If any of you have done any kind of research on how to survive nursing school, you know that there is more information than one human being can possibly process! Luckily for you, I’ve decided to make your life easier. Here are the top 3 tips that I believe (and use myself) will help you survive nursing school.
3. Go to class, be on time, and pay attention!
– This one is a BIGGY! I went from a whole semester of disorganization, mid-level grades, and sheer panic to a whole semester of being a top-notch organizer, straight A student, and a goody two-shoes who ALWAYS knew what was going on! Don’t let the temptation of sleeping in overcome you. Wake up that extra 15 minutes early so that you know you’ll be on time. Then, when you are in class, put your cell phone away, don’t goof off with your buddies, and sit in the front row. Facebook can wait, you and your buddies can chat after class, and sitting in the front row diminishes your opportunity for distraction. Your grades will thank you, I can almost guarantee it!
2. Keep up with your reading and study in a distraction-free environment!
– As someone who would rather be hanged by her toe nails than read a book, this one is a challenge for me. However, I found that when I did read I retained the additional information I heard in lecture better. I was more familiar with the material and could focus on actually understanding the content. And no, I didn’t read every line of every page, every time. I did a lot of ‘skimming.’ Go over the bolded terms, and major points. Every little bit counts!
I also whole-heartedly believe that you need a 100% distraction-free environment when you study! Yes, that means, no music, no t.v., no computer, and no cell phone! Quit whining! When your brain can focus on that task at hand, you might be surprised how much you actually learn! Notice that ‘learn’ is stressed here…I’m talking about actual learning, not memorizing! In nursing, it’s all about critical thinking. You have to gain the knowledge and apply what you know to the many different situations you encounter. Learning is your friend. 🙂
1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
– Did I say that loud enough for you?! Let me say it again just to make sure. GET ENOUGH SLEEP! I know how tempting it is to put off studying until the night before. But please, just save yourself the heart ache! It is a known fact that the brain processes and stores information while you sleep. If you don’t give your brain enough time to do its job, how is it supposed to perform at its best level? Study a little bit of information everyday. Go over your notes after class. This gives your brain enough time to build up those ever-so-important connections and commit the information to your learning vault. I will admit, I do like to study for hours and hours. It just makes me feel more confidant in my abilities. I don’t really know why. When I write it out here it seems pretty silly, actually. LOL But my fiancé (who has a B.S. in Psychology) taught me one of the most important study techniques I have ever learned. It’s called, “Chunking.” Has anyone else heard of this? When you sit down to study for long periods of time, using the chunking technique will greatly improve your retention. I was amazed! Say you plan on studying 3 hours. After the first hour, take a 15-20 minute break. During this break do whatever you want to do, but don’t think about the material you are studying. Enjoy the break. Get on Facebook, make a phone call, play a game, whatever. Just do something to relax and rejuvenate your motivation. When the break is up, resume your studies. Continue this cycle until your 3 hours are finished. However, resorting back to the main topic of this point, don’t use this technique to pull an all-nighter and expect it to work! You have got to GET ENOUGH SLEEP!
There you have it! My top 3 tips on surviving nursing school! I hope that you all find them useful! If you decide to use any of them, I would love to know how well they worked for you! Also, feel free to share any tips that you may have, too!
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