April 1, 2019


Hi, Everyone!

I have gotten an abundant amount of requests to share my study tips for the dreaded pharmacology course in nursing school. Pharmacology can seem very overwhelming, especially if your school combines pharmacology and pathophysiology like my university did. However, if you take the time to organize your study methods before you start this class, it will make it so much easier to learn and recall these drugs down the line when you are practicing as an RN!

My first tip is to focus on the mechanism of action. Once you understand this aspect, it makes it so much easier to understand the side effects and adverse reactions. This method will help you learn more effectively, rather than memorizing all of the side effects of a drug and forgetting the information after your exam. 

There are some aspects of pharmacology that you just simply need to memorize. There are so many tools out there to help you memorize information. Some of my favorites to make flashcards are Quizlet and Anki. I also used to create Excel sheets (pictured above) and would list the drug name, class, mechanism of action, side effects, etc. 

For the pathophysiology portion of the classes, I would make my outlines (tutorial listed on my blog here). Some of the other tools I used to help my understanding were Khan Academy and the MedMaster podcast. 

The most important thing to remember here is do not cram. This is a course that you need to prepare well in advance for your exams. Study well in advance and try to apply what you're learning to what you see in clinical! Look up the medications you're giving to patients and understand why you are giving them. I still look up medications today as an RN! 

I hope these tips were helpful. There's no right or wrong way to study for pharmacology or any course in nursing school. Find what works for you and run with it. You guys got this. 


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