Nursing school can be a killer. Many times, it can seem that nursing students have much more work than hours in the day. You can make things easier on yourself, however, by implementing good study habits that will allow you to work smarter instead of harder. Try these study tips to make your nursing school experience much easier:
- Make a plan – Make a master plan for all exams, projects, deadlines, and activities in a personal planner and stick to your study plan to prevent last-minute cramming.
- Take good notes – When you take notes, do not just write everything down into one endless paragraph. Instead, use an outline format with headings, subheadings, and bulleted points. Leave enough space to add additional information from your reading assignments.
- Use flashcards – Flashcards are an excellent study tool for nursing students. You can carry them with you everywhere and sneak in a quick review whenever you have a few minutes of down time.
- Record lectures – While you may feel that you are remembering and taking note of everything, it is important to record all lectures so you can refer back to any information you are having trouble remembering or understanding.
- Ask questions – When you are doing your assigned reading, write questions that you need clarified and then ask the instructor at your next class. These questions can also help you focus on material that is confusing for you when it comes time to study for exams.
- Get details – When you find out you are having an exam, ask for details on what the exam will cover as well as the format that will be used for questions. Review all material emphasized in class, study questions in your study guide, and review past review and quiz exercises.
- Do the worst first – If you typically procrastinate, make sure to do the projects and tasks you dread most first. This will help you to feel accomplished and will motivate you to stay on schedule with the rest of your work.
- Break it into chunks – Study for 30-50 minutes and take a short break to have a snack and move around a bit. This will keep your brain refreshed and make it easier to actually retain the material you are studying.
- Change locations – Instead of isolating yourself, take your study materials and move to a new location. Sometimes a simple change of scenery can make your study sessions more effective.
By studying smartly, you can get more benefit from less time. This will allow you to actually have a social life so you remember that you are a human, not just a nursing student.