These are the actual notes I created to sail through nursing school with a perfect 4.0 GPA. They are by no means perfect, but they are pretty great! I've included them here for you (typos and all) in the hopes that they inspire you to up your note-taking game...or just save you a little time when things get hectic. If you're looking for complete and updated notes for ten core topics in Med Surg 1, you'll love our Med Surg Success Pack!

Med Surg Level 1

nursing school notes

Med Surg Level 2

Mental Health

Women's Health



  1. IrK on September 5, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Hi Nurse Mo!

    So nursing school has begun… Wow, pretty overwhelming. But fun and interesting. We started Patho. Our instructor recommended that we study it by disease process. I started making notes on each disease but came across a challenge of discerning etiology and pathophysiology. They seem to overlap a lot. Are there any tips on how to differentiate these two?
    Many thanks,

    • Nurse Mo on September 6, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Oh yes…I remember this conundrum well! And you are right to say they overlap…they are very similar! Etiology (by definition) refers to the cause/origin of the disease or condition. While pathology (or pathophysiology) refers to the behavior of the disease…what it does in the body to disturb homeostasis. Let’s use an example since that makes it easier for me 🙂

      For example, let’s talk about influenza (Happy Flu Season, everyone!). When thinking about the etiology of the flu think: pathogens, risk factors, genetic predisposition, gender, lifestyle…things that lead to the cause of the disease. In this example the etiology includes time of year, age of the individual, smoking history, genetic predisposition for weak lungs (maybe a premie?), immunocompromised status, the virus itself and how it spreads (mechanism of infection), etc…

      Pathology has to do with what the disease does to the body. For example, influenza causes cellular dysfunction and degeneration once it is within its host cells. This leads to the release of inflammatory mediators and all the havoc that creates (respiratory symptoms, fever, aches, etc…)

      In the most simple terms…etiology more or less refers to what CAUSES the disease, and patho refers to what the disease DOES to the individual.

      I hope that helps!

  2. IrK on September 6, 2015 at 7:38 am

    WoW! You DID make it easier for me! Thank you!

    One more question about Patho. We use Porth textbook which is not easy to digest and it focuses on too many details that are good to know/read when you have tons of time. It takes tremendous effort from me to see the bigger/overall picture right away. Do you have any book in mind that summarizes the concepts (apart from Incredibly Easy series) and could be used to supplement the course textbook?


    • Harlee Spencer on November 4, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      Hi! I use the NCLEX review book to help break down chapters from my patho book. You can look up “Bronchitis” and its right there in more simple terms. Also, Kahn Academy online is so great! they have videos that go over just about everything and practice questions. Hope this helps!

      • Nurse Mo on November 22, 2015 at 1:36 pm

        Thanks for the tips, Harlee! Hope school is going well!

      • Marie on March 23, 2023 at 6:17 am

        What is the Nclex review book and where can I find it?

        • Nurse Mo on March 25, 2023 at 4:13 pm

          Hi Marie, I always recommend the ones by Saunders 🙂 Good luck to you!

  3. Emma on October 26, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Any tips on how to revise and obtain new information besides doing practise quizes and using flash cards?

  4. Jewel on November 26, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Hypnosis works very well for smoking cessation.

    • Nurse Mo on November 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Jewel!

  5. Adriana on January 28, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Nurse Mo,

    First off all, a million and a half thank yous for these fabulously constructed overviews you’ve provided. I am currently studying for my second med surg exam and an extremely nervous because I failed the first one. Before finding your site, I made a write up for myself with questions about clinical manifestations, meds, therapies, diagnostic procedures etc. but the common issues I’ve had with test taking are questions like “what is the nurses priority intervention?”, “what should the nurse do first?”…and even with making a write up I’m not sure as to how to practice for questions like that…any advice?

    Again, thank you so much. These notes are EXTREMELY helpful and straight to the point (I have issues seeding out “fluffy” facts). Hope to hear back from you!


    • Nurse Mo on January 28, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Adriana,
      My book has a whole section on test-taking strategies…and check out my post here about NCLEX style questions (just use the search function that’s in the right sidebar. Hope that helps! You got this!!!

  6. lasherie Townsend on June 28, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Im a readmit nursing student .. trying to go harder this time.. that was the problem i thought i was going out all the way , studying, reading .. still failed .. my problem is fluids n to simplify this .. and any study methods ? ..i literally read word for word, idk how to make my life easier .. help plz

  7. Jess on December 29, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    If you purchase the study guides from here do you have unlimited access to them or can you only view them a certain amount of times like the free study guides?

    • Nurse Mo on December 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Jess,
      Once you purchase them you are able to download them immediately to use however you like:-) Note that your download link is only active for three days and three total downloads…but once you download, they’re yours!

  8. Ashley on February 18, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Nurse Mo,

    Just wondering if you had any tips on note taking in nursing school. Handwriting vs typing? Handwriting takes a long time and with 5 classes there’s not always time left for review. Do you have any tips for typing and long term retention or perhaps ways handwriting could go faster?

    Thank you! Hope to hear back

  9. Gloria MG on May 13, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Nurse Mo! What can I say!!!! Since the pandemic, doing online class is not my cup of tea. I feel like I don’t know anything. But with your notes and podcast, I felt like I am in the class room. Thank you very much for these. Your stuff is very organize and easy to understand. Thank GOD I found you thru Facebook. You are my life saver Nurse Mo.

    • Nurse Mo on May 17, 2020 at 10:52 am

      So happy to help, Gloria! I’m glad you are doing ok…this is hard on all of us right now. Hang in there!

