Your time at nursing school can be incredibly hectic; you’re trying to balance intense studying and gaining work experience with your normal life.
Therefore, if you’re in nursing school now – or if you’re planning on attending nursing school in the future – every little bit of advice can help, which is why we’ve put together this article.
Here are ten of the best study tips that will make nursing school easier (based on real tips from nursing school students!).
10. Make The Environment Pleasant
When you sit down to study, do you immediately feel miserable? Then why not make your study environment more pleasant and welcoming? It’s a simple idea, but it’s incredibly effective.
Light some scented candles, place your favourite snacks nearby, purchase a comfortable seat, have framed photographs of loved ones and your favourite places dotted around – and occasionally even think about studying elsewhere, such as your favourite coffee shop, just to keep things fresh and interesting!
9. Know Your Unique Learning Style
When it comes to absorbing information, everybody’s different. Some people learn more efficiently by reading, some by making notes, others by listening, some by seeing and/or doing.
Essentially, it’s incredibly important that you understand two things; 1) there is no “right” way to study and 2) which way works best for you. So make sure you experiment to find your own unique learning style – because some people can go their entire life without knowing what’s best for them.
8. Get A Study Buddy
There are, of course, times when studying alone is a necessity – either because you need to take in new information or because there’s nobody available to study with at the time – but you should definitely find yourself a study buddy for when the time calls for it.
You can quiz each other, vent your frustrations and discuss how nursing school is affecting your life – in both the positive and negative ways. People in the same situation as you make fantastic study buddies.
7. Essential Oils
You know, there are a bunch of essential oils that have been shown in studies to increase levels of both concentration and retention of information.
The likes of lavender, peppermint and rosemary are among those magical oils – and you can utilise them by diffusing the oils or dabbing small amounts on your wrists before getting down to the business of studying. Trust us, it helps!
6. Create A Timetable
The assignments you’ll be doing at nursing school can seem endless, so it’s important to make sure you have somewhere to write down your assignments for the entire semester.
Whether you use a computer or a good old-fashioned jotter, get everything planned out in a timetable format – and tick work off as you complete it. Time and work management is incredibly important and it will give you a head-start to know what’s coming – and what you’ve already done – and be able to see it in black and white at a moment’s notice.
5. Study/Break Intervals
It can be difficult to study for a prolonged period of time – the brain just stops taking information in after a while – so a great idea is to mix things up with the 45/15 study strategy.
It’s simple: study for 45 minutes, take a break for the next 15. The only rule is that you MUST focus FULLY for those 45 minutes. Don’t go on social media, don’t have the television on in the background, and turn your phone off so you won’t receive calls or be tempted to respond to text messages. Then, for 15 minutes, get up and about before getting back to it. Your brain will thank you for it.
4. Take Breaks
This one is obviously heavily related to the previous point – and it might even seem to go against it – but it’s important to take breaks when you feel the need to.
Now, we’re not saying get up 20 minutes into your first 45 minutes study spell and take a walk, but if you’ve been studying all day and you genuinely NEED an emergency break, take one. It’s important not to exhaust yourself or burn yourself out. So, if you started studying at 9am, are still going at 6pm, and your head and eyes are starting to hurt, give yourself a thorough rest until you’re ready to get back to it.
3. Don’t Cram
Cramming tends to occur when you leave your studying until late – for example a day or two before a test – and you end up trying to take in a heck of a lot of information in a very short space of time. Actively avoid doing this.
You should always start your studying well in advance of when you need the information. Not only do you avoid cramming, you also give yourself a chance to go over it more than once, which helps when it comes to absorbing said information.
2. Prep, Prep, Prep
This one might seem obvious, but we’re not referring to preparing for an exam – we’re referring to preparing before every class!
Instead of just making notes during a lecture, reviews the course material before you going, so you know exactly what to listen for during the session. That way, you’ll be even more aware of the areas you need more help with – plus, you’ll have taken a lot of the information in twice instead of once, which can’t do any harm.
1. Reward Yourself
This one’s very important – the most important entry on the list, in fact (well, maybe). You should set yourself rewards! For example, if you want to go out for a couple of social drinks with your nursing school buddies or watch the latest episode The Walking Dead, you must finish reading the chapter of the textbook you’re currently reading!
Other rewards could be something as simple as a candy bar or a new video game – just make sure you complete whatever school work you’ve challenged yourself to complete first!