How to Study for Nursing Exams

Science textbooks are hard to read but will provide the info you’ll need to apply in clinicals, which is why it’s important to read them.

But it’s not important to memorize every single fact in them. It’s more important to read the textbook in chunks, focusing on what you’ll be applying in clinicals and practicing on a patient.

You’ll need to remember many of the facts, which can be done over time, rather than cramming for a test. In other words, don’t procrastinate — this is one of the best tips for how to succeed in nursing school and is worth repeating: Don’t procrastinate!

One tip I always found useful while reading the book was to create an outline of the material in a word processor.

I then printed it off and added my notes on them, expanding on the topics.

This also gave me a chance to reread the notes a day or so after class to increase retention of the material, along with providing a good study guide.

The notes you take in class should help you, not hinder you. Far too often students will take notes that are indecipherable. Notes like these are worthless.

Your notes should provide examples and help you understand the material better when you review them, not confuse you more.

Often you’ll read material you don’t understand. Rather than gloss over it, make a note to yourself to do a little more research on the topic to help you understand it.

Many texts have short answer and fill-in-the-blanks, both of which are hard. (Remember, there is no easy way to be a nurse.) But these type of questions are more helpful than a true or false question or multiple choice question. So don’t skip the fill-in-the-blanks; these are one of the best study techniques for nursing students.

Get a study buddy

Having someone to study with can help you. You may understand a procedure better than your study buddy; your study buddy may understand a different procedure better than you. This means you both can teach each other, cementing the information into your brains.

Choose a study group wisely, though. And don’t be afraid to shop around when it comes to finding a group. Some people work well together, some don’t. There’s no hard feelings because everybody is trying to graduate, remember.

Study tips for nursing students

Ask questions

In class, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

There is at least one other person in your classroom who has the same (or similar) question but is afraid to ask. Sometimes this can cause a lengthy discussion about that topic, which an instructor may test you on because of the time spent on it.

Record lectures

Buy a digital recorder and record lectures. This will provide you with the opportunity to fill in any holes in your notes.

Get a daily calendar

You don’t need to map out every minute of your day, but a daily calendar that notates important projects, tests, and due dates is important.

A daily calendar is also a good way to make sure you schedule time to study.

Take a break from studying nursing!

Just as you need a distraction from your nursing studies, you need to take a break from all these study tips in this article! These short breaks between study sessions will help you recharge your batteries.