Summer Studying

I am smack dab in the middle of my summer break, but you wouldn’t know it by the weather here (68 degrees in July? Seriously?).

I was in Memphis for the past two weeks, so the studying has been very minimal. But I am back and ready to hunker down with my books and get in the NCLEX groove!


Grant, me, Mom, and Julia at the Levitt Band Shell in Memphis, TN.

My third semester instructors sent out the calendar and clinical assignments last week, which made me realize that school will be starting up way too soon! But don’t fret if you’re in the same boat; you have at least another month to study and prepare for Fall Semester.


Here are my tips to make the most of July and August (this is as much advice for you as it is for me).

If you have been in nursing school for any length of time, you know how important it is to practice NCLEX questions. I would like to add that the method you choose to study those questions will make or break your ability to follow through. It is not difficult to take the huge NCLEX book off of your shelf when you plan to study at home, but a book is probably not helpful if you are on the move a lot.

If you find yourself running from your job to school to the grocery store to picking up the kids (or if you’re on vacation), I would recommend something a bit more portable, like an NCLEX app for your phone or tablet. Some have free trial versions so you can see if you like the format before purchasing.


NLEX Mastery App

If you don’t have a fancy smart phone or tablet, I would recommend an NCLEX pocket book so that you can carry it in your purse or pocket.

A couple classmates and I started a weekly NCLEX party during the summer months to stay in touch with each other and to stay in touch with all of the content we learned in the past year. I was worried about losing a lot of the knowledge from the first two semesters during my three month break, so this has been a great way to ease those worries.

We each bring an NCLEX book, and we select different sections to ask questions from. We go around the circle and ask a question, read the rationale, and try to stay on task (which is kind of difficult with such a great group of girls).

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I go to YouTube for inspiration, motivation, and to find help with difficult content. Simple Nursing is my favorite spot to check out when I need help. Michael Linares is the man behind this YouTube channel, and he totally saved me when it came to learning about hepatitis and cirrhosis…no joke! The other vlogs I enjoy are Robin’s Nursing Journey and Maryam Moradi. And who doesn’t love Nurse Mendoza? Please share your favorite channels in the comment section!

My college offers a summer simulation class once a week to all nursing students. My classmates and I receive some information regarding our patient(s) prior to the simulation (e.g., vitals, diagnoses, pertinent medical history, medications, and other MD orders). There is always something our instructor wants us to achieve during the simulation such as adequately responding to an emergency, prioritizing appropriately, or giving the discharge teaching.

Simulation allows me to brush up on my skills, too. Let’s face it, most students are not able to use all of the nursing skills during their clinical experiences (peritoneal dialysis during clinicals? Yeah right!). Simulation is a way to practice those skills in a safe environment so that when we do have an opportunity in clinical or real life, we can carry out those skills effectively.

I am definitely not a perfect study-er, so please tell me what you are doing this summer to stay ahead of the game! If you are not in school any more, what study habits worked for you during your school breaks?

2 Comments, RSS

  1. Kimberly Zalewski August 11, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

    My biggest goal this summer is to become more comfortable performing all the nursing procedures I learned last year. To achieve this, I have been watching a lot of Youtube demonstrations (Hawknurse is my favorite) and then practicing with my old lab kits. Now I can hang IV bags with confidence and don’t have to stop and think about how to organize a catheterization kit.

    • becomingrn August 13, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

      I’ll have to check Hawknurse out! Thanks for the recommendation!

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