Nursing is an estimable profession as well as a prestigious academic field that myriads of students find attractive. Not only does nursing contribute to the growth of healthcare, it’s also a great field that has churned out lots of health professionals.
As an academic field, nursing exposes students to cumbersome coursework along with extensive clinical training which they must duly complete before they can practice as professional nurses.
The period of transition to nursing school isn’t one to be handled with levity. On the one hand, the coursework at nursing school is bulky and nursing itself, on the other hand, combines numerous study hours and lots of practical training.
Due to the widespread notion about nursing being a complex field of study, a smart student preparing for nursing school may be interested in tips on how to study ahead of admission to the school. Helpfully, this post will arm you with the tips to follow while preparing for nursing school as well as the tips for studying while at nursing school.
(Study) Tips to Follow while Preparing for Nursing School
Prepare Well Ahead of Admission
Whether your preferred nursing school is within or outside your state of residence, you really need to prepare ahead of your admission to the school. Do well to gather all the things (financial and non-financial) that would ease your stay in the school.
While preparing for nursing school, you should arm yourself not only with financial resources but also some of the academic resources that would help give you a head start after admission.
You can lay your hands on a couple of course materials that would broaden your fundamental understanding of nursing. Do well to study important concepts, methods and ethics that guide nursing practice. Since the overall goal is to broaden your basic knowledge of nursing rather than prepare for an exam, you can study in a relaxed manner.
Whether you should study in the day or at night may not be a necessary thing to discuss. But you may have to study to an extent where you feel confident that you’ll start your journey at nursing school excellently.
Acquire Some Work Experience
Nursing is a practical-intensive field and this is why nursing school aspirants with work experience stand a chance of outperforming counterparts without such experience after admission to nursing school.
Rather than rely solely on the knowledge you’ve acquired through reading relevant nursing textbooks, journals, etc. endeavor to gain work experience by volunteering at a clinic or hospital. Advisably, pay great attention to what you’ll be exposed to in the course of this. This is because the hands-on knowledge or skill you acquire herein will make up the work experience that should ease your understanding of some theoretical classroom lessons in nursing school.
Study Tips to Follow while at Nursing School
Review the Study Guide for Your Nursing Exam
There’s no denying that you need to make good use of the recommended study guide for whatever exam(s) you’re taking at nursing school. First of all, study guides are prioritized for their ability to help you zero in on important points and areas.
When armed with a study guide, you’ll likely deem it convenient to study for the exam of a bulky/complex course at nursing school. This is because study guides hint you about how you can condense bulky courses into summaries that you’ll find easy to read.
Ascertain the Ideal Learning Style for You
Generally, nursing is a complex field and one of the ingredients for academic excellence in nursing is to know what works for you. No two individual students are same in all aspects of comparison. Therefore, you shouldn’t assume that a particular learning style will work for you simply because your fellow nursing students have made success with it.
Customarily, you’ll want to adapt to the general learning system that your nursing school instills in its students. But while still complying with that system, you should try to know the learning style that works best for you. The ideal learning style for you might be a combination of auditory and visual instructional materials along with the use of mnemonics, flashcards, etc. In all of this, the bottom line is that you need to figure out the ideal learning style for your kind of student and stick to it.
Study with Others
For one reason or the other, you might not fancy the idea of forming a study group. If you ever think that studying with others comes with its own disadvantage(s), you’ll have to accept that the associated advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
As proven by research, students tend to retain more information through studying with others compared to what they retain during classroom sessions. Quite interestingly, being in a study group has the benefit of stimulating students to learn from each other.
With nursing being a complex branch of study, it is highly recommended for students at nursing school to engage in collaborative learning. By gathering heads together, such students will have a high likelihood of dissecting the complex parts, areas or topics in their nursing coursework.
Make Good Use of (Relevant) External Resources
The resources provided or recommended by your instructor might not be enough for you to fully understand a given nursing course. Without any doubt, the instructor-issued material is a resource you must make a top priority in order to get an excellent grade. But in addition to that, you may have to seek relevant outside resources just to broaden your understanding.
