Detailed tips on surviving nursing school

  1. I was wondering if any nurses or nursing students have any detailed tips on doing well in nursing school other then good study habits. Like whats the hardest part of nursing school: the care plans? or what should we expect and try to really focus on?What do you remember to be the most important? Thanx all the tips will be greatly appreciated!!
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    About lizzyberry

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 471; Likes: 53


  3. by   FutureNurse2005
    the hardest part for me is keeping up with school assignments/readings and my family! The actual content of the program is not difficult....
    Round up a good group of people for a study group. This helps. Find a super great confidant/friend in your class. There is nothing better than having 1 person to talk to (or rant to!).
    I'm sure the others will add more!!
  4. by   lizzyberry
    I have this one friend that will be with me in the program she is jamaican and I can understand her in person but not really over the phone. I love her shes the best person but I dont know if she'll make a good study buddy? :smiley_ab
  5. by   Daytonite
    there are two students in my current coding class who do not speak very good english who have gravitated to me like a magnet. they come in early on class day because they know i am there early as well and they want to compare assignments. this week they were there to compare answers with me on a take home test. one of them really tries my patience because she skips from one thing to another before we have finished with it. i look at it as a challenge for me and a test of my tolerance. i love a good challenge. are they good study buddies? no, not for me. my study buddy is there at the school a lot earlier and so am i. we have worked together and finished our important study work long before these other two students come in. if i want to avoid them i merely go somewhere else to study or don't come in early. one has my home phone number. if i ever don't feel like talking i just don't answer my phone. i control the time i have to give and i'm not beyond telling little white lies to protect that. i approach any time i am going to be spending with them almost as tutoring time. but, it also helps me too, because i am reinforcing the things i need to know for our upcoming tests. we are also working toward taking a national certification test. it's all that i and my study partner talk about. any future prospects for a really good job depend on getting that certification. quite honestly, i don't know if these two students are going to be able to get their certification. they might pass our class, but they can't even understand the instructions we are given for homework assignments. one was shocked to learn that one half of our big midterm exam next week was a take home test and all we had to do was log onto blackboard and print it out. she can't remember her student id to log on. i have been repeatedly telling her, in her own language, that for part of the class she needs to be logged on and accessing documents that the instructors have filed on the site. i just don't understand her. she is by no means dumb, just an airhead. - this is a website maintained by the nursing students at lane community college in eugene, oregon. for study and learning tips specific to nursing students click on "tips for learning" at the left side of this home page.
  6. by   sumthnspecial
    I am only in my first semester of nursing school so things may change down the road. So far I haven't found nursing school to hard, just time consuming.

    Go into it with every intention on putting most of your time into school.

    Being organized is probably one of the most important things for me.
    Organize your notes, your time, your homework, anything that will make your life easier.

    I answer all the objective questions for each chapter on index cards, so I bought those plastic index card holders and seperate all my notes by chapter. That way when a test comes around I just pull those chapters out and study from my note cards.

    Stay on top of the work, you don't want to get behind.

    I don't waste my time by reading everything in the chapters, I use the objectives provided by my teacher to pull out the most important stuff.
    There is just too much material to try and cover every single thing.

    I don't think care plans are hard, again, just time consuming. Plan ahead and make sure you allow yourself enough time to finish.

    Good luck.
  7. by   lizzyberry
    Thanx for the tips so I think for me I try to read the whole chapter so I can get an A on the test but I heard in the nursing program you have like 16 chapters for one test so how do you guys just read the stuff that important right?
  8. by   sumthnspecial
    Like I said, my teacher gives us objectives for every chapter, so I concentrate on those. So far I have gotten an A on all 5 tests and the midterm(which was around 32 chapters) in Fundamentals. So it is working for me.

    My Pharmacology and Gerry class test straight from the lecture notes.
  9. by   SummerGarden
    Quote from lizzyette
    Thanx for the tips so I think for me I try to read the whole chapter so I can get an A on the test but I heard in the nursing program you have like 16 chapters for one test so how do you guys just read the stuff that important right?
    No, you are to read all of the information related to the objectives, which means you read EVERY chapter covered and any related materials as well. At my school the instructors ensure that we study just about everything by choosing not to give study guides for the exams. Is that more challenging? Yep!... I like it that way!
    Last edit by SummerGarden on Mar 15, '07
  10. by   Bella Donna
    When you start your clinicals, are they always done during the day? Or do you also have them to do during the night as well?
  11. by   marilynmom
    Quote from Bella Donna
    When you start your clinicals, are they always done during the day? Or do you also have them to do during the night as well?
    Clinicals at my school vary a *lot*. I have had 12 hour clinicals, 8 hour clinicals, days, evenings, nights. It just depends on the hospital and what they have open...other students from other schools are there as well.
  12. by   marilynmom
    Nursing school I am not finding very hard at all. What people think is hard is the amount of work you have to do...but ya know what? You get used to it.

