Nursing school is definitely a challenging path to take. It could be difficult keeping up with the classes and assignments and at the same time, having to balance family and professional duties. Time management is the key to successfully completing your nursing studies. With an effective time management strategy, you should also be able to plan your school work well to help you meet your deadlines. Aside from that, having a study group and studying with your own unique learning style could also help you ace your exams. Review the right way with our top 6 effective study tips for nursing students.
Embrace your learning style.
There are four types of learning styles: visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, and reading/writing learners. Visual learners are students who prefer to see and observe pictures and diagrams, while auditory learners are students who learn better when they hear lectures and explanations. On the other hand, kinesthetic learners are those who learn better when they experience or do things firsthand. Lastly, reading or writing learners are those who prefer the traditional method of learning, such as reading books and writing essays or research papers.
Each individual learns more efficiently in various ways. For instance, some students prefer to listen to a lecture rather than to read lecture notes. This helps them retain the topic in their minds better. It does not matter which learning style you prefer, as long as it works well for you. It is important for each individual to identify the learning style that suits you best.
Organize your schedule well.
If it works for you, try to have a planner where you can keep track of the dates of your exams, deadlines, and homework. By doing this, you will have less chances of missing a deadline or forgetting to study for an exam. Scheduling your study times could also prevent you from procrastinating and cramming, which would give you more time to study for your exams and do your homework, translating into better scores.
Try to gain experience.
Pre-nursing work experience is a great way for you to witness the day to day activities in the healthcare industry. A great number of nursing students try to gain some experience before beginning nursing school. Not only is gaining experience good for your resume, but it could also provide you with information, and connections that could help you get an advantage after graduation.
Some jobs that you could opt to take are certified nursing assistant or emergency medical technicians. However, you do not have to worry if you do not have any hospital experience. You could try volunteering and taking internships to help improve your experience with patients. Aside from that, your professors may have more information and ways for you to become more engaged.
Take advice from former and/or older nursing students.
Do not be afraid to ask other students when you are confused on what to do. Try asking those with more experience, like the senior nursing students. Oftentimes, they have already been through what you are going through, and they completely understand you. They could offer insights on the teaching style of a particular professor, or they could give you recommendations on clinical locations. They may even pass on to you their old textbooks or study notes, which could help you save money and understand the lessons better. Once you get your BSN, do not cut ties with your university. Instead, you could volunteer to become a mentor to help other students on their academics. In this way, you’ll even be able to learn new things.
Study with your friends.
Studying with friends could help you learn and understand review materials better. However, it is important that you ensure that your friends generate positive energy that will encourage you to participate and study more effectively. Studying with friends is also great for discussing lessons and concepts that you may have missed or failed to understand. In fact, studies show that students who study with their friends become more confident and motivated in attaining their academic goals.
Make use of visual aids when studying.
Some individuals retain concepts better with the use of visual aids. For instance, creating a deck of flashcards could help you remember information better. You could even try and test yourself if you really do remember the concepts. Flashcards are very convenient to use as you could easily bring them anywhere. In addition, you could also use different colors when writing your notes. This does not only help you scan through your notes better, but varied colors could also help stimulate your brain to retain information better. Lastly, try using nursing mnemonics to easily memorize phrases or concepts.
Nursing is definitely a challenging, yet very rewarding course to take. You must really work hard and be passionate about nursing. However, despite the difficulties, it is important for you to still take care of yourself. Don’t forget to take breaks every once in a while. In fact, studies show that taking breaks when studying could actually boost your productivity, as well as improve your ability to focus. Try out the tips listed above and see what works for you! Keep in mind that everyone works differently, so it’s important to determine your own study habits that could help you retain information better.