Note-taking Tips for Nursing Students

Nursing is a broad subject with extensive information available in class and online. You must pick up important, relevant, and accurate data to comprehend nursing concepts and apply them in practical setups. Note-taking for nursing students helps them create well-organized study material comprising the necessary information. This helps you review your lectures and efficiently prepare for assessments without confusion.

It is imperative to have an effective note-taking strategy that will help you write meaningful, informative, and easy-to-understand points. Your notes influence your ability to absorb ideas and concepts needed in completing your assignments and exams. Here are the pro-note-taking tips to help you succeed as a nurse:

10 Note-Taking Tips for Nursing Students

Nursing student note-taking is an effective way of helping you learn and recall important information from different study materials. You grasp all the essential points without straining. Below are the top tactics to consider when taking your notes:

1.     Identify the Most Suitable Method

There are different methods you can adopt when writing your notes. You should evaluate the one that best works for you. Some of these methods include:

  • Typing: You organize your notes on your personal computer. You must be swift in typing to keep up with the instructor.
  • Notebook writing: Use a pen and a book to handwrite the notes. This helps you to have all your notes together in a single book.
  • Binder: Handwrite in a binder, which has separate papers. You can comfortably move and add pages as you organize your notes.

For each of the above methods, you must format and arrange your notes in an appealing and easy-to-follow manner. This will motivate you to review your notes constantly and make it easy to grasp points. Organize them per topic, create outlines, and write the notes in bullet lists for easy reading.

2.     Go Through Materials Before Note-taking

Take time to grasp the ideas and concepts addressed in the chapters you will study in your next class. You will be able to identify the critical sections that need more attention and gain a basic understanding of the chapter. This will help you take detailed notes that meet the objectives of your lecture.

Prior preparation helps you identify complex theories or hypotheses which, even after the lecture, you cannot comprehend. You have an opportunity to seek clarification from the tutor. This helps you take notes of opinions and arguments you have an idea of, making it smooth to internalize them during your review.

3.     Use Concept Mapping

Mapping is a note-taking technique where you incorporate visual aspects in your notes. You break down rigid ideologies and data in a picture, diagram, or chart format. This is a creative and fun way of taking summaries; the visual appeal is easily captured in your mind helping you remember the information during assessments.

To create an appealing concept map, you can, for example, write the topic you are taking note of at the central point of the page. Followed by drawing boxes or small circles with individual key points. Add another section with supportive information expounding on all the facts. You can use different colors and shapes for the topic, points, and summary details to personalize it.

4.     Incorporate Cornell Notes System

The Cornel note strategy is an ideal and practical tip for auditory learners. It helps you capture more detailed notes by listening to lectures. The tactic jogs your memory and enables you to grasp more concepts. You listen to your tutor, and using your own words, you write down the notes.

note-taking tips for nursing students

Divide your note-taking materials into different columns to capture all the relevant details. There should be a section for defining topics and writing keywords and the other for summaries of topics. This will help you organize your notes so you can go through them hassle-free.

5.     Prioritize New Ideas

Note-taking requires that you’re aware of the information to include or exclude in your notes. Only worth information that adds value to your learning as a nurse should be written down.

During your classes, avoid jotting down all the details. Only write the new concepts, examples, and illustrations provided in class and are unavailable in other resources. This makes sure you get all the facts taught in class. It also helps you create spare time to review additional resources and reinforce the knowledge gained in the lectures.

6.     Date and Label your Notes

Labeling and dating your notes are helpful ways to be organized. It makes it easy to track down concepts learned earlier in your semester while preparing for the end of your assessments.

As a nursing student, you must be conversant with all ideologies attained since the start of your course. To have a trusted reference of such details, you should label and date your notes as follows:

  • Write the class of study
  • Page numbers of the note sheets
  • Textbooks or resources used to obtain data
  • Book chapters

If you’re using a laptop, create different files for each topic and label them. This will help you avoid the hassle of identifying a certain folder when reviewing the notes.

7.     Leave Some Blank Spaces

Whether you take your notes during lectures or when studying, always leave some blank sections. This allows you to provide some additional information and elaboration when reviewing the notes. Even the perfect note-takers miss out on some key ideas and information.

The blank space accommodates additional findings or diagrams that help you better understand the notes. It also allows you to write down questions you should tackle under each topic.

8.     Listen, Understand, and Write

Listen and internalize ideas being taught in class before writing. This will help you pay maximum attention and write information in a summary and easy-to-understand manner. Try to write in a short format and abbreviations you’re familiar with as much as possible. This will help you create a balance between listening and creating notes.

Avoid writing every word coming from your tutor’s mouth. This hinders you from critically analyzing the information delivered as your focus is to keep up with their words. Remember to pay close attention to what they stress in class; it is highly likely to be examined.

9.     Use Color coding

Color coding gives your notes a personalized look. You use a combination of colors to mark the sections you have fully understood, those in process, and the difficult ones. This is an interesting way to motivate yourself to write and review notes often.

color coding as part of note-taking tips for nursing students

Color coding is like using a bookmark to guide you through chapters you’ve already completed. This helps you remain organized and aware of the areas to pay attention to. For instance, if you’re taking notes for a certain disease process, use different colors to mark out the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and interventions.

10. Review your notes immediately after class

Go through your notes the same day you attend your classes. This will help you identify and fill in any missing details in your summary. At this time, the class teachings are fresh in your memory, and you can easily retrieve them.

Take time to evaluate your understanding of the notes using questions. Ask yourself as many questions as possible to make sure you have all the concepts at your fingertips. For the areas you find difficult to tackle, note them down and ask your tutor during the next class.


Get Professional Nursing Help Today

Nursing is a demanding and extensive discipline. You have to complete several written and practical assessments. To attain a good grade, you must have thoroughly reviewed your class materials and gone the extra mile to consult resources and make detailed notes.

If you have part-time commitments or you need help with your assignments, you can consider nursing homework help. You have access to professional nursing writers who help you with your coursework. They are qualified to crack all nursing problems and deliver quality work. Contact us today for expert nursing help.


Note-taking is critical in your learning process; it helps you absorb and digest more information stress-free. Here are the most commonly asked questions about note-taking for nursing students:

  1. What are 10 tips for taking notes?

There are several tips you can consider to hone your note-taking skills. They include:

  • Identifying suitable note-taking method
  • Reviewing materials before writing notes
  • Using concept mapping
  • Incorporating the Cornel note system
  • Prioritizing new ideas
  • Dating and labeling notes
  • Leaving blank spaces
  • Listening, understanding, and writing
  • Using color coding
  • Reviewing notes immediately after class


  1. How do you make pretty nursing notes?

You make pretty nursing notes by writing only the important content in an organized and visually appealing manner. To ensure clarity, this can be achieved by writing brief notes and examples per topic followed by demonstrative images.

  1. How do nurses take notes?

Nurses are free to take notes in different approaches they find most suitable. They can write on notebooks, use binders, or even type on a laptop.

  1. What do you use to take notes in nursing school?

In nursing school, I handwrite notes to ensure I have captured every detail. This has enabled me to familiarize myself with class readings, making reviewing easy.

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