Pharmacology, what I thought was the hardest subject ever, but I did pass the course. So to help all future nursing students out I decided to share the book that was given to me by my school to help study: Kaplan Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam.  I used only the generic names for the medications because NCLEX only uses generic names due to the fact that brand names can be used in multiple ways therefore no confusion.

In pharmacology, you learn all the medications used in the hospitals. Obviously, you cannot remember every medication created, therefore you can look up medications when you have a job, but the point is to know the basic medications. Now with practice the common medications will become second nature to you and you won’t need to look them up. Also if you end up working in the hospital there are pharmacy books, and possibly the computer program the hospital uses may allow you to look up the medication(s) you are giving your patients to make sure there’s no counteractions with other medications as well as side effects of the medication.



In one year, I will be taking my NCLEX, so what will help me prepare for it? Recommended to me where Saunders, Lippincott and Kaplan. Lippincott and Kaplan are used in my school so those are the ones I have to use, but they are very good for studying. The explanations for the correct and incorrect answers help you understand why the correct answer is correct and the others are incorrect. Two books that helped me prepare for tests in adult health II and will help me for the NCLEX are NCLEX-RN EXAMINATION by Saunders. This book helps explain different topics you learn in nursing school and gives you a quick refresher on different illness and pathologies. At the end of each chapter there are questions from the topic you are reviewing. Another book that helped me study for tests is Lippincott Q & A Review for NCLEX-RN. This book is filled with thousands of questions as well as answers at the end of each section with explanations. I highly recommend this book for studying because not only does it apply your knowledge of what you’ve been studying but you will realize what you do and do not understand.

Thirdly, a medical surgical book used for my nursing class was also with Lippincott, called Textbook of medical-surgical nursing 13th edition. It has an online portion with Prep-U which has the online textbook and quizzes that can help you study as well. If you don’t like reading online you can buy the textbook, now both are expensive but once you pass you NCLEX you can sell them back.

Now for care plans, because you will have to do them at one point during nursing school and you will spend hours writing them out for clinical and it will be difficult and annoying until you finally understand what you are supposed to write. The book I suggest for that is Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care by Marilynn Doenges, Mary Moorhouse, and Alice Murr. All you do is look up the illness of your patient and it will give you a list of nursing priorities, plans, interventions, and evaluations.

Lastly, a book to help with pharmacology. Kaplan NCLEX-RN drug guide. This is a book of flashcards, each a category and in alphabetical order. On the front it says the name of the drug in both generic and brand name. While on the back of the page it lists the side effects and nursing considerations. The book is a great little pocket dictionary to carry around during clinical to help look up drug names.

Adult Health II

So unlike most study guides I do, where there’s a question or a topic and I explain all the information underneath like a horrible long boring novel. This past semester with Adult Health II I had to use a different approach after the first exam. So my new approach with help of my professor were what we like to call “gingerbread men”.  It’s an outline of a gingerbread man and you can draw and outline each and every disease/illness to help you understand the nursing process as well as the pathway of the disease. You can download a blank copy of the here (Gingerbread man). Throughout the semester I ended up creating several after every lecture. For example when learning about blood disorders make a gingerbread man for anemia and you can group them all into one. Then if you want you can create one for each type of anemia: iron deficiency, sickle cell, hypo-proliferative, and hemorrhage. I will warn you these do take awhile to write out and if you want actual time to study them I highly suggest to write them all out after you have the lecture or even during lecture to stay up on them. After the semester was over I filled an entire notebook of them and binder clipped them off so that each test was one category. I’ll tell you the gingerbread men really helped me prepare for my exams and by the time the final came around I didn’t have to create a study guide because all my gingerbread men were them which is another bonus of using these as a study guide. Below are some examples of gingerbread men I’ve created during the past semester.

Hope these help. Obviously there are more information with other illnesses/diseases than others so if you chose to make these write what you think you need to know about the topic. Think of it as one giant flashcard and good luck!

AH II Exam I Study Guide Part II


Like I said in the Part I study guide, the first exam in adult health II is on the cardiac and pulmonary systems. I split up the two systems because there is so much information to learn about these systems that combining them would be an endless list that people would get bored or reading.

The attached study guide is about the lungs and different diseases and injuries that could happen to the lungs either due to trauma or secondary to a disease. Most people have either heard of or have had the disease such as rhinitis (common cold), tonsillitis (infection of the tonsils) and many more.

I hope this helps you figure out what you need to read more about and what you already know. Good luck studying and comment if you have any questions!



The first exam is always the hardest, at least that what’s people say. As for this exam its covering the two most important systems in the body, the cardiovascular  system and the pulmonary (lungs) system. The attached study guide is just the cardiovascular system. I will be posting the pulmonary (part II) study guide soon.

The study guide encompasses several cardiovascular diseases, the pathophysiology, prevention, treatment and medications as well as other factors for each disease. Also in the study guide are how to calculate different parts of an EKG/ECG, as well as how to read one.

Hope this helps, and Good luck studying!

Mental Health Exam I


Hello All,

Mental health, a class filled with many different stories. You will never be board in this class, in fact you may learn an entire new side of what nursing could be. Attached is the study guide for my first exam in this class. It includes a plethora of information, but that is like all nursing exams. The topics include: stress, crisis, drugs and their interactions on the brain, neurotransmitters, voluntary and involuntary consent, types of mental health hospitals and what nurses do in each setting. There’s a lot more to this study guide, but I’m not going to list each topic out, instead click on the link.

