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  1. Anatomy and Physiology 1 was one of the most grueling classes I've taken in college. I've never seen anything like it. Anatomy and Physiology was the first class that ever stressed me out and drove me to tears. While it took me a few attempts, I've learned what works through trial and error. Here are my tips from my experiences of Anatomy and Physiology 1 from my experiences. Pick the Right Professor This is so crucial when it comes to AP! Picking the right professor ensures that you get the help you need and understand the material you're studying. Sites like Rate My Professor help a ton in the process. From experience, try to get an engaging teacher. Start Learning the Material as Early as Possible I always feel that learning the material before lecture and lab is a great way to stay successful. I've found that resources such as WyzSci and AnatomyGMC are great ways to prepare for AP1. Organize Materials before Class Anatomy class is a handful. From a handful of a binder with hundreds of slides (Yes, I printed out 112 slides once for a binder) and a book is very unorganized grueling on the back. Try to pack as lightly as you can for class, from later experiences, two-hybrid notebook binders, lab, and the other for the lecture part of anatomy with three slides per page! I brought tabs to label the pages I needed for the lecture and the pages I needed for the lab. Highlighters are also handy as well. I did have binders but they stayed at home, because I stored previous slides and materials in them after I was done. Also, as soon as the new material is release retire the old material elsewhere so you don' get mixed up DO NOT CHASE AN A While an A is desirable, chasing after it is a very bad mistake. You'll be so stuck on getting an 'A' that you'll miss building the foundation for anatomy. I have done this before during my first attempt, and it wasn't very pleasant! I thought back before a retake that I never focused on the grade during other prereqs, just the material. When I implemented this into AP1, I was very successful. Consider an Anatomy Atlas This is helpful for days when you cannot make it to open lab or, if you're like me, happen to like studying outside of the open lab. Most atlases that I've come across had a CD that had quizzes very similar to the lab practical examinations that I've taken. You can get these at your college's library or through amazon. A good atlas that I've used for AP1 was Atlas of Human Anatomy (Netter Basic Science) 7th Edition Create a Study Plan and Haven When it comes to AP1, try to create a study plan. My study plans consisted of two 45 minute sessions (I studied 45 minutes for lecture and 45 minutes for lab). I usually studied in a coffee shop or the study spaces of my college. I was in anatomy class 3 days out of the week, two days for lecture and one day for the lab. During these days, at least 1 hour before class, I always reviewed material. Be Familiar with the Fundamentals The fundamentals for Anatomy are the introduction, Chemistry, cytology, and histology. These are chapters 1-4. You will be seeing them again through the remainder of AP1! From experience, try to learn as of the foundations as you can! As a heads up, histology is a good chunk of midterm (integumentary system) and the lab midterm. Believe in Yourself and Don't Give Up I will be honest during my previous attempts. I didn't do this. I constantly compared myself to the "achievers" of my class, which made me feel like crap. I felt defeated by the 'C(s)' I received, and the negativity surrounded the classroom got me down. I felt like I had to be competitive, and it ran me into the ground. I had a big freakout in my first attempt at Anatomy before the midterm. Also, what I've learned is that if you want something, you'll never get up on it, and you have to look at the bigger picture. Stay Away from Classroom Drama and the Hallways From experience, there was drama, and I let it get to me. I dealt with cliques, mean girls, gossip, and others' anxiety and self-doubt from the hallway. It's best to stay away from the drama and the hallway. Just sit out in the study area or a quiet place before the start of class. As for mean girls, what I didn't do but wish that I did was ignore them completely and just focused on my work. Consider Forming a Study Group Although I prefer to study by myself, groups can come in handy IF they have the right people in them. I have personally found that there are pros and cons to this. If forming a study group started by another person, I always felt that small groups were better than larger groups. Again the right people need to be in them! Be aware of users (these are people whom don't "study" but latch on to a smart person or someone doing well in the class), slackers (the people whom literally show up and contribute nothing) and talkers (they literally just talk throughout the whole study session) Don't be Afraid to Retake I had to retake Anatomy before, and personally, it feels as though it's bad but believe me, it's not! You learn from your mistakes and get more successful Do NOT Take a Morning Class if You Are Not a Morning Person I had to learn the hard way during my first attempt as a night owl who went to bed at 3, sometimes 4 am I signed up for an 8:30 am lecture, and a 7:30 am lab, and I paid for it dearly! I barely retained information, was tired, and only got 30 minutes of studying in! I switched to an afternoon/evening class and fared much better in anatomy! If Your College Offers an Anatomy Orientation ... GO! When going into anatomy some colleges actually offer an Anatomy orientation. It is best to go to this because you get to learn tips for the professor, what to expect out of anatomy and experiences from teachers and students. My school offered this and it helped me tremendously in being successful in anatomy If Extra Credit is Offered ... Take It! Extra credit will help tremendously if you are in anatomy! Whether your professor has you doing bonus questions , making a presentation or in rare cases turning in anatomy notes ... do it , it will help you in the long run!
  2. Microbiology is a very interesting subject. You get to learn about eukaryotes, diseases, and numerous cycles. Overall, it’s not as stressful as anatomy and physiology and is an experience within itself. I have enjoyed this class and will give you tips I have learned to pass! Choose the Right Professor This is the foundation for a successful and possibly less stressful classroom experience. The right professor will walk you through a course and not leave you to fend for yourself when it comes to difficult subjects. Talking to students or using Rate My Professor can help you decide on a great professor before class starts. Learn the Material before the Lecture Starts This has helped me get a good advantage in Microbiology class! I knew of Louis Pasteur and pasteurization, Algae and Bacteria, and Taxonomy. Books such as Study Guide for Microbiology: An Introduction and a Microbiology Atlas are great ways to get ahead! Create Quizlets During my Microbiology course, I made quizlets for each chapter that my professor covered! Some had over 111 terms, and I made sure to get every important piece of information that I could, along with these quizlets made studying a lot easier since my professor went mostly by PowerPoint. I used the quizlets I’ve made as my primary means of review. Don’t Skimp on the Book Some professors teach primarily by PowerPoint. Even if they do, it’s a 50% chance that they may recommend a few pages out of the book. If your professor does this, I would recommend this as I wish I had done it more because a few questions came out of the textbook. Study at Least 2 Hours As a former Microbiology student, I’ve learned that studying for at least 2 hours made the material that I’ve learned during a lecture stick. Reviewing quizlets and the materials my teacher gave for two hours (broken into sessions) helped me during class periods Take Advantage of Extra Credit To give you a heads up, the last three exams ( 3rd, 4th, and the final) will be an absolute headache! If your teacher gives you an opportunity for extra credit, take it, whether it be a bonus question or even doing a series of discussions with classmates. Just in case you don’t do so well on a test, this can be beneficial. Save Tests for Reviews If your professor allows you to keep tests, please keep them safe and learn from them later down the road. Saving old exams will greatly help during the finals. A method I did was making quizlets out of my old tests. I highlighted the answers I’ve gotten wrong. Maximize Testing Time I included this tip because I felt that I would have fared a bit better if I did this more. After all, I messed myself up on tests by a few points because I rushed through the exams. I would suggest maximizing your testing time and reviewing before you submit your exams to your professor. Inquire Information about Material You Don't Know Don't suffer in silence; if you aren't getting the material ALWAYS reach out to your teacher! Whether through email or waiting after class always ask questions because it will make a big difference. Lab Tips 1 - Get a Good Lab Partner When it comes to the lab section of Microbiology, a good lab partner will make or break your experience. Go for someone willing to learn and help and not the opposite. A good lab partner will be glad to explain things and support and the same vice versa. You and your lab partner should learn from the professor and teach each other whenever possible. I had a good group of lab partners during my time in Microbiology. If your lab partner is gossipy, negative, or not willing to engage in work, then I’d suggest finding someone else or, if possible, doing solo work. 2 - Don’t Freak out in Lab I did this for about the first three labs; looking back on it was funny! The Microbiology lab is insanely different from the anatomy lab. For starters, it’s colder, and there are bacterias, refrigerators, bunsen burners. It was radically different, and I freaked out. I was so nervous I ruined an agar plate! Although it’s different, everything will be okay, and your professor will walk you through everything! By the end of the semester, you’ll be inoculating tubes and spreading specimens on a blood agar like a pro! 3 - Know Your Classification and Anatomy for Every Specimen You Cover This is very important for your final! During the lab, make sure you take notes and label your diagrams! 4 - Keep Pens, Highlighters, and Pencils Handy! This comes for labs and when studying for labs. In more “wordy” labs, such as learning lab results for, let’s saying Blood Agar, I’d suggest while reading a manual or whatever material is given I’d highlight and then record results into Quizlet. 5 - Grammar! Know that the Genus is capitalized, and the species is lowercased. Also, remember that the Genus and species are either underlined or italicized. It can also be abbreviated. 6 - Be Aware of What the Teacher and the Syllabus Want This is extremely important because lab quizzes are a very high percentage of your grade and usually cannot be made up. In my Microbiology class, it couldn’t be dropped. During your first week, you typically get into the syllabus and keep this in mind when studying. 7 - Offer Help and Support to Others When You Can and When Needed Although this isn’t a study tip, it’s just as crucial! If you see someone in need of help, freaking out, or nervous, offer your classmate support! Being a personal cheerleader for yourself and others can go a long way!
  3. How does a Nursing Student keep from falling asleep while studying? I'll bet there are 101 ways to stay awake ... power naps, turn off heater, exercise, have a snack, turn up the music. Midterms and Final exams loom on the horizon. What healthy ways have you found to stay awake and study?
  4. First and foremost, hello to nursing students everywhere! Before I begin, let me introduce myself. My name is Lauren—I am a Registered Nurse with experience in telemetry and critical care, and am currently in my second semester of CRNA school. “2020: The Year of the Nurse” has turned out a lot differently than any of us ever could have imagined. COVID-19 has truly affected everything in our society, and sometimes it seems like the world has been turned upside down. The nursing profession, however, has always remained strong and developed creative solutions to complex problems. Today, one of these is how to adapt nursing education programs to online, hybrid, and/or socially distanced formats. This is a challenge for all of us—whether you’re entering nursing education for the first time, pursuing a higher degree, or working in a nursing program. I attended nursing school in a traditional format, and never expected to attend CRNA school online! The last few months, however, I have discovered some tips and tricks that have helped me be successful. Hopefully they can help you not only to survive, but thrive, in your nursing program as well! Tip #1: Get Organized! This may seem like an obvious tip, but if you are attending classes online, organizing your coursework, workspace, and time may be completely up to you. I set up an area in my home where I could be alone, study, and attend Zoom courses without interruptions (not that this prevents my dogs from occasionally barking during class!). Each week, it helps me to take a look at the syllabus/online page for each course. Oftentimes, I make a list based off the following questions: What chapters of my textbooks am I assigned to read? Do I have assignments due this week, and when? Am I responsible for watching pre-recorded lectures on my own, and if so, how many? Creating this list helps provide a guide to my week, and helps prevent me from missing assignments or turning in work late. I have a whiteboard style monthly calendar on the wall as well, with the dates that big exams, papers, or projects are due marked on it clearly. Additionally, it helps to have the things you need for a successful school day at hand. For me, this includes my computer (and charger), a notebook, flash cards, and various pencils, pens, and highlighters. Having these items readily available helps keep me on task and prevents me from distractedly looking around the house whenever I need something. Tip #2: Create a Daily Routine. Structuring your day is crucial—it helps you be productive, keep up with your work, and ensures you also have time for yourself! I quickly realized that when I was doing school from home, it was too easy to stay up late, sleep in, and take way too many breaks. I created a loose schedule for my days: I wake up in the morning, get ready, and eat breakfast before sitting down at my computer by 0900 every day. I then add in any synchronous (live on Zoom) classes I need to attend, and structure time for other course work that I am completing independently. Other essential parts of my daily routine include time for exercise, a lunch break, and mini-breaks to stretch, eat a snack, and take my dogs outside. You can customize this to your own class schedule and attention span – knowing I have built in breaks helps me maximize my time and focus when I am in class or working independently. Tip #3: Connect with your Classmates. Nursing school (whether it’s an ADN, BSN, DNP, or PhD program) is hard! It is time consuming and intellectually challenging, which can lead to a lot of stress. Completing school from home can feel very isolating, and sometimes it’s hard to gauge whether you are the only one in your class worrying about an exam, struggling with a concept, celebrating a win, or just having a plain old bad day. Even though you may be completing school remotely, alone in your home, you are NOT alone. Don’t forget you have a cohort of other students facing the same challenges you are! Especially in this strange time, it is essential to have a support network that understands the unique challenges you’re facing on a daily basis. I moved to a new place to attend CRNA school and didn’t know anyone in the area. I was definitely nervous to reach out to my classmates, but I am so glad that I did! It helps me so much to have a few friends I can chat with throughout the day, ask questions, and study with (via Zoom). If you’re feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or like you need help, I guarantee your classmates are too. If you connect, you can take on this journey together! Tip #4: Don’t Forget Self-Care. This is an extremely challenging time in our world’s history. COVID-19 has affected each of us in our own way. Whether financial stress, mental health challenges, the loss of a loved one, or other obstacles have come your way this year, it is essential that you take the time to take care of yourself. Completing school from home can make it easy to blur the boundaries of work and rest. Even if you’re studying all day for a big exam, make sure you take the time to do whatever activity gives you refreshment. Go on a bike ride, cook an amazing meal, spend time with a loved one (whether it’s socially distanced, online, or over the phone), read a book for fun, or do whatever fills your cup! In order to care for others well, you have to take care of yourself. Thank you for taking the time to read my four tips for not only surviving, but thriving, in your nursing education during COVID-19! I know that whatever you’re taking on, you can be successful. Even when you’re home alone, remember – we are all on this journey together! Best of luck to you.
  5. RN to NP

