finding it hard to pass

  1. I'm having a tough time and its just 4 weeks into my first semester of Nursing school. I'm still not catching on to the way my professors structure the questions on our exams I'm quite certain its the NCLEX style critical thinking questions. Although I have improved on the NCLEX style questions I'm still finding it hard to pass.Some of the changes that I made to my study pattern is that I bought a NCLEX study guide which I review before my exam, joined a serious friend to study and extended my study hours. I am very discouraged but I have worked too hard to get this far and just don't feel like quitting or dropping from any class. Pls help I need some words of encouragement to move forward.
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    About Maria22

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 27

    17 Comments

  3. by   Gompers
    Don't get discouraged - many nursing students go through exactly what's happening to you. It's so hard to go from "regular" tests to the kinds that you get in nursing school. Many times, EVERY answer in a multiple choice question is going to be "right" and you just have to chose the one that's "most" right. That's really tough when you're still trying to figure out what your priorities are! It gets better over time, and with more clinical and testing experience.

    Remember - you first need to assess the situation. Then, make sure the A-B-C's of breathing and circulation are covered. There's ALWAYS something you can do before calling the doctor, remember that!

    Good luck!
  4. by   twinbee25
    Quote from Maria22
    I'm having a tough time and its just 4 weeks into my first semester of Nursing school. I'm still not catching on to the way my professors structure the questions on our exams I'm quite certain its the NCLEX style critical thinking questions. Although I have improved on the NCLEX style questions I'm still finding it hard to pass.Some of the changes that I made to my study pattern is that I bought a NCLEX study guide which I review before my exam, joined a serious friend to study and extended my study hours. I am very discouraged but I have worked too hard to get this far and just don't feel like quitting or dropping from any class. Pls help I need some words of encouragement to move forward.
    Hi, I know the feeling!!! Try to find the book "Test Success" by Nugent and Vitale. It is amazing info in there on how to break down a test question and find the BEST answer! Good Luck to you!!!
  5. by   acgemt
    Don't get too discouraged. The first semester is always the worst because you are getting used ot the style of questions that you might generally not see in regular classes. Just try and stay focused and don't ever give up.
  6. by   Fiona59
    Remember, handwashing is always the first correct answer if it appears on a multiple choice list!!!:chuckle :uhoh21:
  7. by   HappyNurse2005
    Have you got a Kaplan NCLEX study book? They go quite into detail on test taking skills for nursing tests.
    Hve you taken any tests yet? ARe you passing the tests? Can you meet with your instructor and talk about what he/she thinks you are doing wrong? They could help you \with specifics to your program.
    Good luck!! Don't give up. My motto always was (and still is) that I wont leave that program til I graduate or they kick me out!
  8. by   scrubnurse
    Don't get discouraged! I remember that first semester! Whew are heads were spinning! (I am fixing to graduate this May) :hatparty:
    Here's my advice: Nursing tests are not like other college tests you are used to. (Obviously) Remember that most test questions are not knowledge based, like we are used to from A&P. Memorizing doesn't cut it. It's all about critical thinking. So don't just study about the disease, know the NURSING INTERVENTIONS. They don't care that you know what diabetes is, they want to know what you are going to do about it. Also always know positions of patients. Should the head of bed be up? Down? Blah..Blah.. Blah...!!!
    Hope some of that helps. Hang in there!!! You'll make it!
  9. by   kahumai
    Quote from scrubnurse
    Don't get discouraged! I remember that first semester! Whew are heads were spinning! (I am fixing to graduate this May) :hatparty:
    Here's my advice: Nursing tests are not like other college tests you are used to. (Obviously) Remember that most test questions are not knowledge based, like we are used to from A&P. Memorizing doesn't cut it. It's all about critical thinking. So don't just study about the disease, know the NURSING INTERVENTIONS. They don't care that you know what diabetes is, they want to know what you are going to do about it. Also always know positions of patients. Should the head of bed be up? Down? Blah..Blah.. Blah...!!!
    Hope some of that helps. Hang in there!!! You'll make it!
    I agree. I tried to memorize my way through fluids & electrolytes, and let me tell you...it doesn't work. The main goal of nursing is for you to be able to graduate with the ability to CRITICALLY THINK your way through your patient's care, which is a skill that (a) certainly cannot be mastered until you have several years of experience as a nurse and (b) works in parallel with the nursing interventions scrubnurse was talking about. While these skills are necessary for you to work as a nurse, they are vital for you as far as studying goes because critically thinking comes into play in every single situation in nursing, which is applicable come test time. If you're instructors haven't talked about it yet, trust me, they will. Try to sharpen your skills by doing case studies (which you might be able to find online or maybe from your instructor). Imagine situations that don't go as "textbook" as you would like them to and think about what you would do and the rationales for doing so. Relying on pure memorization won't help you in an emergency situation because it's impossible to get all the facts/figures/values together and straight without compromising your patient. See if your school has a testing center geared toward helping nursing majors with testing anxiety/strategies. Ask your instructors for additional help. Since you're new to nursing, it will take awhile to find a way to study that works best for you, but through trial-and-error, you'll find a good, solid way. And do those NCLEX questions and READ THE RATIONALES (for both correct and incorrect answers - it's amazing how much info you can get!). I also like NCLEX 3000 software from Springhouse...very helpful. Nursing is difficult; keep your head up! You'll get there! :spin:
    Last edit by kahumai on Feb 16, '05
  10. by   twinbee25
    Quote from Fiona59
    Remember, handwashing is always the first correct answer if it appears on a multiple choice list!!!:chuckle :uhoh21:
    sorry, but I have to disagree with that...though it sounds logical, it does depend on WHAT the question is asking about/for. Here is a sample question from that book "Test Success" with the rationales:

