This will be based a lot on the professor which all have their unique styles and approaches. These were my experiences that may not reflect how your class goes since professors can be swapped or change year to year.
NURS 330 Intro - He was awesome! Laid back personality with true nursing skills that are very patient centered. The class is introductory at best. This class gives you a feel for nursing as a caring profession. Keep up with assignments and show up to class to get material. I don't recommend reading for this class. Use this time to settle getting back into school and get your environment ready for the storm that is the main part of the semester.
I would advise to start the material for the 1st 2 weeks of the main classes (you will typically have the syllabi by then) during the last 2 weeks of 330. You can thank me later...
Difficulty rating: 1/5
General flow of main semester - Once 330 is done, students begin to feel the pressure of the ABSN program since you will have 3 core classes with ALL new info that is foundational to the rest of your nursing career. As mentioned in my general tips from my previous post, you will feel stress, anxiety, and sleepiness start to build. It will reach your individual threshold and you will get comfortable with it I promise.
In the beginning, you will have 3 big exams within the span of 7 days and two will fall on the same day. It will suck... but you will live.
After that, you will have quizzes every week for every class and exams typically dont happen on the same day or the same week (mostly...).
The schedule never lets up, but you start to get into a flow and you gradually begin to feel comfortable with your feelings of stress and fatigue.
Finals Weeks - Yes week-s. 2nd to last week, you will have a psych kaplan, followed by a Fundamentals Final and pharm exam 3 within the span of 2 days. Then...the following week you will have a psych Final, followed by a fundamentals Kaplan and your pharm Final in the same timeline. All of this while doing clinicals for 333L and 336L. Moral of this story is that by this time, you've figured out nursing school and you just have to commit to finishing strong.
NURS 336 Fundamentals- She was a tough teacher. Not mean in anyway but stern about the nursing school rules. That being said, she is caring and will spend time talking to you or helping you out if you need it. You will have an inclass quiz almost every week and they do add up so dont be lazy or miss any as they will insidiously kill your grade.
If you prepared premptively, YAY! if you didnt, dont worry you will catch up.
Class was out of 350 points. 3 midterms and 1 Final. 1 Kaplan Test. 8 Quizzes. 8 Case studies.
Midterms are pretty tough, but if you understand NCLEX questions, a grasp on the material, and drill practice questions (wherever you can find them) you can do well.
If you get less than an 83% on a midterm, you have to meet with the professor to discuss your exam. (the 1st exam almost 50% of the class had to meet with her lol).
Your scores will improve if you didnt do so well! Its part of the process of these NCLEX questions.
Case studies are pretty easy as you can retake them as many times as you need to get credit.
I never did any of the class "pre" class activities, but came to class ready to quiz utilizing Evolve resource questions.
Kaplan exam will make or break an A grade (pass or fail points...)
Difficulty rating: 4.5/5
NURS 333 Psych Nursing - Not a psych guy myself, but this class was not too bad. The professor is pretty knowledgable and is working in the field. She is passionate about patients and will give you some stories from her experience that give insight to the material in class, but otherwise the powerpoints are dry and give you book material.
This class has 1000 points. 1 Midterm, 1 Med exam, 1 Final. 6 Quizzes. ALOT of case studies. 1 Kaplan.
Don't slouch on those evolve/NCLEX questions for your given chapters. A bad midterm can make it very difficult save a good grade. Grades are heavily based on your 3 exams.
Do the same for quizzes and review the quizzes as they can be fair game for those exams.
Case studies! for this class, as opposed to fundamentals, are not redoable. take your time doing the reading before and get ready to focus in on each one.
Med Exam is open resource, but its not a cake walk and time will run out if you did not study material beforehand.
I did not find online "class collab meetings" helpful and just read up on the material on my own. (these are optional anyway).
Kaplan exam will make or break an A grade (pass or fail points...)
Difficulty rating: 4/5
NURS 331 Pharmacology - What can I say about this class? Scares all students when they come to the first day of class, but man o' man this class was awesome! I hope you get the same professor we did as she was universally liked for her dimeanor, teaching style, and teaching philosphy. She felt like my 2nd mom away from home lol, she cares about her students!
Class is out of 460 points. 3 midterms, 1 math exam, and 1 final. 5 quizzes. 4 Case studies.
Go to the study sessions she hosts prior to the exams! I would say non-negotiable if you want to do well on the exams. She gives the info that really matters to patients (based on the material) and tests you on the important parts of medications/considerations.
The quizzes are focused and give you more nclex style questions but are very managable. Short and sweet.
Final was open book, but its was VERY hard! This was an exercise in honing in your ability as a nurse to utilize resources for you patients well-being while combining what you learned! You can do very well on this if you dont let stress overcome you!
Difficulty rating: 3/5 (material is difficult, but she teaches so well!)
NURS 336L/333L the labs/clinicals - So you wanna be a nurse? Well this is your chance to physically engage with the nursing world. We learn skills of assessment, taking vitals, med administration (no IV), and interacting with people (or mannequines for a while).
you will be randomly assigned to groups of 10ish and have your rotations randomly set. 3 rotations are available ( W/Th, W/F, and Th/F). We all get the same experiences/settings.
Instructors are gonna be different for everyone but each group will stay with the same fundamentals instructor and the same physc instructor for the entire semester. Havent heard any complaints from other groups. I had my Pharm teacher for fundamentals lab so I was blessed lol!
The moment you can do your 333L Case Study, finish it ASAP! Its not hard but can take a lot of time. Your instructor will go over it with you before you turn in a final copy and it will dictate your grade. (I think everyone got an A on it, but dont take it for granted!).
336L will end with the 3 final weeks being at FMC to do some REAL clinical stuff. You will be assigned a nurse and they will show you the ropes.
Do everything you can! dont be shy! they were in your shoes and will help you if you need it.
You will rotate within the hospital every week and experience different wings that specialize in different things.
Pass meds, set up IV equipment (NO starting IV's), give meds/food through a PEG tube, assess patients, do a care plan on one patient, wipe some bodily fluids up, give a suppository (really not the worst lol...), or do a foley if you are blessed by the gods of luck.
The patient is a human, talk to them, ask them about their experiences, ...care!
Enjoy the labs! They are interesting and clinicals are truly unique experiences that tie in a lot of material from class in a meaningful way. These lab classes are not punative and everyone will probably get an A in them, so engage in the experience and ask questions!
I worked 24 hours as an auditor at a hotel on the weekends which was beneficial to my study time. Others worked in places you could not study with the same hours and totally crushed it!
Life does not stop for the program, go be social, take a day off and just veg out on the office, explore with your support system, do things that you enjoy, or you will go crazy!
This was a lot of fun reminissing on how *** it felt to feel like nursing school was killing me, but how awesome it feels to have succeeded my own expectations given the rough start. Really enjoying my cohort and it feels like a little mega family of people with the same goal. This is posted with it still fresh in my mind, but I actively browse this site so don't hesitate to ask questions or pm me about the program. Good luck!