    AANP FNP exam July 2020

    Hello, I never post on here but I wanted to pay my respect back after studying for a grueling month for the boards and checking this page daily for tips! I just took my AANP FNP exam July 1, 2020 and I passed! I graduated in May and started religiously studying 7 days a week June 1. On my days off from work I would study anywhere from 6-10 hours (with breaks of course!) and my days on at work I would study a few hours after work (I work 8 hour shifts) and do some practice questions during my lunch break. It was pretty exhausting but Im glad its done. I did NOT take a live review course but Im sure it would have helped! Here are the study materials I used: FNP Mastery I downloaded this app/practice questions early in the beginning of my studying and I felt it was OK. I appreciated the rationales of the question/answers and mnemonics, audio practice questions however some of the questions were either "too easy" or "too difficult." It was not too similar to the actual exam however content review from rationales were fine. EXAM EDGE I purchased 5 practice tests and I scored 522-655. Some of the questions were "too easy" however some of the questions on the actual exam were worded VERY similar! Not saying it was exact wording but similar in the way it was worded. I would recommend if you want extra practice. Do not purchase more than 5 practice tests! PSI I purchased 3 of the practice tests and I scored 72,88,74. I felt these practice questions were the most similar to the exam for the obvious reason (these are retired questions). I definitely would recommend purchasing the practice tests! They are $50 each and can only be taken once. LEIK I purchased the Leik book and started reviewing content that I needed refreshing on. I did not read cover to cover unfortunately due to lack of time since I was mostly spending my study days doing a ton of practice questions and reviewing the rationales. I would highly recommend this book and to read as much as possible. You can pass solely on reading this book and completing the questions at the back! I completed the questions 1.5 times and would score in the 90s since I basically already memorized the answers from completing them before but I did that so it would stick in my mind. APEA I purchased two predictor exams and one bonus 50 question exam. I believe they have a "deal" on that right now. I scored 74 on both predictor exams and 70 on the bonus questions. I felt these were more difficult than the actual exam however it did allow me to gauge that I needed more studying LOL. ANCC and AANP free questions Both respective organizations have free questions that you can take. ANCC has 25 questions on their website and its scored. AANP has free questions on the back of their handbook, however no answer key. I felt it was good practice. All in all, my recommendations for studying are: Leik (read as much of the book as possible!), PSI and APEA practice exams were the most helpful in my success for the exam. The exam itself was pretty straight forward with a few critical thinking however it was mostly pure knowledge base. I did not study all the topics that I saw on the actual exam however based on pure educated guessing, I was able to eliminate to arrive at an answer. I just felt so overwhelmed studying everyday and doing thousands of practice questions that I was just ready to take it LOL. However during the exam my best advice is to RELAX! I was so nervous and anxious that I felt it could have affected my score! LOL Anyway, good luck to you all and I hope this was helpful! You guys will do great!
  6. Hi Nurse Beth, I was just wondering, I'm currently an aged care Nurse, I'm currently studying my Batchelor of Nursing. I have been having trouble retaining all the information, so I completed a VAK assessment I got 9 As 3-Bs and 18-Cs I was wondering if you had any tips for a Kinesthetic learner to retain information. Kind Regards Dear Kinesthetic Learner, It is said that most nurses are kinesthetic learners as we have a reputation for being able to "MacGyver" anything and make it work. BioMed techs shake their heads at us and have inside jokes about how we nurses can break/fix anything. Learning Styles The VAK (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) assessment is a fun test to determine your learning style, but it has not been validated in the literature. You may have a learning style that you enjoy more than others, but there is no evidence to support that using the model improves outcomes. In reality, we all learn differently at different times and in different circumstances. What I can tell you as an experienced Nursing Professional Development Specialist is that adult learners do learn what is relevant to them. It's the "what's in it for me?" principle. So I have a very easy time teaching nurses the newest Alaris IV pump, for example, but it's far more challenging to teach capnography monitoring to nurses who are not likely to use capnography in their areas. Likewise, courses of study in your Bachelor's program may not seem to have direct relevance to your nursing practice. But your motivation to earn your Bachelor's degree can help you just like it did back when you were studying for your nursing degree. Think back. What helped you then? Did you take notes? Study in a study group? Prioritize When you are presented with a large amount of information, you must prioritize the most important points. Take it a step further and anticipate what you'll be tested on. Often the instructor will emphasize key points, so it's important to "read" your instructors. Pay close attention to the instructions and comments your instructors make on the discussion boards if you are in an online program. Become the teacher. Ask yourself "If I were the instructor, what would I expect the learner to retain?" Be specific. A yellow highlighter used sparingly is indispensable to me when reading a text or an article. It focuses my brain, forces me to identify key information, and channels my kinesthetic energy. Critical Thinking Higher education makes you a better critical thinker. Reading is not studying. When you are learning about the nursing theorists, for example, make yourself summarize in just 1-2 sentences what each one postulated. Do it. It's a great exercise that will improve your critical thinking. Take it to the next step by comparing and contrasting the theorists. Finally, internalize what you learn by examining your own beliefs, and how they affect your nursing practice. Do you agree with Callista Roy or Dorothea Orem ? If not, why not? Boosting To retain information, boost your learning. The majority of what you learn is quickly forgotten. Boost your memory at planned intervals, such as 24 hrs, 72 hrs and 2 weeks. During your initial studying, again, become the teacher. Formulate a couple of key questions and put them aside. Later, take out the questions and quiz yourself briefly on what you learned. Focusing on even just 1-2 points awakens your surrounding memory to the other facts learned at the same time. This helps transfer learning from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. Short, intense study times can be more effective than longer ones. Study something and then go for a walk, or clean your kitchen. During the off-activity, your brain will continue to work in the background, even while you're asleep. I hope this helps you, and best wishes! Nurse Beth Start your job search today!
  7. A nursing student spends several nights studying for an exam, but he/she still feels unprepared because there is too much information to recall. Nursing students can identify with such experience and ask the popular question of how do I study nursing textbooks? Nursing textbooks are filled with a lot of vital information but unfortunately, many nursing students find it difficult to differentiate required information from knowledge content. When studying nursing textbooks look for keywords, retain information by asking questions, take summary notes and understand the pathophysiology of a disease. Look for keywordsWhen studying your nursing textbooks look for keywords like critical, important, vital, main, common, goals, etc to help you understand the critical content that needs to be retained for exams and clinical purposes. These keywords would bring out the important points in a chapter that every nursing student needs to understand and apply. You can find keywords at the beginning or end of a paragraph, while the middle expands on the main point. Ask or create questionsAnother important step is retaining information by asking or creating questions from the content you have studied. Nursing content is different from the pre-requisite courses that were learned before nursing school because it cannot be memorized. Nursing content presents the disease process, medication, interventions, management and patient education that have to be linked to create a proper understanding. For instance, when studying about administering fibrinolytic therapy to a patient with acute stroke, the nursing student needs to understand what is happening (pathophysiology) and what complications need to be prevented. It is important to understand what factors can aggravate the patient's condition. If the HCP prescribes administration of Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), what does the nurse need to consider? Some questions to ask in this scenario include, but are not limited to:Does the patient have a history of recent head trauma, major surgery, recent or active bleeding, GI bleeding, etc?Would the nurse administer treatment before diagnostic tests are acquired and reviewed?Why is it important to review the labs before administering treatment?Would the nurse administer tPA to a patient who is complaining of severe headache that is unrelieved by medication?Why is a CT scan important after a patient has presented with stroke symptoms?How soon should tPA be administered after an acute ischemic stroke and why?What assessments and vital signs are crucial when administering tPA?These and many other questions that nursing students need to consider when studying. As you read the chapter ask yourself various questions that are related to the disease process. The questions would help your brain create links that would be useful when answering exam questions. From the above example, you can see that one disease process links to other comorbidities, so it is vital to understand these relationships when studying. Take notesMore so, you should take notes with a pen and paper when reading each chapter. Some students underestimate the power of the eyes and hands when it comes to recalling information. The brain is good at remembering information that is performed with multiple senses I.e vision and touch. However, do not get tempted to copy every word in your textbook because that would be a fruitless effort. The proper way to take notes is by summarizing the content in your own words after you have read through twice. Creating a summary helps to pinpoint if there are any gaps in your knowledge. To identify gaps, compare your summary to the content and ensure that both are related and accurate. Do not just skim through ...Further, when studying your nursing textbook, do not skim through pathophysiology because it gives a whole picture of a disease. When you understand what, why, where, when, how (pathophysiology), then you can confidently answer questions that are related to medication, interventions, nursing management, and patient education. Pay attention to the images, tables and highlighted words in pathophysiology. Enhance your critical thinking skillsUnderstanding and applying nursing content gives you an avenue to enhance your critical thinking skills. However, do not think that someone can teach you how to think critically because it is a skill that you develop with time. Enhancing your critical thinking skills requires time, effort and diligence. Therefore, create a schedule and start studying for an exam early because you need enough time to apply the above tips. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me. I wish you the best in nursing school and am here to help you!
  8. As a nursing student, you're probably wondering how you can be more efficient? Do you really have everything you need? What kind of scrubs should you buy? Should you get the yellow or blue stethoscope? Here's one item that is a MUST BUY... LOL. Share your list of MUST HAVE items below... Want more nursing cartoons? Nursing Toons/Memes
  9. I don't care about just passing my exams to get through nursing school nor just memorizing everything . I want to be able to understand the information and critically utilize it in clinical setting . I want to be a good nurse and give the best holistically care I can. I want to hear everyone preference and opinions on how they studied . What good habits should I work on now before starting the program in the fall? How should I approach the the textbook and questions?
  10. Nurse Beth

