Newbie Needs Help!


I'm a first semester nursing student and just started nursing school one and a half month ago (including winter session). I got only B's in my courses for the winter.

Today I just took my pharm and fundamental first tests and I felt that I did badly. I really need some advice on:

1) how to study / prepare notes for pharm and fundamental

2) how to tackle questions on both subjects, especially the critical thinking sections

3) how to prepare for clinical next Monday!!!

Please help!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

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

there are many, many threads in this forum and the general nursing student discussion forum on this very concern. you might want to go back through these threads to read what is on them. most students recommend getting a nclex review book to help with determining and learning what the most important material is to focus on as well as to get assistance in how to answer the application type questions on nursing exams as they explain the rationale behind choosing the correct answers (as well as knowing the material). i've also given you links to two sites where a free nclex question of the week is posted. - study skills for the nursing student from daytona beach community college nursing department with some good advice. - test taking skills also from daytona beach community college nursing department. a couple of sample questions and how to choose the correct answer for these application type questions. - this is a website maintained by the nursing students at lane community college in eugene, oregon. for study and learning tips specific to nursing students click on "tips for learning" at the left side of this home page. - question of the week. every monday a question from the online nclex-rn examination course from ncsbn and it's answer is posted here on this page. - mosby's question of the week from mosby's comprehensive review of nursing. also has archived questions that you can access.


181 Posts

Thanks Daytonite, you're very helpful! I'm really stressed out because most of the questions are so critical thinking, and I'm so not used to that. I think I asked this question before but haven't got any answer back, but do you know what NCLEX review books that are more suitable for freshman like me?

thanks again.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

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

i have a copy of saunders comprehensive review for the nclex-rn examination, 3rd edition, by linda anne silvestri that i keep here at home for my own reference. i've seen a lot of students recommending it and the one by kaplan for studying for nursing school tests. saunders is a lovely book that very concisely lists out the major points you need to know about all kinds of diseases and nursing situations you can encounter and the nursing care as well as including nclex type questions and the strategy to employ in answering them. it also comes with a cd that has over 4000 nclex type questions on it. the book has 1200+ pages in it. you can look at the table of contents on the barnes and noble website as well as get a price on it. it runs about $40.

in answering application type questions on tests you need to always keep the steps of the nursing process in mind and where the situation you are presented in the question lies within the nursing process. you also need to know signs and symptoms of diseases and the way they proceed from simple to severe. add to that that you must also know the expected medical treatment that will be ordered. combine all that with what you know of the normal a&p and the pathophysiology. that's a lot to have to put together to answer a question, but this is what critical thinking involves. it seems difficult now, but working nurses make these kind of thinking decisions incorporating all that kind of data all the time during their work days.

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