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A Resource Guide for Nursing Students and Faculty

Study Strategies


You've got to get your sleep! Here's why. Sleep is your super power! TED Talk



Check out this book 370.1523 B877M.

Read a great summary here.  Check out eBook here. or listen to it on Overdrive here.


  1. Schedule your study time in specific ways. Block off daily study time. Assign yourself specific topics for review. 
  2. Use Elsevier to make a practice test. Test and retest: Evidence-based RETRIEVAL PRACTICE!
  3. Use Quizlet for every class and every test. It's all about RETRIEVAL PRACTICE!
  4. Get up early to study instead of staying up late. You will do better if you sleep.
  5. Study another subject and them come back to your first subject. Evidence-based Distributed Practice!
  6. Use the Leitner System with Flashcards and the principle of spaced repetition. Retrieval and Distributed in one method.
  7. If you study with music on, listen to instrumental. Music with words may distract your brain from deep focus.


  1. Project a Quizlet pack on a screen and go through the questions together. Encourage the practice of asking and answering WHY something is true. Retrieval
  2. Write topics that you must learn on scraps of paper. Each person blindly selects a paper. Everyone reviews their topic for 5 minutes. Each person teaches their topic and must answer questions. If you can explain it, then you know it. Retrieval
  3. Check out a box of flash cards from the Circulation desk and take turns analyzing and then answering the NCLEX style questions. Identify the "fluff" and/or any false information. Restate the core part of the question so that you can focus in on what the question is asking. Retrieval


  1. Always use your lab time for learning. 
  2. Ask the Lab Instructor to demonstrate the skill before you begin. Ask her questions so that you practice your skill correctly. 
  3. After practicing a skill, ask the Lab Instructor to watch as you demonstrate the skill. Ask for feedback. Repeat until it is perfect.
  4. When you are given time in a group, make sure everyone knows WHY you are doing what you do.

The more difficult the retrieval practice, the better it is for Long-term learning. Read more about it here.

Struggling to learn – through the act of “practicing” what you know and recalling information – is much more effective than re-reading, taking notes, or listening to lectures. 

Distributed practice (also known as spaced repetition or spaced practice) is a learning strategy in which practice is divided into a number of short sessions -- over a longer period of time. Read more about this helpful strategy here.

Check out Thomas Frank's YouTube videos. He explains some evidence-based study strategies.

Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills

  Try posting your lab values around your mirror.


Check out these Quizlets made from the chapters in your book.

​Brainscape provides hundreds of ready made flashcards for nursing topics. 

You can read a comparison of Quizlet with Brainscape here.

Tips from an ACU Nursing Student to ACU Nursing Students:

  • Reading and highlighting is not enough
  • Read rationals for questions on tests. It will help later.
  • Don’t be afraid to try
  • SherPath lessons break down chapters and say what’s the most important
  • Students need to understand WHY
  • Use resources that supplement what the teacher misses
  • Review quizzes
  • If you fail a test- something needs to change
  • Hop on YouTube and let someone else explain it to you
  • Take the test taking strategies class
  • Backwards navigation is not available on your HESI nor NCLEX
  • The HESI is not easy - respect the test