Study skills to keep you on top in nursing school
Nursing school is not easy, but with self-discipline, motivation and the right study skills students will succeed.
Nursing degree students need to be prepared to take in a large amount of information from lectures, lab sessions, course materials and clinical experiences. Students might already be aware of their individual learning style and have developed particular study habits. However, nursing students are required to understand material beyond just memorizing terms so they must develop their abilities in critical thinking and research.
Good study habits depend upon scheduling, prioritization, concentration, listening and effective note-taking. Here are essential study skills for nursing students:
Mentally prioritize tasks. Use a calendar – paper and/or electronic – to schedule assignments, including tests, reading times and breaks. Nursing students have busy lives, so it’s vital they develop methods to keep on track with all their priorities.
Take clear and concise notes that will be easy to read and review. Nursing school material builds upon prior material. Early in your studies, keep files of class notes collected and organized in way that will be easy to refer to later.
Read for Comprehension
The goal of reading should be to efficiently gather meaning. One tip is to skim through readings the first time without taking any notes, just to get an overall idea of information. When making notes in materials, use a highlighter or post-it flags to mark information that you want to review later.
Change Study Places and People
In addition to finding a nice spot on campus and at home, get out and study at other places such as a coffee shop, library or park. Studying also does not have to always be a solo activity. Spend time with a study group to share ideas and learn from each other.
Pay Close Attention in Lab
Your time in a lab or clinical setting will help you prepare to care for patients. Stay focused on the instructor and demonstrations, taking notes that will help you when it comes time for you to perform nursing skills in a test of your abilities.
Developing solid study habits during their undergraduate education helps nursing students face the unique challenges they will encounter in their continuing education and careers.