6 Tips for Nurses to Improve Their Academic Performance
Nursing school is no child’s play. Nursing is a challenging career path that requires significant effort and excellent academic performance. Preparing yourself to think critically and serve selflessly is crucial as you enter nursing. Good study skills can improve your competence, self-esteem, and confidence. It helps you gain the skills necessary for achieving a successful career. Further, good academic performance can lead to better job opportunities, higher earning potential, satisfaction and accomplishment, and improved mental well-being.
But how can nurses excel at school given their busy schedules and, often, additional responsibilities? Improving academic performance isn’t as challenging as it may sound. A few lifestyle changes and balancing techniques can help you excel at nursing school. Whether you are a fresher or a graduating nursing school senior, read the tips below to improve your academic performance and become a successful nurse.
1. Lay out a timetable
Studying for a nursing degree can become overwhelming with complex topics and courses. The best way to learn efficiently and effectively is by penning down a timetable routine and religiously following it. Section out your courses topic-wise and secure days for each topic. Make sure you don’t underdo or overdo your timetable routine. Only put the amount of stuff you can realistically complete in your timetable. Further, leave a couple of hours for breaks and other activities.
A timetable works incredibly well for online classes since it is easy to lose track of recorded lectures. For instance, if you’re pursuing an RN to MSN online program, create a timetable to adjust attending classes alongside carrying out other clinical duties. Following a plan would enable you to keep up with classes and studies, making online degrees achievable.
A study timetable brings routine into your life, saves time, and helps you achieve your goals faster. Moreover, a timetable enables de-stressing, helps avoid procrastination, and enhances concentration.
2. Follow the reading material
As students, most of us don’t take the reading material assigned by instructors seriously. However, when pursuing a degree as complex as nursing, it is essential to take your reading material seriously and remain prepared before each lecture. External reading material can help you stay on track with your courses and significantly enhance your knowledge. Since each class is for a limited time, studying and learning every minor concept is impossible. For that, the reading material is crucial.
External sources can offer input that the students can comprehend; it improves their knowledge set and creates motivation to read and learn more.
Remember, in medicine, no knowledge is too much knowledge. The more you know, the better professional you can become.
3. Create a study group
Several students struggle to study alone and prefer learning with peers. If you are one of them, creating a study group would be an efficient technique to boost your studies. There are several studies that state study groups to be a highly effective form of learning.
Study groups provide a support system for people in similar situations as you and open up networking opportunities. Furthermore, study groups help you learn faster, get new perspectives, learn new study skills, fill in learning gaps, and break the monotony. Most importantly, studying in a group can help you practice in the real world, where most decisions are made as a team. Study groups aid your people skills, enhance your collaboration abilities and help you stay focused on achieving your goal.
A few vital points to consider when making a study group include:
- Make sure your group is small
- Find classmates and appoint them to a learning pyramid
- Identify goals as a group
- Show up prepared
- Stay organized and focused
- Take scheduled breaks.
4. Find a mentor
Mentorship can help you excel academically and prepare you for the real world. Look for a mentor at your university or someone with sufficient experience and get frequent study tips from them. Ask them to review your timetable and guide you on making it more effective.
Mentors provide encouragement and support for growth and improvement. They can give valuable teaching and studying advice, help you become a leader, give you helpful feedback on behavior, and serve as a source of knowledge.
5. Take breaks
Studying is crucial, but so is taking scheduled breaks. Taking breaks helps you refresh your mind and think better. Studying non-stop can numb your mind, and at one point, it will stop processing anything. Therefore, take breaks, especially if you’re in nursing school, since it can feel like a full-time job.
Even though you might feel you don’t have time to take breaks because of back-to-back classes, assignments, and exams, you must give yourself time to avoid burnout. Too much studying may lead to stress, exhaustion, poor sleep, headaches, and other physical and mental health issues.
Taking breaks improves your memory, serves as an energy boost, reduces stress, improves your health, and boosts your performance and creativity.
6. Study to learn, not to score high
A crucial point that all nursing school students must understand is setting your goal to learn. Simply studying to get good grades will not yield any benefit in your future if you are not learning essential concepts. Therefore, designate your time and activities to study with the intention of learning. Think about scoring high grades and getting sufficient learning as a bonus to benefit you.
Preparing your brain to learn is equivalent to preparing it to succeed in the future. Do not let a drop in your grades worry you. Instead, concentrate on mastering the topic and laying a solid foundation by not stressing over grades.
Studying and taking tests will differ from when you were in high school and will likely be the most challenging adjustment you will have to make while in nursing school. You will start to notice a change in your grades if you deal with this sooner rather than later.
Becoming a nurse is rewarding but challenging. Nursing school can be the trickiest out of all the steps in your nursing career. However, remember that it is not forever and will end soon. You must learn to balance your life and focus on your goals. Academic performance is crucial, but what’s more important is your learning. The best kind of student is the one who can learn and maintain decent grades simultaneously.