How to Create an Effective Course Study Guide
Nursing school is all about adaptation. Keeping up with the course load and managing your personal life, relationships, work, and everything else can be delicate. Figuring out how you learn best is an integral part of studying effectively and not only learning but retaining the material. What works for some people may not work for all. Using resources such as YouTube videos, flashcards, and more can help to solidify information. Personally, I wouldn't say I like reading textbooks. I find that I do not retain the information. Therefore, I have had to develop a system that worked for me by creating my own course study guides and using other resources and material to fill in any blanks.
To create a study guide, I begin by using the course PowerPoints/voiceovers lectures. I will type up an extremely detailed word document of all of the information from the lecture., basically word for word. I find this helpful, even with information that I feel that I have a good handle to get repetition. I then send the typed Study Guide to my iPad (or you can print it) and bring it to my live lecture. I then notate on the Study Guide by hand, using different colors for different sections, disease processes, etc. This allows me to get another type of exposure to the material. Finally, I will study the material section by section or color by color. Nursing school exams are notoriously difficult, and simply memorizing the information isn't enough. We must retain, understand, and then apply the content to clinical scenarios to demonstrate competency in certain areas.
I also used supplemental material such as flashcards, YouTube videos, practice questions and formed a study group with my classmates. Utilizing the textbook can be a fantastic resource. Still, it is crucial to understand that there are many other ways to learn and study material for nursing school and still be successful. Once you find what works well for you and your learning style, stick with it!
Written by: Kym Wisniewski