There is a lot to learn in nursing school, so successful studying is important to retaining the information (and doing well on your tests…). As someone who has completed both an ADN program, as well as an RN-BSN program, I have had plenty of experience studying in nursing school. In this post, I will be covering nursing school study tips. This is part 2. I have another post on how specifically I studied for nursing school in my ADN program linked here.
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5 Nursing School Study Tips
In part one of this post, I went over how I personally studied in nursing school. This included notecards/flashcards, Registered Nursing RN videos on Youtube, practicing NCLEX questions, and study groups. I also went over other tips such as learning how to decipher and interpret NCLEX questions, time management, and cutting out distractions. Below, I have 5 more nursing school study tips including planning ahead, taking breaks, collaborating with others, using visual aids, practicing critical thinking, and prioritizing self-care.
1. Plan Ahead
Organization is key to success in nursing school. Create a study schedule and stick to it. On your study schedule make a plan for when you have time or want to study and what you plan on reviewing during that session. You can create a study schedule by using a planner or calendar. It is also helpful to keep track of your assignments, exams, and deadlines. Be realistic about your studying commitment and schedule breaks. Keeping your study space tidy and clutter-free can also help you stay focused and productive.
2. Take Breaks
Studying for long periods without taking breaks can lead to burnout and fatigue. Take regular breaks to rest your mind and recharge your energy. Go for a walk, do some yoga, or engage in any physical activity that helps you relax and clear your mind.
Taking breaks helps to improve your focus and concentration. When you study for long periods of time without taking a break, your attention span will start to decline. This can make it difficult to remember information and learn new concepts. reduce stress and fatigue.
Taking breaks can reduce procrastination from feeling overwhelmed, improve creativity, and improve problem-solving skills. When you come back to your studies after a break, you may be able to see things from a new perspective and come up with new solutions to problems.
3. Collaborate with others
Studying with a group can be an effective way to learn and retain information. Nurses often have to work as part of a team in the healthcare setting. Knowing how to collaborate effectively in order to provide the best patient care is an important part of nursing, not just in relation to studying effectively.
There are lots of different ways that you can collaborate with others when studying in nursing school You can join a study group or form one with your classmates. Share notes, ask questions, and discuss challenging concepts together. Teaching others can also help you solidify your own understanding of the material.
4. Use Visual Aids
Visual aids such as diagrams, flowcharts, graphs, images, videos, and mind maps can help you understand complex concepts and remember information. Use colorful markers and highlighters to visually organize your notes and make them easier to recall.
Visual aids can also improve understanding by breaking down complex information into smaller parts, increase retention, improve engagement when studying, and help communicate information more effectively.
You can create your own visual aids, or use ones that others have made. Visual aids can be used by themselves or in conjunction with other study methods. Knowing how you study best can be helpful when it comes to visual aids since there are different learning styles. If visual aids are not helpful to you, maybe you learn best through another learning style.
5. Practice Critical Thinking
Nursing school requires more than just memorization. Nurses are often faced with complex and challenging situations and need to be able to think critically to make the best decisions for patients. You need to develop critical thinking skills to analyze patient situations, make diagnoses, and formulate care plans. Critical thinking is important in nursing school because as a nurse you will need to make sound clinical decisions, problem-solve, communicate effectively, and advocate for patients. Practice critical thinking by analyzing case studies, participating in discussions, and asking questions.
Practicing case studies, NCLEX questions, and ethical scenarios can help implement critical thinking skills.
Here are a few more tips for developing your critical thinking skills:
- Be open-minded and willing to consider all sides of an issue.
- Be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments.
- Be able to think logically and rationally.
- Be able to solve problems creatively.
- Be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely.
6. Prioritize Self-care
Taking care of yourself is important for your overall well-being and academic success. Self-care is important to study because it helps you stay healthy, mentally and physically, which can improve your ability to focus and learn. You can practice self-care by:
- Exercising: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost mood.
- Getting enough sleep: When you are well-rested, you are better able to focus and learn.
- Eating a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet gives you the nutrients you need to stay healthy and energized.
- Spending time in nature: Being in nature can help you to relax and de-stress.
- Practicing relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help you to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Spending time with loved ones: Spending time with loved ones can help you to feel supported and connected. Make time for activities that you enjoy doing with the people you care about.
Nursing School Studying Tips
By following these nursing school study tips, you can improve your learning experience and set yourself up for success in your nursing career.
I hope these nursing school study tips have been helpful to you! I always love to hear how other people study, so if you have any tips or study in a way different from me then let me know in the comments!
As always, you can find me on Instagram @maddie_deer here, or can follow me on my Facebook page to be alerted of any new posts here. I have a lot more nursing school-related posts ready to be posted, so be on the lookout for those!
Good luck studying 🙂