Why Good Study Skills Matter

Why Good Study Skills Matter

Have you ever felt like the energy you put into studying isn’t reflected in the outcomes you end up with? You aren’t alone. Like any other professional skill, studying is something you need to learn how to do. It might seem counterintuitive, says Regan A. R. Gurung, PhD, but taking the time and effort to learn top study skills is going to help you through school and in your professional life.

Gurung, co-author with John Dunlosky, PhD, of the American Psychological Association’s Study Like A Champ The Psychology-Based Guide to “Grade A” Study Habits, says that reassessing your study skills and study habits to implement new techniques will bring improved results.

“There are two reasons why students need to learn to study,” says Gurung. “First, many of them do not know how to study. Second, many of the ways used to study are not effective. For example, most students believe that if they have time to study they should reread their notes (and data shows this is what they say they do and actually do). This is one of the least effective ways to study.”

Frequently, the study habits that let top students sail through high school will not work in college. And some graduate students find the same–their study skills developed as an undergrad aren’t working in their advanced degree courses.

Gurung says that different types of studying will lead to different outcomes. Students should understand that if they are struggling in a course, it’s not because they are a bad student. “Cramming the night before may help you do well on a test the NEXT day, but you will not remember the material well a week later or a month later,” he says. That’s a particularly important point for nursing students who will face the comprehensive NCLEX exams for licensure. “That learning takes work and can be challenging,” he says.

There are many myths about what good study skills look like, he says, and even some research offers conflicting advice. The most effective study habits will likely include a mix of several approaches so that you cover the bases and begin to think about the material in a different way.

Some top habits include dedicating time and space to studying so that you aren’t trying to do everything in marathon stretches. And this isn’t just a drop-it-in-the-calendar activity. Set aside study time and then protect it relentlessly so that something else doesn’t take priority. What you then do during that time will help you study smarter so that you can actually learn and retain more with less overall effort. It’s not taking the easy way out at all. Developing good study habits and sticking to them is the same as how athletes prepare for big events. You can’t expect to run a hilly race if you’ve only trained on flat ground; you might have been running all the time, but the preparation needs to match the race.

Investigate good study habits to see how they are different and how you can implement them. For example, although rereading material, even with multicolored highlighters in hand, seems like it should work, a better method is using practice tests or even making your own tests and taking them to assess your actual understanding.

As you begin trying new study methods, keep in mind that your old habits are hard to change, and that you’ll need to adapt your new habits to different situations. “One size such as retrieval practice, works for a lot of things,” Gurung says, “but different classes can need different types of approaches.”

As a nursing student, remember that the study skills developed in nursing school are going to be the foundation for your professional approach to learning on the job. “The techniques used to study better also help us understand and retain all kinds of knowledge in all the things we do,” says Gurung. “Especially when professional skills need a lot of different steps or knowing info, the same key study techniques can come in handy.”

Finding Support in Nursing School

Finding Support in Nursing School

Nursing school is challenging, and nursing students know the work they put into their academic path will reap big rewards over a career. But at some point in nursing school both new and advanced nursing students need assistance to navigate the tough areas of their academic path.

What happens if you know you need help and support, but you aren’t sure where to get it? It might take a little investigating, but check with your school to see what kinds of services they offer. If your school doesn’t offer a resource you need, there’s likely an office that can at least connect you with someone who can. The back-to-school period is a great time to formulate a plan.

Here’s where you might find the help you need from your school.

Help with Finances

The financial aid office of your school is the hub for everything you need to know about tuition and costs. The office is also a place to go if you need more financial support and want to ask if they have additional resources. If you’re eligible for a work study job and need to know what’s available, this office can help with that as well. And if a personal crisis or roadblock has necessitated a withdrawal from a course or even the need for a semester off, visit the financial aid office right away to ask about how it will impact any financial aid you are receiving. They are there to help and support you for success.

Help with Studies

If a class is especially difficult, approach the professor at the first signs that you’re having trouble or falling behind. Visit their office hours regularly and connect with any teaching assistants they may have. Attend study groups for different courses (some are online and some are in person) or start your own if needed. Many schools have tutoring available at a tutoring center and there may also be a writing center if you have trouble organizing your thoughts for a paper.

Help with Exam Accommodations

If you have a diagnosed medical condition that makes it harder for you to complete an exam in a certain time period or in a traditional classroom setting or if you need frequent or unexpected breaks (to visit the bathroom, for example), schools offer alternative exam and course work options. Get in touch with the student disability or accommodations  office before you need help to find out what paperwork they need and what accommodations are offered. Frequently, there are resources you might not even realize, such as videotaped lectures or note takers for students.

Help with Mental Health

The pressure of nursing school is serious and sometimes you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by it all. Or maybe you feel a pervasive sense of sadness or anxiety and it’s interfering with your school work and normal activities. Almost every school or university has mental health support available to students or they have the resources to lead you in the right direction of getting the help you need. Look for the school’s counseling, wellness, or health office to start.

