Are You Returning to School to Start a Nursing Program? Study Tips for the Adult Learner

NursingSeptember 01, 2022

Going back to the classroom long after your college years isn’t easy if you have to balance work, study, and family. But with the right strategies, you can make it all work. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be a piece of cake, but it’s doable. Here are 7 tips to streamline your time and boost your study skills for success at St. Paul’s School of Nursing (SPSON). 

Create a dedicated study space. If your house or apartment will accommodate it, create a dedicated study spot at home. Choose a place that’s as distraction-free as possible so you can block out TV, visible chores like kitchen cleanup, and other people. Remind your family that if the door is shut, you’re working. If there’s nowhere in your home, check your local library or coffeeshops for distraction-free rooms.  

Learn to manage your time. Often the busiest people manage their time effectively because they have so little of it. It’s critical to prioritize your learning, so create a calendar and schedule your classes, labs, time for assignments, and study time. That could be a wall calendar, Google calendar, or an app. Make the most of small pockets of time to answer emails or rewrite notes so that you can make the most of your study time when you get to it.  

Learn how to take effective notes. Good notetaking is a learned skill. St Paul’s campus’ resource center may offer workshops that teach the different styles of notetaking. There’s no right or wrong way, only the way that works best for you, such as Cornell Notes or outlining. 

Review your course content. It’s not enough to simply focus and absorb content while you’re in class, though that can help. Minimize distractions while you’re in class—and then plan to review content again later. That might mean rewriting notes to understand them, reviewing chapter summaries, watching topic videos on YouTube, and checking your syllabus to prepare for upcoming classes. Figure out your best learning style. 

Join or start a study group. Studying alone can lead to distractions like checking social media too often. A study group of SPSON nursing students may keep you on track more effectively than going it alone. It also creates a learning community of fellow New Yorkers who become your little family going through the same things you are. 

Take breaks. You need breaks. Try out what works for you—maybe 45 minutes of studying and a 15-minute break. For the break, get up and move around, jog the stairs, or take a walk outside before you get back to it.  

Use SPSON’s campus academic resources. Campuses offer tutoring centers, writing centers, math labs, and more. Many campus centers also teach study skill tips if you’re looking for tips on notetaking or reviewing notes. Don’t wait until you’re failing a class to find a tutor. Also make use of your instructors’ office hours. They want to see you succeed. Let them help you. 

If you’re interested in nursing, St. Paul’s School of Nursing—campuses in Queens and Staten Island—offers an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Visit the Nursing page on our website, or call (855) 822-3018 to speak to one of our admissions representatives or to schedule a campus tour.