Top Tricks and Tools to Use When Studying to Become a Nurse

Nursing is a rewarding career that, unlike becoming a doctor, is incredibly accessible. You can work your way up from a nursing assistant and then continue to work while you learn and take the next state exam. You can even make a big switch and work directly to become an RN if you have a bachelor’s degree and then take an accelerated program. 

Being a nurse means having a rewarding yet challenging job that pays well. You can work your way up to become a specialist nurse or a head nurse and earn enough to support your entire family. You will be truly adding something good to the world and for yourself. 

If you are interested in becoming a nurse, and you haven’t been in school for a while, then you are going to want to brush up on some studying basics with these top tricks and tools: 

Nurses don’t wait until October to celebrate “Make a Difference Day.” They make a difference every day! 

– Unknown


  • Find the Right Program for You 

To become a qualified, registered nurse, you need two things. The first is a BSN, and the second is a state license. There are other ways to become a registered nurse, but if you want to advance your career any further, then you will need a BSN and not any other type of certificate. 

This is because advanced registered practice nurses can only gain that certification after they acquire their MSN, which needs a BSN to apply. 

Finding the right BSN degree is key, especially as there are different ways you can obtain it. The first is a standard BSN degree that is designed for working nurses. The second is through accelerated nursing programs online, which allows non-nurses to acquire a BSN and kickstart their career in nursing. 

Find the right program and provider for you, and don’t be afraid to get in touch if you have any questions before enrolling.  

Nurses are the heart of healthcare. 

– Donna Wilk Cardill


  • Set Up A Study Space 

Once you have found that perfect nursing degree, you will want to rearrange your home space a bit. It is not wise to work where you relax under any circumstances. It will only cause stress and make it difficult to unwind when you have the time to. 

That is why it is a great idea to set up a home office. This doesn’t have to be big. It could be a small corner in the living room if you don’t have a room you can dedicate to being your home office. 

Try to make sure that it is in an area that has a lot of natural light and consider adding a few air-purifying house plants while you are at it. Stock it up with everything you will need to take notes, including a printer. Being able to print out any medical journals or notes you type up for offline use is going to be a life-saver. 


  • Create a Supportive Routine 

Doing a hard job requires a great routine and external support. By working to create such a support system now while you are undertaking a degree, you can be a better nurse later on. It is hard in the beginning of anything. New experiences and learning new information can be exhausting. Combine that with the fact that you will be studying from home, and if you aren’t careful, you could have a recipe for disaster on your hands. 

That is why you need to do two things: 

  • Commit to a routine that supports your physical and mental health 
  • Rely on friends, family, and co-workers 

Going at it alone is hard, and it likely isn’t necessary. A friend might be more than happy to spend some time with you to help you study. Your family will love a day of the week where you all come together to make a big batch of healthy food for you during the week. 

Just so long as you care for yourself by: 

  • Having a consistent sleep routine
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Eating well 
  • Working on keeping stress to a minimum 

Then your loved ones can provide the emotional support and care. You’re all in this together, so use your support network to see your dreams come true. 


  • Invest in Your Own Literature 

It is worthwhile for your career to invest in your own literature. This can include a nursing magazine, medical journals (you might be able to secure these for free through the author or your institutional access), podcasts, and even the news. 


  • Use Smart Note-Taking Tools

There is a lot of information that is of interest to a nurse. You want to keep ahold of that information as well as what you learn in your curriculum that is essential to pass the HESI exam. 

The best way is to create guides for yourself that outline the information that you have learned in a way that you best understand it. Try to keep these guides as short as possible so that you can actually remember everything that you need to. Another benefit of keeping these guides short is that it makes re-reading and reviewing them once a day easy. If you want to combine activities, use a voice-note app, or the text-to-speech feature to voice your notes aloud. Do this, and you can revise while cooking, exercising, on a walk, or on a commute. 


  • Be Careful with Your Pacing 

An accelerated program won’t offer you the full extent of what it can for others unless you can keep up and don’t end up feeling like you are drowning. Pushing yourself is important, yes, but you need to make productive steps forward. If you are rushing towards a breakdown, you aren’t doing anyone any good. 

Take your time, build a solid routine, and work at a pace that compliments how you learn. This could be with an intensive accelerated program, or you might benefit better from a part-time approach. Be realistic with your abilities and monitor your mental health so that you can be your best every day. 

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