Tips for being a successful nursing student!


  • Specializes in Med Surg, LTC, Home Health. Has 31 years experience.

The first step to being a successful nursing student is to go out and buy a digital recorder to tape the classes. Get one that will record at least 24 hours so you dont have to constantly battle with space issues. Digital recorders have a USB port that transfers the data to your computer in the form of waves or MP3's, that can then be burned to CD and listened to on your commute.

The next step is to know how to record. In your classroom, teachers may speak through microphones. If they do, then make sure you sit directly under a speaker (you will see them in the ceiling), because if you dont get a good recording, then there is no point in taping it in the first place. Aim the microphone of your device right at the speaker in the ceiling. Dont just sit it there in front of you. We want to get the best recording possible. If you cannot sit under a speaker, then make sure your recording device does (you dont have to sit near your recorder). If there is no mic system, then ask your instructor to allow you to place your device on their podium, or as close as possible. Getting a good recording is vital to it's usefulness later. In the case that your recorder is not near you, you will need a stop-watch or some kind of timer.

Now onto note-taking. If you have your recording device in front of you, then it will display the elapsed time of the lecture. If your device is elsewhere, synch your stop-watch with the recorder when you begin the recording. Now, as you take notes, every 5-10 minutes, mark the time elapsed at that point in your notes. The reason for this is that you will not be able to listen to your recordings from beginning to end each day, as they could be 5 hour days or even longer.

Now when you study, you will have the classroom lecture as a back up. When your notes get confusing, you can go straight to the recording within 5-10 minutes of where the lecture was at that time, and quickly find the clarity that you need. Good luck!


717 Posts

Specializes in neuro/ortho med surge 4.

Hello all,

I just graduated school in May and the best advice I can give any nursing student is one word- perserverance. The ADN program I went to it was like scratching and crawling your way to the end. The workload is heavy and sometimes it would take all nighters to get assignments in on time. You may feel like giving up. I know I almost gave in 2 weeks before graduation due to the obnoxious CI I had. Other nursing students are your best allies and support. Only those that are in school with you know what you are going through. People who have never been to NS can never understand the hardship nursing school is. Out of 56 students we graduated 29. Just do the best you can not to fall behind and seek out other students as support.

Peace and grace to all future nursing students.

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