    15 of My Favorite Study Tips

    Here are some of my best study tips. 1) Use multiple studying methods, and above all, study weeks ahead, not at the last minute. Layered learning is best. 2) Take frequent breaks. Looking at pictures of puppies or animals on your break enhances concentration. Petting your pet sets up positive chemical reactions that help learning. Get up and move around. 3) Shorter sessions are better than all-night binges. 4) Repetition, repetition, repetition 5) Read smart. You can't read it all, so skim for meaning. The first sentence or two of a paragraph gives the overview. 6) ***Listen smart. Your instructor will emphasize what's important to him/her during lecture. That's your study focus.*** 7) Review your notes right after class to hardwire. 😎 When it's straight memorization, use mnenmonics. 9) When driving, talk out loud to yourself in the car. Repeat key facts and concepts. You will quickly identify your learning needs. 10) Have notecards on your person. Standing in line at the grocery store? Pull out a card. 11) If you are auditory, record yourself or instructor and play back. 12) Try Pinterest. You will find universal study subjects broken down into easy effective visuals. 13) Do not rob Peter to pay Paul- get your rest. Fuel yourself, and once in a while take a complete break (swimming, movie, shopping). Your brain will keep working in the background. 14) Avoid comparing yourself to others. Everyone learns differently. 15) Teach someone else what you learned. It assures mastery of your subject. Best wishes! Nurse Beth
  11. shompeh

