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FutureCPNP-PC FutureCPNP-PC (New Member)

Please help... Failed 1st Semester Nursing

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Just found out I failed 1semester nursing school. I have been so hurt behind it all but that is a whole different story. Came out with a 79.2 and needed a 80. I was doing really good until I took my last test and failed. I passed my finals but it just wasn't enough to help recover from my last test.

I really need some encouragement even though I have a great support system I need to hear from someone who has experienced the same thing. How do I expect to get pass 2nd, 3rd and 4th semester if I cannot get pass 1st? Please help me.

(What are some good materials I can buy to better breakdown things for nursing school?)

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Do you mind sharing what subject has been the challenge? When you ask for reference materials for studying, are you experiencing difficulty in comprehending the textbook or handouts?

2nd and 3rd and 4th semesters are still to come. You are really close to pass. And if I read your post correctly, you actually pull up your grade from a previous test?! I think you have great potential to make it. We just need to figure out what the real (perhaps underlying) problems are before we can construct a better plan. :)

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We lost about 7 or 8 from our block 1 group for failing to make the grade. It was so sad, and they felt just like you do! However, after dusting themselves down, they reapplied and got straight back on the horse, got back in and are now rocking block 1, and moving into block 2 in the spring. You got this - failure is crappy, and nobody likes to fail, but it is temporary and doesn't define you. Allow yourself time to feel blue, then get back at it!

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I can comprehend the books but one day I was in Books A Million and I looked over a book called Pharmacology Made Incredibly Easy. I loved the way it broke it down and went into detail and made me understand things a little bit better. I failed my first test because of course it was my "first test" and I really didn't know how to prepare for a nursing test. But eventually I got the hang of it and was doing good until I took my last test Rotation 6 (it was a makeup test). It covered medication administration, pediatric pharmacology, dosage calculations, and growth and development (infants, toddlers and preschool). I'm actually pretty good with dosage cal.

Thank you for seeing potential in me. I really hope to make it because I honestly can't see myself putting time into anything else other than nursing. I was so hurt about having to start over and going through 1st semester again. I now have come to realization that this is an opportunity for me to do better than I did this semester.

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@Apple-Core, You are absolutely right and I really appreciate that. I wish you and your fellow classmates the best of luck! I have now dusted myself off and I am ready to start this thing over in the Spring.

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Dear FutureCPNP-PC,

I like how you know what helps you learn better and what seems the challenge. :) From your post, I summarized that you are pretty logical, and you learn well when information is broken down and made rationalizable. Test of a jammed information or bulked information that are not related much (growth and development and calculation) make it challenged.?

I am guessing that your nursing curriculum is organized according to the stages of human development? I feel that you can try to find associated information at once and then learn the information together when you study for pharmacology. Make connection! We adult learners learn better if information makes sense. Also, we tend to remember and retain information better if there is emotion attached. In other words, making connection of information makes learning a bit more meaningful for a logical learner.

What I did in the past when I studied child development, I pay attention to their unique developmental milestone or health concerns; then I made connection of special ways of administering medication to them with their age. For example, a school age child is able to understand concrete idea, we will provide short and solid information when giving medication. For an older age adolescent who comprehends abstract idea, we give information for them on what would possibly happen if the precaution is taken. We can also utilize idle when approaching adolescents who are at the age for identifying themselves with movie stars, athletes and singer. For a preschooler age child, imaginary friends can help us. We use a teddy bear to help them understand procedures. Also, we give choices (limit to two) to toddlers by asking them if they want to take medication with water or juice.

I also make associations among medications. All meds are from families. They all have family names. The family names gave me an idea of what type or category the medication belongs. For example, aminoglycosides is a group of antibiotics, and they all have the same last name of ~~mycin or ~~cin. I studied and compared gentamycin, neomycin and amikacin together and I make special note on these meds:

Aminoglycosides- otocoxicity and nephrotoxicity. !! creatinine and BUN!! (and of course I memorized the normal values of BUN and creatine at the same time). I highlighted Neomycin in this group because it reduces ammonia level for hepatic failure (and checked on ammonia level).

Cephalosprins is another group of antibiotics. It's last name or more like a first name is Cef~~. medication such as cefazolin, cefotaxime, ceftazidime are in this family. Cephazolin can be given via IM, deeply into large muscle masses is highly enouraged. Knowing that this medication can be given IM but it is irritating, rotating site becomes an important nursing implication. And if I take pediatric patient into consideration, I would also remind myself that best IM site for toddler is vastus lateralis (I drew pictures on my med cards and mark the site). I would remind myself that a toddler roams. The implication for this developmentally-appropriate concern would be comfort. Measures that facilitate comfort after IM Cefazolin is important.

One last thing to share is the best time to study pharmacology- 30 minutes before bedtime! This is the best time for "memorizing type of learning".

I hope that this help. And I apologize for being too chatty.

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Thank you so much for this information. May I ask how did you learn you learn your classification of drugs with Davids Drug Guide or did you use other resources to learn your classification that way? I really highly agree with what you said about finding associated information! I am going to try that technique and I'm sure that it will help me do well in so many ways. Because it makes so much sense. Not only will it help me with one test but several and even on my NCLEX ! OMG I can not thank you enough for showing me another way to grasp material.

