An advanced nursing degree program can to help you become the best nurse you can be. Our eight-part blog series walks an adult learner thought the process of going back to school.
Getting Started on the Right Foot
You did it! You’re enrolled in school and are well on the path to enhancing your professional and civic life – way to go! You want to succeed and that means starting off on the right foot and establishing good habits both for yourself and for studying.
Our student success advisors are here to help you, below are their best tried and true study tips.
- Keep a running bibliography of articles and textbooks that you read. You can often use the same article for different courses. It helps to save time if you’re not always searching for new information. Often students will use this list from one degree to another (from an MSN to DNP for example). – Megan Fisher
- Break your study sessions into chunks and be sure to reward yourself with short breaks, rather than trying to cram everything in at one sitting. This way, you will retain more information and feel refreshed. – Colleen Voland
- Read your work out loud to yourself or a loved one before you submit it for grading. Oftentimes, we miss errors while typing, but if you read it out loud, you will hear the errors. – Carolyn Rupp
- Bookmark all important websites so they are easy to access in the future. Make sure to bookmark your classroom, the student site, the library, and the writing center. When you find a fantastic resource for one paper, make sure to bookmark this for future courses. Students spend a lot of time researching, writing, and studying, it’s important to save precious minutes by having resources saved at their fingertips. – Devon Putnam
- Make daily to-do lists and prioritize your time and “stay in motion.” “An object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest, unless an outside force acts upon the object.” I think Isaac Newton was a secret philosopher because this, his first law of motion, can be applied not only to the physical sciences, but to life. Students who plan ahead with their courses, and don’t take too long of breaks will keep the momentum of the coursework going until they have completed their degree. It is much more difficult to start courses again after taking a long break. I think this also applies to our daily tasks. It can be very difficult for our very busy students to plan their time with school, work, and family responsibilities. Yet, it is still important not to procrastinate in daily tasks. – Abigail Blades
- Never be afraid to ask for clarification. You aren’t expected to know everything, and professors are more than happy to offer guidance. There are a variety of resources available to help you answer questions – virtual library, writing lab, and of course, the student success advisors! Give us a call. – Jason Zicterman
- Set aside time and determine your priorities for the week. What is the most urgent or important goal for each week? Is it a school paper, a presentation at work, or your daughter’s recital? Making a list of priorities each week can feel daunting but offers a great starting point and helps to put things in perspective. – Naomi Altchouler
- Talk it out! Research shows that you’ll retain the information you are learning better if you teach the subject matter to another person. In a study, two groups were told to memorize a passage. One group was told they will take a test on the passage, the other group was told they would have to teach the subject matter. Guess who retained the information better? You guessed it, the group who had to teach the subject matter. So, the next time you have dinner with your family, go out on a coffee date, or have lunch with coworkers, take the time to explain to them what you are learning in class. Share the wealth and profit yourself! – Kevin Johnson
- Set goals and pace yourself. Look ahead in the course and see which weeks you might have more work than others. Compare this to your personal/work calendar and try to set aside time during a lighter week to work ahead of schedule so that when you are busier you don’t have to worry about school. – Aaron Schips
- Designate study time. If there are certain days of the week that you are less busy, make those days your “school work days” and set aside two to three hours solely dedicated to doing school work. This will help you get into good study habits and feel less overwhelmed with school work. – Anna Myers
- Perfect your time management skills. Most of our students have been nurses for decades, they know the basics of the material. My most successful students aren’t smarter or more experienced nurses, they’re better at managing their time to ensure they have enough time to spend on school without missing important family moments. Time management isn’t just about scheduling the hours in a day effectively; it also means learning how to manage stress, avoid procrastination, and to always remember your main motivation for earning your degree. – Ashley Read
Need a little additional help? Pick up the phone and call your student success advisor. They have been where you are, and they have helped hundreds of students just like you successfully reach their goals. They will be your cheerleader, your coach, your friend, and your kick in the pants when you need it.
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