Help with Housing and Food

The student affairs office and residential services office are your go-to offices for finding housing (if not on campus, they may have resources to help you find something off-campus), helping if you need food assistance, or for mediating roommate disputes. These offices frequently have a broad view of student needs across campus so they are able to refer you to the right office, support,  or resource quickly.

As a nursing student, being able to focus on school is a top priority, so finding help you need is essential to your success. Find the right resources by reaching out to your school as soon as possible. Even if you don’t find the right person to help you initially, don’t give up. Look on your school’s website to help you connect with whatever assistance will get you on the right track.

The Howley Foundation’s $12 Million Gift to Double Number of Nurse Scholars at Cleveland Clinic

The Howley Foundation’s $12 Million Gift to Double Number of Nurse Scholars at Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic has received a gift of more than $12 million from The Howley Foundation to double the number of nurse scholars at Cleveland Clinic beginning in fall 2023.

In recognition of this new generous gift and the Foundation’s cumulative support, all programs within the ASPIRE initiative at Cleveland Clinic will be renamed to honor the Howley name, including the Howley ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program.

The nursing program is for local high school and college students and seeks to increase diversity in healthcare, address opportunity gaps and reduce health disparities in the community.

“It’s essential that we diversify the pipeline of our future healthcare workforce, including nurses, to better represent our patients and the communities we serve,” says Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic and the holder of the Morton L. Mandel CEO Chair. “We are grateful for the Howley’s continued support and passion for increasing diversity and equity in our next generation of caregivers.”

The gift will allow the nurse scholars program to double enrollment annually to approximately 50 students from Cleveland-area high schools.

Students enter the program as high school juniors and are taught an innovative curriculum that explores the nursing profession, socialization, and integration into healthcare. High school graduates then can earn a scholarship to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the Breen School of Nursing and Health Professions at Ursuline College.

Students work as patient care nursing assistants at Cleveland Clinic during the summer after high school graduation and throughout their college careers. They then can return to work as registered nurses at a Cleveland Clinic facility after college graduation and licensure.

“We feel strongly that a quality education is the best way to address social inequality and promote economic mobility,” says Nick Howley, chairman of The Howley Foundation and executive chairman and founder of Transdigm Group Inc. “We want students to be able to complete their nursing degrees poised for success.”

Launched in 2017, the program was the brainchild of Kelly Hancock, DNP, Chief Caregiver Officer of Cleveland Clinic, and the holder of the Rich Family Chief Caregiver Chair, and Lorie and Nick Howley. It has been sustained by The Howley Foundation’s generosity, which has committed more than 20 million dollars to date, and other donors, such as Beth E. Mooney and the KeyBank Foundation.

“We remain committed to cultivating a workplace that embraces diversity, inclusion and equity to better serve our patients,” says Dr. Hancock. “The Howley ASPIRE Program serves as a key element in supporting these efforts. This generous gift allows us to offer this wonderful opportunity to more nurse scholars in Northeast Ohio and increases public awareness about the vital role our nurses have in delivering high-quality healthcare.”

In December 2022, the nurse scholars program celebrated its first five graduates who are now employed as full-time registered nurses at Cleveland Clinic. More than 15 students are expected to graduate from Ursuline College with nursing degrees by 2024.

The Howley ASPIRE Program also offers additional pathways for other healthcare careers, including respiratory therapy, surgical technology, and sterile processing.

Cleveland Clinic is accepting nurse scholar applications from high school juniors through Oct. 1, 2023. To learn more and apply online, visit clevelandclinic.org/ASPIRE.

Shadowing a Nurse for Career Growth

Shadowing a Nurse for Career Growth

Are you feeling  stuck in your nursing career? Shadowing another nurse to learn about a new role and work setting can make all the difference in your career.

Whether you are you a new nursing student considering which nursing specialty fits your skills and passions or a veteran nurse who wants to move into a new area and gain additional expertise, taking the time to shadow another nurse can accelerate your decision making.

Shadowing helps you immerse yourself in an environment and a work flow that is unfamiliar to you. Instead of learning about how a team operate, you’re able to see it with your own eyes and determine if it’s the right path for you. As most nurses know, reading about working as a nurse and actually working as a nurse are entirely different experiences.

How can shadowing help you specifically?

Finding Your Fit
If you’re thinking you might like working with cardiac patients, for example, you’ll want to know what a typical day looks like. What are cardiac nurses expected to do? How acute is the patient population? What skills do nurses use most? What technology are they using? As you spend time shadowing a cardiac nurse, you’ll notice that you’re excited by what you see or hesitant about the role.

Working in Different Environments
Because nurses work in vastly different environments, shadowing a nurse who works in a new setting is essential. You might think that being a transport nurse is exactly what you want to do, but you need to be in the shoes of a transport nurse before you can make an educated and accurate choice.

Learning About Patient Populations
Maybe you’re a nurse working in a fast-paced urban hospital and you’re thinking of striking out on your own to provide healthcare in rural communities. Spending time with a nurse, maybe even one in a solo practice, to see what needs the population has and experience the range of skills needed for the role is invaluable.

