If you are a nursing student, you're likely burning your candle at both ends with job and family demands on top of school, so you have to make the most of what little "free time" you have to hit the books. Here are five study techniques to get the maximum benefit out of your precious study time.
Bring the Library With You
If you invest in a tablet or e-book reader like Kindle, you can take a virtual library with you anywhere to catch up on your reading while at the garage, laundromat, or even waiting in line at the grocery store. The other great thing about these devices is their ability to rent school textbooks online, sometimes at a significant savings over buying a hard copy of the book.
Notes in the Virtual World
Another great option for your tablet or book reading device is a service that collects notes and organizes them, such as Evernote, which has a free version of the application. You can create folders of content with clipped articles and images from nursing websites or your personal notes you type into a document. Using a tool like this, you can save supplementary content about your current topics of study, and with the Evernote app, view it on your tablet, book reader or even your smartphone. There are also many nursing applications that are designed as on the job resources that can help you study, such as Nursing Central.
MP3s Aren't Just for Music
Consider investing in a digital recorder so you can record and play back your lectures while you're doing other tasks at home, or even create an MP3 to plug into the car if you have long commutes. This recording can also be turned into printed notes if you're a fast typist. Or if you aren't, but have some lectures you really want transcribed, consider hiring someone at a service like Fiverr, where transcribing services are a $5 fee. There are also some transcribing services that offer student discounts! These services make great additions to your study techniques.
The "Cliffs Notes" of Nursing
Just because you're still a student, that doesn't mean it's too early to invest in a good NCLEX study guide. These books may be designed to help prepare you for your nursing board exams, but they also make great study tools because they provide an overview of different topics in a very concise, straightforward manner. If reading all those wordy textbooks is turning your brain into mush, try switching to this condensed version.
In the Cards
Another great idea for getting an abbreviated study guide is purchasing various flash cards on such topics as anatomy, pharmacology and overall NCLEX reviews. Or buy a pack of index cards and make your own. Keep them with you at all times for when you're waiting in lines or waiting for food in a restaurant. Grabbing a few minutes here and there really starts to add up over the course of a day.
It's tough juggling all your responsibilities and nursing school, but you can get it all done and ace those exams with a few tricks and tools of the trade.
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