    . When providing perineal care for patients, by what action can nurses most appropriately protect themselves from microorganisms?
    a) washing their hands before giving care....(protects the PATIENT from the nurse)
    b) wearing gloves during perineal care...correct answer...(gloves are a barrier against body secretions and used with standard precautions...this ACTION protects the NURSE)
    c) discarding the contaminated water in the toilet...(still exposed to body secretions if not wearing gloves.)
    d) encouraging patients to provide all their own care
    hint...key words... who is the nurse protecting? ....identify specific determiners
    answer D has a specific determiner... "all"...it is unrealistic to expect patients to provide ALL of their own care, and remember what the question is asking...the nurse is "acting" and "protecting self". If a patient provides all their own care, the nurse isn't doing action to protect self....so eliminate answer D.
    Also note the phrase in the question, "most appropriately" ...implies more than once correct answer, but you have to decide which is the most appropriate in relation to what the question wants...nurse protecting self.
  11. by   studentnurse74
    I just got the Lippincott NCLEX review and it's wonderful for those type questions. When studying, tape record lectures and listen to them in your car. I also write my notes onto cards b/c writing helps me remember. Good luck!
  12. by   lunakat
    Here are some tips we received last semsester in a lecture we had on test success for nursing....
    TEST TAKING TIPS:
    *IF THE QUESTION ASKS FOR AN IMMEDIATE ACTION OR RESPONSE, ALL
    ANSWERS MAY BE CORRECT, THEREFORE BASE YOUR SELECTION ON PRIORITIES
    *REWORD A DIFFUCULT QUESTION BUT BE CAREFUL NOT TO REWORD AND CHANGE
    THE INTENT OF THE QUESTION
    *LOOK FOR THE MOST COMMON OR TYPICAL RESPONSE
    *RELATE THE SITUATION TO SOMETHING THAT IS FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND TRY
    TO VISUALIZE AS YOU GO THROUGH CASE SITUATION
    *LOLOOK FOR ANSWERS THAT FOCUS ON THE CLIENT AS A WORTHY BEING AND
    ARE DIRECTED TOWARD FEELINGS
    *WITH MEDICATION CALCULATIONS, TALK YOURSELF THROUGH EACH STEP TO
    MAKE SURE THEY MAKE SENSE
    *IF ONE OPTION INCLUDES THE TERMS: GENERALLY, USUALLY, AND TENDS TO
    AND OTHERS DO NOT SELECT THAT OPTION
    *IF ONE OPTION INCLUDES QUALIFIERS SUCH AS ALWAYS, NEVER, ALL, EVERY,
    NONE AND MUST ALWAYS TEND TO RENDER AND STATEMENT FALSE.
    *UNUSUAL OR HIGHLY TECHNICAL LANGUAGE USUALLY INDICATE THE OPTION IS
    INCORRECT.
    *REMEMBER THAT LENGTHY QUESTIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS THE MOST DIFFICULT
    *ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS AS IF THE SITUATION WERE IDEAL AND RHE NUIRSE
    HAD ALL THE TIME AND RESOURCES NEEDED.
    *REMEMBER THE ONLY CLIENT YOU NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT IS THE ONE
    IN THE QUESTION YOU ARE AWNSERING
    *PACE YOURSELF AND CONCENTRATE AND FOCUS ON ONE ITEM AND A TME
    *DO NOT BECOME FRUSTRATED
    *BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF:
    OPTIMISM!
    BELEIF!
    CONFIDENCE!
    CONTROL!
    SUCCESS!
  13. by   Fiona59
    Beg to differ. We were trained to wash our hands upon entering the room and before gloving...
  14. by   wannabemw
    Quote from Maria22
    I'm having a tough time and its just 4 weeks into my first semester of Nursing school. I'm still not catching on to the way my professors structure the questions on our exams I'm quite certain its the NCLEX style critical thinking questions. Although I have improved on the NCLEX style questions I'm still finding it hard to pass.Some of the changes that I made to my study pattern is that I bought a NCLEX study guide which I review before my exam, joined a serious friend to study and extended my study hours. I am very discouraged but I have worked too hard to get this far and just don't feel like quitting or dropping from any class. Pls help I need some words of encouragement to move forward.
    HAVE U THOUGHT ABOUT GETTING A WORD-ACTIVATED PROGRAM? I got "ViaVoice" by IBM and LOVE it! It enables me to copy my notes to computer, and then I print them out on note cards to carry and review at anytime. I have soft colors (white is offensive) and I punch holes in the corner and clip the cards together w/a ring holder (any office supply house). The program runs about $50. and comes w/headset. It is the least expensive of the market. Another voice-activated program = Dragon. I am not familar w/any others. Give it a try, it will save u boatloads of time and give u another way to review. BTW: I carry my note cards EVERYWHERE!
    Good Luck! U can do this!
    ~MJ

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