Survival guide (study tips, hints and any other advice) - page 2

I have noticed that there are many students on this board who are about to get ready to start the first semester of nursing school come January. So I thought maybe it would be a nice idea for those... Read More

  1. by   fragino
    I also vote for taping the lecture, listen to it while going over the notes I took during class ,and making flashcards out of my notes. It's a lot of work and sometimes I don't even have time to go through the flashcards I wrote (even in electronic format), but the process of breaking down down the lecture in question and answer format helps me to cut the information down into bite size pieces. It also forces me to organize the information. Since I started doing that it has helped me out a great deal not only in understanding the information but in remembering it also. I only wished I had known to start doing it from the very beginning.
  2. by   APBT mom
    I try to read the chapter before hand and answer the questions at the end of it. If I get one wrong I go back and read that section. Our instructors give us a LAP (study guide) if you also recieve one I recommend answering the questions. Make sure you're organized, I have a calendar that I printed up and I can write everything on it for the month so I know what I need to do for what class.

    Study groups are very helpful IMO because someone might be able to explain something that helps you remember. Just make sure that you trust the people in your study group. There is a woman in my class that was giving her's the wrong answers so she could have the better grade and then belittled them for getting answers wrong. And make sure your groupd isn't one sided. The group I was in two of us would answer everyone's questions/problems that they were having learning something and them we never got to study because we turned into the teachers.

    Most definately have a day to yourself to do absolutely nothing if you want. Nursing school is hard and stress will just make it worse so having one day will help relieve that pressure.
  3. by   wannabenursetx
    I agree with NurzofFaith...I just had orientation yesterday and one of the main things the nursing director stressed to us is...some of us who were used to making A's and B's all thru our pre-reqs might be disappointed to find out nursing school is TOTALLY different...learning to critically think is going to be a whole new ballgame (at least for me!) because on a nursing exam, all of the answers might be correct, but you have to decide which answer is MOST correct. This is totally different than what we've been used to in our prereqs, you know?? She said that making a C in nursing school does not mean you won't be a good nurse...she recommended a book called Test Success...Strategies for Nursing Students...she suggested we read it before we even take our first exam, especially for those who suffer from test anxiety (me!!)

    Good luck to all of us...I really appreciate the students that are already in the program taking the time to post these tips...this is a great thread! Keep it going!!!:spin:
  4. by   lizmatt
    I finally found the study method that works best for me (at the end of my 3rd semester grrrr...) but I had a hard time with the other methods - what works for me is making power point presentations of the material for the test, and pretend that I have to present the material to people. This helps me by retyping the notes and making me process the information to prepare to present. I also have made a couple of posters for more difficult concepts. This method has worked very well for me compared to everything else I have tried.
  5. by   Natkat
    I take notes as I read from the text. For some reason, the act of writing something down makes me remember it, even if I never look at it again.

    I have always said I don't like study groups. Well, some classmates asked me to join a study group, and I was so touched that I went.

    BIG MISTAKE! They goofed off FOR HOURS! I suggested that when we review the material that we first look at what the most important thing to know is, the second most important thing, and so on, until we cover everything. But no. Their idea was to review the powerpoint page by page all the way through. The powerpoint was 80 pages long. After six hours we were on page 3.

    Never again.
  6. by   bookworm1
    I actually "host" study groups. My notes are organized to a "T" and neatly typed. I leave spaces to add in handwritten info when needed. Then I find a few people that learn by hearing the material, invite them along and teach them! This helps me because I learn by teaching someone else and they get the benefit of hearing the information. I also prefer another "teacher" be present so that we can compare notes. Most people I have worked with have greatly benefited from this.

