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The 10 Step Note Taking Method for Nursing School

Struggling in nursing school?

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Today we’ll talk about the 10 step note-taking method for nursing students.

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Podcast Transcription

Good afternoon. Good morning. Good evening. Whenever you’re listening to this, my name is Jon Haws RN. I’m the founder of nursing.com and I am incredibly grateful to have you joining me today. You guys are going through so much right now and,I know it’s going to be hard getting through all this. So I wanted to give you some tips today about, note taking in nursing school. And I want to give you this 10 step method. It’s actually a lot of work, but it helps information, stick longer and stick better. And this is a lesson. We have a lesson on this inside nursing Academy [email protected] So I’d invite you to go check that out, but I want to give you, um, I want to talk you through it really quick. And then again, I’d invite you to go over and check that out. Since at our test taking course where we have a full course, all about test taking to help you as you go through nursing school.
So guys, look, you’re going to have very few opportunities in life to fill as inundated as you will during nursing school. Honestly, sometimes it feels like the entire objective of nursing school is to see how many students can get stressed. There is no situation where the old adage applies more realistically of drinking from a fire hose and all seriousness guys, nursing school is intense, and I know it’s even more intense now you’re learning how to care for a human being in the most complex of situations, both physically and emotionally. And there’s so much to be learned on top of this, you were only given a couple months to cover a textbook that’s couple thousand pages. My, med-serg textbook was 1,875 pages. So we understand the problem. So I want to talk about how to take notes in nursing school at the risk of sounding highly oversimplified. I wanna provide you with a note taking method that leads to deep understanding of complex material in accelerated periods of time. Not only did I use this exact method in nursing school, but I’ve also shared with nursing students around the globe with much success. I love this process, and I love processes. They really provide a replicable method for repeating studying. So it’s really important that you find replicable methods and processes for studying.
So this is the same method that we use to work through courses to create courses. And then I used in nursing school and I want to give it to you to work through, um, your courses. Again, it is very, it creates a lot of work, but it leads to mastery and understanding at a faster rate. So I’m going to read through the 10 steps. Then I’ll explain them a little bit. The first step is read the chapter quickly. Second step is reread. Turning key points into questions, writing those questions and writing answers out. Step three is read through question and answer document twice. Step four is create another document and remove the answers. Step five is to hand write in answers for each question.
Step six is to reread sections on questions you were unable to answer. Step seven is to repeat steps, five and six, a few times handwriting, uh, answers and rereading sections in your book. Step eight is to condense the document to 50, to a hundred key items. Uh, really the ones that you think are the most important to know, and then repeat steps five and six, a couple more times with your condensed document. And then step 10 is to randomize the order so that you don’t get stuck memorizing that order. So let’s talk about them. Many students that read these 10 steps will say immediately, that seems like a lot of work. I’m just going to read the chapter and highlight every word. Don’t be one of those students. This is a lot of work, but it will pay you back in dividends throughout your career as a nurse and you’ll be hooked after you just try it once.
So step one, read the chapter quickly in order to obtain a base knowledge of the information and to introduce you to Key concepts. It’s important that you skim through the chapter quickly while doing this initial reading, you should be paying attention to key concepts, bold words, and nursing care and interventions. Don’t worry about taking any side notes, making flashcards or highlighting. During this initial phase, you are simply trying to wrap your mind around the general concepts being covered. Step two reread the chapter, turning key points into questions. Be careful during this step. This is the most important aspect of the 10 steps. Read back through the chapter. Again, focusing your attention on key aspects and important concepts. As you do this, you need to turn each key concept into an answerable question. Don’t create yes or no questions.
You should create short answer questions, essentially. If it says normal sodium level is 135 to 145, you should then write a question that says, what is the normal sodium level? So doing it like that, turning statements in the book into questions. Now that you’ve created that document, you can do that in a Google drive or in Microsoft or whatever. Read through that question and answer document twice. Now that you have your document, you need to work through the document, answering the questions several times this will allow, you a couple chances to amend the document, adding and subtracting points as needed. Now, I want you to create another document, removing the answers. So create a document that contains just the questions with no answers. And the reason for this is for the next step, where you want to hand write in answers to each question.
Now, work through the document, adding your answers in for each question, when you’re unable to answer a question, just go back to your text, NURSING.com Academy, our lessons and PowerPoints to find the answers. This is really kind of when the real learning occurs, not only are you discovering what areas are weakened, but you’re rediscovering the material and that’s really, really important. Now, I want you to reread sections on questions that you were unable to answer. There’s going to be a lot of questions. You’re not able to answer. That’s okay. Keep note of those areas in which you’re struggling to answer. You should go back into the text and resources and really dive into that information until you’re able to, make sense of it. So if you’re struggling with the renin angiotensin aldosterone system, really dig in and understand that more.
Now you want to repeat those steps a few times, handwriting in your answers, rereading sections that you’d missed after one or two times, you’re going to start being able to answer all the questions. So then what I want you to do is condense that document. You might have your first document with all the questions might be 200 items, condense that down to just 50 or a hundred. By this time, you should have a good grasp on what really matters. Those points, that if you understand everything else fits, those are called linchpins armed with this information, condense your document down to just those linchpins, removing less important items. And then repeat steps five and six, again, filling in your answers, reviewing pieces that you missed with your condensed document.
Now, the very last step is with your condensed document, with your most important elements, including ones that you know, and don’t know, but hopefully mostly that, you know, at this point, I want you to print off another copy of the document without the answers, cut it up into each individual pieces, place it in a bag and pull out one random one at a time. The reason for this is I don’t want your brain to just know that this question comes after this one. This one comes up to this one. This is where you can really see that, you know, the information independent of where it falls in the sequence. All right? Yes. This is an involved process. Yes, it will take some time. It does require some dedication and focus. However, those students that dedicate themselves to this process will see their understanding skyrocket and complex subjects.
If you marry this process with everything else you’ve learned in this, in, in our test taking courses and things, and, and you really marry it to the condensed lessons on nursing.com, you’re gonna see a lot of success. Again, that’s the 10 step process for note taking in nursing school and note taking generally, if you go over to our test taking course on nursing.com, I actually have an example of a document that I made with the questions for a cardiac chapter in nursing school, on rhythm disorders and just for the rhythm disorder section, uh, or for the cardiac section in nursing school, I was able to make several hundred questions. Now I would write all the answers in, I would find those pieces that I missed and very quickly, I was able to find those elements that were most important for understanding you guys, you can do this.
There’s so much to learn and you must find a method and you must find a system that works for you to learn what it is that you need to know, but you can do this. All right. Um, yes, this is hard, but I would suggest that you try it once and see if it helps you to grasp this complex material deeper and understand it better. I’ve seen it work over and over again. Um, when people commit themselves to this process, I guys, I love you guys now go out and be your best self today. Happy nursing.

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