Top Study Tips for Vocational Nursing Students
Becoming a vocational nurse is a fantastic career goal. To work in the healthcare industry, you will first need to finish up your training in your state to prepare for your career. Every state has specific regulations for its nursing programs, including the number of hours of training. In California, vocational nurses must complete 1530 hours of training, which typically takes between 12 to 18 months.
The first step towards this career path is to complete a vocational nursing program. During vocational nursing training, you will be taught a lot of information in various classes, including:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Human Growth and Development
- Nursing Skills Courses
- Nursing Ethics Training
- Patient Care
- Specialty Courses, such as Pediatric, Geriatric, Rehabilitation, and Emergency Care
Since vocational nurses have so much interaction with patients, they must master all of the necessary skills to excel at their job. This means that you will have to learn a lot of information, like medical terms, scientific facts, and medical services like taking vitals.
During most of your classes, you will be regularly tested over the information you have learned with homework, quizzes, and exams. You will also need to pass final exams in your classes before you can move on to the next course.
Here are some study tips to help you retain information and pass your exams with flying colors.
Break Down Study Time
Rather than devoting several hours to studying all at once, break it up and give yourself time in-between. This will help you focus more and retain more information. Scientific studies show that our brains retain information better when we take breaks every hour or so.
Instead of forcing yourself to camp out at the library for hours on end, study for about an hour then go take a quick walk, get some coffee, or chat with a friend. This quick little break will help your brain process information and prevent information overload.
Study According to Your Learning Style
There is no “best” way to learn information – everyone learns a little bit differently. Some people retain information best when they have visual aids, while others need to write things out to process facts.
The key is to discover how you learn best and then apply it to your studying approach. For instance, if you learn best through listening, record your lectures and listen to them again later. If visual aids help, look up videos on the topics you’re learning.
Keep Yourself Motivated
Completing a vocational nursing program is a huge accomplishment – and not everyone who starts this training will finish. It is quite easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do, along with all the information you’ll need to learn.
When you start to lose your motivation, remember why you are in school and what made you start in the first place. Chances are you enrolled because you love helping others or you want a career that is rewarding and meaningful.
Another tip to keep yourself motivated when you feel like giving up is to reward yourself for hitting small goals. For instance, reward yourself with your favorite coffee or meal after completing a project or getting a certain grade.
Take Thorough Notes in Class
It can be hard to pay attention in class when you’re sitting through hours of lectures. One way to keep your mind engaged is to take thorough notes while you’re in class. Scientific research shows that you’re more likely to remember information that you’ve written down compared to what you’ve read.
Writing down materials in class helps you remember far better than just hearing them or reading them in your textbook. If you have a hard time keeping up, you can also ask the instructor if you can record lectures and refer back to them later.
Study with Fellow Students
Studying as a group can be extremely useful and help you learn the information better than doing it on your own. When you work with a study group, you can discuss topics, ask questions, and quiz each other to prepare for exams. Just be sure that you’re studying with good students!
Use Reliable Outside Sources
Sometimes you will need further resources to help you get a good grasp on specific topics or processes. If you need more information or further explanation, look to other resources from reputable sources like online study guides or even YouTube videos. If you need help finding good sources, don’t hesitate to ask your instructors.
Make Studying a Habit
Rather than trying to find time in your day to study and cram before exams, make study time a consistent habit. One tip is to create “rituals” or habits around it to get yourself in the right mindset. This could mean studying at the same time every day, putting on quiet music first, or going to the same place to study.
Refresh Your Memory Before Class
Before class begins, skim your notes and refresh your memory of what you learned in the previous class or from your homework. This will help you focus and recall what you learned in the last class and study session, so you’re ready to learn more.
Reach Out If You Need Help
If you’re struggling to understand a concept, talk to your instructor. Their job is to help students master the skills and information they need for a successful future, so they are willing to help you if you’re lost. Asking for a little bit of help will help you get more out of your education and feel prepared once your training is complete!
Ready to Get Started?
Becoming a vocational nurse is a fantastic goal to have if you want to work in the healthcare industry. If you’re looking for a great vocational nursing school in CA, consider Blake Austin College. Our goal is to help future students master the skills they need to excel in this field – contact our admissions team today to set up a tour and learn more!