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I don't know where to begin.

I finished my first week of school last week. We had a medical terminology test and I felt like I did very well. This week we are doing vital signs in the skills lab and I feel pretty confident about that. The problem is the Unit Exam/Lecture Exam. This isn't like any other class I've had where you would get a study guide I only have the listing objectives for each unit. I'm having a hard time getting started. Our first exam is two weeks away and I really want to be prepared but I just don't know how to study for this thing. Any suggestions?:uhoh21:


Specializes in NICU- now learning OR!.

Just starting Nursing school can be a very difficult time. One of my instructors explained that she did not give out "study guides" and/or questions to study for the test because you should know all of it. If you didn't...she said she didn't want to be the patient that you were taking care of who tells her..."Uh, that wasn't on my test in school..." LOL!

I made it through nursing school by taping my lectures with a digital recorder. It cost around $100 or so, but was well worth it! I would lock myself in a quiet space and replay the lecture as many times as it took (sometimes every single day for a week or more) until I felt comfortable with the material. It got to be where some lectures were memorized and when the test came along....piece of cake...I would be the first one done.

Review your notes that you took during the lecture, read all the recommended chapters, and review the objectives well.

Good luck!


I just finished nursing school in May. (took my nclex today). I would make my own study guides by using the objectives. I learn better by things listed or bullets of facts (that's just for me). I would type up my own and learn it first. Then I would go to the book and read the material. And every teacher test differently. So, the first test will help guide you on how to prepare for each instructor. Hope this helps.

Before I started school I was going to buy a digital recorder, but they are not allowed in my program:nono: . I take good notes and I've been reading over the powerpoints along with the objectives...I was really banking on that recorder though.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

fathernurse. . .in my adn program 30 years ago we had no lectures--only notebooks we got each semester with modules containing lists of objectives and some guidance as to how to find the answers to those objectives. what we all ended up doing was treating each objective as if it was an important essay question. although you won't be able to answer each one of these questions, good ones to start out asking are: who, what, where, when and why?

look at each objective. what is the main point(s) being asked about. then, pull out your nursing textbooks and start by looking in back of the books in the index for those terms as a starting point. for vital signs, start by reviewing physiology. what is a pulse? what constitutes a pulse? (this can be found in an a&p book, so i hope you kept yours.) where are the pulse points? if you look a little closer at your anatomy book there will be one or two lines that you might have ignored that will address this. you will now be taking that information and applying it clinically. if you have a nursing fundamentals book some of that information will be there as well. do you have videos or other instructional materials at your nursing lab or put aside for nursing students at your school library? you should be reviewing those because many of the answers will be there as well. you should also becoming familiar with the library's reference section and the nursing index of periodical literature. there will be one or two nursing journal articles in the past that explain what blood pressure is. then, write, write, write all of this information you are gathering from these sources on pages that you put into a notebook next to these objective so you don't lose them.

i recommend that you consult with one of your nursing instructors for help and guidance with this as well. many programs take the viewpoint that nursing students are college students who are expected to think critically. some expect their students to be able to plan their learning activities as i describe above. they may let you ask questions about guidance, but may not tell you the answers outright, only giving you advice on where to look for the answers. i guarantee that learning this way makes you more independent and much more knowledgeable. it also helps to discuss these things with other students and compare notes.

the answers are not going to be in front of you all the time. you are going to have to dig for them. this is how you are going to develop thinking skills you will need throughout your career in nursing.

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