General things you want your students to know before hand

  1. So I will be starting school in the fall (yayayayaya!) and I'm just trying to prep and get everything in advance. I want to do well in this so I can get my NP some day.
    What are some things out there that would be beneficial to know/ do before hand.
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    About Dezy

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 136; Likes: 82
    fitness coach ymca; from CA


  3. by   BostonFNP
    Congrats and good luck in your first semester.

    Buying a fundamentals textbook and getting starting with reading isn't a bad idea. Having a firm foundation in fundamentals is good for both your academic and clinical components as you move along.
  4. by   NCRNMDM
    I understand your eagerness, and I appreciate that because I was the same way, but let me give you a warning statement. When first semester starts, it will be an onslaught of information, dates, schedules, and times. You will feel overwhelmed, overloaded, and stressed. When the semester begins, you will learn everything you need to know. Get your books ahead of time, but don't start reading. Without some explanation and context, none of the information will mean anything to you.

    I'm about to start third semester (2 semesters, and 11 months left until graduation) and I am burnt out on nursing school. I love nursing, and I am passionate about the work I will be doing as an RN, but I am tired of school. I'm sick of studying, reading, writing papers, taking tests, stressing, and feeling totally overwhelmed and clueless. I make As, and I study enough to maintain good grades, but I don't study more than necessary. I am a good student, but I am tired of nursing school.

    Take your time, pace yourself, and don't jump into it all at once. You will burn out on nursing school as it is, but if you start making nursing school your whole life before you even start, you will burn out even more rapidly. My advice for what to do beforehand is this: rest (you will be chronically sleep-deprived during nursing school), de-stress (you will be stressed all the time), get your supplies, including books (get them, don't start reading unless you were instructed to do so by your professors), and enjoy your freedom while it lasts.

    Also, congratulations and good luck!
  5. by   IndyElmer
    Have you already had orientation for your program?

    At our orientation, we learned that they recommend that (1) we learn some medical terminology / medical abbreviations (suggesting a specific book). (2) We do some dosage calculation math (suggesting a specific book AND telling us that there will be a test the first day). (3) Read the first 12 chapters of the PE/Assessment text that we've been assigned.

    In addition to that, I've started learning some common lab values (what makes up a CBC? What are the normal ranges? what's in a CMP? What are the normal ranges?) In some of my pre-reqs, they seemed to assume that we knew the normal ranges, so I'm not sure if I'm behind or ahead on this one! (I used the Saunders NCLEX study guide, RNotes pocket guide and some free, user-created flashcards over at to get me started on this. I know that the values can vary a bit from lab to lab and some instructors may want you to know a very specific "right" number, but I figure I'll at least have an anchor-point for next semester.)

    Maybe check out the nursing section at your local Barnes & Noble just to get a feel for some of the supplemental books and pocket guides that are out there (but wait until the program starts or until you talk to some people ahead of you so you'll know which ones are worth buying vs. borrowing/using at the library/skimming at B&N while you have a coffee fueled study session in their cafe). At my B&N, the nursing section was a mess. Overall books didn't seem to be grouped by topic OR by author so I had to look around to find some of the series that I've heard might be useful. Some of the ones that I thought looked interesting were the Pearson (formerly Prentice Hall) Reviews & Rationales series and the Davis Success series. I also thought the Davis "Notes" pocket guide series looked potentially useful, but I'm waiting until school starts.

    The one book that I did already buy (because it seems like everyone recommended it -- and I liked it compared to others that I saw at B&N) was the Saunders NCLEX study guide. If you do pop in to B&N, you might like to LOOK at Saunders Student Nurse Planner to see if it's something that would interest you. I wouldn't rave about it, but I've enjoyed looking through the used copy that was "gifted" from someone ahead of me.
  6. by   Dezy
    someone suggested to me i start going over my anatomy and physiology now. I have a book and I have been doing some review. My first term i will be taking both of these and nursing context A and A1...
  7. by   IndyElmer
    So you haven't taken A&P yet?
  8. by   Dezy
    Nopers. Nothing yet, however I've had my personal trainers/ group exercise for almost 3 years now which includes a and p but of course it's not as indepth as what I'll be learning. We covered all the major bones and muscles.
  9. by   IndyElmer
    All the schools that I was applying to required A&P before you could start the nursing school program. Some med-term might help you, but you're probably on the right track reviewing any anatomy (or physiology) that you've forgotten. If you're weak on math, you might want to check out some drug calculation books/sites so you can get your math up to speed.

    A lot of drug dosage calculation books have nice reviews of the basic math foundation skills that you must have. There wasn't a lot of math in my physio course, but there was some and if you had good math skills, the questions were 'free' points. And of course, eventually you'll need to be able to do drug calculations (but not right away, so it might not be the best use of your time to learn the more complicated stuff over the summer).
    Last edit by IndyElmer on May 11, '12 : Reason: Added details
  10. by   freeornearly
    I'd encourage you to remember to take care of yourself, your relationships, and your social life. You'll be stressed, but don't let that affect the people that you love the most. Exercise. Go out for dinner. Take a break!
  11. by   KB1975
    I am also slightly bored right now. I am so used to studying for classes, that I am now lost with too much free time on my hands. I have completed all of my required classes, A & P I and II, Micro, Chem I, Chem II, you name it I have taken it! This summer I want to review and study prior to entering clinical classes at Pace. I am currently studying Calculate with Confidence. Does anyone have any recommendations for what I can be studying? Thank you.
  12. by   IndyElmer
    KB1975 - do you want suggestions other than the ones that are already in the earlier portion of this thread?

    Although many of the earlier posters suggested doing drug dose caculations as you are, there were other suggestions such as learning lab values, medical abbreviations, medical terminology, fluid & electrolytes. Perhaps read through the earlier posts and try some of those ideas.
  13. by   IndyElmer
    This relatively recent thread also has quite a few suggestions -

    Experienced Student Nurses...advice?
  14. by   KB1975
    Thank you! I will try those too. I still have to take my calculations test on June 25th for clinical. I am brushing up on simple math (fractions, decimals, percentages, etc).