  10. Bernice Nimely on April 5, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks this was very much help full for, hope God give you the courage to teach me more, I will let to read some exam questions.



  11. Amee on April 24, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    Good Evening Nurse Mo!
    I purchased your bootcamp prior to starting my nursing program, which due to Covid related delays, was some time ago. Can you remind me how to access the Med-Surg pack that was included? Also…although I knew your nursing school notes were available, I for some reason had never looked at them until now…HOLY MOLY, WHAT!! Am I correct in that if I have the med-surg I and I purchase med-surg II.. I will have all of your available notes?? Or are they two different things?
    Thank you soo much for all you are an inspiration! I tell fellow nursing students about Straight A Nursing any chance I get ?.
    Just a quick shout out to all, like myself, that started nursing school in their 40’s…or 50’ I started at 49 and as stressful as it is at times…I CAN’T BELIEVE finals are here ALREADY ?

    • Nurse Mo on April 27, 2021 at 4:47 pm

      Hi Amee…please send me an email so we can get you sorted!

    • karen on July 12, 2021 at 2:54 pm

      I just read your post Amee and I am 51 and starting my ADN program in the fall. I am so nervous because I had my AP classes almost two years ago and it is really hard to retain that info. At least for me it was. I repeated AP II and Micro to get a B only. It has been really hard, not having any math or science classes before but mostly gen ed and business courses.
      SO any tips for us older folks lol. I’d appreciate it, if you have time.


  12. Erika on April 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Nurse Mo!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing all of your information with us. I am in my second semester of nursing school, getting ready to take my mental health final and your notes have been an awesome study tool, especially since mental health is my biggest challenge. I really appreciate all your time, and your podcasts. The one on psychopharmacology was a life saver and i will be listening to it again on my way to school tomorrow. Thank you again for being such a great teacher, and keeping me company on my long commute to school!

    • Nurse Mo on April 27, 2021 at 6:16 pm

      So glad it’s helpful for you Erica!

  13. Megan on September 20, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Mo!! I love all of your outlines, they have helped me thus far through nursing school. I was wondering if you had a Nutrition outline for different diets following medical diagnoses. Thank you for all of your help in taking a great amount of information and condensing to retain the important concepts.

    • Nurse Mo on September 21, 2021 at 8:19 pm

      I don’t, but that’s a great idea!

  14. xime on September 22, 2021 at 9:56 am

    hi Mo, any bootcamp i should get before starting the program? im starting on spring 2021, trying to get as READY as possible!!!!

    • Nurse Mo on September 22, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      Hi there…Crucial Concepts Bootcamp is the Bootcamp for you if you’re starting school soon 🙂 Watch for our Black Friday sale!

  15. nina on September 24, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you so much !!!! so informative and organized !! such a great resource you are appreciated 🙂

    • Nurse Mo on October 1, 2021 at 9:24 am

      Thank you, Nina!

  16. Hannah on May 6, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Hello Nurse Mo. Your notes, and podcasts, are an absolute god send. Thank you, so so much. I am a first year nursing student and am struggling to wrap my head around the pathophysiology of asthma…in my own mind, I need to understand the physiology to explain the pathophysiology well. Would you recommend I look deeper into the respiratory system and immune system physiology? The human body is so complex and I am struggling to know where to begin for my deeper learning…

    • Nurse Mo on May 16, 2022 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Hannah! I think it’s great you want to understand physiology – it’s truly the backbone of everything you’re learning! So yes…if you feel you need to review that physiology then it will definitely help you 🙂

  17. Bella on June 9, 2022 at 9:08 am

    Hi, Nurse Mo

    Can I study these notes for LNP 2nd semester?
    I’m looking for any to study over the summer break. Thank you!

    • Nurse Mo on June 9, 2022 at 12:50 pm

      Absolutely 🙂

  18. Nani on August 30, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Hello Nurse Mo ,

    After struggling through 2 years of RN nursing school and failing my second class , I am just now discovering you and your amazing resources . I wish I would’ve known about you since day 1. Although I’m in my last semester , I’m still struggling to find a study method that works best for me ? Any suggestions ?

  19. Shannon Causey on October 10, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    Nurse Mo,

    You are amazing! I have been using your website as a resource more and more as I get deeper into your program, and I have started using the Latte Method. I started color coding my notes this summer, and adding Latte to the mix has really helped because my missing link was that I didn’t think about how my patient was looking! Now, I do! It was a small shift, but it made all the difference when I start actually putting signs and symptoms onto a visual of a human. I can’t believe how many wonderful free resources you share with us. I love reading your notes along with listening to your podcast. I bought the power guides knowing that I will use them all eventually even if they aren’t related to my course load that week. I am in my 3rd semester of the ASN program, and it’s been very difficult, but I am slogging through. Side note, I am 54 years old and this is my second career. Thanks again:) Shannon

    • Nurse Mo on October 11, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Shannon! It’s great to see non-traditional students thriving and I’m happy to be a part of it with you 🙂 Also, thanks for hopping on to the Power Guides train…I love them so much and am THRILLED they help you!

  20. Chelsea on October 29, 2022 at 10:10 am

    Is there any chance that you will post notes for Neonatal for a healthy newborn? Or where I could find some helpful information? I absolutely love your podcasts BTW!

    • Nurse Mo on November 6, 2022 at 6:29 am

      Hi Chelsea, if they’re not here then I didn’t save them 🙁

      Best of luck to you!