Building Your Network
Shadowing a nurse gives you experience to help you make a decision. One of the unwritten rules of shadowing is that you’re not there to ask for a job–you are there only to learn. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use your shadowing experience as a way to build your network. Be sure to follow professional guidelines meticulously while you are on site and follow up with a thank you for the opportunity. Stay in touch with the people you meet during your time by connecting with them on LinkedIn or make a point to say hi (and maybe reintroduce yourself) at a professional event.

Gaining Appreciation for Your Industry
There’s no better way to appreciate the amazing work nurses do than to follow one around. Even if you have been a nurse for years, it’s difficult to image exactly what work is like for nurses outside of your specialty unless you see it yourself. Even if your shadowing experience makes you realize you’re happy exactly where you are, the hands-on knowledge is invaluable.

Vanderbilt’s Academy for Diverse Aspiring Nurse Leaders Set for July

Vanderbilt’s Academy for Diverse Aspiring Nurse Leaders Set for July

Nurses from underrepresented groups in nursing who are interested in leadership are invited to apply for the Academy for Diverse Aspiring Nurse Leaders to be held at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing July 17-19, 2023. The academy is for those with more than three years of nursing experience and not yet in healthcare or academia leadership roles.

The unique leadership development program is led by experienced leaders from diverse backgrounds committed to equipping nurses for future leadership roles. I

The Academy for Diverse Aspiring Nurse Leaders was created by the Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to serve the needs of nurses from underrepresented groups in nursing leadership and/or those committed to expanding and supporting diversity in nursing leadership.

“If you’re a registered nurse, advanced practice nurse, nurse educator, case manager, or nurse informaticist, this program will help you develop a career plan and toolkit for future leadership roles,” says Mamie Williams, PhD, senior director for nurse diversity and inclusion at VUMC and academy co-director.

The Academy for Diverse Aspiring Nurse Leaders is a companion event to Vanderbilt’s highly successful Academy for Diverse Emerging Nurse Leaders for nurses who have been in academia or healthcare leadership for less than three years.

“Participants called that program ‘life-changing,’ ‘transformative,’ ‘profound,’ and ‘the most meaningful and impactful thing I have participated in,” says Rolanda Johnson, PhD, VUSN associate dean of equity, diversity and inclusion and academy co-director. “They felt strongly that learning how to be a successful diverse leader at an earlier stage in their careers would have been valuable and suggested the creation of a similar program for nurses who aspire to leadership.”

Spots are limited, so applicants are encouraged to apply by May 31.

Frontier Nursing University Holds Annual Diversity Impact Conference

Frontier Nursing University Holds Annual Diversity Impact Conference

Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is holding its annual Diversity Impact Conference June 8-9. The Diversity Impact Conference brings together renowned thought leaders and speakers to increase awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the healthcare workforce, particularly for those working in underserved and rural communities. 

This year, the conference will be available for attendees outside FNU for the first time.

The 2023 Diversity Impact Conference is via Zoom. This year’s conference theme is “Better Together: Advancing a Culture of Identity and Belonging in Healthcare.” The two-day event will feature keynote presentations from nationally recognized diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders. Additional sessions will include panel discussions, breakout sessions, and time for reflection.

The opening keynote address is by Dr. Tia Brown McNair, Vice President of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, D.C. 

On the second day of the conference, the keynote speaker will be Rebekka Eshler, National President of the Transgender American Veterans Association in Washington, D.C. 


All speaker bios and the full conference schedule are available here.

The learning outcomes attendees can expect to take away from the Diversity Impact Conference include the following:

  • Identify specific strategies to create a culture of belonging amongst peers and the larger community
  • Discuss the causes behind healthcare disparities and their effect on creating a culture of belonging
  • Reflect on ways to engage in spaces to promote diversity in identity effectively
  • Practice ways to build collaborative communities

Students attending any institution can register for the conference for free. All others can register at the registration price of $99 until the day before the event. For more information about the 2023 Diversity Impact Conference and to register, visit https://frontier.edu/diversity-impact/.

“We are extremely excited about the 2023 Diversity Impact Conference,” says FNU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Paula Alexander-Delpech, Ph.D., PMHNP-BC, APRN. “The Conference gets better each and every year, and we are putting the finishing touches on the plan for this year’s sessions. We are most excited, however, about being able to include more attendees this year. As we grow this important event, we want to invite leaders and students from some of our area universities to join us. This event is all about collaboration, learning, and growing. I’m confident that it will benefit any university, department, or individual.”

Nursing Diversity Champions exemplify a commitment to diversity and inclusion across accredited nursing programs and healthcare institutions across the U.S. A select group of colleges, universities, and healthcare institutions across the nation have committed to recruit and retain diverse students, faculty, and clinicians on MinorityNurse.com and NursingDiversity.com and we celebrate their efforts and dedication to diversity and inclusion initiatives.