Nursing school can be challenging. Sometimes is can seem overwhelming when you are trying to manage home and work responsibilities on top of your nursing studies.
How on Earth are you supposed to get all of these chapters read, never mind review notes, prepare for exams and retain all of the vital information that you absolutely must know for a successful career in nursing?
The good news is, it is doable. Nursing school just takes a little bit of planning, some time management and a few study strategies to improve your information retention.
Record The Lecture
If allowed by your professor, you may want to record lectures so you can focus and absorb the lesson. You then have the option to listen back to the most current lecture – in the car, while you work out or even in the shower.
Recording lectures also allows you to take more detailed notes after class. So when you’re in class, you don’t have to worry about rushing to take every single word down and then you can take your time in taking your actual notes.
Rewrite Notes on Colored Paper for Better Memorization
Rewriting your class notes also gives you the opportunity to improve their organization and to make them neater, thereby making your notes easier to study from. Further, rewriting your class notes reinforces the information so that you will remember it better.
In addition, studies show rewriting notes in red ink on yellow paper helps better commit it to memory. Color is believed to be the most important visual experience to human beings. It functions as a powerful information channel to the human cognitive system and has been found to play a significant role in enhancing memory performance.
Review Notes Often
Don't set yourself up for failure by waiting until the last minute to study for an exam. Set aside time every day to review and study. Learn to say "no" to activities that cut into your sacred study time.
A rule of thumb is you should study 3 hours per week for every hour of class. If you are struggling in a class, you should study longer. Read your textbook, review or retype/rewrite your notes, use the textbook website for study questions if there are any, watch YouTube videos that deal with your course subject, etc.
Set Daily Goals
Space out your work and lower the pressure on yourself by setting daily goals. This will help you stay on top of what’s important and what can be completed later. Statistically, when you prioritize and complete important tasks, it can take some pressure off, which will help you perform better in the work environment later. Not to mention, every small task completed each day will serve as motivation.
Take 15 to 20 Minute Sudy Breaks
Studies show that breaks in your study routine can positively affect your attention abilities. Taking breaks from studying every ninety minutes or so can improve both focus and attention.
In addition to taking regular study breaks, what you do with each break can matter, too. You may choose to exercise, call a friend, tidy up, or cook a healthy meal. It’s a good idea to vary different break activities to find which is the most effective in refreshing you. If an activity makes it difficult to transition back into your studies, it’s likely not the right break activity for you.
Get Plenty of Sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be questioned, and medical researchers have written about the negative effects poor sleep has on your health. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system, causes impaired brain activity, and cognitive dysfunction.
Make sure you are getting 6-8 hours of sleep so you’ll be able to function within a demanding environment. Lack of sleep will make it hard for you to understand how to perform sensitive duties and will create a communication barrier between you and your mentor.
Studying is essential to both your success as a student and your success as a nurse. Through the use of strong study habits, you can retain the knowledge and material for recall later on – whether it is for an exam or in the field. Contact Athena Career Academy to talk about your options to continue your nursing journey.