    My Study Tips For CRNE

    I passed the CRNE on my first time and I wanted to leave some important tips for those writing the exam in October 2014. I know that is the last CRNE exam before NCLEX is introduced in 2015. For those writing it this fall, I wanted to share my study tips. Many of these studying tips are from a 1-day CRNE prep course I attended 1.5 months before the exam. I took off time from work for 1.5 months to study for the exam. For those that cannot take time off from work, it is good to get a 2-3 month head-start with your studying. SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: The first thing I want to mention is not to rely solely on one single resource to study for the exam. Find a group to study with. I found my study group (there were 3 of us in our group) to be very effective and each one of us the CRNE on June 2014 our first time. Make sure to book off work for the last 2-3 weeks before the exam because you will need that time to review, write mock tests to test your knowledge and review some more. It is easy to become overwhelmed and feel anxious when studying for the exam, do take some time in the day to relax or exercise. Take a walk at the end of a good studying session, do yoga or any exercise that works for you. Exercise releases endorphins and when you're happy, you'll be able to concentrate on your studying better. Rule of thumb for studying: Take a 10 min break for EVERY HOUR you study. Do not study non-stop for multiple hours without a break, you will not be able to retain much of what you studied. REVIEWING IS KEY TO RETAINING CONTENT: After you write out notes for the competencies, REVIEW THEM FROM TIME TO TIME. Review before your group study sessions, after the studying session, when waiting for the bus, when on the train, whenever you can find extra time. Do not forget about the notes ones you've written them. STUDY SOURCES: For the CRNE, the CNA competencies hold ALL THE CRITERIA needed to study for the exam. Use the list of competencies as your exam blueprint and study up content for each competency. In a group, divide up the competencies (I will recommend focusing mostly on the CH - CHANGES IN HEALTH competencies because of their large studying content) and every week, each group member should study up to 2-3 competencies and teach the rest of the members what they learned. An example to study using competencies: Pick a competency: CH 32 promotes oxygenation (e.g., positioning, deep breathing and coughing exercises, oxygen therapy, oral and nasal suctioning). Think of different topics you can cover for oxygenation: other than the bracketed examples, you can talk about oxygen therapy through tracheostomy, different types of masks used for promoting oxygenation, etc. Study up (also write notes and share with friends in group) the content on the one competency. Teach each other: share your notes with your peers the night before you meet for them to review and then teach them. It will allow all of you to ask each other questions and look up content you're unsure of. My friends and I covered up to 9 competencies a day. Buy the Mosby's Review Book The prep guide has all the content (as well as the list of competencies in the back) needed to study, but it should not be the only source as there is tons of additional information on each topic it does not contain. Keep your nursing textbooks from school handy to look up extra information to study. I mostly focused on the competencies and used the Mosby's book for review and to ensure I did not miss any topic. At the end of each chapter, there are questions to test your knowledge. Do take the time to do them and read their rationales. They're very helpful. Buy the Mosby's Prep Guide (it contains 3 sets of 200 questions useful as MOCK TEST) Do one of the tests as if it were in a real setting by setting aside 4 hours and obtain a score. Determine which area you were most weak in and focus your studying towards it. Do the first test before beginning your studying to see where you are at and where you need improvement. Save the other two tests for the last 2 weeks. You will also find tests at the end of the Mosby's Review book, at the end of each chapter of that book, in the CD provided with Mosby's Prep Guide as well as Review book. Make use of the CDs as there is a study mode and a test mode of them. Do the study mode questions first as they will help you study the content at random and will give you the sense of the type of critical thinking questions to expect in the exam. Do go over the rationales for EACH option for ALL the multiple choice questions in the prep guide and the CDs. Reading rationale for the right answer and every wrong answer also serves as a wonderful studying tool. Buy the CRNE PREP GUIDE by CNA (Optional) Me and many people I know purchased this book that contain 1 mock test only (200 questions). It was recommended to us when we took the CRNE prep course together. We were told to save this test for last as it is similar to the CRNE exam. Personally, I did not find it too helpful because the way the questions were worded in it was very different from mock test and the exam itself. However, it is a good tool to review when you look through each rationale. It couldn't hurt to practice more questions. It might even help you. HOW TO STUDY Start out by doing one 4-hr mock test to see where you are with your previous knowledge. Don't be alarmed if your mark is low. That is expected since you haven't started getting into the study mode yet. Use the test to identify your weak point, so you know where the focus more. Work on 3-6 competencies each week. Write out notes for the competencies and send it to your friends. Then teach each other. My friends and I met twice a week, sent our notes to each other in advance for review and then taught each other. My group focused mostly on the CHANGES IN HEALTH competencies as they have the largest content. Many competencies in other categories are straightforward and may not even require frequent reviewing because the knowledge is ingrained in your mind through nursing school. Use your judgment to identify which competencies are those, so you can focus on the more difficult ones. At the end of every day that we met in the week, we did a mock test as a group and took up the test together. Purchase mock tests online, look for resources where you can get mock tests for free, and go through mock tests in the prep books. Do these tests once or twice every week to see your progress as you study. Every week, take a day to review everything you have studied until that point instead of learning new content. Like I said, REVIEWING WHAT YOU STUDIED IS THE KEY TO STUDYING EFFECTIVELY. You might get annoyed by having to do so many questions and you may want to stop. It is frustrating and I know it first hand. But keep doing practice/mock questions by reminding yourself that it is preparing you for the exam. They will help you a great deal. I took the day before the exam to do NOTHING. I put away all my books and spent the day relaxing, watching a movie. Try not to indulge in doing some last minute studying as that can stress you out and make you feel anxious. Remember, you know more than you think and you would have studied a tremendous amount by then, and that last minute studying only adds to frustration and anxiety. I prepared everything I needed on the day of the exam well in advance to avoid last minute anxiety. 2 HB pencils, one eraser, tissues, some hard candy (I needed sugar because that 4 hour exam is long), a government ID, your TEST CARDS and an unlabelled bottle of water. If you've prepared in advance, then all you have to worry about is getting to the test centre the morning of the exam. Trust me, you don't need any last minute anxiety. At the end of the exam, you will feel a great deal of stress come off of you. So you should celebrate! I hope that these tips were helpful to you and you find success in your CRNE exam. Study hard and Good luck to you all.
  12. Our personal learning style is the unique manner in which we acquire, grasp, and retain new material. Some adults learn predominantly by way of seeing and visualizing, whereas others learn via the hands-on approach, which entails touching, tapping, and movement. Furthermore, others learn by listening and hearing. While one particular learning style tends to predominate in most persons, a handful of people seem to favor more than one modality. How does one figure out what type of learner (s)he is? Read more about the four primary learning styles below and see if you can identify with any of them. The Visual Learner The majority of students are visual learners. Students who possess the visual learning style seem to favor lists, demonstrations, and PowerPoint presentations. Visual learners learn by watching lectures and looking at visual representations (charts, pictures, maps, and graphs). Based on estimates, approximately 60 percent of the student population consists of those with a predominantly visual learning style. The Auditory Learner Auditory learners, also known as aural learners, tend to retain information that they hear. These types of learners learn most efficiently by listening to lectures and verbal instructions. Moreover, when many auditory learners read, they often whisper the words to themselves or sometimes read aloud. Countless auditory learners retain material by listening to audiobooks, recorded lectures, or through talking out the steps of a problem. A telltale sign of an auditory learner is distractibility: they are distracted by extraneous noises and frequently require quiet study environments. The Tactile Learner Tactile learners acquire new material primarily through the sense of touch. These learners display a strong preference toward activities that allow them to utilize their hands, such as flipping flash cards, taking hand-written notes, preparing drawings, doodling, and typing. The typical tactile learner performs most optimally when (s)he actively takes notes during lectures using pen and paper. In addition, numerous students with this learning style enjoy lab practicum courses that facilitate hands-on acquisition of new facts. The Kinesthetic Learner In the past, many people assumed kinesthetic learners and tactile learners were one and the same. However, several differences exist between the two styles of learning. Namely, kinesthetic learners grasp new information by way of doing and moving. In essence, they would rather jump in there and perform the activity instead of observe or listen to directions. The telltale sign of a typical kinesthetic learner is the inclination to retain very little of whatever the instructor speaks during lectures. It should be noted that most persons start out as kinesthetic learners in early childhood before gradually becoming more tactile in middle childhood. Now that you've probably identified your prevailing learning style, what are some study tips to help you navigate the scholastic setting and learn more effectually? Visual Learning Tips Use vividly-colored highlighters when reading textbooks and notes to help make important facts visually stand out. Utilize flash cards since constantly visualizing the same words, facts, definitions and tidbits helps the visual learner retain new material. Read your notes and, whenever possible, turn them into presentations using programs such as Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint. Auditory Learning Tips Listen to audiobooks whenever possible. If you cannot obtain the audiobook version, read your textbooks aloud whenever possible. Obtain your instructor's permission to record lectures, and repeatedly listen to the lecture to retain the information being presented. Join a study group where you can actively talk with and listen to classmates about the material, as well as compare notes aloud. Tactile Learning Tips Invest in some old-fashioned lined paper and take handwritten notes during your lectures. In your spare time, rewrite these notes into your own words. Take the time to prepare flash cards using 3 by 5 inch index cards. The act of touching, preparing, and writing out the information will help you remember it. Do not resist the urge to draw, doodle, or jot extraneous information. Drawing and doodling actually helps cement material into your long-term memory. Kinesthetic Learning Tips If you must read, you'll probably retain best while moving (e.g. standing, cycling on a stationary bike, walking on a treadmill, and so forth). Engage in another activity while studying such as eating a snack, chewing gum, tapping your feet, sipping water, or standing up. Be mindful that you will probably need to take frequent breaks while studying. A true kinesthetic learner cannot remain still for long periods. Other great articles... NCLEX Study Tips! My story Online Nursing Study Tips: What Has Worked For Me Study Tips for Nursing Students Keys to Studying better using your Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic talents My Study Tips For CRNE three-learning-styles.pdf
  13. Do you remember the first time you heard the words "NCLEX style questions"? Your first formal introduction to NCLEX was most likely during nursing school orientation. Unfortunately, the nursing faculty did not realize students were overwhelmed with new information and were not concerned with a type of question. In teaching nursing school, I found students would often use the same strategies and study habits that have been successful in other college courses. However, students realize after the first exam just how different NCLEX style questions are from exams taken in the past. This article will demystify NCLEX questions and increase the confidence of nursing students, at any level, to tackle nursing exams- including the official NCLEX. For students preparing to take the actual NCLEX- pay close attention to the article "tips". Nursing instructors do not always understand how to write an NCLEX question and you will need to stray from the nursing exams you are used to taking. An NCLEX question has 3 parts- a stem, a key, and distractors. The stem asks a question or requires completion of a question pertaining to the client. The question stem will provide all the necessary information you need to answer the test item. The Stem Describes the client (individual or group needing intervention) May pose a question. For example, "The nurse is assessing a client with exacerbation of congestive heart failure. Which of the following symptoms would the nurse expect to find?" May require completion of a statement. For example, "The nurse is teaching a caregiver how to administer bolus enteral feedings. The nurse identifies a need for additional teaching with the caregiver states" Stem Tips The stem will always provide the information you need to correctly answer the question. A common pitfall is reading detail into the scenario that is not provided in the stem. NCLEX world is ideal, nursing is fully staffed and an order exists for the treatments and interventions in the question stem. There is no need for the test taker to build in additional details that come with nursing in the "real world". There is no need to add "what if" to the stem scenario. The NCLEX will use the term "primary healthcare provider" (PHCP) for any member of the healthcare team authorized to provide orders for the client. PHCPs may include physicians, nurse practitioners and specialty physicians (neurologist, cardiologist ect). The key and distractors are the options available for answering the NCLEX item. The answer options are multiple choice and may be in a "select all that apply" format. The answer key is the item's correct answer. It is important to understand the concept behind distractors. The Distractors Keep in mind that there will be only one (1) correct answer unless the item is a "select all that apply". Outside of NCLEX world, nursing tests may have distractors that are also correct- just not the answer the instructor was looking for. Remember, NCLEX world is ideal and there will always be a clear answer. Distractors, or wrong choices/answers, are designed to take your focus away from the item's key. There will not be obviously outrageous wrong distractors on NCLEX. Distractors will seem plausible and if the test taker is unsure- distractors are successful in drawing attention away from the correct answer. Let's go back to our sample stem and add a key and distractors. Example 1 The nurse is assessing a client with exacerbation of congestive heart failure. Which of the following symptom would the nurse expect to find? Low Hematocrit- distractor Orthopnea- key Weight loss- distractor Diarrhea- distractor Rationale Although low hematocrit sounds very plausible, it is not a common symptom of CHF exacerbation. Weight gain is common due to fluid retention and diarrhea is not a symptom typically associated with CHF. Tip I am going to travel back to my days in nursing school and predict the overthinking details many of you added to the question stem "The patient may require rehydration after diuretics leading to low hematocrit" "If the patient wasn't eating- it is possible the client lost weight "Diarrhea is a very common side effect, therefore, this must be the right answer" Remember The question stem will provide all the necessary and pertinent information needed to identify the correct answer. It is a common pitfall to add additional information to the stem. Example 2 The nurse is teaching a caregiver how to administer bolus enteral feedings. The nurse identified a need for additional teaching with the caregiver states "I will measure residual gastric content prior to bolus feeding."- distractor "I will raise the head of the client's bed to 35 degrees."- distractor "I will use a new syringe with each feeding."- distractor "I will discard residual gastric contents prior to feeding."- key Rationale Gastric contents should not be discarded and need to be readministered after checking residual. Discarding gastric contents increases risk for electrolyte imbalances. Tip Many nursing school exams and practice NCLEX questions provide more detail that the official NCLEX. Exams questions in nursing school often provide detailed gender, age and other information in the stem. Again, when taking the official NCLEX, it is important to avoid reading details into the questions. For Example Nursing school stem- "A 48-year-old male presented to the emergency room after falling off a ramp while working and broke his right femur. Which of the following assessment is most important for the nurse?" NCLEX stem- An adult client presents to the emergency room with a broken femur. Which of the following would be essential for the nurse to assess? Final Tip Did you know the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) publishes a detailed NCLEX test plan just for students? The detailed plan is published to prepare students to successfully take the NCLEX exam. The publication also includes example test items for practice. You can explore the student test plan at Test Plans | NCSBN. What about NCLEX style questions still mystify you? What future article topics would help you prepare for NCLEX?
