Every August the top Google search that leads to my blog is “what is nursing school like?” By early September, it changes to “how to survive nursing school.” And by late September, “Should I quit nursing school?” starts creeping up. If you are struggling in school, please do not give up! My classmate used to ask me: “What do you call a nurse who got all C’s in nursing school?” The answer: “A nurse!” I’m not telling you to stop caring about your grades, because you should do your best. But your future patients will care more about how you treat them– your compassion, kindness, and genuine interest in helping them– than how you did on your health management exam your first year of school. You will have bad weeks. You will have bad tests. But you will also have amazing patients whom you will never forget. My advice– after you’ve had a great day in clinicals, write down how you feel. Write the nice compliments you receive from your patients, instructors, and classmates. Then if you fail an exam, hang it on your fridge. But make sure you put the paper with all your compliments right next to it. It will help you remember what is more important.
Always feel free to leave me a comment if you need advice! Please include your email address.
And for those who came for it, here’s my original advice for student nurses:
classroom is just as scared as you are. If they always look confident,
it is just an act. So don’t let them stress you out.
lot of reading, and it will be very confusing at times. Do the best you
can to get through it, and highlight anything that might sound
stick with them through the whole program. At times when no one else in
your life fully understands what you are going through, they will. I
can’t emphasize enough how important this mutual understanding is, and
I guarantee that these people will talk sense into you every time you
are 100% sure you are going to quit.
everything (including putting a patient’s sock on her foot), I was so
scared I was shaking. It is normal to completely forget how to do
everything (even the most simple tasks) when you are nervous. So don’t let this make you feel stupid or inferior- it is NORMAL!!
5. Ask tons of questions. If you are told by a
nurse to do something on a patient and you are not familiar with it or
are uncomfortable, ask for help. Don’t let it bother you that she rolls
her eyes at you, you have the right to learn, and your patients have
the right to receive safe care.
do this, you will be more stressed out than necessary. When you do
something stupid, laugh. Don’t be embarrassed, we all do dumb things.
Also, allow your patients to laugh at you. One patient told me that
watching me frantically search for my clipboard (the clipboard I was
holding in my hand) and then laughing with me when I realized my
mistake, was the highlight of her week.
night off. This means do not do any school work whatsoever one night
every week. Thursday night is my night off. I watch TV, catch up with
friends, just do whatever I want. On Monday, when I really want to
watch something on TV or feel unmotivated to work, I keep telling
myself that I only have a few more days until Thursday.
has been wonderful for me- I just write about what I feel, and even
though I usually don’t end up posting those things for the world to
see, just writing about them makes me feel a lot better. Although this
takes away from my study time, it is well worth it. I don’t think I
could keep going all those hours if I didn’t have some way to release