“I study for 6 hours a day,” said one medical student.
“I do 10 hours every day,” reported another.
“Mine’s 12. I barely sleep.” replied another, whose face is paler than the fictional teenage vampire from the early 2000s. And yes, they all have coffee in hand while talking.
While medical school is known for its extensive schedules, nursing school is actually no different. Especially in the Philippines–for context: universities from the U.S. usually allow only 13 to 15 units per semester in comparison to PH’s 17-23 unit range–so it’s tough, sure. But it doesn’t make it impossible to do, nursing school is actually very much doable only if you take yourself up for the challenge.
The entire program might shock the freshmen at first, which is honestly understandable. Unlike non-medical courses which I would imagine would be focusing solely on academics, nursing school is a little more extra since apart from lectures, we also have intended skill enrichment classes which we refer to as our laboratories.
But honestly, it’s the lectures that take most of our time preparing for–that during one fine day, you’ll just find yourself having to do an 80-something page of reading for ONE class, apart from having at least three quizzes and a live return demonstration all in the same day. And if you’re anything like me, you probably also find these a tad bit too much. Luckily for you, I have compiled a bunch of study tips that might come in handy during a “time of crisis” such as this one.
- Make a study schedule
Firstly, make a schedule that you HAVE to follow–or at least try. Though having one is as important as actually following through with it, keep in mind that a routine takes a lot of practice to be comfortable with. And be sure to take a lot of things (like classes, major exams, and self-care) into consideration to make your schedule realistic and easy to get the hang of.
2. The syllabus is your best friend
This one, I wished I knew sooner because honestly during my first year in nursing school I barely even bothered checking the syllabi out. Which is wrong, since they help a lot in doing advanced readings and knowing the coverage for exams.
- Find the best note-taking practice for you
May it be digital, or traditional like using notebooks, figure out what works best for you and stick to it. Also, it’s always good to be organized so make sure to stock up on folders and other file organizers that you can use to store important papers.
- Be attentive in class
Though studying at home is comfy, it can also bring a lot of distractions. So put your phone on silent or put it someplace else entirely, and try to engage yourself in the lectures. You’ll never know what clues your professor can be hinting at for that quiz later on.
- Find alternative sources of information
Lectures are insightful, sure. But once in a blue moon, I find myself getting even more confused than I was before I attended the lecture. If this happened to you, luckily you’re one youtube video away from enlightenment. A lot of youtube channels actually provide very informative videos about pretty much everything they teach in nursing school, and my personal favorite is RegisteredNurseRN. Also, check out the SHOP for study guides and cheat sheets.
- Take care of yourself: Sleep as much as you can, drink lots of water, and prioritize your mental health
I can never stress this enough, you have to take care of yourself before you get to take care of others. The major problem in nursing school, in general, would have to be time, which makes it so important that we know how to manage it to our benefit. For example, we can break down one big task into smaller, manageable chunks, which I find to be better than having to do it all at once.
I hope these tips help you out. And here is unsolicited advice from yours truly, if there’s one thing I can tell you right now, it is probably to enjoy your free time as much as you can while you still have it. This is me making college sound like a death sentence–which it isn’t by the way, but I’ll leave it to you to decide on that one after a little. You’ll make mistakes and learn a lot in nursing school, and if things get a bit overwhelming, take a break but never stop chasing that RN.
Remember, the more hardships we face, the sweeter success will taste.
Follow @BecominganNP for nursing tips!
Check out the shop for a complete study guide!