Feeling Like My Notes Aren't Cutting It


So in the beginning of nursing school, I didn't print the power points my professors made, instead I took handwritten notes on the chapters while adding to the topics from the power-points. But I failed my first test so I thought maybe the way I'm studying is wrong and printed the slides like my classmates and as for my notes I tried answering the chapter objectives and re-write the vocab. I feel like my notes are sloppy and poorly done and just want to re-write them so they look neater but that would be a big waste of time. Does anyone else feel like this? I feel like I'm never organized enough because I keep changing my method of note taking....


38,333 Posts

Try using a smart pen system (Livescribe). You will have the entire lecture available while you figure out at home the best note-taking method for you.


30 Posts

Here's my process:

Print powerpoint (3 slides/page), take notes as they're lecturing on the powerpoint, rewrite entire powerpoint after lecture, condense notes/make note cards.


8 Posts

I'll try Livescribe and see if it saves me time. Until then I'm going to try to type my hand written notes and print them so they're easier to read. Do you guys make study guides? I feel like every piece of info is important so I don't know how to set it up. Is it just the info you're iffy about?

Specializes in Surgical Critical Care.

I'm someone who has been in school for a long time, and one of the biggest adjustments that I had to make about myself was to learn how to effectively take notes in a paperless fashion. Once I mastered it, it was so, so, worth it! So many professors use lengthy PowerPoints these days that printing them all out and taking hand-written notes was becoming inefficient.

I suggest a good note-taking program such as OneNote or EverNote. It might take a little bit to learn how to use effectively, but it will become your best friend once you master it. Plus... you get a search function for your notes =)

I print the powerpoints out (3 slides per page) and take notes during class, then rewrite all of my notes into study sheets that are grouped in a way that makes sense to me. Then I go over my study sheets until the material has sunk in and do practice NCLEX questions on the topics up until the exam. Yes typing notes on the computer is more efficient, but it has been shown over and over that you retain more when you write it out


216 Posts

I felt the same the first, week or so, as I took notes just like you. I started doing the 3 powerpoints per page, notes in class per powerpoint and doing the end of chapter questions, study guide questions, Quizlet, and using Elsevier

Specializes in Emergency. Has 5 years experience.

My biggest piece of advice would be to worry less about taking notes and more about understanding the concepts. As you advance through nursing school you'll find that very few tests ask knowledge questions, rather they are about application of knowledge. Try reviewing multiple sources of reliable information, mix that in with reading textbooks, and viewing of power points. Use lecture time to really listen, ask questions, try to see the bigger picture. Also don't forget about making appointments with instructors to review tests, and utilize the tutoring center.

Good luck!