How to Study for Nursing School


Authored by Crystal Crowder in Education 
Published on 12-03-2009

Nursing school can seem like a lot to handle. The study process is often the hardest thing to master. With all nursing school students have to juggle, studying should be the least of their worries. Learning how to study for nursing school will help make school much easier and reduce some of the stress many students are under.

Study Habits

Creating good study habits is key to successfully studying. Follow the tips below to make your nursing school study sessions more beneficial.

  • Keep track of all assignments, tests and other deadlines in a personal planner.
  • Take clear notes during class. If you need clarification, talk to other students or your instructor.
  • Don’t skip classes. You’ll miss out on vital information. If you must be out of class, make arrangements with another student to get notes.
  • Record lectures. You can focus on the lecture and take notes at a later date.
  • Read your textbook. Create chapter outlines to help you find and understand material better.
  • Create flashcards. You can use these with a partner or alone.
  • Schedule time with your instructor if you need assistance understanding a topic.

Studying Alone

Create a list of what you want to study. This can be a list you create or something your instructor has created. Many instructors will give you a list of possible topics a test or exam will cover.

Give yourself a break at least once per hour. Breaks should last approximately ten to fifteen minutes. This will prevent you from getting bored or too frustrated. This also gives you time to absorb information.

Change your study location if you feel bored or distracted. If you can change locations, remove distractions such as friends, television, music and cell phones. The more you’re distracted, the less you’ll study.

Don’t procrastinate. Begin studying early to prevent the need to cram. The more stress you’re under, the harder it’ll be to concentrate on the subject matter.

Study in Groups

Study in small groups. Try to select students who understand different topics. This will allow you to help each other. Smaller groups tend to be more productive.

Allow each member to study a specific section of the required material. Each member can then create questions for the section for the entire group to focus on. This allows the study session to go quicker.

Other Resources

If your textbook isn’t quite enough and study groups don’t work, consider external resources. Some textbooks have websites for further study. You can also ask your instructor for any practice tests, other books and websites for more information. Medi-Smart has a list of websites that provide nursing students with study materials and practice tests to help students study.

Studying for nursing school takes a combination of determination, strong work ethic, patience and a positive attitude. Once you learn how to study and which methods work for you, stick to them. Each person has different learning needs. Nursing students are no different.


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