In my years of tutoring, one recurring theme among my students is "these textbooks are too much for me. Am I really supposed to read and memorize all this information?" My first student refused to even open the textbook, preferring to use lecture notes, review books, and YouTube videos. She's now a gainfully employed registered nurse. To each her own.
While I generally don't condone completely ignoring the textbook, I sympathize with students who are overwhelmed. Here are some tips I give them:
1. Start with a review book. Every nursing student should have at least one. It'll give you a great framework for what's to come in the textbook, as well as telling you what you should focus on. Textbooks should fill in the gaps.
2. When you do crack open the textbook, focus on what you as the nurse needs to know. Ask yourself: how will I use this information? Do I need to know the ins and outs of the pathophysiology of this disease? Probably not, but you will need to explain it to a patient. Do I need to know how to do this physician-performed procedure? No, but you need to know your role in pre and post procedure care. Think about your role in these conditions and procedures. It might be difficult at first, but it will get easier with practice.
Good luck turning your 2000 page textbook into more than just an expensive doorstop!