Baccalaureate Student Nurses Study Habits Prior to Admission to Nursing Program: A Descriptive Qualitative Study


Background: Faculty continue to observe students struggling as they adapt their study strategies to learn nursing core content.

Objectives: This study described the study habits of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students prior to admission to the program.

Design: This study used a descriptive qualitative research design.

Settings and Participants: A purposive sample of 19 BSN students (juniors [n = 10] and seniors [n = 9]) from a 4-year public Midwestern university were included in this study.

Methods: Two focus group sessions, using a semi-structured interview guide, were conducted in the spring semester of 2013.

Results: The four themes which emerged from the analysis of data were: “I just got it,” “I had a lot of time then,” “I studied alone” mostly, and “…a little struggle with the sciences.”

Conclusions: The findings suggest the BSN students did not study much or employed poor study strategies during their years completing general education courses. Academic support is needed by students prior to admission to the nursing program so they can learn effective study skills and modify their study habits for easier adaptation to the rigors of nursing education.


School of Nursing

Document Type





biological sciences, general education, nursing education, nursing students, pre-nursing, qualitative research, study skills

Publication Date


Journal Title

Nurse Education Today