Dear FutureCPNP-PC,

I like how you know what helps you learn better and what seems the challenge. :) From your post, I summarized that you are pretty logical, and you learn well when information is broken down and made rationalizable. Test of a jammed information or bulked information that are not related much (growth and development and calculation) make it challenged.?

I am guessing that your nursing curriculum is organized according to the stages of human development? I feel that you can try to find associated information at once and then learn the information together when you study for pharmacology. Make connection! We adult learners learn better if information makes sense. Also, we tend to remember and retain information better if there is emotion attached. In other words, making connection of information makes learning a bit more meaningful for a logical learner.

What I did in the past when I studied child development, I pay attention to their unique developmental milestone or health concerns; then I made connection of special ways of administering medication to them with their age. For example, a school age child is able to understand concrete idea, we will provide short and solid information when giving medication. For an older age adolescent who comprehends abstract idea, we give information for them on what would possibly happen if the precaution is taken. We can also utilize idle when approaching adolescents who are at the age for identifying themselves with movie stars, athletes and singer. For a preschooler age child, imaginary friends can help us. We use a teddy bear to help them understand procedures. Also, we give choices (limit to two) to toddlers by asking them if they want to take medication with water or juice.

I also make associations among medications. All meds are from families. They all have family names. The family names gave me an idea of what type or category the medication belongs. For example, aminoglycosides is a group of antibiotics, and they all have the same last name of ~~mycin or ~~cin. I studied and compared gentamycin, neomycin and amikacin together and I make special note on these meds:

Aminoglycosides- otocoxicity and nephrotoxicity. !! creatinine and BUN!! (and of course I memorized the normal values of BUN and creatine at the same time). I highlighted Neomycin in this group because it reduces ammonia level for hepatic failure (and checked on ammonia level).

Cephalosprins is another group of antibiotics. It's last name or more like a first name is Cef~~. medication such as cefazolin, cefotaxime, ceftazidime are in this family. Cephazolin can be given via IM, deeply into large muscle masses is highly enouraged. Knowing that this medication can be given IM but it is irritating, rotating site becomes an important nursing implication. And if I take pediatric patient into consideration, I would also remind myself that best IM site for toddler is vastus lateralis (I drew pictures on my med cards and mark the site). I would remind myself that a toddler roams. The implication for this developmentally-appropriate concern would be comfort. Measures that facilitate comfort after IM Cefazolin is important.

One last thing to share is the best time to study pharmacology- 30 minutes before bedtime! This is the best time for "memorizing type of learning".

I hope that this help. And I apologize for being too chatty.

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Dear FutureCPNP-PC,

I found that the drug guides are usually organized like a dictionary; i.e. the information is organized in alphabetical order. Thus, drug guide is a good tool for clinical. When confronting new medication, you can use drug guide to learn one medication in 5 minutes. The nursing schools usually has designated a textbook for pharmacology. In every textbook, the medications are actually organized in order of categories already. For example, the textbook we used in the past was Pharmacology and the Nursing Process by Lilley, Harrington, Snyder, published by Mosby Elsevier. In this textbook, After Part I (general knowledge of pharmacology), starting Part II, medications are organized into categories according to its function. Chapter 10 introduces Analgesic drugs and it include opioid and non-opioid analgesics, Chapter 10 is General and Local anesthetics...Thus, medication that works on our central nervous system is included in part II. Part VII introduces medications that are fighting against infections. And you will find penicillin and cephalosporin are included in chapter 37. And guess what? These two medications share cross-sensitivity issue. Thus, if a patient is allergic to cephalosporin, then penicillin is not recommended. I am pretty sure the textbook that your school chooses for pharmacology has similar "category-organization" for medications.

I feel that when learning pharmacology as it is an entity of knowledge, a systemic approach would be more helpful. If your school do put pharmacology together with another nursing or pre-nursing subject in the same semester. You might want to kill two birds with one stone- meaning, if you study anatomy and physiology or pathophysiology in the same semester with pharmacology, when you study cardiovascular system, it might be helpful to at the same time do some research on meds that work on the same system. If your school put med-surg nursing or pediatric nursing in the same semester with pharmacology; then, you would remember the diseases; symptoms better and learned well how medication can help alleviate the symptoms when you match the two subjects together

I am also glad that you mentioned about NCLEX. It's really encouraging to see young nurses are taking this profession seriously. I thank you for that. One thing that I have found about NCLEX exam is that this test is looking for nurses who can meet minimum safety bar for nursing practice. Which means questions asked can be tricky and can be misleading, but ultimately the questions require your critical thinking based on "principle" and "fundamental" reasoning for safely practicing nursing. If your school starts your nursing training in pediatric nursing, make sure that you learn the fundamentals of child development well. The Developmental milestone and the psychosocial characteristics for various age can help you find the right answer to the questions.

I know you can do it, FutureCPNP-PC. You are going to be a great nurse! And a great NP!

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