  14. Break up big tasks into smaller ones. There is A LOT of reading to do in nursing school, and it is always in your best interests to keep on top of them. This is on top of projects and studying for tests and exams. Since all of these activities involve reading, I break up my readings into smaller readings and write this in my calendar. For example, you have a psychology reading to do for your class next Friday. The chapter is over 30 pages. Every day I set little goals for myself to get that reading done: "Monday: pgs. 1-4, Tuesday: pgs. 5-8, etc.". It's a lot easier than reading all 30 pages at once, and will make the task seem less daunting. School comes before work. I was able to make it this far working about 8-12 hours a week, sometimes less. As much as I need the money, I am paying to be at school. It's more expensive if you fail a course and have to repeat it anyway. Be honest with your employers about school, they are usually pretty understanding. Be honest with yourself about how much time you need to study and complete assignments. Factor in travel time. SLEEP is SO important. As I mentioned above, I would advise NEVER to pull all-nighters unless you absolutely have to. Sleep loss can make you depressed, slow, sick and unproductive - trust me. I treat sleep like a job or a class, something that must be done. Clinical placements require your full attention, so get as much of it as you can. Learn to say No. It seems like less-busy friends need you most when you're busiest. In this program, you can't be available all the time. I try my best to push all my social commitments to Friday nights and some Saturday nights. Be honest with yourself and gauge how much work you have that week. Don't take shortcuts. This is especially important when learning clinical skills. Our faculty advisor would give us comprehension questions about clinical skills, such as IV and medication safety. Since we were so tired and starved for time, we would copy each other's answers without taking time to really learn. This would come back to bite me when she would ask me a question related to those topics. It took me twice as long to learn those topics. Not to mention, we are dealing with people's lives. Give yourself time to learn. Don't let everything you need to do in terms of assignments overwhelm you. Prioritize, and focus on what is due first, then move on to the next "you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time." Start your exam review the first week of school. I know it sounds crazy but by making study notes from lectures and seminars will give you more time to study in the end! Making exam notes before exams gives you less time to study and you're cramming for your exams, which can lead to a lot of stress! Pace yourself and it will allow you to obtain and remember the material easier if you start early and review it during your reading break. Start off at the beginning with good study habit- Make sure keep you up with the readings and that you don't fall behind in class! Your professor won't constantly be there to remind you to study. There will be consequences if you aren't kept up, for example, trying to cram 100+pgs in 2 days before the exam (that was the biggest mistake I made in 1st year, first semester). Also, make friends in your class, because they can be helpful when you want to form a study group or even ask questions! Who knows, they might even be your best friend! Listen in class and take notes! If you walk into your class thinking "meh, I'll spend 50 minutes on facebook and will read the textbook later", you will end up doing that. Go to your class with a positive learning attitude. You made it to class so you might as well pay attention carefully. Fully engage your attention to your professor as they might emphasize on any important information! Normally, I would bring 2 color pens, my lecture note, and a clipboard to limit distractions (like my computer). If there is a class that requires intensive note taking and you'd need to bring your laptop, I have avoided distraction by downloading a program called: Self control (I also use it when I study too!) which blocks websites (facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.), for however long you set it. Make sure you have free time to do other stuff If you think about it, you have 168 hours a week, you spend approximately 56 hours sleeping, 18-24 hours going to class, maybe 30 hours studying, meaning this leaves you up to almost 60 hours of stress-free time. School can be stressful, so make sure you spend your free time hanging out with your new friends, going to the gym (super important!), taking fitness classes like yoga, or being involved with extra curricular. Make sure you keep your life well balanced! STEP 1 Go to class! It is so important to be visible and to pay attention- often times professors will give hints on exam questions and will definitely point you in the right direction for your studying as to which topics to focus on. STEP 2 Be on time, especially for your clinical placements- first impressions and the little things do matter and can go a long way for relationship building and marks STEP 3 Clinical is not as scary as you think. If you show up on time and listen to what your clinical instructor tells you half the battle is won. STEP 4 Friends are an invaluable resource for support and a helping hand- but don't always believe everything you hear- if you want correct information head straight to the source, either your professors or your year coordinator. STEP 5 Choose your friends for your group projects carefully, fellow students who are like-minded in terms of goals and grades for the assignment are your best choice. Everyone being on the same page in expectations and desired result will save you a lot of headaches, potential conflicts and time. STEP 6 As a nurse, you are a piece of the larger context of the health care delivery system. In any clinical placement you will be working with people from other disciplines who may not share similar ideas with you- you must get used to working in groups and collaborating ideas with others. STEP 7 It is almost impossible to study every detail for every test for every subject. Try focusing on the most important concepts first- the ones that will get you the most marks on a test- then move on to the details. STEP 8 As soon as you sense that you are falling behind in the course or will be needing help- ask for it! Your professors are there to help you, and can often provide tips, perspective and what topics to focus your studying on. Finances ✔️ Don't spend more than you have. Tuition comes first over clothes and alcohol. ✔️ Live at home if you can. This saved me a ton of money on rent, food, laundry and other expenses. ✔️ Sell books you will not need at the end of the semester. Some books will invaluable throughout your career as a nurse: your anatomy book, your med-surg book, your drug guide, your lab guide, and your assessment book. These books are definitely worth keeping. There are other books that are probably okay to part with. Every year, I sell my textbooks back to Amazon.ca or I advertise them on Craigslist or Kijiji and end up making some money back. ✔️ Keep school-related receipts and payments and put them together in one place. This includes receipts for books, supplies and metro passes/transit. You can claim them around tax time and get money back!! If you have a job during the school year, realize when your must education takes priority. There is little use of having a part time job, if it means doing poorly in your classes and having to repeat the course. So yes, a job is nice but not if it jeopardizes your grades. Homemade food - Try packing your lunch, snacks, and drinks. I have found this to be very effective and can significantly reduce spending. Think about each time you line up to buy food you're spending between $5-10, multiply that by five days and that equals $25-50 per week. But don't forget to add in that extra morning coffee and muffin to get you through the day. And by the end of your day you're too tired to cook dinner, so you pick up something on the way home... Eventually everything adds up. By preparing your meals at home and in advance, you get to choose whatever you like - not to mention eat healthier and prevent the dreaded 'freshman fifteen'. Saving money and eating healthy?? Count me in!! Career Development Network! Go to job fairs even when you are not in your fourth year. Meet recruiters and talk to them. Any volunteer health/people related events and organizations in your community try to get involved. It's a great resume builder but it also gets your name out there. You would be surprised how small of a world it is out there when you get involved. Get to know your professors well Many professors are actively involved in the research field and can provide a great opportunity for nursing students to become involved as research assistants. Not only will your professors know your name and face, but this may prove to be an excellent reference in the future as well. Volunteer in the hospital Volunteering provides a chance for you to become familiar with the hospital setting, and encourages professional and personal development. As a volunteer in the Hospital Elder Life Program I was able to further my communication skills which assisted me in providing client centered care in my nursing career. Essay/Paper Writing Feeling overwhelmed, with a blank screen and impending deadline? Take a break from your laptop. Grab a sheet of paper and a pen (yea I know, eh?). Next, take the rubric or instructions for the essay. Write down the main questions/requirements for the essay of the left side of the sheet of paper. On the right side, write down how you plan on addressing these questions in point form and with quotes from your peer-reviewed sources (keep the name(s) of the author(s) and the year next to the quote so you remember the source when you are writing in APA format). Once you've filled out the right side, number your points in the sequence that makes the most sense. Then type up the points in paragraph form, complete with your APA referencing. Add a grabbing intro, a clean conclusion, reference list, et viola! ✔️ Set aside a time after your paper is written to edit JUST APA, it may take you an hour the first time, but it will seriously help your grades and with time you will become faster at it ✔️ Probably the most important part of writing an essay is following the rubric (down to the letter!) it will save you a lot of time and form the structure of your essay ✔️ If English is your second language or you just have trouble with essays in general most universities have Writing Centres where a graduate student usually helps undergraduate students. They won't write your essay for you but they can definitely help point out where your weaknesses are and usually have tips to help. Take advantage of feedback - Not many, but some professors may allow students to submit a draft for feedback prior to the final essay submissions. This is your chance to score that 'PLUS' on your grade. By obtaining feedback you know what your professor is looking for and you can improve on those areas of weakness. If your professor does not accept drafts for review, then still keep in mind the comments from final submissions for future essays; this can strengthen your essay writing skills. TIP: If you are struggling to meet the minimum page requirement for essays or research papers, you probably need to do more research. There are tons of nursing journals and resources waiting to be read. Knowing how to use library databases and resources is key, and if you are unsure of how to do so, ask a librarian. How To Cope with Unexpected Challenges Challenging issues that can occur throughout your four years in Nursing School are: personal health issues - such as recent diagnosis of an illness or a chronic health issue, financial issues, emotional issues - such as depression, anxiety, or bereavement (loss of a loved one), etc. Unforeseen challenges can occur at any point in life however when they occur during Nursing School you can feel even more overwhelmed. This is due to the already tight schedule and then you add the shock of an emotional or financial crisis and you can hit your maximum threshold for stress. STEP 1 First and foremost - ASK FOR HELP! If something comes up unexpectedly that will cause you to not meet a deadline or miss school ensure let your respective professor or clinical instructor know about your situation. If you can only email your professor and not see them in person due to geographical constraints then just email them as much as you can tell them about your situation via email. If you are in the hospital because you are ill be sure to ask a family member or friend for help in communicating with someone at school. I find it extremely helpful to save all my faculty contacts in my Blackberry. If you have a Smartphone it is wise to save any contacts you ever need for school in this device, as it generally is the most accessible device you will have when a challenge occurs. STEP 2 Be HONEST I totally understand and respect confidentiality about one's health and personal situation but when I say be honest I mean be honest to yourself. Be honest about the challenge you are faced with and be honest about what you are going to be able to handle as you go through your challenges. Balance your schedule so you can make medical appointments or work (if the issue is financial) and make sure that you do not cause yourself to burnout. This is already a huge issue in nursing so you do not need to cause yourself anymore risk of burnout especially in your education. Faculty can help adjust your schedule or your assignments so you can have a fighting chance at succeeding just like your fellow classmates. STEP 3 Accommodations If you have a medical issue or a learning disability or you feel you need testing/ academic accommodations due to another reason it is always wise to book an appointment with your Accommodation Service at your school. Even if you feel one semester your health/ situation should be okay its better to have the paperwork prepared and submitted so that your professors can be aware of your situation before its too late. "It's better to be safe than sorry." STEP 4 Embrace your emotions ...and by this I mean FEEL your emotions, cry when you need to, be angry when you need to, be alone when you need to, be around others when you need to, but productively deal with your emotions. If you feel angry, sad, depressed, happy or maybe even ecstatic show these emotions in a positive way. If you are going through a new challenge or a continuing challenge or you just need someone trusting and honest to talk to, all schools have some form of a Counseling service. This service is FREE, confidential and does not affect you academically but it helps you learn productive and effective ways of coping. STEP 5 HAVE FUN! Even when the going gets tough, you can still find ways to enjoy yourself. After the crisis point of your challenge has passed find a way back to some form of fun and enjoyment for yourself. Sometimes you may need to change temporarily how you have fun due to your circumstances but there are a lot of ways to find enjoyment in life that don't cost too much and that are not too physically demanding if you cannot be very physically active. I really hope that you find this informative, helpful and encouraging. I wish you all the best in your studies in Nursing School and I hope your journey to become a RN is one you will never forget!
  15. Julie Reyes

