Lake Sumter State College - Semester 2

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


Specializes in BSN, RN, CNOR.

For me, the hardest semester was numero dos. Not because of the clinicals, the check-offs, the projects, the papers, the 180 paged powerpoints...BUT because of the exams. In s2, you will learn HOW TO TAKE AN EXAM and you will learn how to study for it too. This is when you will learn what nursing school is all about, my friends. Let me tell you. Second semester, I cried. I did not eat, sleep, or drink hardly anything. I stopped going to the gym, which is also where I worked. I cut down the hours at my job (which is at the gym) to like 2 hours a week. Lost all my friends, did not see my family for 3 solid months. I completely lost it guys...I was not performing well in clinical either, as I was too stressed out about exams. What it all came down to was that I needed an 80.0% average for my exams (all 12 of them, 7 of them I failed). Well. I needed to make an A on the final HESI exam. Yes, a 90% is what I needed on a nursing exam. Unheard of, at this point. I had talked to my guidance counselor, and I spent many hours in her office [5 hours at once, one time], she made me hot tea, wrapped a blanket around me, and comforted me/dried my tears and helped me soldier through it. I would not have made it without her. That last HESI exam was it for me. So, turned out, I made what I needed to pass onto 3rd semester. A lot of folks were in the same boat i was, but we all found our way (most of us, but some unfortunately did not). I am not bashing the program at all, but take this as testimony.

You can fail 7 times and still make it. I made about 5 index cards full of prayers, intentions, and prophecied over the words I wrote daily. Put them on my bathroom mirror, on my computer, in the visor in my car. Somewhere, where i could read those prayers everyday. I stayed positive. I went to talk to my instructors. I communicated with my counselor (DAILY). I talked to my mentor. You will get through it.

When times get tough, and they will....keep running. When you feel like you're going to throw up from running so hard for so long, you throw your head to the side, do your business, but you don't stop till you reach the finish line. Do not drop out just because you have a low average and the drop date is approaching. STICK it till the very last dying second. Miracles can happen. They did for me, and a lot of others.

Now, down to actual business.

How to study med-surg. No simple answer. Find your own way, for went something like this formula: diseases-what is it, what's it mean, criteria for diagnosing it, nursing process it, tx modalities- cog, psychoanalytic, family, pharm, etc.

Some suggest making concept maps for each system you are going over. Some draw pictures. Some purchase Kaplan at this point. Do whatever works for you, there is no right/wrong way. Just make sure you are highlighting what is important, screw the powerpoints and the handouts if they are not helping you. At some point they became clutter in my mind. I had a whiteboard, a marker, and my textbook, and I would teach each ailment to my family over and over again until we all thought we had whatever the disease was.

This is a semester you won't be on the sidelines for. You will be in the trenches. Gear up, STAY organized. Do not give up the gym, your family, your evening walks or what have you. Communicate with your mentor, they have been through it and are there to help you. Talk to your teachers. Your student success coordinator. Your clinical instructor. You should have those cell phone numbers on speed dial.

When it comes to clinical, you will be going to the hospital. Remember all those basics from semester 1. Get yourself a clipboard you can store stuff inside (I will link below). Print out references and keep them with you. Get a pocket journal to write down stuff in. Besides, if you have that kind of clipboard you can put money inside of it so you can have enough to get a coffee or something to snack on in the cafeteria. Seize every opportunity. I feel like I missed out in clinical and spent more time on the computer documenting than interacting with the actual patient. I regret it now...

I am going to link below a few references I advise you watching no matter what semester you are in.

Abraham Verghese: A doctor's touch | TED Talk

Clipboard I referenced: : DISCOUNT Nursing Clipboard with Storage and Printed Reference: White Durable Medical Clipboard (Includes 2 Freebies: Nursing Brain Sheet and Physical Assessment Sheet) : Office Products (the exact one I have)

Good luck all. I believe in you. :)

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