Many of you found my blog by googling something along the lines of “Will I survive nursing school?” I know school is beginning soon, so I have some advice:
~ Stop freaking out. Yes, nursing school will be challenging. You are going to learn more than you can imagine, and some skills will be difficult for you to master. But as long as you take it one day at a time, you’ll get through it.
~ Stop watching medical shows. They will not prepare you for school, they’ll just make you even more nervous. “Did that nurse just shove a needle in that guy’s neck? I don’t know how to do that!” Of course you don’t, you haven’t even had your first day yet. You have my permission to watch some trashy reality shows instead. Or read a book. I recommend Texts from Bennett.
~ If your school provided you a list of your textbooks, get them used from sites like bigwords.com. However, don’t spend the rest of your summer memorizing the first few chapters of every book. Your study time will be much better spent in a few months when you actually know what material your instructors want you to cover. So don’t burn yourself out now!
~ Start a blog. I started this blog during nursing school, and I can’t describe how much it helped me survive. When I found myself in embarrassing situations, I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to write about this, I bet everyone finds it hilarious.” It helped me laugh at myself in the moment. Trust me, being able to laugh at yourself (and being okay when others laugh with you) is the key to surviving clinicals (hands-on patient care).
~ Find other nursing students to talk to. There are a ton of websites with nursing students posting questions and sharing their stories– join a few! Once you’re a few months into school, you’ll have close relationships with your classmates and will have them for support as well.
~ Don’t focus too much on getting perfect grades. Whenever I’d get overstressed about a test, my classmate used to ask, “What do they call a registered nurse who got all B’s in nursing school?” The answer: A registered nurse.
~ And down the road, remember that your patients are more scared than you are, so always treat them with respect and genuine kindness. When you get little thank-you notes from patients in the future, they aren’t going to say, “You checked my breath sounds perfectly!” So don’t concentrate so much on the technical side of things that you forget you are dealing with human beings.
~ Feel free to ask me any questions!