How to not fail nursing school - page 3

Everyone talks about how many nursing students failed out of the program. How do you avoid these mistakes these people made. How do you stay focused and do well in nursing school? Especially with... Read More

  1. by   lizzyberry
    Quote from midcom
    Take nursing school seriously. If you have a class scheduled, be there and be there on time. Most programs have participation points built into their grading system. It's an easy way to get points & when often the difference between passing or failing is just a portion of a percent, evey point is important. We had 6 students join our group after our first term. They had failed their 2nd term & were repeating it. Every one of them come in late, often missed class, & passed notes & chattered in the back of the room during lecture. Two of them still didn't pass the second time around because they didn't change their habits and several more from my original group, didn't make it through to third term either.

    Sit toward the front of the room. I never sit behind someone. I miss out on some of the "fun" but I don't miss what the teacher says & I can see & read the board. I am not distracted by people whispering or losing my concentration when something happens in front of me. Not only that, the teacher knows I am there, am interested & is much more willing to help me if I need her assistance. By the way, my class has 3 students who made the "high honors" list. We all sit in the front row.

    I've read many times here that some students feel you don't need to read the textbook, that the guides or powerpoints tell what the teacher feels is important & that's what they concentrate on. That may work in some programs but certainly not all. I usually read my text with my study guide beside me. I add additional comments to it that I feel is important. Then in class, I add additional notes from the lecture. Finally, after the lecture, I pull out my laptop & bring up that study guide & put all my notes into it, a very good way of reviewing what I just learned and when I need it to study for the quiz or later for finals, I can actually read what I added & don't have to try to decipher some scribbles.

    Realize that even as hard as you study, you may not know or have studied some of the stuff the teacher puts on the test. You're going to miss some questions. So, when you are given assignments, make sure you do it all exactly as the teacher wants. You have control over those points & if done correctly can get 100%. If you have a paper that requires APA format, make sure it is all correctly formatted, make sure your sources are right, make sure you have enough resources & the right kind, and give credit to those sources. Most teachers provide a rubric that states exactly what you need to do to get a good score & how deviations from that will change your score. Last term I had 3 huge projects. I did what I am advising you & only lost 1 point total. The teacher told us that it was the first time she gave a 100% on one of the projects & made everyone look at it to see what she was looking for. She kept all three projects to use for examples for future classes and my poster is on display in some pediatrician's office in the area. The points I got from those projects made the difference between an A & an A-. Heck, in pharm, it saved me from a B. The grade in my case isn't important, but for some of my classmates, it could have been the difference between passing & failing the class.

    Finally, if you have a clinical scheduled, be there! In our program they tell us that you can miss one clinical & still pass but there is no way to miss more & pass. What they didn't mention was that your daily scores better be really high if you plan to still pass it with one absence. If your work isn't up to par one day, that may make the difference between failing & passing & in my program, if you fail clinical, you repeat clinical, lab, & class.

    Good luck. I suspect that if you take even just a portion of the suggestions you get, you'll do fine.
    I dont understand how there are students who dont care while they are in the program. It is so hard to get in the program and so many students that get denied. I would think students would want to learn and not goof off in nursing school because it is so hard to get in.
  2. by   Annabelle57
    My humble two cents:

    --Be there at every class, every clinical. Even though most all of our classes don't directly penalize for missing classes, the results are always reflected in the exam grades. I myself do better on exams when I have not missed a class.

    --Get a voice recorder and - with permission, of course - record your lectures. Listen to them again. I am always amazed at the test questions I "hear" when I listen to the lecture for the second time (first hearing was in the actual class).

    --Sit at the front of the class. It helps if you are dealing with chatty classmates, soft-spoken professors, or are just generally easily distractable (like me!).

    --Do your own work. Using someone else's study guide/notes might help, but doing the study guide (or retyping the notes) yourself really drives the material home, and it's worth the extra time to do it.

    --Get a good study group! This has been the best help of all for me - pick serious students who are doing well in the class.

    --Don't be afraid to ask for help early on. The study group can help with this, but even if you start out a class on a low grade and don't feel you are "getting" the material, seek out the help of your professor and/or classmates. There's no shame in it, and it can only benefit you.

    --Good family and friend support is vital here, especially if you have children. Let other people know what you need, whether it's some quiet time to study or someone else to do the dishes/laundry/errands or whatever.

    Honestly, the way I've seen most people fail our program are those who are just not serious about their studies - skipping classes, poor study habits, etc. - and not because family issues get in the way. We have some amazing parents in our program, juggling school with raising kids and doing very well all around, so it can certainly be done! Good luck!
  3. by   Scrubz
    Good study habits, and manage your time. Just google it and you should find some good info.