It’s pretty good that you incorporate relevant external resources into your pile of study materials as doing so might prove helpful in your attempt to navigate the complexity of nursing courses. Moreover, good use of outside resources can help you understand given nursing concepts or certain practices beyond what you learnt about them in the classroom.
Just as individuals need to practice consistently to become professionals, so do nursing students need to study consistently to excel in their exams. Nursing, as an academic field, is one with various bulky courses. If you don’t study consistently, you’ll neither master the teachings in the courses nor retain adequate knowledge of the courses.
Rather than choke themselves with a whole lot of materials when exams are nearby, students at nursing school should cultivate the habit of studying daily. This way, they’ll likely find it convenient to read little by little while still covering significant portions of course materials prior to exams.
By studying consistently, nursing students will not only be able to cover their course materials but also, they’ll retain lots of information without feeling overwhelmed ahead of exams.
Interact with Your Seniors at Nursing School
As a nursing student, especially in your prelim year, do not ignore the need to interact with your seniors and learn important things from them. One of the ways you can benefit from this interaction is getting them to show you the course study guide.
Some of these seniors may also be willing to share important notes with you. Armed with these notes, you really have the chance to prepare ahead of classroom lessons and even exams.
In another sense, interacting with your seniors at nursing school might help you identify the main points you should focus on ahead of exams. If you’re in good relation with them, the exceptionally smart students among your seniors might want to reveal secrets to you about the areas of your study guide where memorization is required and the aspects that require extensive understanding.
Learn to Approach Your Exam (Questions) as though You Were a Practicing Nurse
Although it may be important for students of nursing to memorize certain facts, it’s more important for them to master the practical approach for answering exam questions. One way the students can do the latter is to place themselves in the position of the practicing/professional nurse while answering questions.
The nursing student should strive to gain the practical understanding of what has been learnt theoretically or through classroom lessons. The student might want to task themselves with such a question as “how would I interact with the patient if I were the nurse in this case?”
Manage Your Time Judiciously
Time management is one of the crucial ingredients for students to make success with any study regimen they have created for themselves. In reality, research, reading and some other steps involved in studying can consume much time. This reality coupled with the fact that nursing is a bulky branch of study could prove to be a heavy burden on the average nursing student.
In itself, time management may be considered a skill which students must master in order to maintain a balance between studying and extra-curricular activities. As a nursing student, you’ll likely be faced with lots of materials and other resources that you need to read in order to acquire vast knowledge of nursing. To be able to navigate your cumbersome courses and study materials, it costs you the ability to manage your time judiciously.
Some FAQs about Nursing and Nursing School
To become a certified nurse, is it necessary to attend nursing school?
To learn relevant skills and master the approaches for professional nursing practice, it is highly necessary to attend nursing school. Nursing is a high-level profession and it is very competitive. To qualify for professional nursing jobs, one needs to hold a certification as well as possess the kind of education offered by a standard nursing school.
Is nursing a difficult academic field of study?
As an academic branch of study, nursing may be considered a complex program same way medicine is touted as being cumbersome. Generally, complex disciplines –such as medicine and nursing –may appear difficult at first due to their cumbersome coursework. But with the appropriate study habit and adequate hands-on experience, any student can unravel the complexity of nursing coursework and bag excellent academic grades.
What is meant by a nursing school?
A nursing school may be viewed through the same lens than we view a medical school. If you understand that one needs to attend a medical school to become a medical doctor, then you should accept that attending a nursing school is one of the requirements for becoming a nurse.
Where the medical school trains students who would go ahead to become medical doctors, the nursing school trains prospective nurses so that they can acquire the requisite skills for professional nursing practice.
We strongly believe that with the help of this post, you have been able to learn the clever tips for preparing for nursing school as well as studying while at nursing school. By following the discussed tips, odds are that you’ll achieve excellent academic grades in spite of how difficult or bulky your coursework may seem.