Date Published: October 28, 2020
Maybe you got sick. Maybe you needed to spend some time taking care of an older relative. Maybe your child’s daycare closed for a few days. Maybe nothing went wrong at all, but you just couldn’t face studying for a day or two. There are many different things that can throw even the best-laid study plans out of whack. No matter what happened, you can get yourself back into the routine of studying for nursing school. Here are some tips to help.
1) Be kind to yourself: When you’ve gotten off schedule, it’s easy to fall into negative self-talk. Don’t beat yourself up – remember that things happen, what’s past is past, and forgive yourself for missing some study time. It’s hard to focus on your nursing education when you’re focusing on your frustration.
2) Join a study group: Study groups can help in two ways. First of all, they can help keep you accountable, and can provide an external motivator to keep you going on those days when you’d really rather not spend one more minute staring at your nursing textbooks. Second of all, they can help you catch up on topics you may have missed or glossed over.
3) Focus your efforts: If there’s a topic in your nursing class that you know you understand pretty well, don’t spend your precious study time going back over it for very long. Maximize your study time by focusing most on the topics you’re having a harder time with.
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4) Build relaxation time into your study schedule: Give yourself a day off every week, so that you have some cushion in your schedule. Thinking you’re going to be able to study hours every day, seven days a week is setting yourself up for failure. You’re human! You do need time to rest, relax, and recharge.
5) Keep a study log: Track your hours of study, the types of things you did to study each day, and the topics covered. This record can help guide you as you’re going – within a couple of months, you’ll start to have a clearer idea of the types of study activities that are the most helpful for you. You’ll also have a record of your accomplishments to look at when you need the reminder of just how far you’ve come already.
The amount of studying that goes into a nursing education can feel overwhelming, especially at first. The good news is that you’ll adjust, form habits, and learn how to get the most out of your time hitting the books. Even better, those good study habits will help you throughout your nursing career!
Want some extra NCLEX study questions in your life? Check out the ATI Nursing Facebook Page, featuring the NCLEX question of the week!