Nursing Student Study Tips Manila Folder Method

During the last year of nursing school, I revamped how I studied to keep on top of my organization and to have a better understanding of the material being presented. You can find my first Nursing Student Study Tips post for additional tips. My motto is, and always will be, study smarter, not harder.

Manila Folders

These are cheap and effective. I was able to pull folders on specific topics and this allowed me to better focus. These are especially helpful to refresh for finals and to keep you on track. These can be purchased in boxes of 100 from; either plain or colored.


Write on the folders directly:

  • Tabs – Section and Required Reading
  • Front – Objectives (Print and tape)
  • Inside – Important information overview for body system/topic
  • Back – Medications

Tab Manila Folder  Front Manila Folder Inside Manila Folder


Study materials to include inside the folder:

  • Concept Maps

As I read, I filled out these concept maps, only including information that was important and different.

On the back of the sheet, write mnemonic devices and sayings that will help you with that specific diagnosis.

Example of Concept Map

You can download a copy of the concept PDFs here:
Concept Map
Concept Map (Blank Background)


  • Brain Boards

After making your manila folder and concept maps, get together with a group and teach the group the nursing process of the diagnoses on your concept map using Assessment, Diagnoses, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation (ADPIE). Take a picture and add it to your folder or store it digitally.

Nursing Process


  • Latte Sheets

Straight A Nursing Student came up with this Latte concept that helped a lot of my peers better understand diseases and the nursing process for each. Everyone learns differently and I definitely recommend at least trying them to see if they work for you.



NCLEX Questions

No matter what study method you use, NCLEX questions should be used to test you knowledge, and reinforce all the information you have learned.

  • Do NCLEX questions every evening
  • Read every rationale for each question, whether you missed it or got it correct


What study method do you use? Will you implement this study method?

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