    I can read through 17 chapters pretty fast because I know what I am looking for (nursing interventions, patho, patient teaching, etc) and what to just kinda skim over.

    We don't get study guides either.

    First semester is the hardest just because it's new to you, NCLEX style questions are new, clinicals are a new thing, etc. By the second semester it all starts getting easier just because you know what to expect and how to get through it.
  13. by   Lovely_RN
    I am not finding any one part of NS to be harder than any other. It's not that the material is difficult it's that it is an overwhelming amount of material that needs to be covered simutaneously.

    I try to do as much reading as I can but it's impossible to read every single chapter word for word and retain all of the information.

    What has worked for me so is listening very carefully during class to what the professor focuses on. I take good notes and then I will make sure to read those parts of the chapter in explicit detail. The rest I will skim over to get the general idea and I also focus on the chapter objectives and key points. Also, I think answering the end of chapter questions are important. If you can't answer them then you probably don't know enough about the chapter to be prepared for a test.

    I use the CD Roms that come with my books (because I like a visual) and we also use ATI testing materials so I use those as well.

    Other than that it's a time management issue. I am married and I have two children and it's a great help to me that my husband is a reasonable decent person. He pulls his weight around the house and understands that I am in school and that things will be a crazy until it's over.

    As far as study groups go, I don't think they are absolutely neccessary. If you can find one or two people who are serious about studying and are on the same footing academically as you are then go for it. If you can't then you are better off not wasting time with people who want to waste time chatting during precious study time.

    I am warning you and take this very seriously, do not get sucked into a tutoring situation with a student who is not doing as well as you are. It may sound cruel but NS is tough and there isn't enough time in the day to tutor someone and do all of the studying that you need to do. I learned the lesson after trying it just once this semester.

    I meet with a group of what was supposed to be three to study and they brought two stragglers who heard about us meeting. Instead of all of us reviewing and quizzing each other we spent the entire time explaining stuff we already knew to those that did not know. It was a total waste of time because the two people still failed the test and the rest of us didn't do as well as we would have if we hadn't wasted our study time tutoring.

    In NS it is up to each individual to learn the material even if that means taking the initiative to learn it on your own. If there is something you are not getting do the research and find alternative materials to teach you what you need to know outside of what the school recommends.

    Quote from lizzyette
    Thanx for the tips so I think for me I try to read the whole chapter so I can get an A on the test but I heard in the nursing program you have like 16 chapters for one test so how do you guys just read the stuff that important right?
  14. by   allthingsbright
    I disagree about reading every chapter--I selectively read on areas that I need more in depth understanding outside of lecture. Sometimes I end up reading all the chapters and sometimes just partial amounts. I get high marks, so this works for me--more importantly, I am able to apply my knowledge in clinical.

    YOU need to find out what kind of studying is most beneficial for you and also what the school expects from you. If you have quizzes you may need to read everything AND fill in outlines before lecture. It all just depends.

    Other things that have helped me: stay out of other people's business and don't gossip.

    Remain professional at all times-instructors ARE NOT your friends--they are there to eval. you on EVERYTHING you say & do--especially in clinical.

    Be friendly to everyone...don't burn any bridges.

    Learn to accpet responsibilty for your actions. If you make a mistake in clinical, own up to it and tell you instructor ASAP.

    Use note cards--they are great. But don't rely on memorization. Ask "Why" when you are studying. Nursing builds and you need to be able to critically think and apply what you learn. The only thing you can memorize are values for lab, vitals signs, etc. But you still need to know why those values are important and what they signify.

    Get some NCLEX books and answer NCLEX questions throughout school. It will help you with test taking and with the NCLEX when you are done!!!!

    Study a little bit every day!
    Last edit by allthingsbright on Mar 16, '07