There is no doubt that nursing school can be quite challenging, and when trying to balance between home and work responsibilities on top of everything else, it can easily become overwhelming. The key to managing this is to remain calm and remember you’re not alone. There are countless other people in a similar position. In addition, there are even more people who have been there before and successfully made it. That should give you motivation. Below are a few tips to help you be able to successfully navigate through nursing school.
Follow the Study Guide
The study guide can be your best tool, especially when preparing for exams, and they don’t come any better than the NCLEX test. With this study guide, you are able to identify particular areas that need in-depth covering. It gives you a glimpse of some of the areas that will be covered by the exams and also shows you how the questions will be presented in the exams. While we understand that not everything you need to know as a nurse is covered in the exam, this guide will help you prepare well and, as a result, give you more confidence which is crucial, especially during licensing exams.
Focus on Material Covered in Class
Any topic or subject covered by your instructor should be given more emphasis, which is why class attendance is critical. Make sure you don’t miss anything covered during the lessons because instructors usually cover the specific areas you are likely to be tested on. Another area that most students fail is following up on chapters that the instructors asked them to read about. If your instructor assigns you a few chapters to read about or asks you to review certain outside sources, please make sure you do because, more often than not, the instructor knows best.
Form Study Groups
They say no man is an island that that statement could not be overstressed. Extensive research has shown that students who read in groups are most likely to retain around ninety percent of the content they covered compared to the sixty percent you retain when alone. You are more likely to understand things when with your peers because you are all in a similar position and working towards the same goal. In addition, studying in groups enables learners to encourage and push each other to do better, which at the end of the day means that you get to cover more content. Lastly, when studying in a group, you can always ask for assistance immediately. You need it as opposed to waiting till the next day until you can ask about a particular topic you did not quite come to grasp with.
Don’t Limit Yourself to School Provided Resources
One mistake that most learners make is relying solely on the resources provided by the school. There is nothing that says you have to stick to your textbook and instructor. While we may have said that topics covered by the instructors are the ones you should focus on, you’re in a better position if you supplement them with other sources. Websites such as Mayo Clinic, WebMD can prove to be very helpful. However, it is worth noting that there can also be false information out there, so make sure you verify your sources. In the event of any conflicting information, your textbook and instructor are to be considered the final, and if in any doubt, you can always consult the instructor.
Study During Your Downtime
Nursing school requires a lot of memorization, so unless you have a photographic memory, you will need all the help you can get. Flashcards and notes are a classic but great way to remind yourself of little facts when you’re doing other things. Some people have them in the shower, on the dressing mirror, and even as post-it notes on refrigerator doors. This way, you can see them even at the most random times, and that helps you to embed that information into your mind. Eventually, it becomes second nature.
Breaks Are Very Important
While we insist on the importance of reading every time, remember to take a break and give your body an opportunity to relax and cool off. Going on and on without rest can be dangerous, and you could be left with more than just your exams to worry about. Spending all the time studying will just overwhelm you, and there’s a chance you might not even fully understand whatever you’re reading. Breaks keep you sharp and motivated to keep studying. Whenever possible, you can even change the scenery, for example, move from your study room to the backyard or front porch.
Identify Your Best Learning Style
We are all different, and a study method that works for you may not be particularly suitable for me. Some people understand things much better when they read, while others would rather hear it from someone else. Similarly, some people comprehend better once they attempt some practice nature. There is no perfect study formula, and the trick is to find out what works for you and adopt that to your studies.
Study in Bits Daily
It is fairly impossible to cram a weeks’ worth of content into just a few hours over the weekend. While it may have worked for you in middle school and maybe even high school, it just won’t work with nursing school. There are a lot of things to read about as well as technical terms to master, so trying to read all that over a few hours will just leave you mixed up. The best thing to do is to allocate some hours every day to cover different topics. You are likely to feel less overwhelmed and will retain the things you study much easier.
At the end of the day, nursing school is no mean feat, and only the committed and dedicated will make it. By taking into consideration the above tips as well as heeding to the advice of your mentors, you can make things a little easier for yourself and improve your chances of passing.