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RachelP_CRNA2B BSN, RN

Cardiothoracic ICU
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  1. RachelP_CRNA2B

    CCRN 2018

    Hi guys! In my preparation for the CCRN, which I took and passed today with 108/125 (passing cutoff is 87), I noticed that there isn't a ton of up to date info on the test! I wanted to offer my insight-for whatever that's worth-on what I felt did and did not work well for me. Background: 1/2 year small med/surg ICU, 1 year aggressive CTICU experience Study time: One month Resources used: Pass! CCRN question bank Barron's CCRN Flash Card Secrets AACN SAE Pass! question bank was PHENOMENAL! If you feel fairly confident in the content, I'd say this is the only real must have. Some of the questions were way more in depth and more specific than what was on the actual test. I began my month of prep with a practice test (150 Qs, timed) benchmark and gauged the effectiveness of my studying off of my practice test scores (one practice test a week, content-specific questions after I reviewed). Starting percentage: 66%, final percentage 84%. Barron's content was SPOT ON and the format of this book made studying so easy. I made the mistake of purchasing the ebook and subsequently made my own notes (I have to have something physical to highlight!), but I think it'd be totally possible to effectively study just straight from the book. I focused on cardio, pulm, and neuro (a week each) with the final week being a brief review of the lighter weighted topics. The questions in this book are off the chain hard! Not really close to the actual CCRN questions. Flashcards: These were borrowed to me by a senior nurse on the unit. They were EXTREMELY helpful for studying on the go, and were also great for when I wanted to be productive but felt my attention span fading ������ Some of the content was a bit excessive in detail, and it REALLY bothered me that there were grammatical errors on some of these cards. I'd say pass on these unless you can borrow them for free from somewhere. SAE (Self Assessment Exam): This was an additional $50, but it was a GREAT investment and gave me a lot of peace of mind. It gets you used to not only the format of the test, but the verbiage of the questions. Would recommend if you can justify the price. If not, I wouldn't deem it a MUST have. Test: I took 2 of the 3 hours and was able to go through a second time to review all of my answers/iffy questions within this timeframe. There were only maybe 5 questions where I truly had no idea, many of them I either immediately knew or could at least deduce down to two answers by process of elimination. The test allows you to mark questions for review and return/review even after you've selected an answer. Mandatory survey at the end. Results are printed within a few minutes or so (although it seems like an eternity!). Content was pretty much on par with the AACN blueprint. I'm not sure what I can all share given the agreement not to disclose the test info. But I hope some of that was helpful!
  2. To say that the first semester of nursing school is overwhelming would be an incredible understatement. Between being assigned to read 20 textbook chapters a week, skills checkoffs, and your first clinical shifts (not to mention, care plans!), studying can be a pretty daunting task. Throughout my first semester of nursing school, I developed a study method that helped me to not only maximize my time, but to minimize stress and achieve grades I was proud of. Determine your learning style. We are all unique and, that being said, your professor's 250-slide PowerPoint presentation might not necessarily solidify complex disease processes for you. The VARK assessment is a great tool to help pinpoint what kind of learner you are. With this information, you can formulate a more effective study method to ensure you're not wasting your time. The VARK Questionnaire | VARK Create your own notes. Nursing lectures are notorious for being complex...and oftentimes, too much so. Trying to retain too much information is only going to overwhelm you. Whittle down your lecture notes to the "meat and bones"--the core concepts. In example, when looking at a disease process, oftentimes if you understand WHAT is taking place physiologically, you can deduce the S/S and treatment modalities. Aim to UNDERSTAND, not memorize! Adequately plan to maximize preparedness. Allowing yourself a few days to prepare for a major test isn't going to cut it. Start studying immediately following your lectures to ensure new concepts stay fresh in your mind. Keep it cumulative! Just because you feel like you understand a certain topic doesn't mean you can simply set that information aside. Continue to review this information while you're learning new concepts to make sure you don't lose it! Do as many practice NCLEX-style questions as possible! Check out books from your school's library, rent them online, or purchase. Not only will this help you apply the new concepts that you're learning, but it will also give you a good indicator of where you are in your NCLEX preparedness. Davis and Saunders make great comprehensive NCLEX review/Q&A books and the Success series makes subject-specific Q&A books. You can further reinforce concepts by reading the rationales for both correct as well as incorrect answers. If I could provide you with one last tip, it would be to remember to enjoy the ride. Cherish the friendships that you make and remember to take time for yourself. Always remember your WHY and allow that to fuel your passion and propel you into this incredible, rewarding career!
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