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Please, anyone help! Pre-nursing student


Hi everyone,

I've posted in here before and I need anyone's help or advice. I'm begging PLEASE

I'm so discouraged. I am currently taking A&P along with pathogenic microbiology.

I've been crying multiple times every day on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I've allowed plenty of hours of study time that is not the problem. I don't understand anything. I go to lecture and I don't understand one thing. I look over my notes and don't understand a thing...

Also the professor is not the issue she is phenomenal in all other students opinion and she has fabulous reviews. It's a tough subject. I've spoken to my professor and she just asks me what don't you understand? I don't even know what to answer her because I don't understand any of it. I told her that and she looked at me puzzled. I've been constantly putting myself down in my head.

I've had such a passion for being a nurse and this realization that i am not grasping anything makes me think I'm not smart enough for this. It saddens me deeply that my passion is crushed by inability. I don't know what to do.

I don't even know where to go from here. If someone could please tell me anything, any bit of advice would be helpful. I'm so discouraged the thought of school makes my stomach hurt.

Thank you in advance

Are you having a problem visualizing? Does your school have a tutor center or an open lab? At least you can poke around at your leisure that way.

I teach people how to read, and most of the time when a student really doesn't get it, I'm not presenting it to them in their preferred learning method. I have to sometimes pull out pictures or an object so they understand. Maybe that's what's happening with you? These are two subjects where rote memorization isn't enough.

WookieeRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 4 years experience.

Have you looked into tutoring? It looks like you're not studying the right way for you.

take a deep breath....stressing over it makes it that much harder.....easier said than done...but for your own sanity and to make it easier to get on top of the problem you have to try.....I am a stresser when I feel like I am not getting something...I stress....get frustrated and that makes it so much harder to try to figure out....I've had to work REALLY hard to break that cycle.

NEXT: take some time to find the methods of studying that are effective for you.....for me...I have to write everything down. I read the chapters and take notes while I read. Then I take notes during lecture....then I reread the chapters and add to my first set of notes....it is very tedious....but it is the way I get it. I am very visual too....I printed out charts to label....put them in plastic sheet protectors and used a dry erase marker to label over and over and over.......Repetition is important for me too.

everyone learns differently....you have to find what works for you. Find a study group....(or start one with a few students in your class). Every science professor I have ever had says the students that participate in study groups have better grades.

Youtube was a great resource for me.....if I didn't understand something the way my professors explained it I looked up youtube videos until I found someone I could understand. If your school has a tutoring center take advantage of it.....

I guess what I am saying is take advantage of all of the resources available to you until you find what works for you....then STICK WITH IT.....stay ahead...if you get behind and are having to struggle to catch up you aren't going to absorb the material.....


Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 6 years experience.

Definitely try tutoring. Your tutor will have a different style that may be more helpful to you. Also try watching khan academy videos on things you don't understand. The videos are great because it is a guy who draws out organs, systems, and processes, while explaining what's going on in a pretty easy to understand manner. You might find that useful. I used khan academy a lot for pathophysiology and have started using it in nursing school to brush up on thing we talk about in lecture and various diseases.


Specializes in None yet..

I'm just repeating the excellent advice that's come before. It does seem that the issue might be finding your learning style. (Did you ever read the Winnie the Poo story about Tigger's first appearance in the Thousand Acre Woods where he's trying to find the right food for himself? Good lesson there; if you're a Tigger, don't keep trying to munch on honey.)

Spend some time up front to find your learning style. Also, I think any learning style benefits from speaking out loud. Don't just read it or write it, say it.

Also, taking A&P at the same time as micro is super tough for anyone. Can you drop one of them at this point?

You can do this!

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, sarahjeanleach:

If you ask specific questions, then there might be specific help. I.e. what specifically don't you understand? Please don't answer any of it, be specific.

In light of no specific questions (I know you want to be a nurse; please remember details matter, and specific questions matter more so than vague cries for help), h]ere are some links that may be useful in terms of improving overall study skills, taking notes, reading text books, etc.

