Study tips for nurse practitioner students

  1. I am looking for study tips for an NP program. I am getting my DNP, FNP at the University of Iowa starting this August. I am doing a part-time program (I'm doing 3 years of work in 4 1/2 years) so I can work through school (most of school, anyway).

    The last semester of my BSN I was wishing I would've done things differently throughout my college career - I wish I would've had the flashcards and NCLEX books that I bought... I wish I would've had them my freshman year rather than my senior year, so I could use them throughout school rather than just studying for boards. I wished I would've made flashcards and kept my materials. I wish I would've paid more attention in Fundamentals of Nursing, no matter how basic it was.

    I don't want to make that mistake again of having so many regrets senior year, I want to have everything I need my freshman year in order to use it throughout my school experience. What materials should I buy right away? Does anyone have tips for studying? Should I work full time or part time?

    Thank you so much, I appreciate it!
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    About Worried:(

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 7; Likes: 2


  3. by   sandnnw
    Sounds like you are well on your way.

    I too wanted to do things differently, that is, learn better, smarter and focus on clinic issues that I knew were my weak areas. I had a lot growing up between my BSN and MSN, thus was far more serious with my studies.

    I used the flashcards, jotting them down during class and carried them everywhere. As well, I recorded a lot more in grad school and listened much more efficiently.

    I went part-time after my first semester. It was just too much to try and keep up being super RN in the ED and try to learn/absorb all as a NP student. My preceptors and mentors all advised part-time, to allow plenty of time to focus on my future career, giving all I could as an NP. They were right and I'm glad I changed to part-time (24hrs/week).

    This allowed plenty of time at home with the family, plenty of time to read the material and re-read, create cards and type my notes from the recordings. Yes, I did a lot of redundant learning, but ask any Physician or PA and they all do this as well. I relearn even as an experienced NP now. Never hurts to review what you think you know.

    I wouldn't buy a lot of books until getting the reading list from classes. One item that saved my life was a smartphone, specifically I had a Palm Tx. Just having a drug reference at your fingertips during reading and clinical, makes a huge difference. Taking the time to understand why you would give a Macrolide over a Quinolone, when to start using Lantus, what's a corrected calcium, etc. All of these are examples of why it's more important to cut back on the RN work and focus on the NP work. Believe me, your new boss is going to expect you to hit the ground running, not playing catch up between patients.

    As well, I would recommend cheat sheets and prompt cards. I found two prompt cards that absolutely saved my life, one a cards cheat/scut card that a Cardiology Fellow gave me, the other, a general H&P card from, both cards are from a well known author, Dr. A. Arturo Rodriguez, and he must have been around awhile, the cards card is from 1996! As you dig deep into the ScyMed website, you begin to realize the power of these tools. Good luck, I spend hours just browsing thru their offerings.

    Finally, remember to be good to yourself. No one else will realize the stress you about to dive into. Take some time out occasionally to splurge, go swimming, buy a new outfit. Reward yourself for those A'! Keep us up-to-date on your progress.
  4. by   carachel2
    I agree with everything above. Do not try to be Superstudent/RN. Your future patients will suffer. This is not a program where you just want to study for the grade. All of your future patients are the grade !

    I found to be VERY VERY helpful. You can make digital flashcards quickly and easily and study online, on your iPhone OR print them out. Then when you must review for a test a year later, you can easily pull up your pharm cards or your assessment cards.
  5. by   carachel2
    Oh, I meant to add:

    I used a colored folder system to organize things. For instance, I used purple brad pocket folders for Adult Management. For each lecture I had a separate folder, printed out the notes and put them in the folder and then put flashcards or extra reading in the pockets. When I had just a few minutes to review something I could easily pull a folder, review the notes or cards and then put it back. I kept them all in a crate. Having all of my material so easily accessible was wonderful when it came to studying for my certification exam.
  6. by   Worried:(
    Wow thanks a lot for all the helpful tips... these are things I wouldn't have figured out on my own right away so thanks!
  7. by   Teresa S.
    Hi Worried!
    I will graduate from Iowa in December...just working on my project. I walked with my class last week 7/29....but have to finish the project in the fall. I live in the Quad cities...are you close?