Fighting Discouragement

  1. Although I love and read AN forums for some time now, this is my first cry for help.

    I am in my third semester of a 2 year program, one reputed to be extensively difficult (and it is). Went through the first partial semester course- flying colors. Had first med-surg exam of the semester. Completely bombed it. Stunningly bombed it. I knew I didn't master the test, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight of the grade.
    Now I am in a position that I must perform very highly on all subsequent exams or else.
    I study, I read, I do 100's of practice questions. What's missing?

    This failure is a huge brick wall and it is hard to push through it.
    I just don't know what to do at this point. I feel like so much of our program expects the student to be largely self-taught. This is difficult for me because I am a global learner.

    Any advice? I cannot bear to fail. I want to be a nurse.
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    About doomsayer

    Joined: Jul '09; Posts: 65; Likes: 83
    Specialty: hopeful ER/Surg


  3. by   JRDeeRN
    I failed my 2nd year last semester I believe.. And I mean failed. Like had to take a year off and hen come back... I don't know what your situation is, but for it was realizing I can't spend As much time socializing as I do studying.. It takes priority first.
    Then I started realizing ESP in medsurg. Every disease/problem had a clinical manifestation, what can go wrong and how to fix it. Look at the nursing implications throughout the book. What can I do as a nurse... It helps u study what will be on the test .
    Then every thing I studied I looked up on YouTube for a visual of what I was studying. Ex: cabg procedure.... Or end stage renal disease. Find creative ways to spend as much time studying.
    You will eventually start thinking like a nurse and I mean it, you will ace your tests. I was a failed student who came back and passed with way better grades. It also helped to get my mindset right and realize this isn't just about graduating, this is about me knowing how to do my job later and not messing up a patients life. When looking at it that way it made it a heck of a lot easier wanting to study more than I had.
  4. by   HouTx
    Make an appointment with your instructor to discuss the test and ask for help. We (here on AN) can't have any idea of what you did wrong or provide any real assistance.

    And, as a nurse educator I have to (really really have to) tell you that the whole Learning Styles thing is absolute bunkum - no evidence at all to support them. It is true that people may have a preferred method of learning, but that does not mean that they can learn just as well with other methods. Educational research has shown that the only student factor that has been shown to have a significant effect on learning outcomes is prior knowledge. If you have some prior knowledge of the subject, you should use different learning methods than if you have absolutely no prior knowledge.

    So - don't despair if your instructor is not presenting information according to your 'learning style'... it really won't doesn't make a difference in your ability to learn.

    Nursing education is challenging because it is a complete 180 from traditional education - especially if you are young enough to have been victimized by the "no child left behind" curriculum that has been in place for the last 10 years. This focused entirely on passing standardized tests & pretty much eliminated any creativity, development of critical thinking or metacognition (learning how to learn) skills. But nursing school is the complete opposite - stress is entirely on the application of knowledge rather than memorization of factoids. We've all been there, but my point is that it is even more difficult for the current generation than it was for us oldies.
  5. by   classicdame
    consider a study group where people teach the others a concept. If you can teach it you know it
  6. by   doomsayer
    Learning styles IS bunkum- nonetheless, it is stressed in many schools and I thought it might give some perspective. I need to see a big picture for the smaller details to fall into place- and this is difficult for the novice nurse who gets buried in so many details of which only time and experience can show the relevance. When so many nursing educators seem to balance teaching the content but not teaching the test, it sends the student to 400 pages of reading- all of which seems so very relevant in the face of the urgency of the topic. What would the nurse do? Or what what this nurse (writing the test) do- and some combo of both.
    I am speaking to my instructor tomorrow.

    Thanks for the advice.

    And for what it is worth, I am bit old for No Child Left Behind.