For The Nursing Student
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Student Life

For The Nursing Student


For The Nursing Student
O. Parker

I see you, sitting there in your freshly pressed white, gray, or navy scrubs looking like a bundle of nerves. I see you, talking through a procedure with your instructor literally shaking in your shoes. I see you, looking like you have had a total of 30 minutes of sleep and could fall asleep standing upright. I see you, holding back the tears and praying for this day to end, because it has been the most stressful day in your young nursing career and you don’t know if you can take it anymore.

I see you, because I was you. I see you, because I would never wish to be back in your shoes. I wish I could tell you that it would get easier, and put your mind at ease, but I simply can’t. I can give you a few pieces of advice, and please take them to heart.

  1. First and foremost (let’s get this out of the way), if you are pursuing nursing for any other reason besides the fact that it is your passion, STOP. If you are in nursing just because you want to make a lot of money, well just go ahead and pick another profession. If you are in nursing because your mom, dad, grandmother, school counselor wants you to be, you are going to struggle. Nursing is a profession that YOU have to be fully dedicated to in order to succeed.
  2. There is light at the end of the tunnel. After you have answered all those NCLEX style questions (believe me it makes me want to vomit just thinking about them), completed the numerous care plans, and had many sleepless nights you WILL get through the realm of hell called nursing school. You have to keep pushing yourself. You CAN do this. The thing is nursing school is only a step in the right direction. The real learning experience starts after graduation. But NOTHING compares to the feeling of seeing PASS on that unofficial NCLEX result beside your name.
  3. Those NCLEX style questions have a purpose. I know some of you are thinking there is no way those will ever help me, and she sounds just like my instructor! Well, you are most definitely wrong. Those questions make you think critically, which you will be doing every day in your nursing career. Those questions make me personally want to hit the wall, but they also make me think. They make me pull everything together that I know and have learned, which is their exact purpose. Those questions are preparing you for when it’s not just a question, it is a real patient.
  4. Welcome the advice of other nurses! Because they have been in your shoes. Nothing is like being a new nurse. And when I say other nurses, I mean ALL other nurses. Just because a nurse doesn’t have the same degree as you, that doesn’t mean they don’t know anything. I know plenty of LPN’s that could run circles around a RN. A nurse is a nurse. Don’t ever look down on someone because their degree is lesser than yours. Nurses can give you some of the best advice, because they know the “tricks of the trade.” And some of those tricks are invaluable.
  5. Stop beating yourself up. Nursing school is a horror story. Anyone that says it is easy is flat out telling a lie. Stop beating yourself up because you missed a question, or because you don’t understand a specific concept. Stop beating yourself up because you missed a foley catheter or a IV stick, I promise you, we have all done that! And we will all still continue to make mistakes. Just because you are a nurse doesn’t mean you will be perfect. Practice makes perfect. (I will take this time to thank the family members and friends that fell victims to IV starts, and mock assessments.) If you don’t understand a concept just ask a nursing school friend, because I’m sure someone else is questioning the same thing. Youtube is your friend!!
  6. You will lose friends and it sucks, but that is okay. Nobody understands nursing school like nurses do. It is not like any other educational tract. You literally have no life for the entirety of the program. You will lose friends who don’t understand, and you will make family members mad when you have to miss an event because you have to study. A significant other might also leave because your attention is not focused on them. It is life, and it happens. Those people will either figure out that they have lost one of the best things that has ever happened to them, OR you are better off without them!
  7. PATIENT FIRST. Finally, your patient should ALWAYS be your number one priority. I, like many other nurses, sometimes become too interested in my computer. Your computer is not going to talk to you, and it is not going to answer all of questions. Your computer can wait. I know that your charting needs to be done, but if your patient is having problems you need to be checking on them first. LISTEN to your patient, because more times than not they know when something is wrong even when you don’t.

Always remember there are many people, including myself, cheering you nursing students on. Don’t ever feel that you can’t ask a question, because you can! Believe in yourself and keep your head held high! Welcome to the best profession there is!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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