Since long before the current crop of nursing students entered the educational fray, those making their way through many types of nursing programs have utilized study groups as a means to a very satisfying end. Nursing education can sometimes feel isolating, and studying and learning along with your peers can do wonders for your morale and your grades.
Traditional study groups
In brick and mortar nursing programs, students sit side by side in actual classrooms, and as relationships and friendships form, some will coalesce into groups that meet outside of school in order to prepare for exams, read assignments together, and critique research papers and assignments before handing them in to the professor.
These types of groups work very well for students in traditional learning environments like an LPN, BSN, NP, or ADN program based in a physical university setting. Especially for LPN and ADN programs, rote memorization can be served very well by study groups focused on such learning needs.
Enter the virtual world
For nursing students enrolled in online nursing programs, interacting with instructors and fellow students through virtual connections is the norm, and such interactions may occur through a variety of online learning environments and interactive platforms. With some students living hundreds or thousands of miles apart, this virtual connectivity is priceless.
When group effort is needed in the virtual space, some online learning environments may have interactive chat rooms baked into the software. Otherwise, students can choose to work or study together via group video conferencing or free conference call systems, as well as shared cloud platforms like Google Drive.
Long email threads can become ponderous and messy, so free messaging apps like Slack can go a long way to allowing members of the far-flung members of a study group to keep in touch within a platform that is easily searchable and keeps conversations permanently archived.
Collaborative learning and mutual support
Study groups and collective learning can happen in face-to-face milieus and within virtual spaces. Based on the type of nursing program in which a student finds herself, there are always a variety of choices for interacting with fellow students in the interest of collaborative learning and mutual support.
We can sometimes feel like lone wolves during the long, hard work of a nursing program, but loneliness and isolation can be assuaged by banding together with other students in whatever ways feel most efficient and satisfying. Collective effort is often rewarded by collective success, and that is why study groups have long been a fixture of nursing students’ educational journey.
Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, speaker, author, and popular career columnist for Nurse.com. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. Keith’s two podcasts, RNFM Radio and The Nurse Keith Show, offer inspiration and practical support to nurses seeking to create meaningful, satisfying lives and careers. Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. He can be found at NurseKeith.com.
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