]SQ4R Study Method

Note Taking Systems - Academic Skills Center: Study Skills Library - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Cornell Notetaking System Explained--Textbook Study Strategy--Academic Support

Google Image Result for http://kenpitts.net/images/cornell_note_how_to.jpg

Time management

Reading University Level Materials--Textbook Study Strategy--Academic Support

How to Read Effectively in the Sciences--Textbook Study Strategy--Academic Support

How to Read and Study Medical Texts--Textbook Study Strategy--Academic Support

More About Effective Textbook Study--Textbook Study Strategy--Academic Support

An Effective Textbook Study Strategy--Textbook Study Strategy--Academic Support

How to Mark a Section of a Textbook Chapter--Textbook Study Strategy--Academic Support

I've also found https://allnurses.com/pre-nursing-student/how-get-any-846733.html to be fantastic for every single class I've taken.

Also, does your school have a tutoring/learning center? Does your class have any study groups you can join? Have you investigated what is your learning style?

Thank you.

P.S. If you are having trouble being specific, then start breaking things down. I.e. can someone help explain the difference between gram positive or gram negative? Or can someone help explain the difference between normal flora and opportunistic pathogens, etc.

I think other posters have good advice, plus I think you may be overreacting. What material are you going over right now? It's early in the semester, so I'm guessing you are probably reviewing basic chemistry, cell biology, homeostasis, things like that.

Basic or not, those are difficult concepts to really grasp. I have gone over it so many times in so many classes and am really just now getting a truly firm handle on it. It's hard because it's very abstract- we can't see atoms bouncing around, we can't see hydrogen bonds, and watching cell reproduction really only happens under a microscope, and even then it can seem like something that might as well be made up.

At this point, I wouldn't worry too much about feeling like you can explain all this stuff in great detail. Know definitions of terms and draw out diagams. Study as best you can and I think you'll do much better than you think you will, and then you'll move onto other topics that, while you do need at least somewhat of a handle on those basics, will be much easier to apply to real life examples.

I hope that applied to you and that it made sense. Deep breaths, you got this. While of course this is a very important subject we should all get a good handle on, sometimes you need to just learn it well enough to pick it out on a multiple-choice exam, and it will make more sense later.

I assume you have taken basic biology and chemistry? They are largely the same concepts and move further in detail. If that's your problem, the hole you dug may be too deep at this point to catch up. Maybe drop the class and brush up on your previous prerequisites and consider better study formats the next round.

I don't think you should give up. When I first took chemistry in high school, I just did not understand the concepts. I stayed after class and studied for hours, but when it came down to it, my brain was just not comprehending it. Five years later I'm taking chemistry again in college and it's clicking so well. And it is NOT a dumbed down class. It's hard. The tests are not multiple choice like some other colleges have done. And my teacher is tough. But I'm understanding and getting good grades.

You're frustrated. And I'll be honest, you might not pass the class this time around. But your brain IS picking up something. And you might have to take the class again, but you'll do better next time, and more things will click. And what if you have to take it again? then take it again. And you'll know even more.

Certain people struggle with different subjects. This is your struggle. You're not stupid, and don't let this class make you think that you are. You might just have to fight a little harder and a little longer for your dream.

Question: are you reading the chapter ahead of time? Before the teacher lectures on it? This helps me immensely. I'll read, and get a general idea of what's going on, and then when the teacher lectures, it's starts to click together.

Good luck!

EDIT: Also, maybe you could try reading the chapter before hand and trying to do the homework sections on your own (this helps you know what questions you'll have in class). Then listen in class, ask questions, and take notes. Go home and outline the chapter again on your own and then look over the problems you didn't understand in the homework. This works for me at least.

I agree with what the others have posted and want to reiterate: Stop Stressing!! That will and should ease some of your anxiety about passing the class.

You have done something that some people have not done and that is seek help! YouTube and Google are great sources! Some Google searches with give you access to course material from other schools that may present the the information in a different way.

Question: What techniques did you use when you were faced with "adversity" in other subjects to over come that battle? May need to apply it to this.

queserasera, RN

Has 5 years experience.

I wrote an article on here a long time ago called "How to get an A in any course" it maps out how everything from scheduling, to reading to knowing you learning style can help. There is such thing as information overload - it's important to pace out your readings and do more short frequent material reviews than several large ones. Don't be discouraged, I'm sure nearly everyone who has taken college classes has at some point felt overwhelmed. I know I did. Good luck!