What should I know before Nursing School?

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YouCanCallMeFrank, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 1 years experience. 42 Posts

On 10/31/2021 at 11:12 AM, Tegridy said:

This is a good post, I am assuming this poster isn't saying that memorizing is completely pointless, as one would not be able to draw conclusions from questions without an adequate knowledge base. One cannot appropriately approach scenarios without having internalized factoids in the first place.

My comment was about strict memorization vs understanding/learning. For example, memorizing normal lab values vs understanding what high and low values mean, what to look for, interventions, etc. "Normal" lab values differ between facilities -- not to mention, the parameters are usually available for comparison in the EHR -- and you're not going to be asked to give normal values on NCLEX. You will, however, be expected to know what signs/symptoms to look for in a patient with electrolyte imbalance, how to monitor you patient, and what interventions are needed to treat your patient. Memorization, cramming, or whatever you want to call it, has served me well for exams prior to nursing school, but it does nothing for actually learning and applying the material.

Shan

64 Posts

One thing that I wish I had taken advantage of early in school was using practice questions to study. Oftentimes, first-semester nursing students are blindsided by the types of questions they see on those first few exams--there's no "what bone is this?" questions. It's all critical thinking. More than one answer may be somewhat correct. And there's the dreadful select-all-that-apply questions. I quickly realized that using **quality** practice questions (as in, not simply the first link that pops up on Google) would have helped minimize the rude awakening of the first few tests. Specifically, I would suggest online quizzing resources provided by the publisher of your textbooks. My school uses Elsevier products, and they have a vast pool of practice questions for each book/topic. I assume that ATI has something similar.

I also like what YouCanCallMeFrank said: if you can teach it, you are more likely to remember it. I don't particularly care for study groups (just out of personal preference), but I've taken to just rambling about subjects in the car as if explaining it to someone or myself, and it really helps me retain/rediscover information.

Tegridy

Specializes in Former NP now Internal medicine PGY-2. 364 Posts

52 minutes ago, YouCanCallMeFrank said:

My comment was about strict memorization vs understanding/learning. For example, memorizing normal lab values vs understanding what high and low values mean, what to look for, interventions, etc. "Normal" lab values differ between facilities -- not to mention, the parameters are usually available for comparison in the EHR -- and you're not going to be asked to give normal values on NCLEX. You will, however, be expected to know what signs/symptoms to look for in a patient with electrolyte imbalance, how to monitor you patient, and what interventions are needed to treat your patient. Memorization, cramming, or whatever you want to call it, has served me well for exams prior to nursing school, but it does nothing for actually learning and applying the material.

probably due to the discordance between what's taught in nursing school versus what is actually useful in real life. Like s/s of electrolyte imbalances.... 99% of the time there are none, just random crap we pick up on metabolic panels... unless they are very out of wack.. or I guess a rapid change in sodium maybe. Most of it is just board fodder.... Like the old hypermagnesemia question where it only really happens in OB but they made it sound like everyone was walking around with mags of 10 lmao.

Edited by Tegridy

NCLEX_LVN, CNA, LVN

Has 6 years experience. 1,688 Posts

Listen to Mark Klimek YT videos

check out a NCLEX book at the library and Google "Kaplan Decision Tree"   Review NCLEX practice question using the decision tree. 

Read the NCLEX test taking strategies and use the decision tree and review more NCLEX practice questions

Have a great CARE PLAN book. Your nursing textbooks will have lots of "fluff" try to rent your textbook study guides and review NCLEX books for exams. Priority and efficiency is key

Tegridy

Specializes in Former NP now Internal medicine PGY-2. 364 Posts

10 hours ago, Salesforce said:

Listen to Mark Klimek YT videos

check out a NCLEX book at the library and Google "Kaplan Decision Tree"   Review NCLEX practice question using the decision tree. 

Read the NCLEX test taking strategies and use the decision tree and review more NCLEX practice questions

Have a great CARE PLAN book. Your nursing textbooks will have lots of "fluff" try to rent your textbook study guides and review NCLEX books for exams. Priority and efficiency is key

For sure, nursing textbooks are to make profit for publishers not provide meaningful information