    Study Tips for Nursing Students

    Were your grades less than ideal this semester? Are you just beginning to dive into college life and are worried about how to study and making the grades you need? It is important to take college seriously for several reasons. College is expensive! You need to make good grades so you don't get suspended or put on academic probation. You don't want to have to drop out or fail a class because you didn't know how to study, or worse yet - you don't want to be dropped from your nursing program! Here are some pointers that may just help you not only pass, but pass with flying colors! Where to Study Library Students often have to figure out a place that works for them. The majority of students prefer to study in the school library because it is quiet, there are other students - some may be from some of your classes, and there are also rooms that can be used for study groups. Bookstores Some students prefer to study in bookstores. There is a dull "white" noise in the background of people browsing and chatting, but not enough to be distracting. The perks are the chance to get up and walk around and browse the books when you need a break, and many bookstores now have a coffee shop for snacks. Classroom This is always an option if you are an on campus student and you want to study in groups (or alone). There are plenty of chairs! Use caution though, if you are studying alone. Don't get into a compromising position and put yourself in danger - keep the door opened at the very least, and don't let anyone trap you in the room - always have an escape route. Home Maybe not the top choice for most students due to the distractions. Phone, TV, family members, etc, can all lead to study time being disrupted. However, if you have an office where you can study undisturbed and you are comfortable there - dig in and get to work! How to Study Concentrate! Do you remember what you just read? This was always my biggest problem - reading pages and pages and not even knowing what I just read (although almost everything was highlighted)! How can you overcome this? Study in a quiet place free from distractions Have a routine for efficient study times Take study breaks (I began implementing 5 minute runs on a treadmill at the top of every hour. During this time, I would mentally review what I had learned or studied the past hour. This helped me remember MUCH more!) During study times, stop frequently and ask yourself questions about your reading that you might encounter on an exam Review the notes of the previous lecture before class In class, do not play/message/social network on your cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc. You will miss important information - information that could be on your exam! Listen to the instructor, sit in the front of the class away from disruptive students, and focus on note taking Notes Split page method During a lecture, divide your notebook page into 2 columns. On one side write down key points during the lecture, and on the other side, write down the page number from the textbook - and a few key points from that page. If your professor emphasizes something twice, highlight that point - it may well be a test question! Some students also make a third column for questions they have thought of to ask the professor. Taking notes in class is a challenge. You may have attempted to write down every word the professor has said during a lecture, and in doing so, missed an important piece of information because you were writing down something the professor said 5 minutes earlier. Here are some tips on note taking. Group notes Form a study group and take turns being note taker in class. On the day that you are note taker, write clearly and write down key points. After class, share your notes with your study group. On the day you are not note taker, participate actively in class and ask questions. Write down key WORDS or page numbers so that the notes can be added to. Discuss the lecture with your study group as soon as possible (the material is still fresh) and create an awesome study guide! Complete those notes! During the lecture, the key points or phrases you have written down will not make sense later on. Add to those notes and clarify your points by making them into complete sentences. Make sure your writing is legible, or type them out on the computer. Research has shown that if you review your notes within 24 hours of the lecture, you will recall the new material 80% of the time. Retype your notes daily, this will improve your study habits and your grades. Effective tips Don't skip class! You will miss important information and that can make a difference between passing and failing. Read the textbook material prior to your class, take notes, ask questions. Preparation is everything! If you read your material prior to class, you will know what the subject is about, you will know what is already covered in the textbook (you won't have to write that down again), and you can have questions ready. Color your paper! You will retain more information if you change up the color of your ink! Silly, but it is true! You can retain up to 50-80% more information when you change out the color of your ink. You can write dates in one color, key points in another, etc. Figure out what works for you! Manage your schedule How many hours should I study? A rule of thumb is you should study 3 hours for every hour of class (if you are taking basket weaving, you can throw this out the window). If you're A&P or pharmacology class is a 3 hour class, you should study 9 hours a week for this class. If you are struggling in that class, of course you should study longer. Read your textbook, review or retype/rewrite your notes, use the textbook website for study questions if there are any, watch youtube videos that deal with your course subject, etc. Make study time a "sacred" time, where you are not watching TV, connecting with social media, etc. Prioritize! Don't set yourself up for failure by waiting until the last minute to study for an exam. Set aside time every day to review and study. Learn to say "no" to activities that cut into your sacred study time. Effective Studying You have to figure out what works for you, from what environment you study in - to how you study - to what time of day is the best time to study. Your brain will store information in your short term memory for up to 24 hours, but after that you will lose 80% of that information. In order to move that information in your long term memory, you need to find what works for you. Repetition is the key to moving information to long term memory. Visual learners can do this best by taking and reviewing detailed notes, charts, graphs, maps, etc. Auditory learners can read out loud the information, notes, textbook, or listen to the lecture (if you can record it) several times. Summarizing out loud the information, talk about it with other students in study groups, etc. Haptic learners are those that can't sit still or have to have music/tv on in the background. These are the people that are easily distracted. If you are a haptic learner, you might find that reviewing your notes while sitting on a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill is the best for you, or you may need to break up your studying with frequent breaks. Online study sites I found one thing that worked best for me was using study sites that let you make "flip cards" and create exams from the cards. Just to name a few, you can try quizlet.com or studyblue.com. One thing I made sure I did was to review the deck right before I went to sleep at night, and I would actually dream about the cards - and I felt like I retained so much more. I like those sites because you can actually search for cards that are already made and use those cards, or you can make your own to suit your needs. There are a LOT of sites out there that you can use, just find what works best for you! I hope that these tips help you succeed! Best of luck!!!
  16. In this week's vlog you'll get to see me as I struggle to adopt a healthier lifestyle while in grad school. Some Highlights If you fail, don't beat yourself up. Everyday there's an opportunity to get it right. Grad school has put my emotional eating into overdrive. Get a workout partner. You can encourage each other to stay on task. Remember it's about progression, not perfection. We all have to start somewhere! If we're going to advocate that our patients adopt a healthier lifestyle, then we should strive to serve as an example. I hope you enjoy Follow Me Through Grad School Episode 108: Attempting to Be Healthy In NP School. Do have any health tips that have helped you in school? If so, please share them below. Be sure to see the journey from the beginning.
  17. I have been enrolled in the Western Governors University online RN-to-BSN degree completion program since May 2014, and so far, I have greatly enjoyed the experience. Each passing grade on an objective assessment or performance task greatly enhances my sense of self-efficacy and causes me to realize that I can accomplish this feat. So can you! My inspiration for this post was prompted by a private message I received not that long ago from another member who started working on the Care of the Older Adult (DPV1) course at the beginning of this month and is still working through the study plan. This member was wondering what steps I took to accelerate through the courses, so I decided to share the methods that have worked well for me. How To Accelerate Through Your Courses STEP 1 I absolutely DO NOT complete any of the activities in the course of study, especially for objective assessment (OA) courses. There's enough busy work on each course of study to tie a person up for a couple of months. As Sweet Brown would shout, "Ain't nobody got time for that!" STEP 2 I search Google for relevant lecture notes and educational PowerPoints from other colleges and universities. After all, the material covered in a typical nursing research course does not vary much between WGU, the University of Arkansas School of Nursing, or the BSN program at the University of Central Florida. It's the same story for Professional Roles and Values, Community-Based Nursing, or any common nursing course. I have found virtually no variance between the material on the WGU course of study and concise lecture notes that are posted on the university websites of other schools of nursing. STEP 3 I occasionally purchase used study guides off Ebay or Amazon. For instance, I studied for the Professional Roles and Values course (RUC1) using a $14.99 gently used study guide published by the College Network. After two weeks of studying, I took the OA and attained a score of 81, which was 16 percentage points above the minimum cut score of 65. STEP 4 For WGU's performance assessment courses, I skip the course of study altogether and simply jump right into the TaskStream instructions. I complete the tasks according to the instructions outlined in TaskStream and the associated rubric. My assignments typically pass on the first submission. As I'm completing my essay or PowerPoint submission, my research comes strictly from various internet sources. STEP 5 I schedule my OA test dates two weeks into the future to keep me motivated. After the date has been confirmed, I study intensely during those two weeks using study guides and lecture notes I found on other nursing school websites. I typically score in the 80s on my OAs. I just wanted to share some acceleration tactics that have worked out for me up to this point. These techniques may or may not work for your personal learning style, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt and/or employ them as you wish. Having faith in your abilities is paramount while enrolled in this particular program. Good luck to everyone!
  18. Ever had that moment when you are trying to study and you find that no matter what you do things just are not sticking? Or you can't remember them when that big test comes around? Like me, you probably think that something is just wrong and maybe nursing is just not for you, because you've failed one test after the other. Well, I've got good news for you...it may not be that you are not made for nursing it might be that you are using the wrong learning style to get through nursing school. What is one's learning style? Well, there are basically three types of learning styles: Visual Learners Visual Learners understand information best by what they see. This includes seeing the words they read, PowerPoint projections, diagrams, watching demonstrations, items that have vivid colors that appeal to their sense of vision. They enjoy visually striking movies that are fast-paced and use lots of colors to highlight items they need to remember. Visual learners would probably skim the bold and highlighted main points in this article and read through it quickly. Auditory Learners Auditory Learners are experts at listening and learn best from what they hear. They would rather not watch a PowerPoint, but prefer to record lectures and play them back to study. They may read notes out loud or have a friend quiz them on an upcoming test. They need diagrams to be explained to them, which does not mean they stupid at learning a diagram, rather hearing the explanation reinforces the visual data into their memory banks. They are also great at following verbal directions, whereas a visual learner, like myself, prefers to get the instruction written down and in my hand so I can read it. Auditory learners would probably read this entire article out loud to themselves. Kinesthetic / Tactile Learners Got a bunch of friends who love to hug, touch are feeling? Those are our kinesthetic learners. Tactile learners enjoy hands-on experience. They will excel in labs and physical assessment. They learn best by doing, touching and manipulating. They enjoy working with equipment, need the write things down to remember them, may enjoy chewing gum or snacking while studying and may "finger spell" words rather than write it down. They rather demonstrate or act out a disease process rather than listen to a boring lecture. Tactile learners will probably skim through this article and may just skip to the last part in the references where they can actually do the learner inventory test. Many nursing students may already know this and may have previously tried to use a learning inventory in order to determine what learning style is most effective for them. A learning inventory is a list of questions which helps those of us who have trouble determine what their learning style is. Humans normally do not solely use one (1) learning style, in fact, we tend to use all three (3) based on the task we are trying to accomplish. It is important to know your own learning style, its strengths, and weaknesses. Why is it important to know your learning style? Well first of, in the field of nursing knowing yourself provides you with a solid foundation on which you are able to successfully face the challenges from the different people you will be working with, in addition to learning all the new procedures that will come your way once you finish nursing school. Knowing your strengths also helps you know what your weaknesses are, so you can be aware of areas you need to work on. It is common knowledge that if we incorporate all 3 learning styles we will remember things even better. So maybe you are great at labs but terrible at weekly quizzes, maybe you are terrible at online quizzes but great at written in class quizzes or maybe for some Power Point lectures are awesome while for others it just puts them to sleep. It all relates to your learning style. Ever had a horrible professor? Yeah, we all can attest to having that terrible boring professor that made us fail the test or did they? If so, why did your classmates Ace the test? and in fact, they love that professor you hate so much? Well, it might not be that the professor was horrible, it's just that he or she did not appeal to your learning style and therefore nothing they said ever stuck and so your brain shuts down on that subject. In order to solve this problem, you first need to know your learning style. Once that is determined, you then need to adapt the professors' lectures, power points, notes and textbooks to your style and this would ensure success in every exam you take. Take the Barsch learning style inventory test linked in the references or just do a web search for "learner inventory" to find other test and compare. Once you do that do another search for study tips for your particular learning style so can know how to adapt your professor's lectures and get the most out of studying. I did several different tests and they all determined I am a visual learner, followed by auditory as my next strongest. Next comment on what is your learning style and how you have adapted it to become a great nursing student or nurse.
  19. ZenRN181

    How Not to Study

    I have always done well in school but good grades have not come easy, they require me to study for hours, make countless flashcards, attend lectures and read the book. Usually this produced results in the category of an A or a B and avoiding the nursing school failing grade of a C. Stressful? yes. Worth it? Absolutely- I'm currently a pediatric nurse practitioner after many years of hard work. My advice to nursing students, don't be like one of my first students. I was a TA for undergraduate pharmacology while I was in graduate school, it was extra money for me and a good review of pharmacology as well and I love to teach. We had multiple students repeating the course as they had not passed the year prior. During our first quiz, I was stopped by a student asking me to clarify one of the test questions: T/F- Does the nurse need to check allergies, contraindications, side effects, etc on every medication administration (Not the exact questions, but similar) The student asked me if it was for new medications or chronic medications, I replied both and went on my way. The student picked the wrong answer and promptly emailed me saying I led her to the wrong answer. She stated she had been in clinicals the year before and she had never seen her preceptors do the above and didn't think it was necessary and wanted the point back. Never assume you know everything, that is my advice to you. It doesn't matter if you have worked in a hospital, repeated a course, your mom is a nurse, you saw something on Grey's Anatomy, you've worked as a nursing assistant. Approach every day as you will learn something new everyday and you will. Approach it as you know the answer to everything, you will lose out on so many learning opportunities. One of the surgeons I work with who has been a surgeon for longer than I've been alive says he learns something new everyday. This is a good thing! You will constantly learn as a new nurse and continue to learn through your whole career, embrace it, you will be a better nurse for it. You will learn so much from nursing school, it is stressful, but I promise it is worth it. Keep an open mind Go to class, even if your classmates don't, going to class prepared is even better Pay attention in class, if your laptop is too distracting, don't bring it and take notes the old fashioned way. facebook and Instagram will still be there when class is over, I promise Read the syllabus Ask questions, no such thing as a stupid question Sleep truly is important Take care of yourself- mentally and physically Read the textbooks and assigned reading (skim at a minimum) Get to know your classmates, form a study group Read the syllabus Start studying for exams your first day of class. Cramming doesn't work! Get to know your professors Check your email and respond to emails Be the person in a group project everyone wants to work with Find a place where you can study effectively Buy a planner and use it!! Organization is your friend. No one owes you anything, own up if you made a mistake or didn't study and make sure it doesn't happen again. Ask questions You are an intelligent adult, don't have your parents call the school to complain about your grades or teachers. This is your educations, own it! Approach your professors and talk to them with issues- they are great problem solvers Read the syllabus (noticing a pattern?) Lost the attitude if you have one When you assume, you make an *** out of u and me Welcome to the wonderful world of nursing, it's a crazy ride but I'm so happy you joined it
  20. Hey boys and girls! I'm still trucking along in school but I have come to realize my study habits don't seem to be cutting it for getting the grades that I want. Right now I don't think there seems to be any available resources at school specifically for study help. I have asked teachers, peers and looked online usually getting the same generic answers. Some examples of generic advice are: Reread what you have read, Ask questions Look up more questions or read extra questions in your text Look up videos on the subject online Define what kind of learner you are Take plenty of notes Look at your classmates notes Record the lecture and listen to it again Organize your subjects Some helpful examples would be: Examples of effective note taking How should one be reading the material? ( Do I break it up into sections? Skim and then read?) What are some effective types of questions to be asking? If I were to record a lecture and have no problem understanding what the teacher is talking about, is there anything specific I should be listening for? How to balance out your subjects? How to organize your work? If anyone is out there that is able to share some ideas (even if you can answer one or two of the helpful examples) that would be awesome.
  21. NursePallasFNP2b

    Passed NCLEX-RN on 1st Try, Plus Study Tips!

