juggled clinicals, two work days a week, and just life in general. I have a Q&A post all about Nursing, NP School, why I decided to go back to school, how I juggled everything, etc HERE. This post will be more on timeline of NP school, studying for boards and what’s next! I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again….thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! For all your encouragement, prayers, and support throughout the program! You all have hearts of gold and were such a huge part of this journey!
RECAP OF THE LAST TWO YEARS
their denial for less than a week, but I don’t make the rules. At the time, it was a nightmare and on top of that there were all these issues on in-state and out of state tuitions that they didn’t address until after the first semester and although I lived in the state for years, they wouldn’t count that without other proof I didn’t have so tuition was doubled and long story short, I couldn’t believe it was happening…..
HOW I STUDIED FOR STATE BOARDS?
- I listened to Hollier’s review course at home in front of my computer and took notes in the Leik Book while also reading the text/their bullet points to remember. This was my third time listening to the Hollier review course, but it amazed me how much more I learned actually sitting there taking notes and reading. She also had powerpoint presentations during her course that I was actually able to read and remember which you obviously couldn’t do driving/having it play in the background. I’m definitely more of a visual learner and reading while I listened to her helped me remember it most of the time just going over it one more time.
- Take practice questions with rationales over and over and over again. This was a requirement for the second year course. One of our weekly assignments was to submit proof of at least an 80% on the APEA tests for whatever subject we had that week. I took all the APEA questions twice that year and then I did a few more subjects and practice tests while I was studying for boards. The first time I went through the questions, I didn’t realize we were allowed to take the tutor mode, so I struggled through them and had to take them multiple times to get an 80% but the second time around I found out we could do tutor mode and it helped SOOO much and many times was able to take the tests one time through to get the 80% because I actually understood the material!!! I recommend doing tutor mode for any practice questions you take!
- My brother is in Medical School and introduced me to SketchyPharm and it is a life changer for pharmacology! I only found out about it after my pharm class so I barely referenced it until studying for my boards, but I so wish I did sooner! For boards, I didn’t have time to go through all the videos so I only focused on a few subjects like HTN, antibiotics and asthma/copd, but he said he watched the videos over and over again and barely looked at any other resources for his pharmacology class and aced his test if that tells you anything! It is SO good especially if you’re a visual learner like me. I will be watching them over and over again even now with my boards out of the way because they are just so helpful in understanding and remembering drug class, action, use, side effects, etc. Pricey but so worth it! Oh! You can sign up for free and then try out a few videos before you purchase. They also have videos for micro and patho.
- Get practice questions apps! There are so many out there, but an access to over 700 questions and rationales came with my Leik Book, so I would study 8-10 hours for the day for boards, shower then do some practice questions before I fell asleep. I heard Board Vitals and Fitzgerald were other good options, but I didn’t use them.
- Take predictor tests. I feel like this is a ripoff, but I paid $50 for 75 questions from “retired” questions from old exams off of the PSI website where I signed up for my test. If anything, the test score gave me peace of mind and the rationales were helpful, but if you’re getting most practice questions right on say APEA or the Leik Book, I don’t think it’s necessary. I was happy I took it though because until then, I was really freaking out and it definitely relieved some anxiety. It also mimics the test so that’s another plus.
WHAT SCHOOL IS BEST?
- Ask fellow colleagues who went to NP school.
- What is their start date vs. graduation date?
- Do they help find preceptors or do you have to find your own? And if they do help, how wide of a radius are they looking? I’ve heard some are local, some are within 150 miles, others are out of state.
- How many clincial hours can you do per week? The first program only allowed, I believe, two clinical days a week. I’m not exactly sure, but there was a max amount whereas the second program didn’t care how many you did a week as long as you met the requirements by the end of the ten weeks. I prefer that because its so much easier to schedule around.
- Are you ok with online classes? Some schools are 100% online while others have on-campus days mixed with online classes. I love online classes because it fits my schedule and know where to ask for help if I need it. I do wish I had in-person skills instead of online video, but I am signing up for those through another program.
- How much of it is self teaching? Do you have virtual sims labs where you can practice on “real” patient scenarios? Do they have weekly online lectures scheduled or is it more like heres 400 pages to read by the end of the week.
- Do you have an NP review course included at the end?
- Cost/payment plans.
- No brainer, but is it accredited/have a good reputation in this area.
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Honestly, whatever door God opens up! I would love to continue in the ER or anything acute/in and out, but these options right now are such a slim chance due to a lot of changes that occurred in the last year or so in the area I live. I haven’t really started looking for that reason and because we have been so busy with other things, but I will just take it easy for now and then start looking more fervently in the next few months. I will continue working as a nurse until then, you’ll definitely see more of me around the blog, and have more time to focus on that big project I keep teasing you all about! I will definitely keep you all updated and can’t wait to see what’s next 🙂