Study tips for nursing school students

July 31, 2014

Students kicking back at the Morogoro HouseEven if high school came easy to you, nursing school can be different. In addition to classroom lectures and laboratory work, you will also have clinical assignments. That’s a lot to juggle, even for students who always get good grades. Doing well in nursing school is very achievable with hard work, the right attitude and good study habits.

Organization is key

Develop a plan for studying. Although some people tend to cram for tests at the last minute, this method can easily backfire. Consider breaking assignments and projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Studying and working on assignments a little bit each night may prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Make sure you keep track of all things related to nursing school. Write down all your assignments, tests, quizzes and projects due. Whether you use an app or a planner, make sure you keep track of everything you have going on.  

Another way to stay organized is to use flash cards. In nursing school, you will learn hundreds of definitions, medical terms, medications and diseases. Flash cards are a great study tool and can be used to quiz yourself or others.

Consider a study group

Consider starting or joining a study group. It may be easier to learn together by sharing ideas and talking about concepts learned in class. Study group members can bring varied knowledge and helpful ideas to the group. If you are in a study group, it may be helpful to set a schedule and stick to it. Make sure you work together and make it a team effort. For example, divide up tasks if needed, such as making copies and summarizing chapters. Go through class notes together. Someone else in the group may have written something you missed. Make quizzes and ask each other questions.

Study suggestions

Do your best to avoid falling behind in school. Falling behind is not only stressful, but you may have a hard time catching up. Ask questions in class, study with friends and get a tutor if needed.

Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, get some exercise and make sure you get enough rest. It can be difficult to focus and retain what you are studying if you are overly tired.

Be realistic about goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations. It’s great to strive for good grades, but if you expect to always answer every question correctly on a test and maintain perfect scores, those might be unobtainable goals for anyone. 

If you always study in the library or the same location, consider changing things up. A change of scenery may be useful to help you recharge and refocus. It is also important to take a break. Although you want to stick to a study schedule, everyone needs to take a break and have some downtime away from the books.  Even if it is only for a short while, spend some time doing something fun or relaxing. Spending time away from your studies can help you feel energized when you return to the books.