Millions of nursing students began their spring semester last week. For some, it marked their first week in nursing school, while others are continuing their nursing journey. Whatever the circumstance, effective study habits are needed in order to be successful in nursing school.
Everyone has their own way of learning and studying, but developing good study habits early will help you get your semester off to a great start.
- Make a study plan. Write out a study plan detailing what you will study and when. Your study plan can change depending on if it is general study between exams or studying for an actual upcoming exam. Write your study times down on your calendar to stay on track.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to study. Your study environment is an important factor of your study plan. Find a place to study that minimizes distractions (extreme temperatures, noise, people, etc.)
- Disconnect. Turn off the TV and turn your phone off to minimize distractions. If you can’t live without your phone for a few hours try to place it out of reaching distance so you won’t be distracted by constantly checking status updates.
- Read and summarize. Read your class handouts and assigned reading and then summarize the information into your own notes. Your notes should be produced in the form that aids your learning the best; flashcards, outline format, diagram, audio recording, or a combination of all of the above.
- Review and update. Review and update your notes with new information frequently. You should do this after each class so the material is fresh. Old material is reiterated when new information is added. Reviewing and updating keeps information fresh in your head so you won’t have the need to cram before a big exam.
- Take breaks. Studying is mentally taxing and you need to take breaks to stay alert. Study in 30-45 minute blocks and then take a well-deserved break to mentally refresh yourself.
What study habits have aided your learning? Share them with us!
In addition to working as a RN, Nachole Johnson is a freelance copywriter and an author with her first book, You’re a Nurse and Want to Start Your Own Business? The Complete Guide, available on Amazon. Visit her ReNursing blog at http://renursing.wordpress.com.