The Best Studying Techniques for Nursing School


As a nursing student, you are faced with the task of absorbing lots of crucial information in a short period of time. Simply reading a course outline will not provide you with the tools necessary to ensure that you ace your exams and become the best nurse possible. Fortunately, abiding by some basic study tips can help you come out ahead in nursing school and in your future nursing career.

Thrive in Class

  • A great start to studying well is absorbing the most important material in class. Introduce yourself to your instructor from the beginning, so that she recognizes your face in the crowd. You should also get to know your instructor by studying her teaching and examination methods.

    Pay attention. Even if a class feels boring, sitting in the front row, pretending to be interested and taking extra-detailed notes can help you stay on task.

    Take good notes. For example, use individual sheets of paper or index cards to make a file of conditions with their signs and symptoms, tests, treatments and other details. Use highlighters to color-code your notes, but know that going overboard with highlighters can take away from their effectiveness.

Study Alone

  • Times when you study alone should be used to help you absorb material and simplify what you already know. Do your assigned reading and more. Find medical journals and read scholarly nursing articles. Doing assigned reading will keep you on task and engaged with class conversations, and reading extra material will help keep you up to date with the field.

    Study based on National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) review material for registered nurses. This will ensure that you are prepared for the ultimate exam.

    Studying alone does not have to be boring. You may find that you study better by changing your environment. If you can, take a trip to a local coffee shop or public library.

Study in a Group

  • Forming a reliable study group can be a fun way to help you break down and tackle a lot of information.
    Share notes. Sometimes one person picked up on a bit of information that everyone else missed. Assign a different portion of the chapter to a different study group member. Then have everyone create questions and quizzes based on each subject. Challenge each other.

Use Technology

  • Use modern technological advancements to your advantage. Employ a voice recorder to capture lectures and listen to them in your spare time (for example, when you are driving).

    Use email to communicate concisely with your instructors and classmates. Having answers written down can also help you to remember what they said.

    Use Internet resources to help you with research papers and studying.

Relax and Take Your Time

  • Taking the time to relax and enjoy your chosen career path will help you maintain the proper perspective. Spend time with classmates who are well-organized and optimistic. Avoid the slackers.

    Break down study materials into days. Do not read huge chunks of material at once; for instance, a 30-page assignment can be broken down into five pages a day over the span of 6 days.

    Take breaks when you study. It will increase the amount of information you absorb.

    Use a personal planner and follow a realistic and flexible schedule. You should not spend every moment socializing, but do not spend every waking moment with your nose in a book.

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