kkTrg-zlpmDYP_bho1NKLnEUrXg A Student CRNA Blog: CRNA Board Preparation

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CRNA Board Preparation

When you are in the CRNA program and the "finish line" appears closer than ever, another stress starts to creep on. BOARDS! All your mentors, family and professors can keep telling you that "you are going to do just fine" (and yes you will do fine) but it is difficult to stay calm. Good preparation and planning is the key to success. So how do you prepare? Here are some tips that helped me get through.

1) Timing
Getting your appointment for your exam is a difficult decision to make. "I didn't get time to study during clinicals", "I am not ready" etc are all the questions that may deter you from taking that step. Nevertheless, you NEED to do it. People tend to do better with deadlines and that little sense of nervousness will help you study better. If you go in without a set date for the exam you will more likely procrastinate (I did :) ). Also, regardless of the date you are taking the exam, there is always a topic that can be prepared better. That should not be the reason to delay your exam since we all have topic that are difficult to understand. So, make that appointment and don't change it because you feel unprepared. 

2) Studying 
It is ideal to study throughout the program however, we all know it is unrealistic. Some clinical sites have difficult rotations, exhaustion, and family matters can all play a role in limiting your study hours. It is important to set realistic study hour goals based on clinical sites. For example, 8 hour days may allow you 2 hours of studying whereas 12 hour clinical days allow you only 1. Use them appropriately. 

3) Topics
I know everyone's learning styles and habits are unique to themselves. So, know yourself. Don't follow the group. Choosing topic to study may work better if you have something to relate to. Discuss a topic with your clinical preceptor, relate it with your case, or study about your case a day prior. Studying and relating it to real-life situation is a great way to retain information. 

4) Review Course
There are so many review courses out there that may make it almost overwhelming to choose from. Every one of them have positives and negatives that again relate to your personal learning habits. I learn better from lectures and visual information so Valley review course worked better. However, if you are interested in how the boards are set-up, then Prodigy or Apex (or others) may be ideal. 

5) Relax
Most important one for the last. Relaxation and sleep are often forgotten as a CRNA student but are key to your success. I was so exhausted after two weeks of post graduation studying that I was having a great deal of trouble retaining information. You don't want to go in tired. Eat well before the exam and drink enough water. I had to change the environment I studied in to keep it stimulating. 

At the end, remember you made it through the difficult part that is the school and this is really the easiest portion of CRNA program. Feel free to comment or email any specific questions you may have. Wish you all good luck!