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Recommendation for improving study skills?

mnewbaker mnewbaker (New) New

I start the PN program in the fall and will not be taking summer classes. I plan to try and familiarize myself with some of the major drugs like beta blockers and such. But I'd also like to find a good book that helps teach the best ways to study/take tests. With 2 children on board, I feel it's important for me to try and prepare and maybe a book could help me learn to manage my study time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!:)


Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC,.

Every school is different, as is every student. I think that for me, having taken many science prereqs at state and community Colleges prior to entering the LVN program really helped me. Also, working as a CNA prior really helped me. Both of these things made it so that the ideas weren't totally new and foreign to me. But I have many friends in the program I'm in, who don't have the same background as me, who study hard and have been very successful, as well.

Time management is critical. Block out time every evening and at least 1 day on the weekend to study. I think this is super important.

Having a good group of friends to support you has also been helpful. We compare study strategies and push eachother to finish. We have all cried together at various times throughout the program, also.

Be willing to put in the work to be a good student. For example, do the assignments as you are required. If you don't understand a concept be willing to figure it out --- your teachers might not always have the time or be the best at explaining things. Make flash cards, do the reading, do whatever you have to do to understand the material enough to do well on written tests and in clinicals / labs.

Vintagemother has a lot of great tips.

It's great having a group of friends to study with, cry with and celebrate with!

I found that knowing what my learning style is helped big time. It reduced the amount of time I normally would have taken to study and it allowed me to focus. If you don't know your learning style, you can google it and take a quiz...there's auditory, visual, kinesthetic (?not sure of spelling)...and there might be another one. I'm a visual learner, so if I see a picture of diagram, I draw it when I'm studying and this helps me memorize...I'm not the type of person who can read 50 pages and understand the content, so I don't waste my time....I did very well last semester following this strategy.

Bottom line: find out what works best for you before the semester starts...and learn some a&p over the summer if you have time...we learned each body system and basic function...this is a good start.


Specializes in LTC. Has 2 years experience.

Great advice above...

As far as books, I would recommend "Saunders Strategies for Test Success - Passing Nursing School and NCLEX". I got this book last semester and it helped me sail through my med surg exams. I only wish I had bought it when I first started.


Specializes in 1. Has 1 years experience.

For me alot of my studying was hampered by environmental distractions: phone, computer, television.

It was so much easier for me to leave the house to go to library then for me to stay home out of convenience.

Also nursing is a subject that builds on eachother. After taking a NCLEX review that is when I learned to look at the big picture.

We should be made to take a NCLEX review after our first year like SWM2009 stated they really make things much easier.

If you are studying drugs try to place them in the system that they affect so know beta blockers are for cardio and also have the affect the patient (low bp/hr) Also be prepared to know the nursing care surrounding the administration of this med. This is how you study nursing concepts. It is tough at first but by the end you will be a pro!