Starting off nursing school? Need some direction and insights to follow through with your classes? Inside of this blog article I am going to give you some strong nursing school study tips that will help point you in the right direction!
#1- Be consistent
Nursing is by far one of the most challenging degrees to obtain. There’s actually a statistic that states this. And one of the reasons that makes it so difficult is the vastness of information you need to learn and the abstract of the information you need to know. I remember going through nursing school and feeling like I was learning a new language. To really master nursing you have to be as consistent as possible in your study routine. Create to help you maintain consistency. Get a planner so you can jot down your entire schedule plus the times you will schedule. Inconsistency will make it very difficult for you to learn and actually retain the information.
#2- Create study groups
You should definitely spend a majority of your time studying alone but you should also dedicate some time to studying with other people in groups. Studying in groups creates an experience that makes it easier to retain different information. In addition there may be areas that you are struggling to learn that your study partners are not and they can help you with and vice versa. Learn to also learn on study groups along the way.
#3- Seek out visual aides
According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. That’s a HUGE difference.
Take this for example.
Text: Type 1 Diabetes is a result of destroyed beta cells in the pancreas
Visual: See visual below.
Which one did you find easier to learn/understand? Probably the second one right? That’s the difference with visual aides
Speaking of visual aides, our partner, Picmonic, is a very strong resource that carries such a large database of video teachings that shows high definition, story telling visual aides.
#4- Create flash cards
Flash cards is by far still a VERY effective tool towards learning new detailed information. You can still definitely do things the traditional way by going to the 99 cent store and buying some index cards and taking the time to write things out which really boosts your learning or you can also use online flash cards. Online flash cards are very helpful because it allows you to add photos to the cards as well as audios which also makes it easier to learn. I recommend downloading Chegg Flash Cards or Quizlet.
#5- Learn key rationales
When you are learning difficult topics such as medical surgical nursing, you want to really try to understand rationales. The definition of rationales is
“an explanation of controlling principles of opinion, belief, practice, or phenomena.”
Rationales helps you to better understand the WHY behind something. Growing up in school I had always relied on memorization to learn anything. However it wasn’t until I got to nursing school where I quickly discovered that memorization was not enough, I had to master the WHY just as much as the WHAT.
One of the books I highly recommend that got me through nursing school is called Medical Surgical Nursing Reviews and Rationales. It breaks down SO much the meaning behind the disease processes and why they work the way they work.
You can order the book on Amazon HERE.
Here is a video where I discuss “How To Understand Medical Surgical Nursing”
#6- Listen to Audios
Listening to audios is also VERY effective when it comes down to learning. I would recommend getting some kind of voice recorder (you may actually already have one on your phone), and every time you go to class, record the entire lecture. Studies shows that adding variety to your learning techniques will also enhance your learning and retention. Sourced from The Learning Pyramid.
Here is a sample audio taken from my 70 Diseases and Conditions Digital Audio Set.
#7- Watch Video Tutorials
What better way to add visual learning WITH audio learning by watching and listening to videos! Videos bring so much clarity to everything that you are reading and learning. Let me first say you should still definitely READ your nursing books but if you can also combine it with watching videos that will make a WORLD of a difference. I have seen people go from struggling to learn to learning with ease after incorporating videos into their learning.
Here’s a great video below where I discuss “6 Organs You Must Know For The NCLEX”.
That’s it! I hope these study tips will help you to really learn and get your studying going in the right direction for school!
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