10 Nursing Student Tips
We know nursing school is not for the faint of heart. You face academic and practical challenges on a daily basis, so receiving some nursing student tips may sound like a welcome breath of fresh air. As you head into the field of nursing, you must be prepared to think critically and serve selflessly.
Whether you’re going into your freshman year or you’re ready to finish your final semester of nursing school, Professor Kathy Oliver, MSN, has surveyed a number of successful nursing graduates to craft this list of ten quick nursing student tips for your time in nursing school.
1. Have study groups
Relationships with other students are important! Classmates may catch important ideas that get by you, so study groups can be helpful. According to a study by David W. Johnson, student-student interaction may be more influential on student success than student-teacher interaction: “Experiences with peers are not a superficial luxury to be enjoyed during lunch and after school. Constructive student-student relationships are probably an absolute necessity for maximal achievement, socialization, and healthy development.”
2. Read the books
It seems logical enough, but many students begin the program thinking that all the information you need to know comes through lecture. This is not true! Textbooks and any additional reading you can get your hands on will be an essential part of your learning experience.
3. Study for long-term memory
All of the information you learn builds through the program. Therefore, you cannot just dump the information you learn for the test this week out of your brain. You will need those facts again. Ameritech Healthcare College said, “Whatever healthcare field you’re entering, you need skills to retain the most information possible while studying.” They presented four tips for remembering information long-term: chunk information together, take notes by hand in class, learn from your mistakes, and quiz yourself.
4. Begin studying for exams immediately
To get information into your long-term memory you must read it and write it multiple times. Studying all night the evening before only moves information into your short-term memory and makes you tired for the exam. Start reviewing the material the day it is presented in class, so that when exam day comes, you can approach the test worry-free!
5. Get organized
Being organized helps you know when your exams are, how much time you have to write a paper, and what assignments are coming. Have a planner with due dates and assignment names. Schedule in plenty of time to study, review notes, and brainstorm project ideas.
6. Talk to your professors early
Especially when you are having an issue. Don’t wait for your pain point to worsen — nip it in the bud as soon as possible. Whether it’s sending an email introducing yourself and your concerns about the class before it starts or setting up a meeting to discuss a coming exam, stay in steady communication with your professor about your personal growth in the class.
7. Take chances at the clinical site
Volunteer for new experiences whenever possible. Getting hands-on practice is one of the most important parts of nursing school, and being around experienced, knowledgeable nurses will most likely be the most beneficial part of your education.
8. Determine your learning style early
Are you an auditory or visual learner? Do you need to write things down? If you don’t know your learning style yet, experiment! Use multiple methods to put the information into long-term memory. Use flashcards to study, listen to a classmate read the textbook out loud, or watch a video tutorial of what you’re learning. Be creative, and do anything you can think of to fully process and understand what is being taught.
9. Prioritize Self-care
This may be one of the most important nursing student tips. The habits you take on in nursing school will follow you throughout your nursing career. Nursing students learn to treat their patients holistically — encouraging them to get good sleep, eat well and exercise — but then they turn around and go without sleep, exercise, and good nutrition themselves! We know that nursing school keeps you busy, but you won’t get the most out of your education if you don’t take the time to rest and recharge, and your own health will suffer as well.
10. Prepare for the emotional side of growing
Even the best and smartest get pushed to the limit at some point during nursing school. Expect it! Your classes, your clinicals, and your personal study time will all stretch you. But they will also help you reach your greatest potential.
These nursing student tips are meant for you as you journey through your college experience and into the real world. Hold on tight to your books and your stethoscope and join us for the ride at Bethel University’s School of Nursing at Grace College! Our 2020 graduating class boasts a 100% NCLEX-RN Boards exam pass rate so far. This number surpasses the national average pass rate by twelve percent, and is especially impressive considering this is the first-ever graduating class of the baccalaureate nursing program (BSN) at Grace.
Check out these other impressive statistics about our nursing program: