Top 5 Nursing School Study Tips!
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Today I realized that it’s been a while since the last time I actually sat down and studied as a Nursing Student, but boy do I remember the angst of trying to cram it all in for a test or finding the time to finish off an essay! Nursing school is hard. I remember the sleepless nights, praying for an additional 5-hour extension before the day breaks.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
I think we can all agree that studying does not rank high on the list of “fun things” to do and it is incredible what you can get done around the house when you are meant to be studying.
I can remember times when I was supposed to be studying but instead, I would scrub the bathtub or rearrange the linen cupboard or sort out my Tupperware. Anything to get out of actually having to sit and STUDY!
Procrastination was truly my best friend at that time and as a result, my house was really clean, yay! However, cleaning your house does not pass any exams or get you a degree so I had to find ways to make studying work for me.
Today, I am going to share them with you!
Here’s my Nursing School Top 5 Study Tips:
1. Plan to study
Allocate specific time slots for yourself to study for at least 1-2 hours at a time. Put this on your planner or the calendar on your wall and let yourself mentally prepare for this time slot.
If I told myself that I would study ALL DAY on a Saturday for example, chances are I would just procrastinate half of the day and not get much done.
What worked for me was to allocate say, 2 hours in the morning when I was at peak productivity, and actually study for those 2 hours. And if I had scheduled it in, I had to do it!
Silence your cellphone, close the television, and go somewhere you can focus on the task at hand with zero interruptions and zero multi-tasking.
2. Take regular breaks
Take small breaks often. The breaks are as important as the work you put in in studying because you also need to absorb all the information you just gathered. According to studies, the brain can only work for 4 hours, beyond that would overwork your brain, and studying more would be useless.
Your mind can only focus for so long at a time and if you’re trying to study something not very interesting to you, chances are your mind will start to wander. Take 5-15 minute breaks, whatever works for you, and do something you enjoy and will take your mind off your studying. You can listen to music, walk outside for a bit, close your book and eat a snack. Whatever relaxes you.
Make sure that you focus on what you’re supposed to be doing at that moment. If you are studying, don’t think about your break period, and if you are having your short break, don’t think about studying.
3. Use props for your learning style
There are 4 types of learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic.
Visual learners retain more information if they are presented in pictures, diagrams, and charts.
Auditory learners respond best to voices, by listening to a lecture or their own voice repeating something back.
Reading/Writing learners use repetition of words and writing and retain more information by taking down notes or rewriting information.
Kinesthetic learners prefer a hands-on approach and respond better to an object or learning prop.
Personally, I am a visual learner, so what I did was to make flow charts or study cards to remember things easier. I found that when I used different colors or images, things would just stick a lot easier! You can make flashcards or quiz cards for yourself, you can record yourself explaining a chapter in your own words, you can make reviewers, or you can make sample props made of simple objects.
You must learn your best learning style and use that to your advantage.
4. Organize study groups with friends
This has got the potential to be the biggest procrastinating event the world has ever seen but if you and you’re friends are serious about getting it done, a study group can be super helpful.
Studying with people in the same course as you is great as you’re all on the same page and need to pass the same exams! Don’t get side-tracked and help each other to regain the focus of the study group.
You can assign chapters for each to discuss, make question cards, and quiz each other or make funny mnemonics only your group can relate to. Studying with a group can help you tremendously to retain information as they are also walking visual reminders of what you just studied. Just remember not to get off track and then waste your time.
5. Have yummy snack
Be sure to stock up on your favorite snacks.
I should be telling you to get the good “brain snacks” but to be honest, whatever you want to snack on to get you through studying is probably the best snack.
No one wants to chew on a celery stalk while trying to figure out how Beta-blockers work! But then again, if you’re into that then good for you!
Just eat whatever you want that makes you happy and whatever makes studying more fun for you. Glucose is the primary source of energy for every cell on your body and your brain alone uses one-half of your entire sugar energy! So snack on, and just remember to eat junk foods in moderation and drink plenty of water!
Nursing school is not a joke, it’s hard work! I hope these tips may help you if only a little, to get through those exams and assignments.
Remember, it takes a special person to become a nurse and YOU are that special person. I am cheering you on, whether you’re studying or not!
For further reading, you might also want to see:
What I Wish I Knew Before Starting Nursing School!
What about you? What is your favorite Nursing School studying tip?
Drop them in the comment box below. I love hearing from you!
May you have a successful study session and remember as always, listen with your heart.