How Not to Study

  1. 9

    After 7 years of nursing education between my BSN and MSN, I have learned a few tricks along the way and love to share with fellow nurses and nursing students.

    How Not to Study

    I have always done well in school but good grades have not come easy, they require me to study for hours, make countless flashcards, attend lectures and read the book. Usually this produced results in the category of an A or a B and avoiding the nursing school failing grade of a C. Stressful? yes. Worth it? Absolutely- I'm currently a pediatric nurse practitioner after many years of hard work.

    My advice to nursing students, don't be like one of my first students. I was a TA for undergraduate pharmacology while I was in graduate school, it was extra money for me and a good review of pharmacology as well and I love to teach. We had multiple students repeating the course as they had not passed the year prior. During our first quiz, I was stopped by a student asking me to clarify one of the test questions:
    • T/F- Does the nurse need to check allergies, contraindications, side effects, etc on every medication administration (Not the exact questions, but similar)

    The student asked me if it was for new medications or chronic medications, I replied both and went on my way. The student picked the wrong answer and promptly emailed me saying I led her to the wrong answer. She stated she had been in clinicals the year before and she had never seen her preceptors do the above and didn't think it was necessary and wanted the point back.

    Never assume you know everything, that is my advice to you. It doesn't matter if you have worked in a hospital, repeated a course, your mom is a nurse, you saw something on Grey's Anatomy, you've worked as a nursing assistant. Approach every day as you will learn something new everyday and you will. Approach it as you know the answer to everything, you will lose out on so many learning opportunities. One of the surgeons I work with who has been a surgeon for longer than I've been alive says he learns something new everyday. This is a good thing!

    You will constantly learn as a new nurse and continue to learn through your whole career, embrace it, you will be a better nurse for it.

    You will learn so much from nursing school, it is stressful, but I promise it is worth it.
    • Keep an open mind
    • Go to class, even if your classmates don't, going to class prepared is even better
    • Pay attention in class, if your laptop is too distracting, don't bring it and take notes the old fashioned way. Facebook and Instagram will still be there when class is over, I promise
    • Read the syllabus
    • Ask questions, no such thing as a stupid question
    • Sleep truly is important
    • Take care of yourself- mentally and physically
    • Read the textbooks and assigned reading (skim at a minimum)
    • Get to know your classmates, form a study group
    • Read the syllabus
    • Start studying for exams your first day of class. Cramming doesn't work!
    • Get to know your professors
    • Check your email and respond to emails
    • Be the person in a group project everyone wants to work with
    • Find a place where you can study effectively
    • Buy a planner and use it!! Organization is your friend.
    • No one owes you anything, own up if you made a mistake or didn't study and make sure it doesn't happen again.
    • Ask questions
    • You are an intelligent adult, don't have your parents call the school to complain about your grades or teachers. This is your educations, own it! Approach your professors and talk to them with issues- they are great problem solvers
    • Read the syllabus (noticing a pattern?)
    • Lost the attitude if you have one
    • When you assume, you make an *** out of u and me

    Welcome to the wonderful world of nursing, it's a crazy ride but I'm so happy you joined it
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 15, '18
    Do you like this Article? Click Like?

  2. Visit ZenRN181 profile page

    About ZenRN181, MSN, APRN

    Pediatric Nurse practitioner, blogger, foodie, Tupperware lady. Blogs as Adventures of Michelle

    Joined: Mar '17; Posts: 12; Likes: 52

    Read My Articles


  3. by   brandiep1982
    Yes!!! To all of this!!
  4. by   Futureapn2
    Well put fellow NP!
  5. by   operations
    I am in school now and I have to say that the students have confused their ability to be assertive with some kind of play to see if they can argue their way to getting every single point. That scares me! Even when it's obvious their answer is incorrect they want it to be deemed right instead of understanding. When I approach my instructors I just go to learn why my answer is incorrect rather than try to recieve the point. Usually there is a good reason!