Nursing fundamentals is a class required by most nursing programs that nursing students take during the first semester of nursing school. This class is also known as nursing foundations, depending on what your nursing program calls it.
Many nursing programs split this class into a lecture (which is attended throughout the semester) and then a skills lab and clinical site. This allows the student to apply the theory learned in class to the “real world”.
Students learn basic nursing skills, caring for the perioperative patient, positioning patients, medication administration, nursing theories, charting, and legal stuff (HIPAA, OSHA etc) in this class.
So, why do students struggle in nursing fundamentals, and how do students study for nursing fundamentals? This class can be difficult for students because it covers a lot of material for each exam and the exam questions require a higher level of thinking. Simply memorizing facts about nursing will not help on an exam in nursing foundations. The student must be able to think critically and apply what they’ve learned to the scenario.
How to Study for Nursing Fundamentals (Nursing Foundations)
In this article, I want to share with you 6 strategies on how you can study for this class and ace it.
6 Strategies on How to Pass Nursing Fundamentals in Nursing School
Strategy 1: Know how you learn best! What is your learning style? Are you a visual, tactile, read-write, or auditory learner? Figuring out how you learn the best will save you time because different learners learn in different ways.
Strategy 2: Comprehend the material, DON’T memorize it! This class covers the basic foundations of nursing and you have to truly understand the reasoning for nursing interventions and proper techniques. You can’t simply memorize the material and then do a brain dump after the exam. You must know the:
- nursing process (assessment, planning, implementation, evaluating)
- prioritizing patient care (Maslow’s hierarchy)
- a nurses scope of practice
- the scope of practice of others
- patient safety etc.
The above information will help you excel on every exam!
Strategy 3: Don’t let test style trick you, but learn how to answer NCLEX style questions! See this video on how to successfully answer NCLEX style questions. Nursing fundamentals exam questions can be tricky and sometimes there are two “best” answers and you must determine which one is the best for that particular scenario.
Strategy 4: Practice! Practice! NCLEX Style questions before each exam. *NCLEX Saunders Comprehensive Review Guide is an excellent study guide (helped me in nursing school) that contains NCLEX style questions over nursing fundamentals.
Strategy 5: Purchase MaryAnn Hogan Nursing Fundamentals Pearson Reviews & Rationales: Nursing Fundamentals* as a study guide for nursing fundamentals! This is another great book that saved my grade when I took nursing fundamentals. This book breaks down the material in a simple way and tells you what you need to know for exams.
Strategy 6: Know how to prepare for each exam! Do this by looking over you class notes & power-points, and then read the section in your study guide that you just read about in your notes/power-points. Then practice the questions at the end of chapter in the study guide. Be sure to pay attention to the rationales, and read in your textbook the sections you are having a hard time grasping. While doing this, look for key concepts that are being repeated over and over again…very important…most likely material for a test question.
Recommended: How to Study for Medical-Surgical Nursing
*Recommended books in this post are based on my own personal experience as a nursing student. The book links will take you to Amazon.com. We are an affiliate for Amazon.com and if you purchase an item using the provided links we obtain a commission. The commission helps fund this free website for nursing students and nurses.