Between making friends and expanding your skills, nursing school can be a wonderful time for many future healthcare workers. But between the heavy workload, long tests, and challenging assignments, becoming a registered nurse can often feel lightyears away.

After all, if there’s one thing that’s harder than nursing, it’s nursing school.

Fortunately, there are some ways to make this challenging major a bit easier on yourself. To help pass your nursing degree core classes with flying colors, check out these six nursing school study tips!

#1 Form a Study Group

There’s a reason teamwork is encouraged in the medical field. The human body is a complex subject, and taking care of it can be difficult for one person. Within the nursing field, there are hundreds of different nursing profession specialties that require specific skills, as well. This is why working in a study group can help make nursing school more manageable.

By combining the different skills, weaknesses, and knowledge of multiple fellow nursing students, you’ll be able to share information and gain a well-rounded understanding of each assignment. Don’t be afraid to reach out to classmates and propose a study group—you may be surprised to learn that others need a little help, too!

#2 Practice, Practice, Practice

Yes, nursing textbooks can be dense, but quickly skimming a chapter simply won’t cut it when you’re studying for the next test. This is why practice is so important when you’re pursuing a nursing degree

Try rereading textbook passages until you gain a confident understanding of the nursing course material. Answer practice questions and go through practice tests when studying for a test. If possible, you can even get in-field experience through internship and mentorship programs. Anything you can do to solidify this challenging material in your brain to the point of instinct is going to pay off in the long run. 

Remember: practice makes perfect!

#3 Pay Attention to the Rubric and/or the Syllabus

Professors write rubrics and syllabi for a reason. If you feel like you’re falling behind on class material, it never hurts to look over the core materials of the class and reevaluate your study plan. Getting through a class will always be easier when you know what’s coming.

Try to understand the layout of your rubric and find a routine that works best for you. For example, you can:

  • Look ahead and prepare for future lessons
  • Research papers ahead of time
  • Schedule study sessions before an exam 

Additionally, your rubrics may have additional resources that you had forgotten about when your professor first went over the materials on the first day. 

Your rubric may include:

  • Links to recorded lectures
  • Additional books or articles to help you understand the material
  • Your professor’s office hour schedule so you can stop in and ask questions if you feel like you’re struggling with a concept. 

#4 Take Breaks

Burnout is a very real problem for many nursing students. Taking a break from this heavy material will keep your mind active and open. If you find yourself getting distracted, tired, or frustrated, it may be time to take a step back!

Try to create a schedule that leaves time for these much-needed breaks. If you’re trying to cram all your exam preparation into a single night, you’re probably not leaving time for self-care in between sessions. Find a balance that makes sense, and recognize signs of burnout before they become a problem.1

#5 Set Goals

Studying becomes a lot easier when you have a goal in mind.2 Each time you sit down for a session, try to set a realistic goal for yourself in that session and make a promise to stick to it. Achievable goals for nursing students may include:

  • Finishing a certain number of chapters
  • Getting a minimum percentage correct on a practice test
  • Writing an essay in stages (ex. outline, introduction, body, conclusion, etc.)

Remember to start small and work your way up when setting study habit goals. Attempting to start and finish an essay in one sitting the night before it’s due is an example of an unrealistic objective that may only lead to disappointment. Know your limits, and give yourself at least one goal each day to boost productivity without overworking yourself.

#6 Reach Out to Professors

As a nursing student, you may feel a little intimidated by some of your professors. While not all teachers are going to be your best friend, you should recognize when it’s time to reach out. 

Examples of questions students may want to ask their professors are:

  • “Can we discuss the grade I received on an assignment?”
  • “Is there a studying technique you recommend for this class?”
  • “How will the next exam be laid out?”
  • “Do you have any advice on succeeding in this course?”

It’s natural to be nervous when speaking to your professor, especially when you’re struggling in a class. However, when these feelings arise, take a deep breath and remember that your teacher is here to teach. Once you’ve broken the ice, you’ll be proud of yourself for putting the work in to improve your grade!

Future Nurses Can Apply with Host Healthcare

After these nursing school study tips help you graduate, you’ll want to consider what your next steps are. For new nurses looking to experience the world, Host Healthcare may be the perfect career path.

At Host Healthcare, we match travel nurses and therapists with experienced recruiters to find job assignments across the globe. As a traveling nurse, you’ll get high-paying, short-term assignments on a regular basis. The process is simple: apply to be a traveler with Host Healthcare, wait for approval, and begin your next assignment. 

The world is your oyster—all you have to do is earn that degree. So hit the books, and get ready for a future filled with adventure! 


  1. Rasmussen. How to Study in Nursing School. 
  2.  Minority Nurse. .7 Habits of Highly Effective Nursing Students.