Skipping assigned reading?

Nursing Students General Students

Updated:   Published

Specializes in CNA.


Can you just skip assigned reading and go straight for the slides ? Because it’s Summer semester I have to read 18 chps in one week then have an exam on top of clinical and other homework it seems impossible do you think I can skip it and only study the slides? 

Specializes in CEN, Firefighter/Paramedic.

Seems like a bad idea to me, but I suppose it depends on how the exams are at your school..

Specializes in Rehabilitation.

Does your school provide weekly course learning outcomes? I typically rely on those to ensure that I am studying everything we could be tested on. If the slides cover everything, you could study from those only; however, I would suggest that you at least compare the slides with the readings to make sure you aren't missing anything.

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB.

Required reading for comprehension and depth starts with the first word, “required.”

When they say you’ll be tested on its contents, you can make a cynical decision based on how lucky you feel about being asked questions you have no clue about. Good luck with that. 

Not everything you will be learning in your professional life will come with “slides.” Most will be in books or journals. Oh, you thought that once you’ve finished school you won’t need to study anymore?

The nurse who stops learning after school is over will be a bad nurse. Hell, I just learned something new this morning. In written material. 

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

Nursing simply has too much information for all of it to be taught in class. The slides aren't going to repeat everything in the reading- they will touch on key points and additional info that perhaps isn't in the readings. It can seem daunting, but there are ways to help lighten the work. You aren't in a silo. Form a study group with some of your classmates. Each is responsible for a portion of the reading, summarizing, outlining, and teaching it to the rest of the group (you'd be surprised by how much you learn being the one doing the teaching). Or, you can do it alone. It's just going to be labor intensive.

Specializes in Wiping tears.

Skip reading if you know everything already r/t to your materials. What I mean by this, if you're familiar with the materials then skip those.  

18 chapters in a week does seem impossible. Study group is a good idea but also gonna be hard to coordinate schedules. You could form a Group and just have everyone do outlines and send to each other. The other option is to take the slides and if you don’t feel like you completely understand what is on the slide or it seems kinda surface level information then find it in the book and add some notes to it. I resorted to this in some classes when I didn’t have time. Then see how you do on the first test. If you do well then keep at it if not then try reading some more for the next test. Obviously reading is best but 18 chapters in one week is a lot. 

Specializes in Rehabilitation.

I agree with the others; cross-referencing your slides to the readings can help compile information for your notes. So use your notes, and section off all parts/paragraphs within the chapters that provide the extended details.

You can also do a "fast" read through of all the chapters while highlighting the things you need to look back at. This way you still went over all of the readings, but have highlighted the key details to utilize in your notes.

Specializes in Community/Public Health.

How heavy are the chapters? And what course is it? 

Specializes in OR.

How do other people in your program study? If the chapters are longer than a few pages each, I doubt anyone is reading them word for word. A textbook isn't really meant to be read cover to cover like a novel anyways. It's more something you refer to when you need to look up a specific piece of information or read a few paragraphs here and there to brush up on a concept. 

In my program, we are assigned chapters in our textbook but almost no one ever reads them, including me. Instead, we study from the recorded lectures, powerpoints, Youtube videos, and practice NCLEX-style questions. There are so many learning materials online nowadays, I can't imagine what nursing school would have been like in the pre-internet days, but I'm guessing nursing students had no choice but to rely much more heavily on textbooks.

Even if you did read all 18 chapters in one week, how much of that information do you think you would retain? Better to focus on key concepts and work on retaining them, instead of trying to cram excess amounts of information into your brain that you won't remember and that there's a high chance you'll never need to use in the real world. 

In short, I say do whatever you need to do to learn the content you need to know for your exams, and to be a safe nurse. For some people, that might mean reading a textbook but that's definitely not the case for me or most of my peers. 

Specializes in Rehabilitation.
4 hours ago, kubelkabondy said:

In short, I say do whatever you need to do to learn the content you need to know for your exams, and to be a safe nurse.

Great points and I'm glad that someone said this! I second the do what you need to do to be a safe (and competent) nurse. Not everyone is going to learn the same, and not every study habit is going to work for you. The textbook is definitely helpful for establishing key concepts as well as for referencing external resources you have found (to ensure that you are learning skills correctly). However, trying to read and then retain 18 chapters word-for-word may set you up for "burn out". I suggest not forcing yourself to copy the study habits of others because they may not work for you. Explore a little, take some time to look over everything, and then establish a method that will assist with your success. ?

I would skim (or, read just to get through it but not belabor it by taking notes, etc). Then when reviewing your slides go back to that portion of the text as needed to make sure you thoroughly understand the concept and how it fits in with everything else.

IMO textbooks specifically published for students have become downright laborious to read with all the less-important statistics and citations that interrupt the flow of text in addition to all the extra blah, blah, blah. It's like those recipe sites where you have to read someone's life story and scroll past all the adds hoping for signs of the actual recipe.

+ Add a Comment