Study Tips for Nursing School Students

Updated on July 16, 2020

Being accepted into a nursing school is a challenge in and of itself. Most educational establishments require that incoming students have a GPA of 2.5 or higher, community service hours (preferably in healthcare), an impressive admissions essay, and a successful in-person interview. In fact, there are very few nursing schools that accept more than 90% of their applicants across the country. 

After getting accepted, it’s an uphill battle to succeed. As you might imagine, studying any field of medicine is complex. In order to obtain the skills necessary to accurately and legally treat patients with the care they need, you’ll have to learn and retain a lot of information. To master the course load and get a degree or certificate, studying will need to be a top priority. Below, are some quick tips to help you throughout your educational journey. 

Organize a Study Schedule

Studying to become a nurse (or to advance in your nursing career) will requires time and organization. To stay on track, it is ideal for students to start by creating an organized study schedule. This schedule should not only allow enough time for you to study but should also detail what you’re studying for. 

At the beginning of each course, students are provided with syllabi that details everything they’ll learn in the class, the various tests you’ll have to complete, and any assignments and their due dates. Review this information carefully. Then, add all the important dates to a calendar. Lastly, determine how long you’ll need to study or prepare for each test or assignment and block out designated times on your calendar.  

Identify Your Learning Style

What type of learner are you? Having a clear understanding of this question will be essential to your success in nursing school. Your learning style is essentially how you best absorb and retain information. Once you have an idea of which learning style works best for you, you can apply this to your studying habits to increase your chances of getting a better grade. 

Overall, there are 4 learning styles. The first is a visual learner. This means you learn best by seeing things like graphs, charts, diagrams, images, and notes. The second learning style is auditory learning. If this is your preferred style, chances are you’d prefer to listen to a lecture, watch videos, and read textbook information out loud to reinforce concepts. The third style Kinesthetic learning. You likely prefer the hands-on approach. Finally, there are the reading/writing learners that learn best through the written word. 

Take Advantage of Learning Tools

Retaining the information learned through lectures and textbooks in the classroom isn’t easy (considering there’s a lot to learn and memorize). Fortunately, there are tools available that can make it easier to study. This not only includes the textbooks, notes, or resources provided to you by your instructor, but other resources available both off and online for nursing students. 

For example, if you had to learn about the HESI exit exam, there are online resources that provide flashcards, study plans, and other tools for you to use in addition to the learning tools provided for you in school. 

Create a Study Group

The final study tip for nursing students is to rely on the support of others. Study groups can be instrumental in helping students to get better results. Essentially, you’re able to hear various viewpoints on the information learned in class. Students can share what they’ve learned and often translate the content in a manner that their peers can better comprehend. As the saying “Two heads are better than one” implies, having a few people to work through challenging concepts or large projects can reduce the stress of otherwise, studying alone. 

When forming a study group, try to work with like-minded students that are just as diligent and dedicated to their nursing education as you are. While diversity in a study group can be beneficial, having at least one student with the same learning style as you is also highly recommended. 

Whether you’re an aspiring nurse or someone in the nursing field looking to advance, completing your nursing school program will not be possible without effective and regular studying. By using the study tips provided above, you can get a deeper understanding of the curriculum being taught and, therefore, increase your chances of success. 

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