Study Tips for the Nursing Student

Study Tips for the Nursing Student

School’s back in session and that means lots of studying to make the grade for your ultimate goal of becoming a nurse. Maybe you need to brush up on your studying skills since it’s been awhile since you’ve been in school or summer break was extremely long for you.

Here are some study tips to make the transition back to school easier.

  1. Read and then summarize. After reading your study materials (books, class notes, etc.) summarize them by highlighting the important points and then copying them in your own handwriting. It’s important to not only highlight, but to actually copy notes in your own handwriting- not typing them out. Why? Because when you write your notes your brain absorbs more of the information if you have to form the words instead of mindlessly typing them. I know this sounds time consuming, but you will remember so much more by writing your notes out.
  2. Write your notes out in an easy-to-read format. During my grad school years I used a combination of techniques to absorb the vast amount of material. One particular method that worked well for me was to make study questions out of my notes. I wrote the notes out on notebook paper and also on index cards. This, again, is a lot of work but well worth it considering. I used the index cards to study while I was at work.
  3. Take breaks. Pacing yourself when you are in study mode is important. I know some people like to pull all-nighters, but studies have shown you don’t retain as much information with long study sessions. Try to make it a point to alternate studying for 30 minutes and taking a break for 10 minutes. Use that break to walk, stretch, or grab a snack.
  4. Take care of yourself. It’s hard to take time out to care for yourself when you have to worry about work, family commitments, and school. Now that you’re in school you have to take time out for yourself now more than ever. You shouldn’t neglect yourself because if you don’t care for yourself, no one will! Make it a point to exercise regularly, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep each night.
  5. Get involved in study groups. Some people are solo studiers, but they may be missing out on benefits of group study. Meeting with a small group (3-4 people) at least once a week can boost your study progress simply by repetition and hearing the information out loud. Only meet with others to study after you have gone over your material on your own. When you meet, speaking to others will cement the information in your brain and others in the group may help you understand a concept you were struggling with or give you information you may have overlooked previously.

Hopefully these tips will make the transition back to school easier. What other study tips do you have for the new school year?


Prevalence of Allergies the Same, Regardless of Where You Live

Prevalence of Allergies the Same, Regardless of Where You Live

In the largest, most comprehensive, nationwide study to examine the prevalence of allergies from early childhood to old age, scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that allergy prevalence is the same across different regions of the United States, except in children 5 years old and younger.

“Before this study, if you would have asked 10 allergy specialists if allergy prevalence varied depending on where people live, all 10 of them would have said yes, because allergen exposures tend to be more common in certain regions of the US,” said Darryl Zeldin, MD, scientific director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH. “This study suggests that people prone to developing allergies are going to develop an allergy to whatever is in their environment. It’s what people become allergic to that differs.”

The research appeared online in February in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and is the result of analyses performed on blood serum data compiled from approximately 10,000 Americans in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006.

Although the study found that the overall prevalence of allergies did not differ between regions, researchers discovered that one group of participants did exhibit a regional response to allergens. Among children aged 1 to 5 years old, those from the southern US displayed a higher prevalence of allergies than their peers living in other US regions. These southern states included Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

“The higher allergy prevalence among the youngest children in southern states seemed to be attributable to dust mites and cockroaches,” explained Paivi Salo, PhD, an epidemiologist in Zeldin’s research group and lead author on the paper. “As children get older, both indoor and outdoor allergies become more common, and the difference in the overall prevalence of allergies fades away.”

The NHANES 2005-2006 not only tested a greater number of allergens across a wider age range than prior NHANES studies, but also provided quantitative information on the extent of allergic sensitization. The survey analyzed serum for nine different antibodies in children aged 1 to 5 years, and nineteen different antibodies in subjects 6 years and older. Previous NHANES studies used skin prick tests to test for allergies.

The scientists determined risk factors that made a person more likely to be allergic. The study found that in the 6 years and older group, males, non-Hispanic blacks, and those who avoided pets had an increased chance of having allergen-specific IgE antibodies, the common hallmark of allergies.

Socioeconomic status (SES) did not predict allergies, but people in higher SES groups were more commonly allergic to dogs and cats, whereas those in lower SES groups were more commonly allergic to shrimp and cockroaches.

By generating a more complete picture of US allergen sensitivity, the team uncovered regional differences in the prevalence of specific types of allergies. Sensitization to indoor allergens was more prevalent in the South, while sensitivity to outdoor allergens was more common in the West. Food allergies among those 6 years and older were also highest in the South.

The researchers anticipate using more NHANES 2005-2006 data to examine questions allergists have been asking for decades. For example, using dust samples obtained from subjects’ homes, the group plans to examine the link between allergen exposure and disease outcomes in a large representative sample of the US population.

NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health. For more information on environmental health topics, visit