    btw: I just 'un-invite' people that aren't serious about studying. My time is too precious for small talk at this point. Everyone knows my goals before they come. Sometimes they just admit they won't be able to focus very well and don't waste anyone's time!
  7. by   Alternator81
    1) Unless it's Pharm, don't bother with note cards. Questions are aimed at critical thinking, not information recall. (some may disagree)
    2) After taking notes for a lecture, reread the notes you wrote that day when you get home. It makes it stick!
    3) Don't read your Fundamentals book like a novel. Learn to read through and focus on important stuff.
    4) If an answers to a question has "always" or "never" in them, they usually are not right.
    5) NCLEX styled questions always seem to be a bit vague, just don't read too deeply into test questions. That is the biggest problem for everyone in my class.
    6) Start looking at NCLEX questions to get a feel for what they are like
    7) Always, and I mean ALWAYS, be on time, especially to clinical.
    8) Organization is a must. There is nothing worse than a lost name tag @ 6am when you are headed to clinicals.
    9) If you don't do well on a test or have other problems, you do not have time to stop and get depressed or psyched-out. Let it go and move forward!
    10) Remember that there are a lot of nurses out there, and everyone of them finished nursing school, which means that it is possible and that you will do it!
  8. by   Natkat
    Quote from Alternator81
    9) If you don't do well on a test or have other problems, you do not have time to stop and get depressed or psyched-out. Let it go and move forward!
    That is probably the best single bit of advice I would give anyone. The longer and harder you argue the answer you picked versus their answer, the deeper into a hole you will sink.

    Best to get on board with their way of thinking as quickly as you can. You have more important things to spend your time and energy on.
  9. by   beachbum3
    Going into my last semester....

    Stay on top of things. Get your care plans done right away, get your return demos done as early as possible. Do all assignments as you get them, you'd be amazed at how much hits you toward the end of the semester- when everything is due and then finals on top of it. There is so much material covered, you can't afford to get behind.

    As far as studying- everyone needs to find their own way. I see alot of people who delve WAY too deeply into subjects for me. It works for them, but I prefer to learn what we are taught- trying to figure out more than what we are supposed to tends to just confuse me. Don't read more into things than what there is, especially with test questions. Reading endless chapters is a useless task for me. I don't absorb it that way. I've never once read the entire chapters for the material we were covering. You will figure out where the focus is.. in our program its usually several things: What it is, What it looks like, What you do about it. I seek out those key things from my book, focus on the charts and tables, and I've been fine all the way through. I learn by talking and hearing and doing. Not by reading, so I try to find tasks that have me doing those things. Usually study groups, case studies, and q&a type things. Also for pharm, writing things really helped.
  10. by   fragino
    After going through one semester and halfway through last semester, I finally listened to the instructors and started doing NCLEX review type questions. Everything finally clicked and I'm doing so much better.

    Reading the book, it's just a mass of information that seems to get meaningless after awhile. The NCLEX type questions give you scenarios, make the information easier to grasp and remember.

    The important thing when doing the questions is that to not just see if you got it right but read the rationale and understand WHY the right answer is correct and sometimes why the other answers are not.

    I am now the proud owner of two electronic versions that are on my laptop and PDA so that I can study anywhere and anytime I have some free time, like standing in line at Walmart. And three other ones in book form. After awhile some of them start to get to look familiar. I must go through at least a couple of hundred and usually a lot more for each section that we go through each week. My highlight was my Psych rotation which I though that I would really do poorly in. I ended up in the 99th percentile in the final ATI test for the subject.

    So...I'm sold and should have listened the first time. I tell everyone I know now, that if you want to really do well and not just pass, then it's NCLEX, NCLEX, NCLEX type questions.
  11. by   MB37
    NURSING INTERVENTIONS - it's not what you know about the drug or the disease, it's about what you as a nurse can do about it. You also have to know the major physician-directed interventions, since those tend to be on every exam as well ("Pt has X and has exhibited Y, Z, and Q. You would expect that the physician would order..."). Get a book about NCLEX test-taking strategies and read it before school starts - I have two, and definitely recommend Kaplan over Saunders.
  12. by   KrysyRN
    Be kind and respectful to everyone in your class.