How will I make it through?

  1. okay, so i bombed my first med-surg exam....73. i am so devestated because i "thought" i did pretty well and i just feel like a total failure. i have not failed an exam since i have been in nursing school and i am so scared right now! like my dreams are taking a downspin. i studied and now its like that wasn't good enough or i didn't do it right. somebody please help me. especially if you know where i'm coming from. the job i have is a distraction, i hate it and it stresses me. i don't want to think i will flunk out because of one test but how can i get it right?
  2. Visit rikashade04RN profile page

    About rikashade04RN

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 34; Likes: 2
    Registered Nurse
    Specialty: Med-Surg Pulmonary

    13 Comments

  3. by   Cinqly
    First, take a deep breath! It was only ONE exam! Plus, at 73 I imagine that you were only a few points from passing! Nursing exams are NOT typical tests, and sometimes it can be an adjustment to move from strict knowledge questions to critical thinking nursing logic. It's ok to not be perfect - it makes you work harder. I can say that I did not make A's on every test! Not even B's on some! But that's ok. If you can learn from your mistakes and make improvements, that's the most important part.

    You should make an appointment with your professor and discuss the exam with them. Find out what you missed, why, and what areas you need to improve. Remember, it may not be just content but it may be an aspect of the nursing process, such as assessment, diagnosis, or evaluation. Also, invest in ONE NCLEX style book (don't waste your money on dozens of these). Try to get a book that has test taking strategies in the first chapter, read this, and try to use these strategies on your school tests. You can also use this book to do review questions prior to your tests.

    My first semester of nursing school my professor made a profound statement that proved to be true in almost every case regarding people who pass nursing school and people who don't. She said, "Nursing school is not easy. It is about making choices. Some people make good choices, and some people make poor choices. If you make poor choices then you only have yourself to blame in the end." This means that if your job is interfering with your work, then you have a choice to make. I know it's not what you probably want to hear, but remember that nursing school is a short term process that leads to a long-term goal: life after nursing school and the pursuit of happiness. Explore the reasons why you may not have been able to do as well on this test: were you busy working? busy with family? busy with sleep? busy with {insert life problem here}? You need to explore and deal with the obstacles that are keeping you from achieving your optimal performance. Work on reducing these distractions. You probably can't get rid of all of them, but hopefully you can find a happy medium between life and nursing school.

    Oh, and USE THIS WEBSITE!!! It is very helpful and very supportive! Good luck, and I know you will do better on your next test!!:spin:
  4. by   Chisca
    "Nursing school is not easy. It is about making choices. Some people make good choices, and some people make poor choices. If you make poor choices then you only have yourself to blame in the end."

    Harsh, but true. As you get closer to completing school I'm sure your instuctors are trying to phrase questions to appear like they will on the NCLEX exam. You may know the material but every question on a nursing exam is a potential trap if you rush through and select the first answer that seems right. Cingly is right about getting a book that has practice questions, that way you become more familiar with type of questions you will see on boards.
  5. by   Cinqly
    If ypu can believe it this professor said this during our orientation!! I thought it was harsh at the time, but it ended up being true in a lot of instances, both for myself and others. O had to find a balance between school and my personal life where I wasn't obsessing about grades all the time. One of my friends worked for the first few semesters but had to quit her job in the 4th semester when she found it was interferring with her progress. I certainly don't mean this to be discouraging or harsh! Heck, I didn't even come up with it! But nursing school is hard and time consumig for many people. Studing is only a small part of getting through.

    I wish you the best success and achievement in school! You CAN do it!
  6. by   deleern
    I am making assumptions, you are in your last semester. if you have PTO take it and concentrate on school. or take a LOA,
    Okay you had a poor test... take stock and move on. Critical thinking is the hardest part to comprehend.

    buy a NCLEX book, I suggest one that is in the review style, it is broken down into systems. IE: respiratory, GI.... as you go through each system, use the review. don't focus on how many you get wrong.... read the rationals. I promise it does sink in. I have been there for both the LPN program and RN. I failed a few exams along the way.... use it to your advantage, if you fail it means you did not understand something, that means you need to go over it again.

