1st year, need advice !!

by averytx averytx (New) New

Hi new here, great site, been looking at all the threads for a while, anyway I am 32 yrs old and just started RN program have done very well up until now in all my pre reqs, got all a's just about, had my first test in the program over infection control, vital signs etc. and failed it, not bad but still failed and I am very alarmed studied very hard, and really gave it my all and just very disappointed and don't know what I am doing wrong, what I normally do is read all the chapters of course and go through them with a fine tooth comb, look over the notes and do the questions in the study guide and just do all that over and over, well my question is that this has worked great for me in the past, but talked to teacher and she said I should get an nclex review book and spend a good bit of time reviewing that for the test so I can apply my reading more critically, do you think this is the key, is this what I am missing, cause i just really don't know what to do, I have very good study habits but something is obviously missing HELP !!! any advice !!!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience. 4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

hi, averytx!

you didn't mention if you went over all the questions you missed and were able to figure out why you missed the correct answers. that is going to be very crucial information to know in helping you for subsequent tests. your problem is not in learning facts, it's in applying those facts. nursing schools put application type questions on their tests. they require critical thinking in order to chose the correct answer. these are also the type of questions that are on the nclex, the text you will take to get your nursing license when you finish nursing school. nursing schools give these kinds of questions to prepare you for the nclex as well at to get students to think critically. the reason your instructor recommended you get a nclex review book is because these books (there are a number of them on the market) coach you in how to apply critical thinking to these nursing questions. they are well worth the price you pay for them. there is a thread on allnurses nursing student forum on nclex you might want to explore.

here is a link to some information on how to study for nursing:

http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/study_skills.html - study skills for the nursing student from daytona beach community college nursing department with some good advice.

http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/test_taking_skills.html - test taking skills also from daytona beach community college nursing department. a couple of sample questions and how to chose the correct answer for these application type questions.

free sample nclex style questions and answers:

http://www.learningext.com/students/qofweek.asp - question of the week. every monday a question from the online nclex-rn examination course from ncsbn (the people who write the nclex test!) and it's answer is posted here on this page. i would recommend that you copy and paste each weekly question and answer to a notebook you start for yourself. you can never have enough of these kinds of questions to study from!

welcome to allnurses! :welcome:



Specializes in OB, School, Medical, Surgical. Has 18 years experience. 9 Posts

I think you need to listen to your instructor. She is telling you that her testing is patterned after the nclex. I had the tapes (Didn't have CDs in my day), to help me pass my boards, and didn't study anything else. Everytime I got in my car I had my tapes playing. The result of listening placed me in a different space than where I had been, much more able to think critically. I also became very familiar with the thought process required to make the best choice when faced with 4 or 5 right answers. Anyway-get the book, it can only help. Good luck!!!

Also, in my opinion, if you are really doing all you say you are to prepare for a test-you may be over studying.



137 Posts

Could you please tell us which tapes these are? I've often thought that if I could get my textbooks on tape it would be great.





2 Posts

As for the overstudying, I am not saying you are wrong but I hear that and I'm thinking what????, how can that be possible, how can you over study, I mean I just don't think I can overstudy, am I wrong maybe, I usually study and or read every night from about 8 pm til midnight and study at work for about an hour maybe more should this be enough, what do you think ??? cause you hear everything from A-Z I mean do I need to study 6 hours everyday or what ???



1,853 Posts

What I have learned so far in nursing, you have to do go beyond memorization because nursing is both art and science. You have to take all the science knowledge and apply them in critical thinking. While I read, I asked questions, why is this patient blood pressure is high. The art is like taking a blood pressure, you already know the brachial pulse from anatomy the science part and apply it. My instructor is awesome!

I am learning so much in my first two weeks of nursing.



Specializes in cardiac. Has 5 years experience. 555 Posts

Nursing questions are a whole differnent ball game compared to regular non-nursing courses. Nursing questions are critical thinking questions. Your instructor was right in telling you to invest in a NCLEX review book. These review books are full of critical thinking questions and rationales. They were extremely helpful to me. It helps you get used to the type of questions you WILL be seeing on future tests and will help prepare you for boards. Most books come with a CD-ROM to use at home on your computer. The investment in these NCLEX review books is well worth it. May I suggest Saunders NCLEX review and also Mosbey's NCLEX review. You can purchase these books online, sometimes used, or find them at BORDERS. Hope this helps you. Good Luck!!:wink2:


aacurtis72, RN

Has 7 years experience. 10 Posts

My first test as a first year student was tough. All of our tests are structured like NCLEX test questions and I bought two NCLEX study books (Saunders comprehensive and Kaplan and I liked Saunders better) and it helped me tremendously. Also, try studying a couple of hours a night (1-2 hours) about a week and a half before the test and rewrite your lecture notes...it helps reinforce the lecture and you're not cramming for the exam. I wish you luck and it does get easier as you go through your program and get use to the testing style.

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