How To Study For Pharmacology In Nursing School

Pharmacology is a challenging subject for nursing students, but it’s important to understand how drugs work and how they can affect your nursing career.

It’s also helpful in understanding other areas of nursing, like pharmacodynamic principles, pharmacokinetics, and drug interactions.

The best way to study for this course is by doing the homework assignments from class and taking practice exams on your own.

You will need at least four hours each week dedicated to studying pharmacology to learn all you can about this topic, and with the help of this article on how to study for pharmacology in nursing school, we will show you more.

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How To Study For Pharmacology In Nursing School

Most nursing students find pharmacology a difficult course because you have to know the name, side effects, nursing interventions, and how the body uses the medicine in such a short time.

Normally, a student takes a pharmacology class in one semester and may only be given 3 weeks to learn 5-10 chapters of material.

So it can be very overwhelming, especially if you don’t know how to learn properly; thus, this article on how to study for pharmacology in Nursing School.

Choose The Right Class

When choosing your pharmacology class, choosing the right one is important. You should review the course description and syllabus of your chosen pharmacology course. 

Look at what you will be learning about and how often you will learn it in relation to other classes. If a teacher is good at teaching, then he or she can easily teach any subject matter. 

Good teachers are also more likely to have extensive knowledge of their respective fields, which will help them provide more relevant information during class discussions or assignments.

Tutors are always available online if needed by students who need extra help studying for exams or just want some extra practice. 

Tutors provide assistance with everything from writing notes down, so they’re easier to read and be applied.

Study The Material

When studying pharmacology, reading the textbook, articles, and blog posts associated with your course is important. 

You should also watch videos of pharmacists in action and take practice exams to get used to how these professionals work.

Create Flashcards

This is truly one of the best ways to study pharmacology. You can either make your own flashcards using index cards or buy some. If you decide to buy flashcards, we recommend Kaplan, Lange, or Pharm Plash.

Making flashcards is the best method because you have to look up the material and formulate what to write on the flashcard, which requires you to relearn the material. 

After creating a card, repeating them out loud is a great idea. Don’t create flashcards two days before the exam, as this won’t give you enough time to study them. 

It is best to create flashcards after each lesson. This is because if you don’t read or review what you learned in class that day, your brain tends to forget 70-80% of what you heard in class, and creating flashcards helps prevent that. 

Also, check the flashcards every day when you have an outage. As a side note, there is a free site where people have uploaded Pharm flashcards for you to use, and you can make your own.

Get The Drug Guide

When you create flashcards, you can easily navigate to the drug name to find side effects and common nursing interventions.

This will prevent you from flipping through the textbook, which usually has material scattered all over the place, and the drug book condenses it. 

Create Fun Mnemonics Or Abbreviations And Illustrations

If you’re not good at it, so many free resources have great mnemonics for pharmacology. We recommend using Pinterest or looking it up via Google.

Attend Lectures And See A Tutor

One thing you always do is attend lectures, ask questions, and seek help from tutors. You can achieve this through discussion forums on the university website or by going to one of your lecturers’ office hours.

If you are worried about not being able to keep up with the pace of your coursework without some extra help along the way, consider taking out an individual study plan (ISP). 

This approach allows students who need more time than usual for studying–or those who simply prefer working independently–to set aside their regular classes to focus on completing their assignments on their own schedule.

Watch Videos, Read Articles And Blog Posts

There are thousands of free videos covering all aspects of pharmacology, including how to study for the exam and what you’ll learn in class.

You can also read articles on PubMed (Medline). PubMed is a repository of medical journal articles that’s available to anyone with an internet connection. 

You can find your way around this by searching for keywords related to your textbook or course topics, then navigating through their search results.

You can read blog posts about pharmacology-related topics by nurses who have taken the NCLEX-RN before you.

Take Practice Exams

The best way to practice for the real thing is by taking practice exams. You can find them online, in print form, and even on your phone.

Practice tests are available at a variety of places like Khan Academy or NCLEX (the National Council Licensure Examinations). 

A great way to study these topics is by taking multiple-choice questions and then answering them yourself until you feel comfortable with them.

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Common Problems In Studying Pharmacology

Development Of A Study Method To Use 

Students tend to get overwhelmed with all the material they need to know for the pharmacology exam and feel overwhelmed when trying to develop a study method.

Learning Which Material Is Essential To Gaining Knowledge 

Many students ask themselves, “Do I have to read each chapter word for word and memorize performance points verbatim?”

Trying To Remember Each Drug’s Name And Its Side Effects

The best approach is remembering the drug class using suffixes and prefixes or classification, which will be discussed in the study strategies below.


┬áIt’s really hard to juggle other classes along with pharmacology. Some students make the mistake of not setting aside enough time to prepare for the exam.


How Long Should I Study Pharmacology?

A student typically takes a pharmacology class in one semester and is expected to learn up to 10 chapters in 3 weeks. This can be very overwhelming, especially if you lack an effective study program.

Why Is Nursing Pharmacology So Hard?

Studying pharmacology can be extremely difficult due to the overwhelming amount of information to remember, such as the side effects of drugs, target lab values, drug interactions, and more. Although this task is difficult, nursing students can take a few simple steps to help them pass the course.

Is Pharmacology A Hard Subject?

It is a challenging subject and can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for many healthcare students. However, with the right tools and strategies, you can be a pro in pharmacology.

Is There A Lot Of Mathematics In Pharmacology?

In pharmacology, mathematics plays an important role in patient safety, and small calculation errors can be the difference between life and death. Heparin is a powerful anticoagulant drug measured in small, powerful units. If a math problem in pharmacology is off by even a unit or two, the patient may be at risk of bleeding.

Is Pharmacology An Easy Subject?

Unfortunately, pharmacology is notoriously difficult because there are hundreds of drugs to study. There are plenty of effective pharmacology study tips that students consistently use to succeed.

Is Pharmacology The Hardest Nursing Class?

It shouldn’t be surprising that many nursing students find pharmacology the hardest class in nursing school.

How Many Years Is Pharmacology In Nigeria?

The program will take place over three years full-time and four years part-time after the master’s degree.

Which Book Should I Read For Pharmacology?

There is Goodman & Gilman’s Manual of Pharmacology and Therapeutics by Randy Hilal-Dandan and Laurence Brunton. What is it? Considered the “Bible” of pharmacology, this book by Randy Hilal-Dandan and Laurence Brunton is highly recommended by many medical students. It is more than just a guide or review material.

What Are The 4 Golden Rules For Administering Drugs?

One recommendation to reduce medication errors and harm is the use of the “five rights”: right patient, right drug, right dose, right route, and the right time.

What Should I Do If I Don’t Remember My Medication?

However, some general rules apply to taking missed doses; Our pharmacists usually recommend this general rule of thumb: If it’s only been a few hours since you missed a dose, go ahead and take it; then take the next pill as usual.


This is just a premise of what Pharmacology is all about. You can find more information on the US National Library of Medicine website and other sources, such as the Pharmacology textbook used in nursing school. 

We hope this article has been helpful; if so, you can do well to share this with friends in the medical field interested in Pharmacology.

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