- Education and Science
Pass Excelsior College Nursing Exams
Lose Your Fear of Excelsior Nursing Exams!
Hello! My name is Judy. I am currently a student at Excelsior College out of Albany New York. I am enrolled in their ADN program pursuing their LVN to RN bridge program! For some students, it is a challenging and sometimes scary task to take on a self-paced program, especially a nursing program. A lot of people quit and others creep along the way, paralyzed with fear and self -doubt. Well, I am here to help!
After I enrolled into the program, I completed 6 of their nursing exams and the online, self-paced Information Literacy class in LESS than 2 months! Now, I had a newborn, at the time, AND a 3 year old. I was also breastfeeding and for those mom's out there who have breast fed, you understand the extra challenges that come with that! I also, was not working at the time, so as not to disillusion anyone about my situation.
I am here to encourage other students to let them know it CAN be done. I am here to share my study tips on how I was able to get through so quickly!
I can not, of course, comment on anything in the exams themselves and will not disclose private, copyright information about their program, but will offer some simple strategies that will hopefully increase your test taking time and move you through the program at a faster rate.
First of all, I have to stress, REALLY stress, how important it is to go ahead and pay for and take their practice exams for every examination you must take. They are worth their weight in GOLD, believe you me. Each time I was ready to move onto the next exam, the very FIRST thing I did was take their practice exam for the corresponding test I had paid for. I have never understood the point of studying information that is the Wrong information or the Wrong way to do things or Wrong answer! I do not waste time CONFUSING myself. I need to know the right way of doing things from the very start! Especially, in nursing. We are dealing with people's lives here and there is no room for second guessing yourself or knowing the WRONG way to do something.
When I take the practice exams, I did not use them to test my knowledge and see if I was ready to take the test. That is what the school recommends you do. What I did, was use the material, to study. For each question, there were 4 possible answers. After you take the practice exam, you can review the exam and they tell you which one was the right answer and give you rationales for the other 3 answers. Now, here is where I took it to the next level.
Google, my friends, is your BEST friend! We are in the day and age of technology, so I used it! Believe you me! After I had finished the practice exams, I would open another browser window and use google to search the right answers and all of the remaining 3 answers, for EACH question.
Any word, disease, disorder, whatever it may be...that I was NOT whole heartedly familiar with, I googled it. I looked for pictures, video's, definitions ( great from wikipedia and nlm.nih.gov) reports, study's, WHATEVER I COULD FIND that would give me that mental picture in my brain. I did this for every thing covered in those practice exams. It's a numbers game really. If there were, say, 250 questions. Each with 4 possible answers, and you studied all 4 answers, then you just learned potentially 1,000 things by this method.
The ONLY other study material I used was Lisa Arend's full set of cd's for the nursing exams, including FCCA and CPNE study cd. You can find her notes on E-bay. Her notes are thorough with a full variety of practice quizzes and practice tests, notes, bullets, slideshows, final reviews and more.
On the down side, she does use frequent abbreviation of certain terms such as diagnosis or treatment and it is hard to understand her notes sometimes. I usually really focused on her final reveiws and looked over her notes as best as I could. I did look at her practice quizzes and tests. They are SUPER cheap and a lot of info on them.
On the day of the test, I would make sure and take my time reading the questions and really try to find out WHAT EXACTLY they were wanting to know from me in the question! Know what they are asking in the question. Sometimes the questions would have patient information such as age and demographic information, but really only wanted to know if you knew what disorder they had, that they mentioned at the end of the question! Know what it is they are asking you on the questions! Sometimes, it's not about looking at it as a potential patient care scenario, sometimes it's specifically , "do you know what this disorder is" question.
Last but not least, I really pushed myself. When I would pay for an exam, I would take the practice exam and see if it was material that I could adequately learn in 5 or so days. It almost, always, was. I would only study at night. I usually started around midnight or 1 am and would stay up until 4:30am. Straight, to the point studying. I would NOT go onto the next thing on the page until I had enough information from google in my head, that no matter what.....I could remember that specific thing come hell or high water. It's about creating enough images in your mind, enough links in your mind, that will allow you to be able to retrieve the information easily. This means, when you get through the material ONCE.......you only need to REVIEW before you test. None of this, reading over and over and over again, pounding your head against the paper trying to remember all of it!
That my dear friends, is how I studied, and I hope that it helps someone out there achieve completion of these exams sooner. I can not make any guarantees that it will help you, but I am in high hope's that it does. I am a night nurse and have been for the majority of my career. A strong cup of coffee and determination were my best friend's during this process.. Best of luck studying! Know that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and it is so worth it when you get there. You can do it!
Other recommended help aids
If your looking for tips and encouragement, I recommend you join a forum of other Excelsior nursing students. It is a forum on Yahoo called "freehelpexcelsiorstudents". There are a lot of things you can learn as well as students experiences with CPNE, CPNE workshops, passing examinations, other useful study material, ect. There are some Excelsior grad's who still post occasionally, as well as the nurses that hold the workshops. Priceless connections and information there.
Practice workshops to help you get ready for Clinical ( CPNE) http://clinicalprepexam.com 200% money back guarantee to pass the CPNE. I signed up for Sheri Taylor's online workshop for 2 months and then took an Excelsior workshop in Grapevine. Both had valuable information to help prepare me for the CPNE.
Lisa Arends nursing concepts on ebay at http://tiny.cc/larends
www.larends.ecrater.com ( her personal store website)