Studying in groups is a great way to keep nursing students focused on their studies and maximizing the learning of new information.

In contrast to studying solo, being in a group allows interaction between students so misinformation, bias and erroneous assumptions can be corrected. For a study group to work, however, you should keep a few considerations in mind.

6 Tips for Your Student Nurse Study Group

Below are some tips on forming study groups and how to keep your study group effective.

1. Determine size of study group

Planning the number of people that are to be in your group is an important factor. If a group is too large or too small, it may be hard to get anything accomplished. About 3 to 5 is good number. Less than that lacks power and more than five can become unmanageable.

2. Choose who becomes part of the group

To be able to do this, you should first have a few classes to assess the persons who can potentially contribute to the group. Forming a group too soon has a bigger chance for it to be unproductive. Pay attention to those who regularly do their homework, participates in class, and those who show a particular interest in the subject matter to affirm that each member will be able to contribute something. Don’t forget to choose those you get along with and who are comfortable to be around.

3. Set a regular schedule for studying

Meeting at a regular place and time will help ensure attendance of the group members. In setting a schedule, make sure that all members are amenable to it. People tend to follow through once they have made a commitment. Select a place suitable for studying. Areas like vacant classrooms, libraries or any place available as long as the group will be able to study without being disturbed or distracted.

4. Lay out an itinerary

Setting a study plan helps keep the group in track. Students have the tendency of turning it into a group homework session. If it is indeed  requested by the instructor, all members should have equal responsibilities and contributions.

5. Appoint a leader or arbiter

A group leader will help the group be focused and keeps things in the topic. It is up to each group whether to formally appoint a group leader. Having an authoritative figure in a group will lessen the occurrence of conflict or more effectively resolve it if any.

6. Be persistent

If the group is not a success, try again. Groups need to establish trust and confidence. It can take a little while to get comfortable within a group. Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble. Address all group concerns with candor and kindness and keep the group’s purpose in mind: To understand, to learn, and to help each other through the course.

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3 Responses to 6 Tips on Forming the Perfect Nursing School Study Group

  1. Libby Opell says:

    I am a layed-off nurse educator. I have been asked by several nursing students to start a tutoring group. I do not know how much to charge (for struggling nursing students) or if there is a need in this area (midwest). How would I find out about these things? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jamie Davis says:

      I would start with local educational institutions and ask what the going rate is for your region. In my area, it can be anywhere from $15 to $30 for tutoring of students at all levels. You might also consider charging differently for a group rathe than 1 to 1. I do this with CPR classes where I charge a high price per student but lower the rate by $5 for all with each additional student who signs up.

      Keep in touch and let me know what you come up with.

  2. […] Daily Snippet: Oct 4, 2012 Posted by Gypsy Nurse, RN / October 4, 2012 / Leave a comment Study Tips for Nursing Students:  If you’re the kind of person who learns more through interaction, then join or form a study group. You should have an arbiter or someone who will make sure that the group stays on track and not end up talking about other things unrelated to studying for the finals. Here is an article on 6 tips to forming your nursing school study group. […]

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