Find a comfortable, quiet place with good lighting to you studying. Study for no more than an hour straight without a break. Take at least 10 minute breaks and get up and walk around. Do not stay up all night to cram for exams. It is better to study in small blocks of time than try to cram. Only study the stuff you don't know, don't waste your time on stuff you already know. Read the required reading before lectures, tape as many lectures as you can and then don't take notes, but listen closely.
Get involved in discussions in class, this is a big help. Start to get research and information together well in advance of a paper due date.
For me anatomy required learning through repitition, physiology required understanding things more deeply. When you study, put things in your own words, you will understand and remember them better if they are your words and not the words of the instructor.
When taking tests, never go back and change your answers after you are done with the test. If you get stuck on a question, skip it and go back later. BUT DO NOT CHANGE YOUR ORIGINAL ANSWERS!!!!! When in doubt (you have absolutely no idea what the answer is) answer C consistantly.
Most importantly and probably the hardest to do is to eat well, get enough sleep (especially before an exam) and have fun. There have been many times that i gave up the studying to get a good nights sleep and even if I wasn't extremely confident that I knew the stuff well, I passed and usually with high marks. Do not forget the fun part.
No-one cares after you get out of school if you were a straight A student or a C student, as long as you are competent and can do safe and effective nursing. Unless you want to go on to higher education and then the grades matter more than in the real world.
You will do fine, relax. Good Luck.
Oct 28, '00
Jill had a lot of wonderful study tips.
For A&P I found it helpful to make sure I had a good understanding of prefixes/suffixes so that if I didn't know the answers, maybe I could take an educated guess. Also, focus on the BIG picture...with a good understanding of physiology you can a lot of times use deductive reasoning. I try to study from several different sources. Sometimes my A&P lab book puts it into more understandable terms and in other cases I get more from the text book.
As for Pharmacology, I just read and reread the chapters hoping and praying that something would stick!!!
Best wishes to you.
Oct 28, '00
Hi I feel like I post this tip a lot, But it really helped me. I got 3 X 5 index cards. I broke down the concepts into little tiny pieces put a question on the front (ie How is hypertension diagnosed?) and an answer on the back (ie a BP above 140?/90 on three consecutive MD visits) I carried these cards around with me and reviewed them in lines at the bank or where ever, stuck in traffic. This does not work for concepts, but more for the facts. But the facts all apply to the concepts. Ok thats my success tip Good Luck. Enjoy school
Oct 28, '00
i'm in third semester going for my ADN after working as an LPN for 20 years!!! the best thing that i have foung to help me through all the hard classes has been FLASHCARDS!! i have probably made hundreds of them over the last two years!!! good luck!!
Nov 4, '00
Hi there! Well best of luck to you in your nursing school endeavor! I graduated in April of 00 with my ASN and have been working as an ICU nurse for 6 months now and loving it. Anyways two things that helped me in nursing school. #1 Flash cards. Cause you read it, write it, and keep flashing yourself. This helped a ton. Also any study guides for the subject were helpful as well. Best of luck! Need support email me EMTChic@hotmail.com.
Kimberly Rush, RN
Nov 27, '00
I myself take 3by5 notecards and put a topic on the front such as "symptoms of DM1" and put the answer on the back "polyuria, polydsypia and polyphagia" I think I spelled it right but you get the picture. I carried these with me everywhere and studied when I got a chance
Nov 29, '00
What worked for me was flash cards, flash cards, flash cards. I had 6000 of them by the time I finished LPN school. I would break the information down into small bits and go over the cards until I knew the information cold. It really seemed to help if I went over the information out loud. Also, I took the cards with me everywhere and read them at the laundromat, the checkout line in the supermarket, etc. Of course, you can't read out loud in public or people will think you are really strange!
This technique may not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.
Good luck in your studies.
Dec 21, '00
Okay, I guess we are all in agreement about the flash cards. I also used my little mini recorder..and then I would bring it with me and play while I was in the car. (being a mom of three, I spend most of my time in the car.) I would then tape at the end..things I needed to review. I also carried my flash cards with me...so when I had idle time..like in the dr's. office..I would pull them out and go over them. It really does help. They say you forget 50% of what you read during the first hour after you read it. So...hearing, seeing it, reading it...and writing it all help make it stick.
"A strong wind cannot disturb my core."
Dec 21, '00
I am always looking for new ways of learning material, I have already started index cards. another good idea is to read the nursing magazines. I feel it is good to look at subjects that are coming from a nursing perspective. Janice
Dec 25, '00
Here's some ways that I study best:
1. flashcards...the sooner the better. Just review them whenever you get bored. This is so you can write it, see it, and say it...3 good things you need to retain information.
2. Try to understand the concepts and make sense of everything.
3. rewrite or type up my notes
4. skim through the book and look at diagrams or pictures...this really helps if you learn best by visualizing
5. record the lecture and listen to it before bedtime...somehow this helps me a lot!
This works if you learn best by hearing
6. ...and last...STUDY GROUPS! studying in really small groups or with a friend helps me the most...especially if an exam is coming up. This is because I retain more information if I explain the concepts to someone else and vice versa.
All of these work for me...but it really depends on what will work for you, because everyones different. There's visualization, hearing, saying, or writing. What would really help though is using all these techniques together. First try one of each and see what fits you best!