Seven Effective Study Techniques for Nursing School Students

nursing school By Kathleen Nubinski

Is nursing school making you feel overwhelmed? You’re not alone! The average workload at nursing school is intense. After you’ve completed all of your responsibilities for home and school, you may not feel like you have time left to study. However, if you don’t put in the study time nursing school requires, your plans of becoming a nurse may never become a reality. So what can you do?

Luckily, there are several techniques available to nursing school students to make sure you maximize your study time. Don’t panic! Instead, consider following these seven highly effective tips.

1. Have a Plan

What gets planned gets done. It may sound over-simplified, but it’s true! Sit down with a daily planner or spreadsheet and plan out your week into hour blocks. Make sure you plan a realistic amount of time for your studies. Once you’ve done this, make sure you stick to your plan. Remember that having a plan is great, but it is useless unless you take it seriously and stick to it.

2. Use Tools Available to You

You can be so busy at nursing school that sometimes you feel like you’re all alone. Don’t forget there are many different resources available for you to use. These include:

  • School study groups
  • One-on-one help via professor office hours
  • School library
  • Online exam testing prep
  • Social media groups
  • Online or in-person tutoring
  • Quizzing apps for phones or tablets

Although some of these programs may come with a cost, many of them are available to you at no charge. If you have more questions, reach out to your academic advisor’s office. They likely will have a list of resources available for you.

3. Familiarize Yourself with NCLEX

NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) is the test used in the United States and Canada to license nurses. Although you will eventually take NCLEX to become a nurse, it is still highly relevant now. NCLEX questions are case-based and require critical thinking skills. Using online exam testing to go over practice questions will not only benefit you in the future, but will help you with the exams you’re taking now.

4. Find a System that Works

Not everyone studies the same way. Some people learn better visually, while others are better listeners. For others, working with their hands is the best way to remember information. There’s no cookie-cutter approach to studying. You have to find what works best for you. There are many different approaches you can take.

  • Create study sheets or mock tests and exchange them with other students.
  • Use an app on your phone to record information and listen to it over and over again.
  • Make a notebook with information that you need to remember.
  • Utilize a study partner and quiz each other

Keep looking for different ways to study until you find the methods that work best for you.

5. Remove All Distractions

When it’s time to study, you’ll need to give your coursework the attention it deserves. Find a place that is quiet enough to help you work uninterrupted. If possible, put your phone away. If you are not able to do this, at least turn off all app notifications to reduce interruptions. Stay away from social media and keep the television off. You might find music is helps your concentration, as well.

6. Take Care of Yourself

Take a bit of your own medicine! You’re about to embark on a career of helping the health and wellness of others. Make sure you take care of your own health as well. It’s tempting to stay up late to study, loading up on energy drinks and coffee to help stay awake. Instead, consider a proper regimen of exercise to go along with a balanced diet. Although sleep may feel elusive to a nursing school student, remind yourself that you’ll be a better student in the long-run by getting the rest your body needs.

7. Use Stress-Reducing Techniques

If you’re not careful, the nursing school experience can be so stressful that you won’t be able to study or perform to your fullest potential. Find outlets that will help you reduce your stress level. Controlled breathing techniques can help you focus at the start of a study session or an exam. Doing yoga on a regular basis can help you slow down and push out the stressful thoughts that are in your mind. Scheduling some time for relaxation or a hobby may seem like a waste in your busy schedule, but you may find your study time will be more productive because of it.


Author bio: Kathleen Nubinski is a freelance writer and educator based in Clayton, Georgia. She loves teaching others and strives to get students more involved in STEM careers. As a writer, she specializes in providing effective study guides for exam testing for nursing, medical, and dental students.

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