Nursing school is unquestionably difficult. The amount of studying you have to do may seem insurmountable if you're also trying to juggle family and work obligations alongside your coursework. On top of all this, how will you get through these chapters and still have time to review your notes or prepare for your nursing exam?
To begin, take a deep breath in and out. You're capable of accomplishing this. Planning, managing your time effectively, and employing some proven study methods and techniques can go a long way toward helping you better retain the information you learn in nursing school.
NCLEX-based learning is one of the best ways to excel in your nursing studies. Using a study guide reveals the content areas of the nursing exam and how the questions are presented. Even though the licensing exam does not cover everything you should know as a nurse, you will feel more confident on the testing day if you have been studying for the exam throughout your career.
You can't do a week's worth of studying in a few hours over the weekend. Even if you have to break your nursing studies into several smaller chunks, make a promise to yourself to devote some time each day to them. You'll be able to retain more information and feel less overwhelmed.
Your professors will give you a lot of reading each week and several take-home assignments. Make the most of your class time by skimming and highlighting rather than focusing on every single word. In what areas does the instructor devote a significant amount of time? What are the most important topics covered in the course material? Concentrate your efforts on these areas.
In contrast, only 60 percent of what students learn in class and 10 percent of what they read are retained by students who study with peers. Moreover, studying with others provides a sense of encouragement and moral support. Studying in a group of three or more nursing students increases your chances of succeeding in your studies if you work together to brainstorm ideas.
You don't have to rely solely on your textbook or instructor to learn. If you're studying diabetes, check out the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, and American Diabetes Association websites for additional information. As a "preview" to your reading, do this before each chapter. You should, however, keep in mind that your textbook and instructor are the ultimate, correct sources of information.
Some people prefer to learn visually, while others learn better by moving their bodies. It is imperative that students identify the study strategies that are most effective for them. Knowing and using a study style that suits you makes you learn better. Kinetic learners, for example, do better when they write their notes, as the motion of writing helps them remember their lessons better than other types of learners.
Memorization is a necessary part of the nursing education curriculum. Make a set of flashcards or a set of notes to help you review the information while you are engaged in other activities. When brushing your teeth, for example, put a card on your bathroom mirror with the ranges of your vital signs. Eventually, you won't have to think about those numbers at all.
The more time you spend studying, the less likely it is that you'll retain as much information as you'd like. You should take regular breaks to avoid losing interest or enthusiasm. Short breaks help to recharge your batteries and improve your ability to retain information.
With a well-thought plan, a few helpful study tips, and the right mindset, you'll be well on your way to completing your nursing degree in no time.