do you read everything?


Specializes in Med Surg, Specialty. Has 10 years experience.

I am in the second semester of nursing school. I just got done spending 8 hours yesterday working on my reading for my med-surg class, for one week. The assignment was 2 chapters of the main book and one chapter of a pharmacology book. I finished the two chapters of the main text (60 pages) but haven't started on the pharm yet, (i estimate it will take another 3 hours to read) and I still have another class to go.

I was wondering if you all really read every word/page of your assigned reading, or if you just skim? If so, how long does it usually take to do reading for one week?

I am an A/B student and found that last semester, there was one book that I didn't have to read (just quickly skim, took 1/2 hour per week), but I read every page of my main text. Ah well, guess I just have to get into the rhythm again of what is expected, just frustrated at the amount of time it is taking. :o


i know it's soo much reading and it takes alot of time and effort! i usually do everything i am supposed to do, that is, until i see the first test and get a feel for my prof's! you can usually tell after the first test how much detail the prof puts on the exam, if its based on the book or on his/her lecture notes....hope this helps~ good luck!!


Specializes in Med-Surg.

I feel for you, I have hugs reading assignments too. Right now I am getting ready to crack the books open and read 3 chapters out of fundamentals, 2 out of med surg and another 2 out of another book. Yes I do read everything. I just feel it's important. Ples like the previous poster said, I have no idea how the teacher tests, so I want to be sure that I am reading everything. I know it takes a long time, believe me! LOL! But I think it's important. At least for me. Especially when it comes to pharm (We start pharm in November)

Good luck!


Cowboys_RN, BSN

Specializes in Hospice, Internal Medicine. Has 14 years experience.

I don't read everything, there's no way I could. I re-write my notes after class and add in things from the book that I think are important. I make sure that my notes cover everything in the objectives. I study from my notes and my graded homework. I got a 98% on my first test using this method. The next test is on Tuesday.

stressgal, RN

Specializes in CCRN.

Depends on the concepts and material. I always skim the chapter, paying close attention to the boxes prior to class. Sometimes a group of us will divy up the readings and make notes to share or teach each other. I do the majority of my "studying" from the disc/web pages that come with the text and my NCLEX review books. You'll find as you move through school, alot of the information adds and builds on to what you learn in the first couple of quarters. Hope this helps.

Happy studying!!


Specializes in Cardiac/Tele/Step-down.

I have never read my book. I know that sounds bad. I always follow along with the instructor and highlight. I always went back and read all boxes and charts plus anything I highlighted. I also read the reviews at the end. Then I write it over and over til I get it in my head. Heck after all that I might as well of read the book! After the first test you will get a feeling for the test type and instructor. So 1st test I say read it all!!!!!!!! LOL


Specializes in Neuro ICU, Neuro/Trauma stepdown.

i just graduated, i would cover every bit of the info, because i was/am determined to be the nurse who's in it for more than just passing. however, here's how: (and this came about in med surg, before that, i covered word for word, but med surg is just too much) i had a reviews and rationals book specifically for med surg, it really covers everything, but in outline format, without all the wordiness. by this point in the game, you can pretty much follow through concepts, ie. know ahead of time what to expect. however, for the concepts i needed more clarification on, i would read through the big book. i eventually had to break down and use the rolling book bag because i would take these books with me EVERYWHERE. i would fall asleep with it by my bed and pick it up on the way to the bathroom in the morning. it really is a lot of information!!


Specializes in NICU.

I'm wondering how it'll be in my next three semesters...I'm guessing that there will be more reading, and probably more of it on the tests, too...

I read ALMOST everything. We have a med-surg and a fundamentals textbook for the main class...First half of the semester was all Fundamentals and I read absolutely everything, because, well, it's the fundamentals. I need to know all of that, definitely. 2nd half, I just read my Med-Surg assignments. It had the most info, was written more clearly, and I learned much better from it. And there was nothing in the Fundamentals that wasn't there, except for procedures, which I would look over. But, half of the Fundamentals chapters I was SUPPOSED to read, I had already read in the first half I'd just skim to review...then we had another, more management type textbook that I would read some of. I admit, I can't focus on reading about managerial/leadership type things. If it's on a disease or nursing procedures, I can read it. But all the laws, and insurance issues...I KNOW it's important, I KNOW I need to know it, and I learned it as best as I could, but it was so hard to focus...

Oh, I also read everything for Pharm. I found that I HAD to read for Pharm. Part of that was because my instructor was very...iffy on the physiology of it all... :-/

BeccaznRN, RN

Specializes in NICU, High-Risk L&D, IBCLC. Has 14 years experience.

I do NOT read every word of every reading assignment from every class. If I did that then I would spend all of my time (and I do mean ALL of my time) sitting in front of a book. When I study, I take the notes from class and then read/skim the book as it relates to class lectures. This has always worked well for me.


Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, LTC. Has 21 years experience.

I never read my books. There was no way there was time to study notes, write care plans, go to work, school and clinical, AND read the books. So it was study the notes or read the book. I felt the notes were more important. I got all A's.

The first day of classes in my ADN program, the instructors informed us that our test questions come from our class objectives (which we are given at the start of the semester for each unit). I never read any more in the book than what I needed to in order to answer each objective on the list. I made straight A's.

Several of my classmates who did not do very well on the first few tests decided that the key to their success was to read every word in the textbooks, thinking they would be more prepared. Strangely enough, their grades got worse until they began to just focus on the objectives.

My theory is that there is just too much information in the textbook that you will NOT be tested on. Focus on what the instructors deem as important. The problem with reading too much in the textbook is that you find situational issues that cause you to rethink some very straightforward ideas. When faced with a question on the test, the risk of overthinking it (based on your extra knowledge from the text) is very high. Essentially, you end up confusing yourself and doing very poorly.

Of course this won't hold true for everyone, but this is what I have observed. If you are genuinely interested in the material, read all you can, but keep in mind that most test questions are testing your BASIC understanding, not the in-depth stuff that you will have gleened from your extra reading.


Specializes in ICU.

I don't start NS until Fall, but I think I will read everything. During pre-reqs, I ALWAYS read everything even if the teacher hardly used the book. I wasn't going to class just to get an A. I was going to class to learn the information. I don't want to learn to ace exams and then be done with it. I am paying a lot to be a nurse, so I want to be the most well-rounded and informed one that I can be.

During pre-reqs, I went above and beyond what I needed to know the info and I always had one of the top grades in class. I guess it depends on how much it means to you to know the information.

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