    Good study habits especially. Study a little every day rather than cramming for a test.
  4. by   kukukajoo
    Another one- If you have permission- tape the lectures as above. You can even add your own things at the end. Then play this when you are cooking dinner and sleeping. I know- it sounds corny, but you will hardly notice it but will be absorbing the information!! I swear it helps and has been proven to help!
  5. by   lizzyberry
    Quote from kukukajoo
    Another one- If you have permission- tape the lectures as above. You can even add your own things at the end. Then play this when you are cooking dinner and sleeping. I know- it sounds corny, but you will hardly notice it but will be absorbing the information!! I swear it helps and has been proven to help!
    It doesnt sound corny that is a really good idea. You can get stuff done while studying thats great advice.
  6. by   jemommyRN
    You have received some excellent tips. I would follow each of them because they all help with success in nursing school.
  7. by   kukukajoo
    Quote from lizzyette
    It doesnt sound corny that is a really good idea. You can get stuff done while studying thats great advice.

    If anyone doubts that it works- try to count the number of songs you don't even like but know almost by heart because you have heard them so much!!

    <---------- humming "It's hip to be square"
  8. by   crazirn
    I agree with everybody else, you need to stay focused. House work is the last on the list. I was an LPN and went back to school after 18 years, I was still raising 5 children and a husband (very supportive). I used to lock myself in my bedroom, snuck a little nap in and studied. I used to use the NCLEX books to study for test. I also prayed and cried alot. But I did and you can too, hang in there.
    I also think back to somebody asking me what I was doing and told them that I was going to school, but at that time had no idea of when I was graduating. Their statement to me was "At least you are doing something". For some reason that always stuck with me. Good Luck
  9. by   romerog
    Real hardwork like familiarization with the weeks topic within that same week with the use of the above tips and seal the goal with a prayer. Pray as if everything depends on God and work as if everything depends on you.
    This is a lesson I have learned this past semester. After studying so hard for the finals, I prayed and posted big signs on all sides of my bedroom which said"God is watching and guiding. You can do it. Make it this test".
    I got my miracle despite seeming impossibility.
  10. by   RNStudent123
    Get a group of people to study with and discuss the concepts instead of memorizing facts. I have a study group that has a different range of strengths, so we all bring something different to the table. We all do well on exams because we spend alot of time together helping each other out. The best part is that we all have great chemistry and spend half the time laughing our butts off which reduces stress. I can't remember how many times I got an aswer right because the question on an exam had to do with a topic we laughed about during study group. (We found a way to laugh about everything!)
  11. by   Cherish
    I know I'm not in nursing school yet but I have found that re-doing my notes and looking up information from the textbook right after class helps me to retain better information.

    I also read an hour before bedtime the same notes I re-did or read a chapter in the textbook. I usually dream about what I just read, so its great to do this 3-4 days before a big exam. If you can listen to your taped lectures before bed or while you asleep it helps too. Sometimes I fall asleep to my professors voice but I understand the information. I guess its like subliminal messages LOL.

    If you can get a recorder (must be digital) that you can pause and add your own interpretation of the lecture that would be best. I have a digital recorder that can record a lecture and allows you to edit the lecture and add your POV on the subject without messing up the recorded lecture. It's the best thing ever! Then I load it to my computer and burn it on a cd to play in my truck. I can't use the audio jack since my IPOD is plugged into that jack, but if you have that jack available you can play the lecture thru your radio.
    Last edit by Cherish on May 16, '07
  12. by   kellyskitties
    At home fix yourself a study area - and a set study nobody allowed to talk to me time every day. Study more than that, but that will be your sacred time. I used to sit in my back yard at a nice little picnic table on a pretty day and study. I loved it. I got a lot done at that little table, except when my neighbor came outside "hey, you studying hard... haha..." Well, no, I was just sitting here working on my tan. Waddutink?

    Plan down time so your relatives will remember who you are. You will also feel more energized afterwards.

    3x5 index cards - buy a case now. Carry them in your pockets with stuff on them you are struggling with. 10 mins in bank drive thru - memorized a couple drugs. 20 mins wait at dr ofc - memorized standard lab normals... Use the time you get.

    Before you start think about why you want to go. Repeat that as a mantra every morning and everytime you are discouraged or don't want to study.

    If you can't bear to study - set a timer for 15 mins and clean something until it buzzes. THEN get your butt back in there and study.
  13. by   kellyskitties
    Sorry to double post - but find out what your learning type is. Visual, physical etc. Use that knowledge to plan how you study.