How to Study in Nursing School

How to Study in Nursing School

A couple of people have contacted me to ask how I studied during nursing school. These individuals have completed a bachelor’s already (either recently or it had been awhile since they’ve been back in school), but felt that nursing school was different and wanted some advice.

Of course, this is just the way I studied. It is not the only way or even the best way. Just my way.

On the first day of school, you will receive a syllabus for each class. Right away, write down (or enter in) all of the exam dates and due dates for assignments. Personally, I put them into Google Calendar and have it synced to my phone. That way I have that information all the time.

There are 3 major steps:

  1. Prep
    • Minimum: Print out the powerpoint slides and read through it. This way, you’re familiar with the material and can follow along in class.
    • Maximum: If you have extra time, the syllabus will have readings that you’re supposed to do. Read the headings.
  2. Lecture and Take Notes
    • Go to lecture and take notes on the powerpoint slide. If the professor repeats it twice, then it’s super important!
    • Since you’re more familiar with the material from the prep work, you can ask questions on anything that doesn’t make sense to you.
  3. Review
    • Review all of the powerpoint slides and your notes as soon as you can after class (preferably within 24 hours). These slides are your keys to success.
    • If you still don’t get the material, read the text.
    • Once you feel comfortable with the material, do a group study. If you can teach it and talk about it, you got it.
    • Memorizing the material is helpful. Utilizing it will help you remember it forever.
    • Chances are, the textbook has NCLEX style questions at the end of the chapter or even online on the textbook website. Do them!
      • By the way, NYU has nearly all of the textbooks on reserve at the Bobst library. That means you can borrow it for 2 hours at a time. If no one else has requested that some book, you can re-borrow it over and over again.
      • Some students used additional NCLEX books. The one I liked the most was Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment by Linda LaCharity.
    • If that doesn’t help, make an appointment with the professor for office time.

Nursing school is really about gathering a working knowledge base. It is not about memorizing something, cramming everything in, and then forgetting everything you learned. Even if you spend 30 minutes everyday reviewing the slides, it will help you retain the information.

Review everyday or at minimum every other day. I did shorter study sessions and even studied on the go when I was busy. I tried to get in 1-2 hours daily. That doesn’t mean it has to be all at the same time. It was just 1-2 hours over the course of the day. Remember, quality over quantity!!

1 week before an exam, I would increase my study hours to around 3-6 hours per day, or even more (yes, I have woken up at 7:30am, got the library by 8am and studied past midnight… only to repeat it again the next day. It didn’t happen too often though… just for Adult and Elder 2 or Med/Surg 2.).

 

Studying on the Go

Traveling on the train is common in NYC. Instead of taking out all of my paper slides on the train, I whip out my iPhone to review the slides. The program I used is GoodReader. I downloaded the PDF version of the powerpoint slides onto GoodReader. You can do this through wifi, signing into the nyu.edu website and downloading it directly, Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Google Doc, etc. You can also highlight and write on the document  and create folders using GoodReader.

Anyway, good luck! Let me know what has worked for you.

Posted in Nursing, NYU and tagged , , , , , , .
  • I love that nursing meme. That was the worst part about nursing tests: there are always too really good answers. They want to trick us! Ahhhh!!!

    • I know! I’m going back for my master’s and I hope it isn’t the same all over again. 🙂