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Published on: 26 Nov 2018 by holly-patterson
There’s no question that nursing degree is challenging. So when you are trying to manage home and work responsibilities on top of your nursing studies, the amount of studying you need to do could seem insurmountable. How on Earth are you supposed to get all of these chapters read, never mind review notes, prepare for the nursing exam and retain all of the vital information that you absolutely must know for a successful career in nursing?
The first step is to take a deep breath. You can do this. Nursing degree just takes a little bit of planning, some time management and a few study tips and strategies to help separate the “need to know” from the “nice to know” and improve your information retention.
Follow the nursing exam study guide
One of the better ways to target your nursing studies is to bottom your learning throughout the NCLEX test. Researching a report guide not only reveals which subject matter the medical exam targets, but also the way the test presents questions. Obviously, not all you need to learn as a nurse is within the licensing exam, but if you research towards the medical exam all along, you’ll feel well informed on examining day.
Study a little every day
You can cram a week’s worth of study into a couple of hours on the weekend. Invest in spending a while on your nursing studies every day, even though you have to break it into several smaller increments to be able to obtain it in. You’ll feel less overcome and retain more info.
Focus on the material covered in class
Your instructors are going to assign many chapters to read each week, plus outside resources to review. Instead of carefully reading and outlining every single word, take a cue from your class time. What matters does the instructor spend time reviewing? What are the key points covered in class? Focus your attention on these areas.
Think in terms of action, not facts
It’s important for nurses to understand why certain conditions occur and what is happening physiologically in a patient. However, the patient is not interested in hearing those facts - he or she just wants to feel better. When you are studying for the nursing exam, ask yourself, “How will I help my patients with this information?” You’ll be a better nurse as well as a better student.
Form a study group
Research shows that students who study with peers retain approximately 90% of what they learn, as opposed to just 60% of what they hear in class alone and just 10% of what they read. Not to mention, studying with others helps provide encouragement and moral support. Get together with a few of your fellow nursing students (research shows that groups of three will be the most reliable) and put your minds together to talk about research tips and improve your performance.
Nursing degree takes a great deal of reading, but if you make an effort to retain everything on your first move, you are just heading to be frustrated. Before you read a section, skim the materials first. Take a look at headings, subheadings and highlighted conditions and review the summaries and questions by the end of the section, to determine which information is most significant.
Use outside sources
There’s absolutely nothing that from you can only just study from your text message or trainer. Augment your course resources with others; for example, if you are studying diabetes, review the Mayo Medical clinic, WebMD and American Diabetes Association websites for more information. Do that before you read a section, as a kind of “preview” to your reading. Keep in mind, though, that your textbook and trainer should be considered the ultimate, correct authority.
Know your learning style
Everyone learns differently: some need to see information, some need to listen to it, while some learn kinetically. So in place, everyone must discover which research tips work best for them. Know your own style and utilize it in your favor. For instance, kinetic learners often do best when they create their records, as the movement of writing helps them remember.
Use downtime as study time
Nursing studies need a certain level of memorization. Create flashcards or notes that will help you review those facts when you are doing other things. For example, tape cards listing essential sign ranges to your bathroom mirror, so you’ll see them when you’re brushing your teeth. Eventually, without even really trying, those figures will be second nature.
If you spend all of your time studying, you are just going to get overwhelmed and probably not retain as much information as you would hope. Be sure to take regular breaks and that means you do not lose interest or excitement. Sometimes, only a short change of landscapes can help recharge your batteries and improve retention.Successfully completing nursing degree is a major commitment, but one that you can simply handle with a plan, some good study tips and the right approach to studying.