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Ten ways to take the boredom out of studying

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Editor, Jenni Middleton, lists her top ways of perking up your time behind the desk

  • Organise your own Twitter chat with your cohort. You can ask questions, share learnings and direct people to useful resources and references. Publicise it on posters and choose a regular slot with a short and memorable hashtag, such as “Nottsnursechat” or “studentchat”. Remember it will take time to build up so give it a few weeks to get people talking about it. Keep the focus narrow, such as “the heart” or “nasogastric feeding” to keep tweeters concentrated on one topic. You can even get your lecturers or mentors to join in
  • Get a reading group together. When you are studying one specific textbook, get a group of your peers together and each analyse a chapter or two every week in a more social setting with food and drink if you like. Discuss what your understanding is and check your perspective with others. Set up a few points to discuss and talking about it will help the ideas and thoughts to stick.
  • Create a quiz. You can develop a quiz with your peers on a set topic and give miniature prizes, such as chocolate or wine. You can alternate who is the quiz master each week so everyone gets a chance to set question and also win. You could create a league table for the chance to win a bigger prize quarterly.
  • Set up a presenting club. Once a week get someone out of your group to present on a subject or theme for twenty minutes. Not only will this help you all learn the topic more thoroughly, but it will also help you develop your public speaking and presenting skills.
  • Produce a league table for yourself of the hours you spend studying and reward yourself when you reach a set number of hours. It could be a new pair of shoes or CD, a walk, a night off or a long bath.
  • Record yourself. Make a recording of yourself reading key facts and play it while walking to work or college, doing the washing up or relaxing.
  • Devise case studies. Don’t just think of the studying as static theoretical issues. Think about how what you are learning would relate to a patient and challenge your friends and study partners to think about what actions or interventions they would take in cetain scenarios and then talk about it.
  • Complete a learning unit. has over 40 online learning units on a range of clinical and managerial subjects from nutrition screening to drug calculation and conflict resolution. They take about two hours to do and can be stopped and restarted to learn according to your schedule. They use case study based scenarios and are completely free for subscribers. If you pass, you get a certificate at the end.
  • Write for us. Blog about what you’ve learnt at and canvas opinion from other student nurses to see what they think. Writing reflective pieces can be the best way to cement your learning.
  • Mentor a fresher. The best way of learning is often to teach someone else – it will uncover what you know and what you perhaps need to do some more work on yourself. So if you’re in your second or third year, perhaps offer to help someone who is new to the course.
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