Full disclosure: I got an 88 on the lecture exam (I got the exact set of questions wrong which I had marked on the side of my scantron sheet that I would get wrong - there's a lesson in that somewhere.) and an 81 on the lab practical. Most of my class feels this is stellar and grew up in a world of curves or wonders why that is disappointing when they all got something in the 40-60 range. I, on the other hand, find this totally unacceptable, particularly after studying my butt off. So I'd like to talk to my professor about what I can do better next time. Only I don't have one.
I'm not that worried about it apart from the fact that since vacation it's been hard to rein in my attention span and focus on the textbook. But my problems aren't quite as rough as those of my favorite study buddy (not the aryan study group leader I've told some of you about - she dropped the class) who is coping with other stuff outside of class and is playing catch-up on any and all math skills. I really want to help her succeed. Which is where you guys come in.
I'm trying to sort out some ways to help with her test anxiety. I sure have some test anxiety of my own, but I think my friend's may go beyond and are limiting her ability to get things she knows translated out onto the test. I've studied with her; I've quizzed her and asked her questions and made her explain stuff back to me. I know she does know or has the ability to know. But her test grades are not reflecting that. And from what she's been saying, it's because she gets into the test and freaks out and decides she doesn't know anything. I told her about my experiences with automatic thoughts and we tried to tease out the direction her mind goes when she gets into the test situation, but I'm by no means a professional.
So does anyone out there have experience with test anxiety and some ways to overcome it? Maybe I could set up some real test taking situations and she and I could self-test together and grade each other or something. I really want to help but I'm not sure how.
So that's current school. I've also been thinking a great deal about future school, and trying not to limit myself. I am still following my original plan with a target entry to HCCC for the abbreviated Associate's in 2010. But in the meantime I am looking around at other programs all over the country to see what the course offerings are and who offers what kind of RN to BSN or RN to MSN, what kind of specialties, etc. In my groping and stumbling (there are so many ways your nursing career and education can go. it's kind of ridiculous.) I discovered a bunch of pages about forensic nursing. And I got really excited. There seem to be two schools of thought:
1. "Don't get excited, Forensic Nursing isn't all about CSI and cool dead bodies."
2. "People think Forensic Nursing is boring, but just think! You could help solve crimes!"
I intend to look into this more thoroughly because apart from my desire to someday specialize in psych nursing this kind of piqued my interest. In the meantime I've been adding every nurse blog I can find to google reader (which I just started using - and almost demands a whole other post!) in the hopes of getting as diverse a set of public internet opinions on the field as I can.