Pharmacology Study Tips

Pharmacology Study Tips

Pharmacology is one of the most difficult classes for nursing students. There are so many medications to know! Use these tips to make Pharmacology class more manageable.

I remember opening my pharm book and seeing a long list of medications at the end of every chapter.

I just felt so defeated and thought...


"How am I ever going to pass this class?"

BUT, I’m going to tell you my biggest pharmacology tip that literally saved my grade in nursing school and saved me on my NCLEX!


#1 Suffixes & Prefixes:  

You are probably tired of my saying it BUT you need to know these.This allows you to easily recognize a medication just by looking at the ending or beginning. Knowing the Suffixes & Prefixes for each medication class is much  better than memorizing all the individual medications.  This allows you to easily recognize a medication just by looking at the ending or beginning. 


#2 Study early & study often. 

You may need to see the medication’s name, side effects, and mechanism of action multiple times. So study a little everyday, even if it's just for 1 hour per drug class 


#3 ASK!

It may be scary, but asking your professor for guidance is okay. After all, they are your source for teaching & learning. Ask if they will test on generic, brand names, or both. Ask if they have any specific tips regarding studying or how they personally learned about drugs while first in nursing school


#4 Memorization isn’t everything

I promise It’ll benefit you FAR more to truly understand how a medication works, why it produces certain side effects, what the therapeutic effect will be, and why it’s used in practice. This core understanding will help you answer more critical questions on the NCLEX and more importantly, will help you become a nurse who doesn’t simply check off tasks, but comprehends them, questions them, and provides input as an advocate & team member.

#5 Labs?

Labs In pharmacology? YES. Lab values connect to everything, not simply diagnoses and disease processes. Particular medications can make certain lab values increase or decrease. Many meds are used to treat diseases which will present with abnormal lab values. And many drugs have therapeutic ranges. Know how these connect, because I can promise you you’ll see it everyday as a nurse, and I can DEFINITELY promise you these will be on your exams.


Pharmacology Flashcards

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