- There’s no denying that nursing school is difficult. And, when you’re juggling family and career obligations on top of your nursing studies, the quantity of studying you have to accomplish can seem insurmountable. How are you meant to get through all of these chapters, let alone review notes, prepare for the nursing exam, and remember everything you need to know to have a successful career as a nurse?
- The first thing you should do is take a deep breath. You’ve got this. It only takes a little organization, time management, and a few study ideas and tactics to help you distinguish between the “need to know” and the “good to know” to increase your information retention in nursing school.
- Follow the study guide for the nursing test.
One of the most effective methods to focus your nursing study is to prepare for the NCLEX exam. Examining a study guide reveals not only the subject areas the nursing exam covers but also how the test is structured. Obviously, the license exam does not cover everything you need to know as a nurse, but if you prepare for the exam all year, you’ll be more confident on test day.
- Every day, spend a little time studying.
It’s impossible to compress a week’s worth of studying into a few hours over the weekend. Make a commitment to spend some time on your nursing studies every day, even if you have to break it up into smaller chunks to fit it in. You’ll feel less stressed and be able to remember more information.
- Concentrate on the topics discussed in class.
Each week, your professors will assign a number of chapters to read as well as additional resources to review. Take a cue from your class time and read and outline every single word instead of carefully reading and outlining every single word. What are the themes that the instructor spends time going over? What were the most important topics discussed in class? Concentrate your efforts in these areas.
- Consider actions rather than information.
It’s critical for nurses to know why certain illnesses arise and what’s going on physically in a patient. The patient, on the other hand, is uninterested in learning such facts; all he or she wants is to feel well. When studying for the nursing test, ask yourself, “How will this information aid my patients?” You’ll improve as a nurse as well as a student.
- Create a study group.
According to research, students who study with peers retain over 90% of what they learn, compared to only 60% of what they hear in class alone and only 10% of what they read. Not to mention, studying alongside others can provide moral support and encouragement. Put your heads together with a handful of your fellow nursing students (research shows that groups of three are the most successful) to share study strategies and boost your performance.