Starting 1st semester advice=)

Posted
by alaskanhillls (New) New

I start my first semester of a two year program in a week and am looking for any helpful hints or advice others may have. What kind of bag does everyone carry for all these books? Is getting the NCLEX review guide this early have any advantages? Any great website that help with skill labs?

Thanks so much!

Ilovethe80s

100 Posts

First, congrats on getting into nursing school!!! I think a well-made back pack will work out well. You probably already have some nursing books and know that they are thick. In my program, we also had tons of printed power points and notes to go along w/ lectures, so we needed binders as well. Have plenty of pens and highlighters. I also printed up a calendar schedule so I could keep track of all of the tests and different tasks I had to complete (skills check-off, lab practice) and kept it in the binder for that specific class I was in.

If you don't already have one, invest in a good stethescope and watch (not digital watch b/c you will need a watch w/ a second hand for timing and counting heart beats and respirations).

Try to keep an open mind and be flexibile - you are going to be taught a great deal of material in a short amount of time, and sometimes you may not have a clinical schedule until a week or two before clinicals start....at least this was the case for my program ;P

If you don't have to work, don't. If you do, try to do 20 hrs or less a week.

A few books that I recommend are: Mosby's manual of diagnostic and laboratory tests, Fluid and Electrolytes Made Incredibly Easy, and Saunders NCLEX-RN review book. In prep for the NCLEX, I also just started reading the Kaplan book which I like a lot.

I think nursing tests are very different from other tests you may have taken. In my opinion, it's all about being able to apply the content, not memorizing facts. A lot of questions are written in scenarios and you have decide what the best answer is, even though some of the answers are all correct you have to decide which one is BEST.

Just take one class at a time and try to focus on that material and learn it really well; it will serve you well in the future for taking finals, an exit exam, and NCLEX.

Don't beat yourself up if you don't do as hot on a test as you would have liked. I went from being a straight A student to a B student, which bothered me a little bit in the beginning, but I learned to brush it off and focus more on really understanding the material.

Wow, that was a lot of info....sorry. I just graduated, so I remember what it was like beginning and feeling a little overwhelmed. Have confidence in yourself and give it your all :) Best of luck to you!!!!

Ilovethe80s

100 Posts

Also, YES, I think having a review book this early on is great!!! I didn't get my review book till the end of my 3rd semester, but once I had it I used it to review material before tests and did the practice questions at the end of each section. Great way to get used to the way they word test questions and you can read the rationales for the answers which helps reinforce information.

Azure1213

28 Posts

Record your classes (get instructer's permission first) and read your chapters, and finding a study buddy that's what always helped me. Also having a postive attitdude will help too :)

anneuhbanana

Specializes in ER, Med-Surg. Has 3 years experience. 56 Posts

Yes go ahead and get a NCLEX book! My teachers often pull questions from it on tests.

Second of all, get ready

take a deep breath

this is going to be quite a ride!

Get ready to be flexible

You're going to want to pull your hair out and scream at times, but it all is outweighed by the times you have a lightbulb go off and you GET it!

alaskanhillls

4 Posts

Thanks so much for all the advice! I really appreciate it and hoping I can get used to the testing process. My school is distance taught via video conference so its going to take some getting used to. Thanks for the congratulations it was a hard road to get here for sure=) Our program only takes 14 every two years.

alaskanhillls

4 Posts

I went to Amazon and was wondering what NCLEX review book you have, the review guide or the practice q&a guide? Same question for the Kaplan book as well.

Thanks!

Isabellah

37 Posts

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Fundamentals Success: A Course Review Applying Critical Thinking to Test Taking, Second edition (Davis's Success): Two Books in One With Bonus CD-ROM -

This is also a good book and found it very helpful when I started my nursing classes.

Azure1213

28 Posts

Thanks so much for all the advice! I really appreciate it and hoping I can get used to the testing process. My school is distance taught via video conference so its going to take some getting used to. Thanks for the congratulations it was a hard road to get here for sure=) Our program only takes 14 every two years.

I suggest practice alot of test question, that practice will pay off in the long run and if the school offers it, take a math for nurses class, that will also help you too, esp. for pharmacology.

CrazierThanYou

1,917 Posts

READ the book. I've read every word of every chapter this last semester. I passed. The students who ragged on my for reading? They didn't.