Studying for the PCCN

Plan to Pass

While I’ve been on maternity leave, I truly have tried to study. We had some fortunate events (birth, lots of family in town, trip to the beach, bittersweet trip to Colorado and Kansas) and unfortunate events (an ER trip, deaths) where it was really difficult to study. I said I had a newborn, right? Yes. So a toddler and a newborn and lots of family means studying gets pushed to the back burner. Not to mention the thrilling effects of sleep deprivation on my desire to study.  But here we are with a PCCN test looming in the near future (I have to take it by September 8) and my return to work on Monday night. Now, I did take my notes on the plane and managed to get through one packet on the flight (Yay!), but only recently did I decide it was time to make an official plan of study. And start this blog to help.

To start off on the right foot, let’s make some goals.

  1. Take the test by September 8.
  2. Write out a study plan.
  3. Ensure that everyone still gets fed.
  4. Write what I’m learning for my blog as if I’m teaching to help me remember it.

That should be good for now.


1. I have not scheduled the test yet.

2. So here was the plan I actually wrote out at the beginning of the week.

My study plan

How have I done? Well, I have both succeeded and failed at studying early. My newborn just started sleeping 8 hours this week and I’m only having to wake up around 5am to feed him. After I feed him, I pump (TMI, sorry) and that’s when I study. Which really means I look at my notes, blurry-eyed and mostly awake, for about 15 minutes. Then I go back to sleep thinking I’ll sleep for another hour or so…my husband is very nice and lets me sleep until 8. By that time my toddler and husband have been awake for roughly an hour, the baby is waking up and ready to eat again, and I am hungry and need coffee before the rest of the day ensues. Study time = 15 minutes.

But then there’s nap time! Usually, I get roughly an hour where they are both asleep and I have actually done well with studying and writing out what I’m learning to type up later for the blog. I figure the writing and typing is good repetition for learning. Study time ~ 1 hour, 15 minutes. Woo!

3. Earlier in the week, I had written out a very simple menu and have managed to stick to it with easy meals. There’s even usually enough for hubby to take to work and not eat sandwiches every day.

4. I figured that studying after the boys go to bed will not work because I would need time to actually type up my learning and figure out how to use my blog.  I am currently behind by one day, but the plan is mostly working! If I can find time to study at work when I go back, I just might catch up to the schedule.

I’ll update in a few days to see how well studying, the return to work, sleep, and caring for my children all fit together.

How have you planned your course of study in the past? Are there any strategies that you have found helpful?

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