    All the sleepless nights and anguish-inducing anxiety paid off. I was a nervous wreck after the test, so I was too chicken to try the re-register trick, but fellow classmates did, and it worked for them (you order the test again, put your card in, hit submit, and if you passed, it won't go through). I started studying back in May, stopped for a bit, then started again. Anyway, I'd like to share the resources I used, to pay it forward, with links to them and rank them according to how closely I felt the material and question style mimicked the NCLEX: 1. NCSBN's Learning Extension This was, by far, one of the best resources I used. I used the $50, 3-week course option, and it was a small price to pay for the great info given! The question style, in my opinion, most closely mimicked the style of what's on the NCLEX. This makes sense, since they're the company that makes the NCLEX. The support via "Ask a Teacher" was polite, prompt and professional and the lessons were presented in an easy to understand manner. I didn't get a chance to do all of the lessons. I mainly did the comprehensive quizzes and exams. I didn't like that it was really only optimized for use in Internet Explorer (I loathe IE), but otherwise no complaints. 2. Saunders Comprehensive review for the NCLEX This book was required to be purchased by my school and we sometimes had to do questions out of this book as homework for various classes. I pretty much only did the questions on the disc and learned from the rationales. It does contain a comprehensive review of material for each lesson, but I didn't want to read all of that . I did, however, do pretty much every question on the disc (same questions as in the book with more added). The material on this disc is phenomenal, especially when it comes to learning about diets for specific diseases and medications. And the alternate format questions (ie. SATA, math, Audio, etc) are just like what I saw on the test (in some cases even a little harder), so very good practice. It will give you an optional pretest to assess your knowledge, and then give you a customized study calendar to use at your discretion. My advice is to not do practice questions on paper. Not only will this give you practice for answering during the actual NCLEX, it will allow you a better chance to resell the book because it won't be all marked up. 🙂 2. NCLEX Mastery iPad App As you may have noticed, I have 2 things ranked at #2, and that's because this app was hands-down the best on-the-go study app I tried. I ended up purchasing the full app for $29.99, and I am telling you, it was SO worth it! The material provided absolutely was covered on the exam. It's convenient, provides loads of practice questions and thorough rationales for right & wrong answers, timed quizzes, mnemonic devices, lab values, and images to go with many questions (ie. pressure ulcer typing and burns). The support team for the app is also very helpful, pleasant, and will respond to any questions in a timely manner. They also take your suggestions for the app to heart when they make upgrades to it. Additionally, they offer a 200% money-back guarantee if you do all the questions in the app and still don't pass. I personally know someone that they did honor this for (they gave her $60 back after she didn't pass). 4. Buy @ amazon Kaplan NCLEX-RN Prep 2019: 2 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies I know most people love Kaplan, but I honestly didn't find this book to be that helpful. I got it free, and I'm glad. I did read the whole book, and was glad to get the Kaplan strategies for answering questions, but I'm sure those could have been "googled." It would often briefly mention a topic, like "You should know about transfusion reactions," but it wouldn't go into what you should know or interventions. So, it was more of a topic guide, in my opinion. An accurate one, but that's it. I did do the 2 practice tests that came with the book, and they were alright. Nothing bad to say about it, just saying that I think you could be fine without purchasing this particular book. Finally, I used that ever so famous study guide that I found on this forum, and did just like the original poster suggested- I read through it in my car at the testing center. I arrived an hour early just to do that, and it was helpful. I will attach it to this post. I hope this post helps someone. I was an A-student in nursing school, but it was very hard for me to get the hang of answering NCLEX-style questions (especially the SATA style). I was the student always in a professor's office getting help on how to answer a test question via not just knowledge re-call, but strategy (aka critical thinking) as well. I made it through, and you can too! God's got us! So, keep the positive vibes flowing, pay attention in class and clinical, and you will be just fine. NCLEX-Study-Guide Must READ before test.pdf
  22. Since she was a little girl putting band-aids on baby dolls, Jennifer Joseph knew she wanted to be a nurse. Nearly 20 years after graduating from high school, she decided it was time to take it happen. While a full-time student in Chamberlain's Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, Joseph worked at least 20 hours per week, while still making time for her husband, two daughters and three dogs. "Nursing school is like no other," Joseph said. "It takes an organized, motivated and determined person to make it to the finish line. Throw in a family with that, and it can become overwhelming. Having a support system in place is the key to success." How To Balance Family, Work And Nursing School: STEP 1 Start Organized-and Stay That Way! At the start of each session, Joseph programmed alerts into the calendar on her iPhone to remind her about upcoming tests and important dates. "If you forget one assignment, your grade has now dropped," Joseph said. "It's nice to be organized from the beginning, rather than trying to play catch up." Joseph also put a calendar on the family fridge and wrote down what she had going on each day, whether it be a clinical or work. Her family could see what days she would be very busy and when she would have more space for family time. STEP 2 Create a Study Space During nursing school, Joseph used a bedroom of her home as an office. When the door was closed, her family knew not to knock or interrupt unless it was an emergency. "I created a nice area where I could open up a book, have my laptop open and have plenty of space and light," Joseph said. "You have to be sure there are no distractions - leave your phone outside the room and just focus." As marathon study sessions aren't the most beneficial, Joseph would study in spurts. She might study for an hour then put in a load of laundry, or study for two hours, then watch a few minutes of TV to clear her mind. While this worked for Joseph, it might not work as well for others, including those who have small children. Starbucks might be a better option for some - it doesn't matter where your study space is, as long as you designate one, Joseph said. STEP 3 If You Must Work, Make Sure You Have Flexibility While working as a full-time student isn't recommended, it may be a necessity for some. During school, Joseph had a part-time role at a midwife's office. Finding an employer who will be flexible with your schedule and keeping communication open with your manager are essential if you plan to work during nursing school, Joseph said. "Your manager needs to understand that your school schedule will change every eight weeks," she said. "Communicate with your manager ahead of time and give them as much notice as possible about your schedule." Throughout the course of the program, Joseph never took significant time off to study from her position at a midwife's office. "I kept my routine consistent and just pushed through," Joseph said. "I love my work and going there helped me clear my mind a bit and gave me a break from studying." STEP 4 Find a Network of Support Even with the best-laid plans, life often intervenes. Having someone to call when it does is especially important in nursing school. While she had the help of her husband, Joseph still needed to call on a neighbor when she was in a crunch. "Having a support person on stand-by really helps," Joseph said. "Whether it's a significant other, a neighbor, a family member or friend, I definitely recommend having someone who understands what you're going through and can be there if you need them." Joseph was one of 12 moms in her class, so they would often lean on each other for advice and encouragement as well. "I have made close friends that I will be friends with forever," she said. "We're all compassionate people- we're all nurses. We all have one thing in common and that is having the mindset of compassion and caring." STEP 5 Keep the End Goal in Mind At the start of the Bachelor in Science in Nursing program, Joseph printed out her program plan. Each semester, she would cross off another task so she could stay focused on her goals. She also took time to talk openly with her daughters about her desire to attend nursing school and how it would affect them, including an occasional missed soccer game or class event. Whenever possible, she would include them in nursing school events-like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. "Looking back at my kids during graduation and seeing them smile and cheer me on made it all worth it," Joseph said. "You have to keep the focus on what you're doing and know that your kids will be so proud of you when you're done. They see you do it and then you're even more of a role model for them."
  23. Last week, July 31st to be exact, I took my HESI A2 exam and scored a 90.4% overall! I have used this website multiple times in order to gain more knowledge on what to expect for the HESI and tips on how to study for such a daunting exam. Seeing how much of an impact some of these articles had on me, I am hoping that through my own personal experience I can help others prepare for the HESI. I will provide tips to help future test takers avoid any test anxiety and provide them different ways for how to study! Anatomy and Physiology: 96% This portion of the exam is what made me the most nervous, so I decided to complete it first. This was because I had no idea how specific or broad the questions were going to be. For the majority, I found most of the questions fairly easy and not detailed at all. However, there are very specific questions that are put into the exam that will definitely make you think. For those questions, I based it on what choice made the most sense to me, and past information I had studied from. I believe it is important to stick to studying the general knowledge of each chapter, then going into depth and memorizing every single, little detail. Therefore, do not spend time on studying how muscle contractions work, or how cellular respiration works. Instead, focus on the general concepts of each chapter (ex: anatomy of heart/blood flow through heart, the skin layers/basic function of it, and anatomy of the renal system). For this section, I used my PowerPoints that my professors made (so if you have any PowerPoints from your professors, use them). They provide you with all of the information you need, as well as extra details that you feel may be important for you to know. I also used Elsevier's HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review and the Mometrix study guide. Vocab: 92% The vocabulary section of the exam is very straightforward and easy to study for. You just have to memorize vocabulary words, along with their meanings (it is also useful to study a few synonyms to go along with the vocabulary word). For this section, I surprisingly knew a lot of the words on the exam, but there were multiple questions that I had to guess on. The exam focuses more on everyday vocabulary than medical terminology, but do not let that deceive you into thinking there will not be medical terms on the exam, because there will be. Just not as much as you think there would be. For this section, I used Elsevier's and Mometrix's study guide. I also used the McGraw-Hill's practice test workbook by writing down any of the vocab words I had not studied from the other two books. Another source that I had used was Quizlet (Hesi Vocabulary a2 Flashcards | Quizlet). I found all of these resources to be very useful, and I found multiple words that I had studied from these 4 resources to be on the exam. Math: 86% If you are stressing out about math, don't. It is basic math (ex: ratios, conversions, and fractions). I probably studied the least amount for this section, besides reading comprehension. You are provided with a basic calculator and scratch paper, which is very nice. I suggest focusing on conversions (I had at least 5 of them), fractions, ratios, Roman Numerals, and military time. If you are comfortable with doing all of those, then you should be set for this section! Also, always make sure to double check your answers; it's easy to mistake a number for a different one! Grammar: 92% This was another section I was really worried about. I have never been great at grammar. It has just never clicked with me. However, once I started devoting a lot of my study time towards this section, I was finally able to grasp it! For the most part, I found the questions easy to answer. As long as you study and understand each grammar rule and how it works, you should be good! Just focus on the general concepts for this section such as punctuation, word meanings, adverbs, and adjectives. Personally, I did not like Mometrix's section for grammar. I feel like they added too much-unneeded content. Instead, I would focus on using Elsevier's study guide. I also highly recommend taking practice tests for this section, which you can find online or in McGraw-Hill's practice test book. Reading Comprehension: 86% I definitely rushed through this section, so I believe I could have done better. I chose to do this section last, and I became short on time. I was not looking forward to finding out what would happen if I did not finish. This section was also the section I studied for the least. All you can really do to study for this section is take practice tests and more practice tests. Make sure to read each passage carefully, as well as the questions. Go back and reread in order to answer each question and to ensure you are getting each question correct. When studying, make sure to know the difference between the main idea and details, and practice fact versus opinion questions. I primarily used the McGraw-Hill's practice test workbook. Conclusion: Overall, the test was not as difficult as I expected it to be. I felt very prepared by the studying resources that I utilized, and nothing on the test came to me as a surprise. I studied for over a month for this test. I know everyone is different, so give yourself the amount of time you think you will need in order to be successful! I hope this information will be helpful to anyone who reads this! I am always open to answering any questions. Below, I am going to list every resource that I used to study for the HESI! Thanks for reading! Study Resources: HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review (Elsevier) HESI A2 Secrets Study Guide (Mometrix) 3 HESI A2 Practice Tests (McGraw-Hill Education). They also have a study guide/review book as well! PocketPrep (this is seriously the best app ever. I recommend buying the full version. It is so worth paying for, and it prepares you so well for the exam. They have a lot of questions that are similar to the A&P questions, and others as well.) Crash Course A&P videos (Youtube)
  24. Lev

