Nursing Student Studying Tips

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  • Editorial Team / Admin
    by Joe V
    Specializes in Programming / Strategist for allnurses.

Learning is a journey, not a race.

When it comes to studying many students are just not sure how to start. Many will end up with failing grades or worst yet - get kicked out of a program. Overloading your brain in the last minute is no way to learn.

How to Succeed...

  • Listen
  • Ask Questions
  • Participate
  • Study
  • (repeat)

How do you learn? What helps you?

Please share your tips.

Queen Tiye, RN

238 Posts

The studying part is where it gets sticky.  How to study is where many students struggle.  I suggest reading the topics to be covered in the chapter intro, practice teaching those points out loud.  Be able to answer the questions at the end of the chapter, be able to discuss those concepts in their entirety.  There just isn’t enough time to read the text word for word and still have time to go back and study it.

One of my former professors told me that good students score in the 70s on class exams, and the gifted score in the 80s. Then there are people who cheat there way through nursing school.  You can tell when they get 90s on class exams but fail the ATI and HESI predictors.  ATI and HESI exams are the easiest way to pull your grades up.

Reach out to your professors immediately on how to master the material after failing the first exam.  Encourage an atmosphere of caring among your classmates, foster an atmosphere of humility and support and you will get through together?.

Specializes in Occupational Health.

My tip- do not try to memorize everything! Some things need to be memorized (lab values, ABG values, etc) but most nursing material needs to be understood.

Therefore, understand the concept being discussed and how it's applied across the lifespan. You should be able to explain the concept to a fellow classmate once you've truly grasped the concept.

Specializes in Case Management, CCM, CNL.

Nursing is a way of thinking and very conceptual in nature. 

I would make up scenarios to answer in Quizlet to meld the concept with something I might encounter in real life. I was silly and creative in some of it, which took the edge off when I was reviewing it later.

The first step of connecting the idea to reality and then repetitively visualizing the scene helped solidify the concept in action. It’s great if you do this in multiple ways— get creative! That’s exactly what nursing tests are gonna throw at you. 


2,215 Posts

I learn I'm pretty sure, because my parents developed and nurtured a deep sense of curiosity in all of their four children and rewarded us with lots of praise and pride and money for knowledge, especially for well thought out arguments that were unique in either delivery or perspective. 

All four of us are very adept at various subject matters, from the sciences to law. Arguments are encouraged in our household when we get together weekly. 

I think that the nurturing of this competition re knowledge and parental approval and having total respect for our parents, which I think was deliberately fostored, I don't know how yet, created real bookworms. 

I am the least educated academically in my family, but probably the most intelligent, because I left the family business of pursuing a career in law or academics, forcing me to develop alternative skills. My mother is a history professor and my father has his own law firm that now employs both of my sisters. I couple my nursing with a real estate business. 

I think people need to become fascinated with knowledge, therefore, they need to try and see what an amazing profession we find ourselves in. Think of all the specialties we have available to us in nursing and usually we have the opportunity to just transfer in and intern with a preceptor essentially for a period of time, before being let loose. 

When I chose nursing because of landing in hospital from a sport injury, my parents made me study the profession thoroughly before giving approval to try it. I had to write an essay re potential and job security and ability to transition the degree to something else, if I decided to leave. I have always loved biomechanics, so it was easy to find the fascination. 

I think that's the secret to studying successfully. You have to find the fascinating aspects that appeal to you and then just work at it. By the time you embark on your degree, you should already know what type of studying works best for you. I needed quiet with no distraction, evenings and more visual, so I watched videos from Youtube about the subject matter, before tackling the academic aspects. And I always used imagination to produce mental images of what I was reading to complete the picture so to speak. 

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