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New Nursing Student(Not getting the concept of it)

alayzhial alayzhial (New) New

Hey Everyone, I have just started the LPN Program and I took my first quiz today and I recieved a 60%. I feel so defeated and I feel like I have failed myself. I really dont know how to study, I try to read the whole chapter, which now I have come to understand that I can not do this method. If i just focus on the objective and the key terms I feel like I havent learned enough. Please help me I am in desperate need. I feel like a failure and I'm completely lost on what should I do now. Any adivce? I dont want to drop out the class but the way this is going I feel as though I should.😩😤


Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

Don't beat yourself up. Nursing school is hard and the tests are like no other. You may know the content just fine, but need to learn how to take the test. I would assume your instructor is using NCLEX style questions to prepare you for NCLEX-PN when you finish. The questions can sometimes seem like they are asking you something you havent learned, or didnt study for, when in fact they are not. You have to learn how to read what the question is really asking and eliminate the distractors. If it truly is content study, then you just need to learn how to focus your reading. Now that you have taken the first test, do you feel like the test was mainly stuff from lecture, or was it from every page assigned for reading? If the former, then don't read until after lecture. After lecture, go home and review the lecture, and then just read the parts about what you dont understand from lecture, or would like to expand on. If your tests are from all over, then focus your reading by reading the first and sentence of every paragraph. This will give you a sense of what that paragraph is about. Then read all the bolded/key terms. Review all charts and pictures since those will be brief overviews of the preceding paragraphs, and then read the chapter reviews at the end. This still takes time, but only about half as much time as reading everything. Lastly, get an NCLEX-PN review book with questions. A good one will have a review chapter followed by NCLEX style questions with rationales that all relate to that chapter. You can use this to do quick reviews of content before a test, and practice testing with those questions.

Don't give up just yet and don't feel too down. For many, the first test or two is a doozy while you get used to things. You can also make an appt with your instructor to tyr and see where you went wrong. GL

Thank you so much. I know i shouldn't beat myself up but i feel as though this is getting the best of me. I have tough skin and I have dealt with alot, but I didn't know nursing school was THIS hard. Your advice was very helpful. Thank you.


Specializes in hospice.

It's your first quiz. Learn from it, and do better on the next one. You've already figured out that reading the chapter won't do it for you. Awesome! You're learning.

DO you have someone(s) to study with? That can be very helpful. And there is no shame in going to your instructor and asking to go over the material that you missed on the test (if they are willing.)

Thank you, yes I have learn early on what not do. Only problem is I have another quiz tomorrow in Anatomy and Physiology and now I have anxiety on taking it. Whenever I. Fail at something I get afraid, because. I always tell myself what if I fail again?


Specializes in None yet..

Proceed directly to your instructor's office. Sit down, ask for help. S/he'll help you and/or refer you to sources where you can get help.

In my program, the tests/quizzes are almost completely off the lecture/slide shows. I always make sure to make notecards based on the chapter objectives, and any key points during lecture as well. My instructors are really awesome and will often say, "I would write this down, but that's just me!" as a hint that it will be on our quiz/test.

I find that reading the chapters can be really overwhelming for me, so first I take all my notes, pay attention during lecture, and skim over the chapter IF I don't feel like I'm confident that I'll pass the quiz. Different methods work for different people, though. You have to find what works for you! :)

Our books are Evolve/Elsevier and they actually allow us to create an account on the website and register our books so we can take practice chapter exams and things like that. It's a great tool! Check if your books have something like that. :)

Good luck!

Don't try to memorize everything, just try to understand the concept of it :)