    NCLEX Facts and FAQ

    Post your NCLEX related questions on this thread. NCLEX-RN test plan: lite https://www.ncsbn.org/2013_NCLEX_RN_Test_Plan.pdf longer https://www.ncsbn.org/2013_NCLEX_RN_Detailed_Test_Plan_Candidate.pdf NCLEX-PN test plan: lite https://www.ncsbn.org/2014_PN_TestPlan.pdf longer https://www.ncsbn.org/PN_Test_Plan_2014_Candidate.pdf Pass/Fail Rules (Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) | NCSBN) The computer decides whether you passed or failed the NCLEX using one of three rules: 95% Confidence Interval Rule Maximum-Length Exam Rule Run-out-of-time (R.O.O.T.) Rule See the links for helpful videos...the number questions you had does not determine whether you passed or failed. Candidates cannot reliably identify which items are easy and which are difficult with regard to the NCLEX scale. At the end of an examination, a candidate is usually receiving items that they have approximately a 50% chance of answering correctly. Typically, candidates regard items that they can answer correctly only half the time as difficult. The candidate's sense of what is easy and what is difficult is relative to their ability. Because the examination is adaptive, both high and low ability candidates will think the items at the end of the exam are challenging. This means that it took only the minimum number of items for the scoring algorithm to determine with 95% certainty that the candidate's nursing ability was below the passing standard. To ensure adequate content coverage, candidates must answer at least 60 operational items to pass the NCLEX. To be consistent with the minimum number of items required to pass the NCLEX, the run-out-of-time stopping rule reviews candidate's ability estimates on the last 60 operational items answered. No, this is not possible. The LPN/VN examination length ranges from 85-205 items. The RN examination length ranges from 75-265. It is possible, however, for a candidate to be administered fewer than the minimum amount of items and to run out of time. In that case the candidate would not pass because they did not receive a complete examination. Items are administered following the principles of CAT. Candidates are NOT randomly selected to receive a designated number of examination items. As a candidate takes the examination, items are selected based on the candidate's response to previous items. The exam ends when it can be determined with 95% confidence that a candidate's performance is either above or below the passing standard, regardless of the number of items answered or the amount of testing time elapsed (six-hour maximum time period for the NCLEX-RN examination and five hour maximum time period for the NCLEX-PN examination). Candidates do not need to answer all items in a particular test plan category correctly to pass the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a prelicensure assessment used to identify candidates that can demonstrate sufficient nursing ability to practice entry-level nursing. Pass/fail decisions on the NCLEX are based on global entry-level nursing competence, not by subtest areas. "Near the Passing Standard" means that the scoring algorithm is not able to determine with 95% certainty whether a particular candidate's ability estimate is clearly above or clearly below the passing standard in a content area. In other words, the candidate's 95% confidence interval for his/her ability estimate encompasses the passing standard. Source: How the NCLEX Works | NCSBN Since the practice of nursing requires the application of knowledge, skills and abilities, the majority of items on the examination are written at the application or higher levels of cognitive ability using Bloom's taxonomy and revised taxonomy (Bloom, 1956; Anderson and Krathwohl, 2001). These "higher level" items require more complex thought processing and problem solving. For example, a pediatric client undergoing a medical procedure may additionally have a mental illness and therefore all factors must be considered in order to prepare the client for the procedure and to correctly answer the item. The framework for the test plan is based on "Clients Needs"; therefore, it is not possible to specify the percentage of test items that address a particular nursing specialty such as Pediatric Nursing. Nursing content related to this nursing practice specialty can be found in many areas of the test plan. At first glance, it may seem as though the only test plan category to assess Pediatric Nursing competencies is the "Health Promotion and Maintenance" category where age-related activities are specified; however, a more detailed analysis reveals that many test plan areas address the care competencies required for Pediatric Nursing. It should be noted that there are similar analogies for other nursing practice specialties and sub-specialties such as Psychiatric Nursing and Geriatric Nursing. Source: Preparing Students for the NCLEX | NCSBN Candidates whose board of nursing participates in the Quick Results Service* can receive their 'unofficial' results 48 hours after their exam date and time (a fee is required). Official exam results are available only from the boards of nursing/regulatory bodies (BONs/RBs) and will be mailed to candidates approximately six weeks after taking the exam. Pearson VUE and NCSBN do not provide exam results. *only applies to candidates seeking licensure in the U.S. Links to all BON/RB websites and contact information are available on the Contact a BON/RB page. For more information about getting NCLEX results, visit the Results Reporting section. Candidates must wait a minimum of 45 days between each exam. This length of time is determined by the board of nursing/regulatory body (BON/RB)s validity dates. The NCSBN retake policy allows candidates to retake their exam 45 days after administration of their exam. Candidates who have applied for licensure/registration with a participating BON/RBday period, unless limited to fewer retakes by the desired jurisdiction of licensure/registration. Candidates are encouraged to contact the BONs/RBs for their policy on NCLEX retakes. Once you reregister for the NCLEX, the length of time determined by the BON/RB will be reflected in the new ATT's validity dates. NCSBN does not limit the number of times a candidate may attempt the NCLEX. Based on its policy or law, individual boards of nursing/regulatory bodies may have additional restrictions on this basic requirement, such as longer wait time between retests and limitation on number of exam attempts. Candidates should contact their board of nursing/regulatory body for exam retake rules specific to that jurisdiction. See the research study on NCLEX Pass Rates: An Investigation Into the Effect of Lag Time and Retake Attempts. In 2012, the average number of items (questions) administered per candidate was around 119 on the NCLEX-RN and 117 on the NCLEX-PN. Currently, an average RN exam lasts for 2.5 hours and an average PN exam lasts for 2.3 hours. Currently, about 2% of NCLEX candidates run out of time on their exams. This percentage has been consistent since 2005. The run out of time rates are similar for the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN. Find more information about how CAT determines a pass or fail result when a candidate runs out of time. About 20% candidates receive the maximum number of items: 265 items for the NCLEX-RN exam and 205 items for the NCLEX-PN exam. A research study addressing the relationship between retake attempts and NCLEX performance was published in JONA: Healthcare, Law, Ethics and Regulations. Bibliography of this study is as follows: Woo, A., Wendt, A., & Liu, W. (2009). NCLEX pass rates: An investigation into effect of lag time and retake attempts. Journal of Nursing Administration: Healthcare, Law, Ethics, and Regulation, 11(1), 23-26. Source: https://www.ncsbn.org/2321.htm No. There is a message that appears on the candidate's computer screen, which states "Examination is ended." Source: https://www.ncsbn.org/2325.htm An alternate item format (previously known as an innovative item format) is an exam item, or question, that uses a format other than standard, four-option, multiple-choice items to assess candidate ability. Alternate item formats may include: Multiple-response items that require a candidate to select two or more responses Fill-in-the-blank items that require a candidate to type in number(s) in a calculation item Hot spot items that ask a candidate to identify one or more area (s) on a picture or graphic Chart/exhibit format where candidates will be presented with a problem and will need to read the information in the chart/exhibit to answer the problem Ordered Response items that require a candidate to rank order or move options to provide the correct answer Audio item format where the candidate is presented an audio clip and uses headphones to listen and select the option that applies Graphic Options that present the candidate with graphics instead of text for the answer options and they will be required to select the appropriate graphic answer Any item formats, including standard multiple-choice items, may include multimedia, charts, tables or graphic images. There is no established percentage of items with alternate formats that will be administered to candidates. The NCLEX examination is computer adaptive and items are based on the candidate's ability. There are alternate item types in all areas of the test plan, across all difficulty levels. It is NOT true that if a candidate misses a calculation item they will automatically fail the NCLEX examination. All items "count" the same. Multiple response items are described as having five or six options with a minimum of two correct (key) options. Items contain the statement "Select all that apply". At this time, NCSBN requires the candidate to utilize their comprehensive knowledge to determine the appropriate amount of applicable maximum correct answers to each item. In short, we disclose how many, at a minimum can be correct; however, we do not disclose how many at a maximum may/may not be correct. Source: https://www.ncsbn.org/2334.htm I hope this is helpful.
  25. Mudpinesredneck

    A good thing, or setting up for failure?

    Another boring day at the ranch, been holding up with a migraine that hasn't let up for two days. As such, I have a lot of time to study things, think about my upcoming move to Fresno for schooling and the nursing program. On a side note, a big thanks to Jowelenne, at Mercy Medical Center Merced for your advice to go to Fresno, and for helping me so much in general. I have a lot of family who are/were either nurses or doctors. The medical field has always been a fascinating deal for me. I suppose it came natural to me, at 16, to do my first PICC line on my dad. Sure, in high school, my nickname may have been the shrink. I loved trying to help people with their issues, but never thought I'd try to make a career out of it. At one point perhaps at 18/19, I considered taking my moms path as an RN, and concluded I didn't want to have to tell patients family members that I just coded their loved one, and could not save them. Or have to tell a pregnant mother that she will have a miscarriage. You know, the sad stuff. The bad of nursing. The things that I still have vivid memories of, my mom coming from her shift at 7AM exhausted because she did this all on the daily. I reckon perspectives change over time, and mine certainly did. I reckon I toughened up, realized bad things happen every day. And I can either try to do something, think of the differences I will make, rather than the ones I could not make. This journey to the path I chose started with anxiety I developed almost a year ago exactly. It's not that I'm a cyberchondriac who Google's every ache and pain I may experience in the day, rather I felt frustrated that I received no answers to what I was experiencing, so I just started doing my own research, and quite frankly, fell in love with becoming more knowledgeable on the subject and wanting to help others going through the same thing, and worse. At some point, I reckon I got tired of my seemingly-never-ending pages of the psych nursing book, and broke out my mom's Lippincott manual which she used before she took the NCLEX, oh, sometime in the 80s if my memory serves me. I, again, became glued to this, and still haven't let down. When my work is done around my ranch, job searching is done, and my personal and social needs are fulfilled I find myself becoming waist deep in studying the nursing books, most of which I can understand pretty well. The stuff I can't understand, I flip to the next page and figure there's a time and a place to learn that particular thing. I'd say, on average, I spend 2-3 hours of my day studying nursing. Issue being is I'm not even in the school yet. To me, it is also a great distraction, and a fulfilling timekiller rather than the incessant, addictive realms of the internet, and makes me feel like I'm actually doing something with my time. Is this an OK practice to do? Is it OK to enter the nursing program in 2 years having some basis and idea of what I'm in for, rather than walk in blindly? The way I see it, I'm not studying to pass a test, and make money. I want to make a difference, it's what I thrive on. Or will this knowledge I will learn be thrown out the window, and end up fixin' myself up for failure in the long run? I'm almost leaning on the latter, but then again, I do figure this habit is indeed a better way to kill my time than most activities. Thanks y'all!