How To Get Good Grades in Nursing School

There are numerous strategies students can use to get good grades in nursing school and pass their classes.

Finding study time, taking notes, and working with a tutor or study group is difficult.

However, obtaining good grades in nursing school is essential to personal and professional success.

In many cases, we know what we need to do to succeed.

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the time to do what is necessary.

Those passionate about becoming nurses must make time to achieve their goals and study effectively.

You can do several things to prepare yourself for success in the classroom.

It includes studying coursework material better, using time wisely, and taking excellent lecture classroom notes.

You can also join a study group, get a tutor, and choose teachers that match your personality and learning style.

Tips to Study Effectively:

  • Study more effectively
  • Give yourself adequate study time
  • Take better notes
  • Join a study group
  • Get a tutor
  • Choose teachers wisely
  • Understand your teacher’s expectations
  • Use summer/winter breaks effectively

Study Wisely

Not all study methods are equal, and some students benefit more from a particular learning strategy. 

For instance, it’s easier for some students to study anatomy using computer or tablet apps.

These applications allow them to manipulate and study the human body in a 3D environment.

As a result, they better understand how anatomy works compared to learning from a textbook.

In many cases, you better retain information from interactive tools and video lessons than relying solely on a textbook.

Direct interaction or feedback with your study material helps you learn and remember the subject better.

Each individual learns differently.

As a result, you must determine whether you’re a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or combination learner.

It will help you learn specific topics easier than if you study using an ineffective strategy.

Study Resources and Strategies:

  • Textbook material
  • Medical reference books/cards
  • Lectures and audio lessons
  • Video classes
  • Flashcards
  • Anatomical models
  • Coloring books
  • Interactive applications
  • Virtual tutors
  • Science labs

Once you identify your study style, determine whether it’s similar or different from the teacher’s instruction style.

You can use resources like rate my professor to determine whether you’ll learn effectively from a particular educator.

If they have a different teaching style, it’s even more critical you develop study methods to learn the classroom material.

It ensures you can understand the subject on your own and in a way that best suits your learning style.

Tip: Use your commute time to listen to audio notes you’ve created and class audio lectures. Listening to audio recordings can be highly beneficial if you commute 30 – 60 minutes daily.

Give Yourself Adequate Study Time

One mistake students make regarding getting good grades is underestimating the study time required to understand the subjects they need to learn.

Depending on the classroom material, you may need to study several hours for every hour of class you attend.

Some instructors recommend studying for four hours for every hour of classroom lecture time.

The time you need to put aside depends on what you are studying.

It also depends on how well you know the topic and what your teacher expects from your upcoming exam.

The more classes you take in a college semester, the more time you need to learn the course’s study material.

In nursing school, how well you study determines how well you perform.

A last-minute study cram will not benefit you when a big exam arises.

As a result, you won’t be prepared to take and pass the test.

Ensure you set aside adequate study time to learn and master your topic.

Also, ensure you don’t waste hours studying the material you already know.

It will only waste time.

Instead, you should study the material you are struggling with and need to understand.

Some nurses indeed work full-time jobs while attending nursing school.

However, it is also true that studying effectively and regularly is vital for academic success.

If you genuinely want to become a registered nurse, you must understand your academic and professional limitations.

Your current job is temporary, and nursing is a long-term career choice, so put in the necessary effort to do well in school.

Learn to Take Good Notes

Good note-taking is essential for helping you perform well in class.

During lectures, good note-taking will help you identify the areas of study that your teacher wants you to learn.

As a result, their lectures give hints about what the teacher plans to have on your exams.

It also helps you retain the information you are learning and forces your mind to pay attention to the facts.

Suppose you’ve listened to a long conversation or lecture and can’t remember anything the teacher said.

In that case, you’ll appreciate the importance of good note-taking.

It helps you pay attention better and improves your ability to retain the information you’ve learned.

It also provides an excellent reference for the material you’ll likely see on an upcoming exam.

Good note-taking makes it easier to study on your own and remember the answers to questions presented on your test.

Once you’ve written down your notes, use them to make test questions and study flashcards to improve your retention.

Join a Study Group

While this isn’t for everyone, some students work well in groups.

It enables them to use their collective knowledge to help each other study and learn.

If you decide to join a group, make sure they are just as dedicated to studying as you are.

A good study group can help you see answers to problems you may not have noticed.

You can also use their collective knowledge to create better study notes and bring your expertise to the group.

It will help improve everyone’s learning experience.

If you have difficulty with a topic, someone else in the group may understand it better and can teach you effectively.

Receiving constructive feedback and understanding how they study the topic may be highly beneficial.

The group can also help by quizzing each other and comparing notes.

That said, the wrong study group may become a distracting social gathering that’s more harmful than beneficial.

As a result, you must quickly determine whether the group is serious about studying and decide whether it benefits you.

Get a Tutor

A tutor can be equally effective if a study group isn’t for you or needs additional one-on-one time.

A good tutor will help you study for a class and teach specific study and memorization strategies.

As a result, you’ll better understand and retain the topics you are studying.

Excellent tutors take complex topics and break them down into easily understood parts.

That way, you’ll have no trouble comprehending the information.

Most importantly, they provide direct feedback and guide you in the right direction by identifying where you are struggling.

Accordingly, it will improve your performance and help you succeed in nursing school.

Finally, if your college/university offers free or discounted tutoring, it may be worthwhile to use a tutor.

Choose your Teachers Wisely

Choosing the right teachers can significantly affect how well you perform in class.

Different teachers use distinct strategies to teach, grade and help their students study and perform well in the classroom.

As a result, finding a teacher that matches your learning style will dramatically help you succeed in nursing school.

If you can choose from more than one teacher, you should use it to your advantage.

Also, ask other students about the teacher’s training style, personality, and expectations.

Talk to your guidance counselor to find a teacher who works well with how you learn.

Finally, use online resources or sites like to find a teacher that suits your personality and style.

You boost your success in nursing school by matching your skills and study type with the right professors.

Know Your Teacher’s Expectations

When it comes to doing well in any class, you must know your teachers and their expectations.

Talk to your teacher and ask them what they look for in their student’s work.

Identify how they want students to complete projects and write reports and what they look for when grading their papers.

If they have examples of their favorite report papers, ask them if you can look at the documents or study them.

Some teachers prefer specific facts and references, while others like a step-by-step formulaic approach.

Every teacher has their nature and preferences.

As a result, they have different approaches to problem-solving.

They also have different expectations for their students.

Even if several professors teach the same course, they may approach it differently.

Therefore, you must understand what your teacher wants and expects.

Consider talking to prior students who performed exceptionally well in the class.

Ask how they approached tackling their teacher’s lessons and obtained good grades.

Use Summer/Winter Breaks Effectively

I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but it is up to you to take advantage of your choices.

It’s necessary to ensure you succeed in nursing school.

One advantage is using your summer and winter breaks effectively.

During these breaks, you can take advantage of additional training and study material to prepare for the next semester.

You can also determine your classes next semester and see if the teachers have audio/video lectures.

In some cases, universities offer study material from previous classes.

It includes audio/video lectures, study guides, notes, and other material.

You can use the study material in advance and take advantage of your free time.

You can also look for a tutor that has taken the class you will be taking next semester.

They can help you prepare and develop a study strategy to make the upcoming semester easier.

Finally, look for teachers matching your learning style to make your transition into the class much more effortless.