Nursing tests are a whole different ball game when it comes to college testing. Basically the questions are “Which orange is more orange?” YES! I know what you’re thinking, what kind of question is that? That is a famous NCLEX question style. Nursing questions are not based on definitions of the terms, it consists of implementing your knowledge into clinical settings. During nursing tests, you need to think of your priority interventions, especially safety. If I have a question asking which action is going to be best for the patient, pick the safest action. I grabbed an example question from the website: https://nurse.plus/nclex-rn-physiological-integrity/
A patient diagnosed with ulcerative colitis is admitted to the medical unit. When assessing the patient, which of these findings would be of the most concern?
A. Bloody Diarrhea
B. Rebound Tenderness
C. Oral Temp of 99.0 F
The answer is B. As much as the other ones are concerning, rebound tenderness may mean peritonitis which is an infection of the peritoneum which can be caused by a perforated colon which is an emergency! The bloody diarrhea is a normal finding of UC and an oral temperature of 99.0 F is a low grade temp.
Overall, practice these types of test questions before you take your first nursing test! You will never regret practice questions when it comes time to take the NCLEX.
Don’t get Distracted
WARNING: College is a lot of busy work! If you get distracted, you’ll fall behind and NEVER catch back up. Trust me when I say this because I have done it before. I’ve gotten distracted by other things and decided to focus on different things from my pre-requisites. Which, don’t get me wrong, school should NOT be your everything because it will drive you crazy. But, stay focused. You have come here and paid this much to get a degree. Funny story is that all my nursing classes are being taught out due to a change in the curriculum, therefore we all need to pass each class the first time or we will have to start over. Just saying that makes me want to puke. Don’t forget the reason you are in nursing school, to receive a degree and take care of others. Try to plan what times during you’re going to do the busy work and set aside time for studying each week. Definitely look over the material every week even if you don’t have a test coming up, this will prepare you and make you feel confident in acing it! TIP FOR ANY STUDENT: get all your busy work done for one month if it allows it! Last semester I started doing the whole month’s online work at the beginning of the month. This allowed me to give maximum time to studying and decreased my stress a TON!! Never procrastinate because nursing school is stressful enough, piling it all on at once is literally impossible unless you’re a super human.
It’s A lot Different from what Media expects & Work in the Hospital before Graduating
I cannot stress this enough. As much as I appreciate clinicals, I’ve learned most of the flow of the hospital setting from working as a patient care tech. If you plan to be a nurse in a hospital, start there as soon as you can as a PCT or CNA! Medical lingo, admission processes, discharge processes, and the nurses daily routines have become so familiar to me. Not only did that happen, but I decided what unit I want to work on as a nurse. I will discuss that decision later in another blog! My first semester of actual nursing classes was sort of a struggle to take the concepts in, but my second semester was so much easier because I had seen those disease processes in the hospital!
Also, the hospital and nursing setting is not what you might expect it to be. If you have never worked in a healthcare setting before, it may be a shock to you. TV shows may make you think it’s glamorous. Another funny story is that Grey’s Anatomy inspired me to be a nurse. At first I wanted to be a surgeon but the schooling was lengthy and I wanted to focus on a family in the future. My career is so important to me but not to give up any time. So, nursing was my pick. Little did I know it was nothing like Grey’s lol! Some days it’s more exciting than Grey’s. As nurses, we pledge to be our patients advocate in any situation. This takes a lot of courage, slaving work, and a smile on our face whether we like it or not. But ITS ALL WORTH IT IN THE END, At least that’s what I’ve been told! Some days I go home exhausted and do NOT want to go back the next day but then I think about all the patients who rely on us. Really think about whether or not this is something YOU want to do.
Group up with Fellow Nursing Buddies
I do NOT know what I would do without my study group. At first, I thought there was no way I was making friends. I never made friends in pre req classes but then nursing school came along. These girls will always hold a place in my heart. Nobody understands what you go through. ANY major should group up! Having the same major in common really makes you clique. You may even find your best friends.
We keep each other up on homework that’s due, ask each other questions, and push each other to ace the tests during our study sessions. Usually we meet once a week to go over material, then spend a whole day before the test to make sure we all know each detail. I don’t think I would have done as well as I have without my girls pushing me.
Don’t Forget to Take Time for Yourself.
Last but not least, you cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself. It may seem like you can’t even find an hour to sit down, but MAKE TIME. My me time is so important and keeps me sane during any semester. Make sure you even schedule time during the week. I use exercise, yoga, or Netflix to have me time. This is why I love the elliptical so much, it gives me a mind break from everything going on in my schedule. Remember that you are SO important. Any time you think you cannot keep going, remember you have a purpose in this life and you make a difference!
Hang in there fellow students,
You’re almost there.