What ACTUALLY works in nursing school

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Hand write your notes. Make them concise. Write the topic in all caps, underline important facts or numbers. When you tackle a chapter in say your Med/Surg book use this format for each illness. What is it?(patho-phys) What does it look like (clinical manifestations) what do you do about it (interventions) and how can it kill you( black box warning or worst case). THEN use that info to work every NCLEX style problem you can (Saunders or Davis books are great)

KarenMS

146 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

Going to try this style of notes tomorrow :) thanks.

Specializes in Post Acute, Med/Surg, ED, Nurse Manager. Has 8 years experience.

I also read the book, and underline in a color code Pink=definition, yellow=main idea, and orange=nursing actions. after I highlight (only key words) then I make my notes and I try to make them really short easy to remember sentences. I draw pictures of important things when I can. because I am super visual and on a test I may remember a simple picture better or a bulleted short list. If I write a paragraph I will NEVER be able to retain it. We get sometimes 6-15 med/surg chapters a week I just a don't have time to hit the material with a ton of repetition so what I do MUST be memorable.

Also, don't memorize!!!! seriously flashcards with factoids are making people fail out in my class. Be able to talk through an idea a reason out WHY! Everything you learn ask why is that? hyperkalemia causes muscle weakness(factoid) why does it because it makes muscles excitable and twitchy so they can't make a good strong contraction. Just talk through why when you study I promise you wont regret it when you see a weird test question.. and NCLEX is all weird test questions!

dorkypanda

671 Posts

Absolutely agree with the going through as much NCLEX questions.

Aromatic

2 Articles; 352 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

in short, reading and summarizing in your mind what you read are great for overview and understanding of interrelated concepts

flash cards are great for specific factoids. use quizlet or something of that sort though for ease of use

OP: This, so much! Studies have actually shown that handwriting notes works better for retention than typing them. I have also found this to be true for myself.

AspiringNurseMW

1 Article; 942 Posts

I use a variation of this. I always attempt to take every subject and write all the pertinent information on ONE or two 8.5X11 page. Basically a study guide. It forces me to weed out the important information. I write the pathophys, manifestations, medical and nursing implications in different colors. I'll do the same thing for medications.

BeachsideRN, ASN

1,722 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 9 years experience.

I use the Pommodoro method of studying (20-30 minutes, 5minute break, repeat). Google it for details. I also highlight and write notes in different colors for different things - patho, intervention, diagnosis, meds, teacher emphasizes. Nclex style questions related to the exemplars I'm studying. I use med surg success and lippincott read and write the rationales of what is right, why its right, why the others are wrong and what (if anything) would make them right answers.

Specializes in Post Acute, Med/Surg, ED, Nurse Manager. Has 8 years experience.

Use a Google Doc with classmates. Work on objectives together to save time. Make a study guide with a grout for tests. Make your own notes for important concepts. Always know pathophys, clinical manefestations, what to do about it, and any critical or black box warning.

BeachsideRN, ASN

1,722 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 9 years experience.

I hand write in class and then (sometimes) type up study guides based on lecture notes, reading notes, and nclex notes.

BeachsideRN, ASN

1,722 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Trauma, Oncology. Has 9 years experience.

Each exemplar - what does the patient look like at presentation? What will the labs be? When do you contact md? What can you do? Know by heart anything that is specific to the exemplar.