• RnMindset

Study How You Study

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

Study How You Study



When studying in nursing school, I believe that there is no one, single, correct way to study for the exams. Nursing exams are different, and whether their difference is good or bad is debatable. The fact is, nursing students need to pass their exams to become a practicing nurse, regardless of how they feel about how different nursing exams are. With this in mind, I encourage you to study how you study to pass your exams.

It is very clear in nursing school that everyone studies differently.


Some study well in groups, others quietly by themselves in the library, and some nursing students do well by simply just going to class. Whatever style fits you best, keep doing it, and don’t be afraid to try other methods of study to increase your success.


I have a friend that is gifted smart. At 16, he got a 35 on the ACT with his first try. Now he is working on an aeronautical engineering degree, and plans to build and design jets for Boeing. I was working with him several years ago, and we had an appointment where we would be discussing different areas of information that were somewhat new to us. We had a pamphlet of information, and I was comfortable with just looking it over, and then handing it to the client to have the client read it later. My friend, however, took the pamphlet and memorized it on our thirty minute lunch break while eating a bowl of cereal. As we drove to the appointment he recited off the whole pamphlet to me word for word.



Now while there are a lot of people that are like my friend and can learn and retain information very easily, I believe most people are not as gifted in that area. And while not everyone may not be able to retain information as easily as my friend, I do not believe that they are not as smart. I am confident that if I was to take the same pamphlet of information, I could memorize it as well. It would have just taken me several hours of intense study to retain all the information.

There is an attitude I have seen in colleges, that many students are afraid to say that they study hard, as if it means that they are not as smart because they had to study more than somebody else. A comment that I have heard a lot at the testing centers, is when someone does well on a test, the person will say that they hardly studied. And while that might be true, it doesn’t mean that it is true for everyone. In nursing school, it really doesn’t matter how much you study, but it does matter if you are passing your courses and are learning the material well enough to be a good nurse.




Don’t be afraid to study hard. If you are doing well in your courses, continue to work hard. If you are struggling to pass, continue to work hard, and find different ways to study that might help you retain information better. When you do well on an exam, be proud of yourself that you put in the time to understand the information. Study how you study, and always have a mindset of improvement. Nursing is a lifestyle of study and learning, and the more you understand nursing basics, the easier nursing life will be.


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