass the HESI (more to come on that later).

    If you join a study group, make sure they stay on task at least 75% of the time. Some socializing is ok, but that is not why you are there. If you can find someone who likes to teach others to run one, get into their group!

    You will have times you feel overwhelmed. Block 1 contains alot of information, most or all of which will probably be new to you. Make sure you take time to care for yourself. Me? I played video games at least once a week with my SO. I took a trip during spring break. I did not cram on test days. (it won't help you anyway). Get a massage, a pedicure, go hiking, fishing, rollerblading, something for yourself besides study. By the end of the block you will be amazed at how much you have learned.

    If your school offers time management, stress reduction, test taking or other workshops to you, take them. These types of workshops are helpful even if you only use one or two tips from them.

    Find a mentor. Hopefully your program pairs second block students with new students. If so, make sure your name is in for it! A good mentor can help you, encourage you and talk you through the rough times...all through school.

    And lastly, remember that you made it this far. You got into the program and this is what you want. So go get it!

    Good luck everyone!
  11. by   latoyap83 scared crap-less lol
  12. by   LoriRNCM
    Quote from latoyap83 scared crap-less lol
    Me too! And reading every forum in allnurses isn't giving me much confidence! Not only will nursing school be a two year period of hell on Earth, but I will probably not be able to find a job afterward! Scared doesn't even describe it! But my determination hasn't wavered, so I'm still excited to get started in August.