Help with Fundamentals Class!

Nurses LPN/LVN


Specializes in LVN Student.

Hi! I'm currently in an LVN program, and am in the earlier part of my fundamentals of nursing course. I've already taken A&P1+2, Foundations of Nursing, and Nutrition, which I've scored 98+ final grades in. 

But now I'm in Fundamentals and I feel like I'm bombing it. I've gotten 90-92 on my chapter exams, which are 50% of our grade. Because of that my grade is sitting at a B, 90.10%. For my program we need 92+ in order to obtain letter grade A. 

What I'm currently doing to study is review the chapter in the textbook going off of the objectives for the chapter, and the blueprint my instructor gives us for exams. The blueprint essentially just lets us know what exactly to study thoroughly as it will be on the exam. I spend hours on this blueprint going back and forth between my textbook and the ATI books/modules. And despite studying the blueprint and objectives thoroughly I feel like I cannot pass the exams with an A. I don't struggle in skills lab, and I'm marking about 70s-high 80s on most of my ATI practice assessments before completing the lessons and taking the post test. 

I also have been using YouTube as a method of studying. Like watching NexusNursing (which I'm great at getting those questions answered correctly based off of what I study), and Level Up RN. 

My exams often feel like "gotcha" questions because two answers will technically be right, but of course it's the most correct one. Am I supposed to be studying more on priority nursing or something? I've also noticed that the questions are a mix between ATI style questions and NCLEX questions. All of this is throwing me for a loop. Flashcards, rewriting notes, even exam blueprints aren't helping me and I don't even know what to do anymore! I'm getting even more scared for clinicals because of this. Im afraid I won't make it. It's really starting to eat away at me... If you guys have any tips or suggestions please share them with me. I really appreciate it! 

Specializes in Critical Care, Procedural, Care Coordination, LNC.

First off, congratulations on your excellent performance in A&P1+2, Foundations of Nursing, and Nutrition! Scoring 98+ in those courses is a significant achievement and shows that you have a solid grasp of the foundational knowledge.

It sounds like you're feeling overwhelmed with your Fundamentals of Nursing course, but a 90-92 on your chapter exams is still impressive! Here are a few suggestions that might help you boost your grades and ease your anxiety:

  • Practice Critical Thinking: Since your exams feel like "gotcha" questions, focusing on critical thinking could be beneficial. Practice more NCLEX-style questions, as these often test critical thinking and prioritization.
  • Focus on Prioritization: Yes, studying more on priority nursing might help. Many nursing exam questions are about determining which patient to see first or which action to take first. Resources like Level Up RN and NexusNursing are great, but also consider looking for specific prioritization and delegation practice questions.
  • Break Down the Blueprints: While you're already spending hours on the blueprints, try breaking them down further. Create a more detailed study guide from the blueprints, highlighting key concepts and common themes.
  • Utilize Multiple Resources: Continue using YouTube for visual and auditory learning, but also consider additional resources like NCLEX prep books or apps that provide rationales for correct and incorrect answers. This can help you understand why an answer is "most correct."
  • Group Study: Sometimes discussing the material with peers can provide new insights. Study groups can help you see different perspectives on the same content.
  • Instructor Feedback: Don't hesitate to reach out to your instructor for additional guidance. They can provide insights into what specifically to focus on and may offer tips on how to tackle the exams.
  • Mindset and Self-care: Lastly, remember to take care of yourself. Anxiety can impact your performance, so ensure you're getting enough rest, eating well, and taking breaks during study sessions.

You're clearly dedicated and hardworking, and these efforts will pay off. Trust in your abilities and keep pushing forward. Clinicals are a different learning environment, and you'll have the chance to apply your knowledge practically, which many students find helps solidify their learning.

Keep up the great work, and don't hesitate to reach out for support when you need it. You've got this!

Best of luck!

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