& Louisiana Organizations for Associate Degree Nursing
Presents for the Nursing Student
Nursing School Success
Study Skill Tips & Other
The Mississippi Office
of Nursing Workforce conducted a study titled “Nursing Education Barriers
Identification Survey” and discovered from the student’s perspective that
study skills were lacking when they entered nursing school. Students rated
their preparedness on six skills including study skills, verbal skills, time
management, writing skills, reading comprehension and math skills. The least
prepared area was—you guessed it---study skills. Students ranked study
skills as being “most important” before entering nursing school and of “high
importance” to succeed in nursing school. Time management and reading
comprehension were also ranked of high importance for success in nursing
Faculty in schools of
nursing also identified these same skills as important for success in
nursing school. Faculties ranked reading comprehension, and then study
skills and time management as top important skills to succeed in nursing
school. Interesting? For more information about this study go to
Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce
site, click on key projects, then “Barriers to Nursing Education”.
The Organization for
Associate Degree Nursing wanted to be a part of the solution so this work
has as its purpose to “Pump You Up” in study skills plus give you other
handy advice to promote your success. Most colleges have a general
study skills course however; these modules were written by nursing educators
to be specifically related to nursing courses. We know what challenges you
are and will be faced with based on years of comments and experiences with
nursing students! Hopefully this information will give you a realistic idea
and insight into what nursing school really means and how to improve your
study skills, time management, reading comprehension and MORE.
So think about WHY
do students and faculty think that study skills are lacking. Let’s examine
this as a basis for even why you need to work through these modules!!
Nursing courses move
faster than other academic courses. Do you agree? If you disagree you have
probably never taken a nursing course. How are nursing courses different
than studying other academic courses? Nursing students are expected to know,
apply, analyze and synthesize information from the beginning course to the
end of the program. If you agree that nursing courses are different then you
can understand the necessity of studying more diligently perhaps.
You will have to take
information given in your theory course and apply it in the clinical setting
while caring for patients. The difficulty with this is that no two patients
are alike. So can you see how this makes studying nursing different that
You may have
performed well in high school or other academic courses. Nursing courses
however may call for a significant change in your study behavior or even
require new study behavior. Nursing courses contain volumes of required
reading material usually very well defined with objectives (daily, unit,
course, and program). Nursing faculty are experts at writing objectives.
Just think about all
the content that one can learn about the human body and the response that
illness causes, the treatments, the medications, math (imagine that!) and
all the human interactions with the environment. Nursing courses expect you
to know (and recall) all that content and to go further or “go deeper” as
some instructors term it by synthesizing previous content in successive
courses. Tests occur frequently in nursing school and usually you get that
grade back in a timely manner. Nursing schools are very specific with
grades---what will pass and what will not. No curves found there! What you
see is what you get.
These 16 modules have
been designed to help nursing students to adjust and do well in their
nursing courses and program. Yes you may already have some of these skills
and advice under your belt. Great! Maybe you can support someone else along
the way. Perhaps though these modules will enhance your study habits and get
you some insight on some different ways of doing things if what you are
doing isn’t working. Are you ready for the study challenge?
assess your readiness by answering the following questions with a
simple “Yes” or “No”
1.______ I plan to do well in my nursing course.
2.______ I plan to accomplish just enough to pass my nursing course.
3.______ I am willing to do whatever it takes to do well. (You know the WIT
4.______ I am not sure where I will find the time to study.
5.______ I am committed to developing a study plan.
6.______ I don’t usually have to study or read all of the material in order
7.______ I have family support with my education.
8.______ I have my finances worked out in order to attend nursing school.
9.______ I have many outside commitments.
10._____ I am a positive thinker.
11._____ I plan to be present at every class.
12._____ I ask for help without hesitation.
(based on your answers)
- If you answered
“Yes” on Items 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, & 12----You are ready.
Congratulations! Proceed to the other modules.
- If you answered
“Yes” on Items 2, 4, 6, & 9----You need help understanding what nursing
school will involve. You may be out of touch with reality! Proceed slowly;
you need to take to heart every word in these modules.
- If you answered
“No” on Items 1, 3, 5, 11, & 12----You need to see your nursing advisor
immediately and discuss a major change.
- If you answered
“No” on Items 7, 8, 10----You may encounter difficulty with nursing
school. Look out, rough waters ahead.
Instructors have been overheard saying:
think I put more studying into this than the student--I know I worry about
it more than the student does."
the student would only use their common sense!" (Sometimes on a test the
student's answer to a math calculation came out to be "Give 40 tablets")
of Wisdom: "Don't Worry, Just
Go to the MONW web
site and click on Key Projects and then the Nursing Barriers Survey summary
and identify three top barriers to successful completion of nursing school.
Hint: Issues are
different from skills mentioned at the beginning of this module.
Identify how you are
handling these issues.
Summarize your reason
for choosing nursing as a career.
“Desire to Help
People” was the number 1 attraction to go into nursing for 63% of the 2,270
nursing students in the Nursing Barriers Study
Identify your short
term and long-term goals for your nursing course success.
Check out these
You have to do it!
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Learning As An Adult
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