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5 Little Known Tools to Master Nursing Pharmacology (Pharm Doesn’t Have to be Your Enemy)

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I’ve asked 40,000 nursing students what their biggest struggle is in nursing school.

Can you guess the most common answer?


Look . . . I was no exception to this while in nursing school.

In fact, Nursing Pharm was possibly the most complicated subject for me during school.

No matter how much I studied . . . it always felt like I was learning a foreign language.  Not only that, but lives were going to depend on me knowing the language!

But, (with a lot of work) I figured out how to excel at pharm and master the course by developing methods and strategies that I would like to share with you.

After years of working in a Level I Trauma ICU, mentoring students, and working with literally tens of thousands of nursing students around the world I have developed some tips and tricks that will help you demolish pharmacology for good.

With so many students (and practicing nursing) struggling so deeply with pharmacology we had to do something.  I am going to share with you 5 resources that will help you demolish nursing pharm right now!

But First . . . . a Caveat

I have found that with regards to pharmacology nursing students fall into one of two camps:

  1. Those that say “I will only be tested on a couple meds on the NCLEX®, what’s the point in learning pharm.”
  2. And . . . the smart ones.  Seriously, those that realize that pharmacology is more than a grade.  The meds we give our patients are such a MASSIVE part of what we do.  The risks involved with not understanding meds are so huge . . . I won’t go into that here.

If you are like the first student . . . you might as well stop reading now.  But I can’t imagine ANYONE that is part of the NRSNG Family would EVER think like that . . . so read on.

1. Med of the Day Podcast (free)

I LOVE podcasts.  I probably listen to 2 per day and subscribe to over a dozen.  Podcasts are such an incredible way to learn while on the go.  I generally listen to a podcast every morning while I walk, I listen on the way to work, and just driving around town, waiting in line . . . whatever.

I created the Med of the Day Podcast to provide short, concise, detailed information on a different medication a day.  Each episode is generally about 5 minutes and covers one of about 140 medications that are the most important for you to understand.

You don’t need an iPhone to listen.  In fact you can listen right on our website.

medmaster podcast

Listen Online

2. MedMaster – Online Nursing Pharmacology Course

Listen . . . pharmacology is hard.  Learning it doesn’t have to be.  No one wants to sit down and open another book trying to memorize and cram hundreds of meds.

MedMaster Course is our solution to the epidemic that is insufficient information and teachers to educate students on nursing pharmacology.  You aren’t the only person who struggles with pharm.

I get so many emails every day from students in your shoes.  The MedMaster course is packed with my tips for not only learning pharmacology, but understanding it as well.

In total there are over 30 hours of video and audio lectures, cheat sheets, and tons of freebies (including 90 NCLEX® style pharmacology practice questions).  For a small fraction of what ATI or Kaplan would charge you for limited access to their pharm programs you can get MedMaster access (including downloads of all lectures).

MedMaster is included with NRSNG Academy so not only will you get help with pharmacology, but you get access to all the other courses and tools included with the Academy.

medmaster course review

MedMaster Course Details

The course is broken up into 5 sections:

  • Section 1: NCLEX® Must Knows
  • Section 2: Math for Meds
  • Section 3: Must Know Medication Classes
  • Section 4: 130 Commonly Tested Medications
  • Section 5: Disease Specific Pharmacology
  • Section 6: Handouts and Freebies
  • Section 7: 90 NCLEX® Pharm Questions

This really is the course that I WISH existed while I was in school!  Every lecture is viewable on any device (including your phone).


Try Med Master Now!

Here’s what others are saying: 

3. 140 Must Know Meds ($9.99)

Here’s the deal . . . it’s impossible to learn EVERY medication.  This book includes the top 140 medications that you need to know in your practice as a nurse, for your pharmacology course, and for the NCLEX®.

While I was in nursing school, I would take TONS of practice tests.  During each test I would record every medication that was tested. I then went to NIH and other sites to discover what where the most prescribed medications.  With this database in hand I was then able to (with the help of my team) develop out this book.

We cut the fluff, gave you only the meds, and the information that you actually need to know.  If you are looking for a cheap option to learn the meds you need to know . . . this is a great option.


The book has an average rating on Amazon of 4.5 stars and has helped hundreds of students.  The book is included in the MedMaster Course for free.  But if funds are tight . . . this is a good second option.  You can pick this book up on Amazon if you CLICK HERE.


RELATED ARTICLE: Med Math (dosage calculations, drips, and formulas)


4. The SOCK Method for Mastering Nursing Pharmacology (free)

For many students, I’ve found that the only thing really standing between them and success in pharm is a method for learning medications and drugs.