    If you have made it this far you will make it the rest of the way. good luck.
  7. by   rikashade04RN
    i am a junior right now in a bsn program. i have some very supportive instructors but some that just act like "oh if i did it then you need to stop whining because i had a harder time than you" or "you cant get this? are you stupid or something? my 10 year old can do this in her sleep". like no empathy at all. cingly, i did meet with my instructor today and she was very helpful and encouraging. she was like "oh that 73 is not even hard to pull up, dont worry!" i was like really?.... she also said because everything now is pretty much scenarios to get an nclex books/questions and practice like 200 questions for every 50 questions(how long our tests usually are). i am an audio/visual learner so i gotta find other ways in addition to that. i don't feel so bummed out now because i can do it. family tries to be supportive but just don't understand why i study so much. she also said choose quality over quantity as far as studying. instead of like 20 hrs before the test, review the chapters after lecture. all my class mates are running around like chickens with their heads cut off going crazy:trout:! they said that this part of the program was the most strenuous and they were not lyin.
  8. by   Cinqly
    Quote from rikashade04
    i am a junior right now in a bsn program. i have some very supportive instructors but some that just act like "oh if i did it then you need to stop whining because i had a harder time than you" or "you cant get this? are you stupid or something? my 10 year old can do this in her sleep". like no empathy at all. cingly, i did meet with my instructor today and she was very helpful and encouraging. she was like "oh that 73 is not even hard to pull up, dont worry!" i was like really?.... she also said because everything now is pretty much scenarios to get an nclex books/questions and practice like 200 questions for every 50 questions(how long our tests usually are). i am an audio/visual learner so i gotta find other ways in addition to that. i don't feel so bummed out now because i can do it. family tries to be supportive but just don't understand why i study so much. she also said choose quality over quantity as far as studying. instead of like 20 hrs before the test, review the chapters after lecture. all my class mates are running around like chickens with their heads cut off going crazy:trout:! they said that this part of the program was the most strenuous and they were not lyin.
    there are always good and bad professors. i never had the pleasure of a professor telling me that a 10 year could do something, but i wish i had so that i could have asked them to show me a 10 year old that could be a nurse! find the good ones and go to them for help! give the bad ones bad reviews at the end of the course. they need to know where they can improve their teaching skills. no one is perfect, not even them.

    i suggest the saunders q&a review for the nclex-rn exam. it is all questions (no review), so you can do tons of questions and never run out. the nclex review books tend to have only a limited number of questions because they are so full of content, so this book eliminates that problem. you have content in your courses, so extra questions may help you with testing.
  9. by   Excitedfor2016
    I reccommend that you make question and answers from your notes and test yourself to decipher what you know from what you dont know. Also do space learning break uo the subjects and learn alittle at a time till all the material has been mastered.
  10. by   mrspopeye
    Your post made me do a little reflecting. It has now been 15 years since I was a junior in a BSN program, in which I spent countless days, weeks and months in perpetual frustration, and I made plenty of 70s along the way. I am now a nurse practitioner and all of that seems like a distant memory. Although it is tough for you to see now, that grade has absolutely no reflection on what kind of nurse you will be. Real nursing is about what's on the inside- your drive to want to spend your entire career caring for others and a loving spirit that has no numerical grade assigned to it. Things start to click at the end of your senior year that did not as a junior. Things click in your 2nd year as and RN that did not in the 1st. The learning process is like cooking in a crock pot, not a microwave. I can tell by reading you have the work ethic it takes to handle nursing school and you will pass the NCLEX, but none of it will be easy. I took me several years to figure out why nursing school is so hard and many times seems unfair (and it should be)- because it prepares you for the real world, in the same way medical schools prepare doctors with unbeliveable long hours and work loads. They give you more than you think you can handle, and those who survive, leave school with survival skills. You learn to handle stress because you are conditioned to handle it, like a soldier, and that is vital when you are working short, have docs and families unfairly yelling at you, or when there is a code blue, and quite possibly all 3 of these will happen at once! We had 2 mottos in school: 1) What doesn't kill you will make you stronger, and 2) and regarding grades - "C" means "you may continue." Good luck to you.
  11. by   rikashade04RN
    for your words of encouragement mrspopeye! i ultimately aspire to be where you are. it helps communicating with ppl who know what i'm going through. i just took my second exam in this class this morning and i went in more confident. i think i prepared myself the best i could for it. i will know what i did on it later on this evening. i prayed and i'm claiming the victory on this one! all of the feedback is soo helpful and i'm so happy that there is a place where i can constantly be in touch with nurses!!!
  12. by   mrspopeye
    So how did you do on your exam?
  13. by   rikashade04RN
    well i passed....but barely. i am at my wits end right now. my midterm average is a 76 which is a whole lot less than delightful. i don't know what in the world i am not doing. takin the test i felt good about my answer choices but when i saw my grade i could have cried. i have 2 tests left and the hesi so 3total and i feel so much pressure! i feel like the walls are closing in on me! hellllpp!! at this point i just really discouraged.
  14. by   future_looks_good
    Hey, I hope you get this message. I didn't know how else to send it to you....the Hesi was 160 questions. I use the book called Evolve Reach Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination( I went through this whole book and answer all the practice questions), i also use the nclex-rn 3500( I answer about 500 of these questions before i took the test), i also bought the book called saunders strategies for success for the nclex-rn examination( This book was really helpful. It teaches you how to answer nclex style questions and it also has alot of practice questions).

    I was having alot of difficulty passing the Hesi so I decided to just answer as many practice nclex style questions from as many nclex books and websites as i could find. If when I looked at a question and did not know the answer, I would go back and review that topic in my nursing school textbook.This help me alot. You need to become comfortable with answering these types of questions. I study and answer questions for about a month before I took the test.
    I hope this information helps you and good luck. Just keep practicing those questions and you'll do GREAT!!

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