Seems to me that your biggest problem is yourself. Maybe if you learn some different exercises then it can boost your learning ability. For one you need to keep a POSITIVE mindset. Do not beat yourself up or say to yourself ,"but what if I fail the next time?" Don't you see how you're already doubting yourself before the test is even given, or even before you tried a different approach to your studying. You have to have confidence in yourself FIRST and foremost! Trust me not everyone has passed EVERY single test the first time into a new program. Sometimes it takes a test or two in order for them to find their most effective learning style. For two you need to BREATHE ! Try some breathing exercises BEFORE and after studying. It works for me!! Just sit there and breathe in and out 5 or more times. RELAX your brain. ALSO do this before it's testing time. FULLY relax your mind and body. For three SEEK help from instructors. Ask them what are some ways to retain information. Also what are some different learning styles that you can probably apply for yourself. Utilize your fellow classmates as well. I personally do not like study groups. I never seem to learn anything from them BUT you may find them helpful. Maybe I've just studied with the wrong people. Idk. But find a way that can help you retain the information. It is almost impossible to remember the entire chapter worth of info in a short amount of time so don't get too emotional when you can't get all of the info into your brain. ALSO repetition can help as well. So try it out. Most of all giving up will do nothing but set you back another year or so. Go in there.. STAY POSITIVE within yourself and reassure to yourself that you will overcome all obstacles! You aren't the first or the last person who has had or will have some difficulty but its about overcoming those obstacles and becoming the best nurse that you can ever be!! If school difficulties overpower you then maybe this isn't the field for you because I'm not a nurse yet but I can assure you that life difficulties take a lot of will to overcome ! You can do it !!!! Good luck to you, myself, and everyone who is trying to get somewhere in their lifetime !! :)

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auto correct is horrible on my phone

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

Honestly, I wish their was a lecture notetaking prerequisite where they would teach concept learning tips and how a nurse student should takes notes because nursing is about understanding the CONCEPT, classification, structure and function.

CONCEPT LEARNING STRATEGIES: look into concept mastery routine, team work strategies, clarifying routines, visual imagery,

MEMORY TIPS : visual anaolgies relate it to something you arleady know...mneomics..but really self-test/quizzes similiar to questions on the exam...

ex. the flow of blood is like the flow of syrup to a pancake....etc....a corny sample but you get me. :)

you already took your first test...now its your job to learn the exam model and study guide model....most test ask the common key terms : explain, identify, describe, define, etc)

Try to read ahead of lecture...weekends is reading ahead. make a study planner

1. Record lectures -burn to CD and listen in car while you clean up. you can also record yourself asking self questions (pause) for you to answer it back.

2. Take pictures of models in lab -Burn to CD, print and label practice exercise

3. Take CONDENSE NOTES How? By FIRST becoming an expert at taking LECTURE NOTES

4. Take LECTURE NOTES: (cornell note style) (THESIS/MAIN IDEA/THEME, CONCLUSION/SUMMARY) always ask yourself why is this subject relevant?

this is where it takes practice picking out the keyterms and concepts in the lecture. ex( xxxx is a form of yyyy and what it does is xxyy. it relates to ppppp and create zzzz. Its relevant because yuyuh)

5. Create self-tests/quizzes writing great clicker questions

6. Get a white board and TEACH or ACT LIKE YOU ARE TALKING TO A PATIENT (example Ms. Jones you have gastroxxx *stomach* (definition) what that means Ms jones is gastric juice (concept) ,, etc.

7. form a study weekly /daily study group

take with you everywhere you go -flashcards (must be concept flashcards) if you are into flashcards

sometimes the exams are based of lecture THATS WHY LEARNING HOW TO TAKE LECTURE NOTES ARE IMPORTANT

talk to your professor and show your notes to your instructuor. ask if you have captured the major points. Listen to his/her advice.

i will be staring A&p fast track courses week and have been preparing for over a week on how to study smart in short amount of time. hopefully everything goes as plan :) Wish you the best

P.S. Let me know if you need lecture note samples, clicker question samples. I can PM it to you.

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added more info

This was really helpful for me Thank you!!!!

I hope you keep pushing forward and don't give up!

Ah I remember failing my first test in nursing school. I cried like a baby bc I wanted to start the beginning of nursing school with good grades. I wanted to quit and drop out, but luckily my bf was there to give me a slap of reality.

So let me tell you how I study and got through nursing school. I listened carefully to lectures and power points. I take good notes. I write notes on my book instead of papers bc I always misplaced it or don't even bother looking at it. I read the chapter carefully and highlight what I think is important. When you read, please try to understand everything. If not, then do some research or ask the teacher.

I also do flash cards and study them.

I do group studies after class. We would ask each other questions and answered them. On the day of the test I would come to school an hour early and do some review. And that's how I became one of the top students in my class.

You got this! The day that you can call yourself a nurse is near!