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Study Strategies

The Golden Study Sheet

Hermien Watkins, MN, ARNP, RN-C


Because you have so much is BEST to focus your reading.   First, reading your outcomes is essential, follow the instructions below BEFORE you have the content in class.  This way you will be familiar with the content and any concepts unclear to you can be asked in class, and make the notations on your sheets, see below and next page for example.


Brain research has demonstrated that each time a different pathway is used with information you are more likely to retain the material.  A crucial aspect of this is when you have done the readings, writing and listened to lecture, then the process of speaking with your study group members to each outcome means you must have integrated the concepts/material, this means you will do well on your exams.  Thus by following this method you will have used 4 pathways: reading, writing, listening and speaking/discussing.


If you follow this methodology you will have more time and energy, feel less overwhelmed because your learning time will become EFFECTIVE.


Let's say your outcome is.....


1.  Homeostasis & abnormal Respiratory Function


A. Relate pathophysiology to acute and chronic pathological conditions of the respiratory system including the following: airway obstruction, pulmonary embolus, pleural effusion, asthma etc.


So, what do your instructors want YOU to learn given the above outcome?


First, you will need to learn about homeostasis, what is it and how is it maintained, secondly, with an abnormal respiratory condition how do we nurses help the patient regain homeostasis.  So, even though this is a 'global outcome' as you are reading about certain conditions keep these concepts in mind.  Make notations in your books as well as lots of notes.

  1. The next step is to start a notebook or in your binder and write at the top of the page: airway obstruction.  See the example.
  2. Gather all your books and look in the back of each book under INDEX, highlight all the page numbers that speak to airway obstruction.
  3. Write all the page numbers on the top of your paper, see example.
  4. Do this for each condition that is in your outcomes.
  5. Then gather your sheets of paper and begin filling in the information.
  6. It is CRUCIAL that you write it in your own words, DO NOT COPY out of the text, that would defeat the whole purpose by NOT using all the pathways of your brain.
  7. Stay focused, read what you MUST/NEED to read in order to answer each item.
  8. This last step is important...discuss each outcome in a small group prior to test day.  The discussions allow you to hear that which you missed (write it down on your notes) and helps you synthesize and integrate the material.
  9. During these group sessions....stay focused, respect each other's contributions.
  10. These notebooks are GOLD prior to exams!