Hope this helps all nursing students understand what mental health nursing is like, or a glimpse of what a mental health nursing exam entails.

Where to Work?

So you’ve decided nursing is your field of choice, but what field within nursing fits you best? There are many paths you could choose from. Let’s say you graduate and get your RN license, you can go back without any experience and become a nurse practitioner, this isn’t highly recommended because you have no experience, but it is possible. You can get a license in teaching and start teaching future nursing students how to become nurses. You can work in a hospital, start your own practice, or work in an office. It’s all up to you, and that’s the greatest thing about nursing.

Now if you don’t want to continue your education that’s okay too. You can become certified in many different fields of nursing its unbelievable. You can become certified in the emergency department, in IV care, wound care, burns, trauma, chemotherapy and so many more.  Each certification takes time and costs money, but it’s worth it because if you know how to do all these different skills in nursing you can go anywhere you want and be able to find employment.

In nursing school you will have clinical and there you will go to certain departments and follow CNAs and RNs around and learn the skills for that department. Clinical will help you learn which departments you love and which ones are definitely not for you. If you don’t like any of the departments you go to, preceptorship is a program where you can choose three fields you enjoy that your school offers and can go to one of the three departments and follow around a nurse for about a month.

For example, say you like the ER, ICU, and maternity. You rank them on which one you most prefer to which one you least prefer and the nursing department will choose one of them and place you in it for a month or so and you get to follow a nurses schedule for that month. There are no classes and most of your finals are over. There are certain exceptions to the departments you can go to. For example, since preceptorship at my university is fall senior year and we learn maternity and pediatrics spring senior year, these departments are not offered to us. However; the emergency department and a few other departments that we do not get to go to in clinical are offered to us.

So to help you fellow nursing students find out which specialties you want or don’t want I will post links below to help you find out what specialities are out there. Now you may enter nursing school with a field in mind and that’s great, but keep your options open, you never know where you’ll end up with nursing.


All Terms To Know

Terms to Understand- Class #1 


Terms and Meds to know Week 3 Faculty Doc

Week Four Terms and Meds to Know(1)

Terms Medications to Know week 5 Hyde Fa16 (1)

Terms Medications to Know UroKidney Wk 7 (1)

Terms Medications to Know Wk 8 GI (1)

NSG 342 Terms Medications to Know week 9

Terms to Understand for Class 10 Pain AntiInflamm

Terms and Meds to Know NSG 342 Class 11 and 12

My pharmacology class started off with learning about seasonal allergy medications and ended with learning about seizures. My course used the book Karch: Focus on Nursing Pharmacology, Sixth Edition. While studying for pharmacology, my professor made lists of the vocabulary and medications we should know. Obviously I filled out the sheets as a way to help remember the terms and medications. Most of the definitions are right from the book, but others I shortened and wrote what was most important for that term.

Each class has a “term to know” worksheet, and this is how I studied for pharmacology, as well as taking quizzes, and going over the PowerPoint’s provided. Pharmacology was a difficult course for me but it depends on the type of learner you are. If you are very good at memorizing this is the course for you, if you are more of a hands on or visual learner this course can be more of a struggle for you than others.

Now let’s say you can’t memorize very well, the way to learn anything in nursing school is to review it after class for at least fifteen minutes. I know every professor will tell you this, to study the class material you learned that day for fifteen to thirty minutes a day and you will do very well in the course. This is true, although you will realize very quickly that your life becomes devoted to studying.

Upon entering nursing school you will learn quickly how you learn and study to get the grades you want. Of course there are people and places to help you learn new study techniques, such as your professors or an academic success center or tutoring center. The tutoring center will help you learn new study tips, help you figure out how you study best, and help you with regular assignments such as essays.

Test #4

Exam 4 study guide

Exam four was another very lengthy exam (thirty-three pages worth!).  It consisted of types of parenteral fluids which includes IV therapy types, IV complications, Blood transfusions and complications with transfusions. Spirituality, religion, nutrition, death, peri-op, and delegation were also topics covered on this exam.

Most of this material may seem like common sense, but for me the test was somewhat difficult. Obviously all of the information is important, but I would say to pay attention to IV therapy and delegation.

In nursing school you will be faced with select all that apply (SATA) questions, meaning there is more  than one answer to a question. NCLEX adores these! The key to these questions is to make sure you read each answer carefully. Key words such as “all”, “never”, “stop” should tell you that the answer is incorrect, because usually a patient shouldn’t stop something, usually everything listed on the line isn’t correct (ex: several medications), and any answer with the word “stop” or “any” because patients should consult a physician first. These words are not just for SATA questions but for regular multiple choice questions as well.




Test #3

AH Study Guide Exam 3

This exam included acid/base (remember ROME!), oxygenation and perfusion, respiratory issues, cardiac issues, types of oxygen masks, GI/GU, and sleep and rest.

Now my professors made a test map, which is how I got my idea for the study guide. It was basically all the information in the PowerPoint’s just rewritten, so if you just want to rewrite your notes after each lecture or a week before an exam that could work as a study guide as well.

**Remember all the material you are learning in nursing school, you will need to remember for the NCLEX so do not throw out your nursing notebooks, or other notes that helped you study because you will want them for studying for your NCLEX after graduation!