In our first blog
we kicked things off with a discussion on best practices for staying organised as a nursing student. We talked about how having the basics set up, the right tools, like medical equipment
, can be of service. Obviously, being prepared is more than just having access to medical supplies
and the fanciest Littmann Stethoscope
. Continuing on from that discussion, today in our second instalment, we will look at some ways to get the most from your studies and maximise your success.
We break it down into four basic areas where you want to focus: learning styles
, study buddies
, asking questions
, and participation
Let's dig in.
During nursing school students are all expected to learn the same essential information, however the ways that students learn best can vary greatly from person to person. A good strategy to make the most of your unique potential is to determine your best learning style – then you can set yourself up to take advantage of these strengths.
So what are learning styles?
Visual, auditory and kinesthetic are the main learning styles. Visual learners learn well from reading, writing and seeing the information in visual forms like diagrams and charts. Auditory learners learn best through listening to lectures and discussing the learning material. Kinesthetic learners learn best through a more hands-on approach and practical exercises.
There are many free tests that you can take online to determine what your learning style strengths are. Once you are aware of these things you can take action
to utilise your strengths and work on improving your weaknesses.
Forming study groups can be very beneficial because in a group situation you can build off each other's strengths and experiences.
Ever heard the old saying two heads are better than one? Well in an effective study group situation this can definitely be the case.
Research suggests that the ideal size for a study group in a university setting is three people. Obviously this can vary but by keeping the group small –
each participant gets more involvement. Choose your group members wisely and be there for each other. Having a strong support network will help get you through the challenging times.
When studying in a group setting it is useful to have some structure for how the session will be run and which topics will be covered.
One idea is to take turns with who leads the group on each session.
It can be easy to run off topic when studying with friends so leave some time for chatting before or after the study session has finished.
Group study does not necessarily work for all people and it is not a substitute for individual study.
If managed correctly study groups can definitely enhance the learning experience.
Even as a fully qualified nurse you will not know everything there is to know straight away, so it pays to get used to being comfortable with not knowing everything and asking questions. As a nurse, the only stupid question is the one that you don't ask, especially when it's too late. There is no room for ego in nursing so don't be shy! If there is something you are not 100% clear on, get help!
Don't limit your resources to your professor. Ask questions of those around you, provided you're not taking up too much of their time, or distracting them from their own studies. Worst case scenario, Google is an amazing tool.
A good tip is to write down any questions or areas of uncertainty that come up during lectures, so you can remember to ask them when you have the opportunity.
Developing positive relationships with your professors is a key component to getting the most out of your course. At the end of the day, these people will help determine whether you pass or fail so it pays to establish a good rapport.
Ensure you get to class on time, and sit near the front if you can. This shows that you are driven and want to be part of the action.
Don't cringe at the sight of blood or smell of things during practicals, this is not looked upon favourably by professors or professionals that you may be working with. As a nurse you will become more comfortable with these things in time – just try to put on a brave face for now!
Be prepared to go the extra mile and show initiative when appropriate. Be that in your assignments, practicals or assessments.
Thoroughness is always a virtue in the nursing profession.
We hope you have found this best study practices blog post useful. By utilising just a few of the tips we have listed here, you will hopefully be well on your way to nursing school success.
Did you like that? Think you could contribute something valuable, or maybe better? You have weeks left to enter the Australian Medical Student Association Writing Competition - sponsored by Medshop Australia. Not only could you win $500, you could get your blog published here,
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