Tips From The Pros?


:nurse: Greetings everyone! I was wondering if any of you pros have any good study tips for the newbie nursing students. Like tips on note taking, using a tape recorder, using flash cards, using highlighters, etc, etc, etc.

:eek: I'm asking because its been a while since I've been to college. I finished all my prereqs and such while obtaining a degree several years ago and its been so long that I thought I better refresh my study skills ... God knows I need it!

Anyways ... my program is a 2-year ADN and any good advice will be much appreciated!:kiss

jschut, BSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

I tape all my lectures, then if I don't feel confident about my notes or anything, I can listen to it again.

I've heard typing your notes after class is a good idea too...

I've highlighted different areas in my book (use yellow).

Ummm....flash cards for portable study.....

Good Luck!



603 Posts

I graduated two years ago. I found it helpful to skim the material prior to lecture (when I could -- I worked full time throughout the program), read in depth anything I felt I didn't understand during lecture. I also take good notes. I find highlighter to be distracting if it's used too much. In my second year I started a study group because the woman who sat next to me was failing...well, it helped me too and I highly recommend it. Each person in the study group re-teaches the group sections of the lecture.

Good luck -- you can do this.


55 Posts

Try to keep on top of your reading..Its sometiems easier said then done, but as long as you make the effort to even just skim it (as has been said) it will have a huge effect on how well you do at understanding the material. Highlight if you know how to and if you will read your book again...some colleges/universities offer seminars that are free that may help you learn to properly highlight. ..only highlight e important things or you will end up with a yellow (or orange or blue or green) book which wont do you any good for studying. As for cue cards, the may help you for subjects like anatomy and thing where it is all straight memorization.. you'll learn what works best for you fairly quickly...

best of luck


3,932 Posts

Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU,. Has 19 years experience.

i will be reading this thread for all the adivce and tips. great thread, lisa.


124 Posts

I have found the Cornell method of note taking to be very effective. When using this method you take a ruler and put it next to the left margin line on the paper and draw a line down the right side of the ruler. This gives you a double margin on the left of your page. You write the subject in this margin ie. TPR and then on the right side of the line you write the description.

Dividing the page vertically like this allows for easy studying since you cover either the name or definition and try to remember based on what is revealed on the opposite side of the page.



202 Posts

Here are my best tips:

Read your chapters before class. If you can't read the whole chapter at least read the first sentence of each paragraph as a way of skimming. The very best thing is to read the entire chapter or area your syllibus says you will be covering (at least) and learn it as best you can. Then, when you go to class the next day, you won't have to be trying to soak up EVERYTHING... instead you can FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW as the instructor talks. This made all the difference for me.

Immediately after class, recopy your notes. I'd suggest writing them rather than typing them (unless your handwriting is awful) so you can get more of the mind-body involvement thing going. This is very, very helpful... it's great reinforcement while the information is fresh, and you immediately have neat notes for studying later.

When reading, try to read out loud. Again, more of the mind-body connection is involved.

When I had a difficult time with something and I knew it had to be learned completely, I'd try to learn it well enough to "pretend to teach it" to an "imagined" person sitting at the desk beside me at home. I mean, I'd try to pretend to be the teacher teaching the information to someone else... I tried to understand it as well as our instructors did...

Study for 30 minutes and take a 5 minute break. Get a little digital timer for this and stick to it. It works like this... if you try to memorize 10 things in a list, your mind will automatically remember the first thing and the last thing. If you study for short periods you'll have more first and last things imbedded into your brain. LOL You just have to be able to sit back down after the 5 minute break.

Study groups work well if everyone is focused on the task at hand.

Get plenty of rest, take a daily multivitamin, and exercise 30 minutes a day (walk or something.... helps to decrease stress like you wouldn't believe).

Read something in your book right before you go to sleep. We tend to think about the last thing we saw as we went to sleep. Reinforcement.

The smartest woman in my BSN class was the director of the very busy L&D, was a single mother of 2 elementry school age sons, and was always smiling. She received the award for highest GPA at graduation. She said she left her books in the bathroom and at night while sitting on the pot she'd read... even if it was for 5 minutes. Amazing!

Good luck! If I think of anything else, I'll share it.

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