Study Tips for Nursing Students

How can I study smart in nursing school?

Whether you are working on your pre-reqs or are already in nursing school, you have to study for exams and are probably stressed out over grades. You may have already figured out study habits that work for you, and you can add them to this list of tips to help other students! However, if you are struggling over grades and need help on figuring out just how to create study habits that work for you, here are a few tips.

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Miss-kate

23 Posts

Thank you so much! Wonderful. ?

Sharide

2 Posts

These are some really great tips! Thanks for putting them out there. Have you got any suggestions for online learning? I don't have a classroom or a lecturer to take notes from. I am basically reading the course outline, doing the weekly assignments and highlighting my book like crazy! It is also very easy to get distracted when you are at home day :bored: Sometimes, those bathrooms look really enticing to go and clean. Thanks again.

Julie Reyes, DNP, RN

44 Articles; 260 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, occupational health. Has 6 years experience.
Sharide said:
These are some really great tips! Thanks for putting them out there. Have you got any suggestions for online learning? I don't have a classroom or a lecturer to take notes from. I am basically reading the course outline, doing the weekly assignments and highlighting my book like crazy! It is also very easy to get distracted when you are at home day :bored: Sometimes, those bathrooms look really enticing to go and clean. Thanks again.

Let me come up with an article for this! It is badly needed, I know!

goldenmom321

14 Posts

Thank you Dr. Reyes. I am an RN in transition to an FNP in 2016. I have 3 young children and work fulltime. I have 3 clinical courses left and hopefully I will go for my DNP because your blogs have inspired me. Congratulations!

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

All of this is pretty standard, generic advice about the mechanics of studying. But it doesn't really address the point: learning.

In my experience, what struggling nursing students (and those who don't ever want to be struggling) need to do is this: stop focusing on memorization and start focusing on meanings, rationales, understanding the WHY of every fact you know.

Your faculty (and NCLEX later) expect you'll have some level of baseline fact knowledge, of course, but are much more concerned that you know how to think about using those facts when you have them.

Do you need to get more information? Why?

Do you understand what's important in a scenario or question, and what's not? Why?

Do you know what's expected to occur? Why?

Do you know the effect of a drug? Why do we care?

Do you know what a lab value means? Why do we care?

So many more whys...

Why, why, why... it's the basis of everything we do, it's the foundation of critical thinking in three little letters. It's not something you have to do just to pass nursing school and NCLEX, it's something every nurse has to do every day of a professional life. Get in the habit now.

When you read something, close the book for a second and ask yourself why we care, why it's important, why it works like that, why we do it like that. This will help solidify your knowledge and, more importantly, contribute to your ability to transfer it from one situation to another. This is the reason that the nursing process is the basis-- literally, the base -- of what we are and do. Why? Why? Why? The mechanics in this article are not the end of the answer of how to learn. Assuring yourself that you know why ... that's how you'll succeed.

arichmann

1 Post

Great tips, I'm getting ready to start my 2nd quarter of nursing school and still trying to my way of studying. I'm going to try studying at my local Barnes & Nobles because it has a Starbucks and read elsewhere if I can easily grab a book off the shelf to read up on something I don't understand.

FutureRN505

1 Post

These are great tips, thanks a lot for sharing!