When I finally realized that, I went to work developing the S.O.C.K. Method (yes, that’s really the name).

The SOCK Method is a four step process to help you learn meds.  When utilized in nursing school, it will greatly accelerate the speed at which you can master nursing meds.

how to lean phamacology

Read the Post

5. NRSNG Nursing Pharmacology Study Guide (free)

I hope you can tell by now how much we LOVE pharmacology at NRSNG.

I really want to be honest though . . . I didn’t start out loving it.  It took time.  And as my understanding grew . . . so did my love for medications and how they work within the body and the incredible use cases for different drugs with different patient populations.

Here’s what we’ve done for you.

We’ve compiled a HUGE resource to help you focus on the most important meds.

pharmacology study guide for nurses

View the Study Guide

Your Turn

What tips and tricks have worked for you in learning pharmacology?  Share below in the comments.


50 Most Commonly Prescribed MedicationsDo You Know the 50 Most Commonly Prescribed Meds in the US? Our cheatsheet can help...
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Date Published - Jan 21, 2019
Date Modified - Jun 17, 2019

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.


  1. Avatar



    I was reading through the comments of the NRSNG website and saw that there was a lifetime membership available. I wanted to ask if this was still available to purchase? I will start nursing school in January 2020.

    Thank You,

  2. Avatar

    infiltrazioni acqua

    Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for info approximately this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve
    discovered till now. However, what in regards to the bottom line?
    Are you positive concerning the source?

  3. Avatar

    Marcie W

    John, I would like you to know how I appreciate what you are doing. i am a retiree but after 8 months I didn’t last in that state. I got what i cannot describe something like crazy, depress or is it dementia? I went back to work and relearn things in critical care my favorite spot after being away for more than 8 years while momentarily spending my time in rehab and SNF. I realize I am energized with a little shot of crisis,tragedy and a little fast face for the brain to analyze and trouble shoot feeling good helping others, easing pain or saving lives worth saving. Most of all educate others how to be healthy and live longer building lasting happiness. STOP DOING THINGS THAT MAKES YOU SICK!
    I am looking for a new field to study and tour site helps me grow

  4. Avatar

    Ashley Manney

    I’m a newgrad in Australia and I wish I knew of NRSNG during nursing school! I bought some of the courses for revision for when I need to review something. So thank you so much for these courses, and I’ll be telling our student RNs about NRSNG! 🙂

    • Sandra Haws

      Sandra Haws

      We are here to help! We are so glad you have found our courses helpful

  5. Avatar


    Thank you so much for your help! I am currently waiting to re-enter the nursing program and I’m considering buying the medmaster program. Just want to make sure it’s lifetime? Are all the purchases on NRSNG.com for lifetime?

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Adriana . . .yes right now all the purchases on medmaster are lifetime purchases. We will eventually be rolling out a month to month program for those that do not want to fork over the full lifetime price . . but as of today it is a lifetime purchase

  6. Avatar

    Kyle Warriner

    This message is for Jon.


    My name is Kyle Warriner and I just wanted to mention that I am very impressed with the company you have created. I am going into third year in Ontario, Canada at Brock University. I have reviewed some of the free downloads, and although things like the lab values may be a hair off from what I was taught (I’m sure it doesn’t matter), I fully commend you for what you have done. Once I gather the money to afford your more in-depth courses, which is hopefully soon, I know it will only improve my skills and abilities in the classroom and clinical setting.

    Rock on brother, very proud of you,

    Kyle Warriner

    • Jon Haws RN CCRN

      Jon Haws RN CCRN

      Kyle . . .

      Thanks so much for the kind words. I love hearing from our Canadian brothers and sisters! Glad the free downloads are helping .. . . please use all the free materials on the site as you prepare and study.

      We will keep on publishing stellar content and I honestly want to that you sincerely for your kind words.

  7. Avatar


    I am taking pharmacology next semester, would you recommend I take the online course during winter break? Or should I take it simultaneously with pharm?

    • Jon Haws RN CCRN

      Jon Haws RN CCRN

      Awesome question. To take the entire course it would probably take several weeks. Much of what is covered in the course and our method of delivery is unique and will (hopefully) help you much more than an in-class course. Membership in the course is lifetime and it will serve as a wonderful resource throughout your career.

      If you have some time during your break it might help to glance over some of the cheat sheets and videos. If you wait we will have a discount this week (11-27-15) for our annual Black Friday Sale.