Discouraged, needs advice

  1. Hello all,
    Well, I am in search for a little encouragement and maybe even some study tips from fellow nursing student who know how tough the program is.
    This semester Ive taken 2 tests (one in peds/ob, and one in psyc) and failed both of them. I didnt fail miserably and everything can be brought up but I'm just so discouraged
    I've studied in every way I can! Studied alone, with a group, created my own study guide, book readings and end of chapter questions.
    I have another test next week in pharm and I don't even wanna try :/ (although I will)
    Does anyone have any other super study method I could try? or critical thinking advice?
    Thanks for reading
  2. Visit MCGNurse profile page

    About MCGNurse

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 39; Likes: 4
    from US
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   scibruin
    Nursing school is tough, hand in there, the reward will be so awesome when you finish.

    Some things that got me through nursing school and study tips:
    1. pre read chapters before going to class. In class write down all things the instructor mentions specifically about diseases/disorders. Highlight, post it/pagemark important charts.
    2. record lectures and listen to them over and over again, driving, cooking, before bed, in the shower. i also recorded myself saying my own notes in my own words and listened to those constantly.
    3. Don't over think tests. Go with your gut instinct. I always take my tests and go through the test and be sure of my answers before putting them on my scantron, if i didn't feel good about my answer i would circle the number and move on. I only revisited the ones i was unsure about and hardly changed answers unless i knew for certain i needed to change it.
    4. Star to try to make connections between clinical and theory. Think of patients you treated with the diseases and think of them when answering questions and always think of rationales of why.
    5. nursing tests aren't usually straightforward, so don't just memorize things. Get the whole picture of the disease and its effects on a person. Make sure you have a solid foundation of basic anat/physio so you can understand the effects of the disease on the various organs and person as a whole.
    6. I always found it best for my learning style to re-write notes, like you said into personal study guides. Taking notes from the books, lectures, and other resources and putting them together to make individualized study guides and reviewing them and knowing them like the back of your hand.
    7. commit, it sounds as though you have studied hard and put the effort in. Keep on working hard and using a few different techniques will get you where you need to be. Use your resources, does your school have a lab? Nursing tutors? Computer programs? Do your instructors offer tutoring sessions? Use all resources available to you!

    Best of luck, keep studying and working hard. Its not easy but its all worth it. You can do it! Don't stress about the past tests, start studying for the next one!

    One last thing, buy an nclex book and practice answering those questions and reading the rationales for the answers. sometimes those get you thinking in a nursing mindset rather than just studying straightforward like other classes. Also, your book may have nclex style questions in the back, or online at the end of each chapter or system. Take a look at those, answer them and review. The rationales or questions make look similar to those the instructor will be asking.
    Last edit by scibruin on Feb 11, '11 : Reason: one last thing...
  4. by   all4ofus
    I am in my third semester now. I am a very visual learner, so I have learned that my grades are best when I first, read ALL of the material. After I have completed all the reading I re-read anything that I happened to zone out on or just didn't understand. Next I watch the lectures with power-points (our lectures are online) and make notes. Then I make flashcards of drugs that we need to know. In these I include tidbits of differentiating information that I find in the book and in the lectures. I also make flashcards of anything that I need to just memorize. I carry my flashcards everywhere with me and read them when you have a spare moment. I also tape them to my mirror and refrigerator at home. That's all I do, every test. I used to try to do more, but found that my grades dropped when I do extras like study groups, NCLEX questions, scenarios, etc. For me, they took away from the intended content that the instructors wanted us to focus on. Anyway, chin up, and good luck on your next test!
  5. by   parrothead36
    hello, i am in my second semester and what i have found that works for me is to have my reading completed at least 2 to 3 days before the exam so that i can have time to do nclex questions from my nclex review guide. answering the questions and reading the rationales that are relative to the reading helps me to gain a better understanding of the material that i read. i hope the advice you are receiving will help you in some fashion. dont't spend your time focused on what's in the past, move on to what is ahead of you! you can do it!!!
  6. by   gallatea
    Stick to what your instructor's focus is - forget extra books. You'll have enough on your plate with what's assigned. I've done best when I did all the reading, reviewed the notes (took meticulous notes). I do record lectures, but only listen to them if I have nothing else to do. Study groups and 100's of study cards aren't helpful (for me) either - they are time consuming busy work. I like full page comparisons, but sometimes those are a waste of time. If you take good notes, you can just add to them, and highlight them and they serve the same purpose. I also take notes on readings. Having an overview, then memorizing is good. If I do that I never have a problem applying it to scenarios. Also my grades have not been as good when I spent too much time on going over in-class scenarios or other offerings on scenarios. For our instructors anyway - they are for practice and enrichment but they never ever make test questions referring to the concepts - maybe some fraction of a fact in one, but never do they reference the whole situation or what was really interesting about it. I think their point is to learn all the tools and knowledge 1st, then be given a totally unknown situations/scenario and see how we think on our feet with said tools.
  7. by   BrigidG
    Rewrite EVERYTHING!!
    Pharm is one of my biggest problems too, but my OB clinical teacher gave us a list of 50 meds.
    We had to write out a chart of their class, action, side effects and interventions and hand them back to her,
    and it helped me so much!
  8. by   shelbias
    Figure out what your style of learning is and go from there. Also, each specialization usually has a focus. In OB, the baby is the focus of most interventions. In psych, it's almost always safety.

    Which part of pharm are you having trouble with? The math? Or the knowledge of the content itself? Figure out what your weaknesses are and work on strengthening them.

    In my case, I've always been a visual/auditory learner and I learn best in a traditional classroom setting. Online classes are of no benefit to me.

    Good luck!
  9. by   MCGNurse
    hey everyone,
    sorry this I'm late on posting back. It's great to know someone else has hard times too! thanks for your comments!