As an experienced RN, do you like/dislike having a student nurse assigned to you? - page 3

by jamie32764

8,979 Views | 36 Comments

I'm in my 2nd semester of nursing school and have med/surg and OB clinicals this semester. I have to say I'm a bit bummed out (as are my classmates) by our clinical experience so far. In our OB clinical, the nurses seem... Read More


  1. 1
    I don't get students at night. The one thing that would worry me, is I wouldn't want to help or contribute to the student doing a skill that the instructor didn't want them to do, thus contributing to a failed clinical if the instructor is strict.

    I do get new grads, and new hires with experience, and I love precepting and orienting. It is fun, and I love to see the point where they turn and start telling me to back off and they just do the job. I like seeing the lightbulb go on when they start to really understand what they are doing. I especially get giddy when they develop their own ways of dealing with the difficulties of patient and family relationships, and they take responsibility for their patients and manage the load, then delegate to me the things that can and should be delegated. When they are taught right, and they like their job, they are a pleasure to work with later. I think you get out of teaching what you put into it, and I don't take the task on unless I am ready to put a lot into it. There has been a season or two where I didn't think I could do it well, so I didn't. This year has been a good one, and I'm thrilled for it.
    VanLpn likes this.
  2. 0
    I honestly don't mind student nurses. On my floor, student nurses are assigned certain patients rather than a nurse so it doesn't really affect my time management and such. If anything, student nurses are a relief because they help complete tasks and on a busy day, that is invaluable. If they need help or if their clinical instructor is not around, I have no qualms about teaching the student nurse myself, although I don't really feel like I am teacher material lol.
  3. 3
    I am on both sides of the fence with this. I am an LPN who has had students and I am an RN student.

    I love having students with me. I love showing them the in's and out's. Ways to make their work easier and more proficient, I love answering questions and if I dont know the answer I am sure to let them know that I am unsure but tell them to write the question down and when we get a minute we will look it up.

    I was always wondering why I was never assigned students when my coworker had them all the time. I finally asked the DON why I never had students and she said she knows I am very organized (to the point of being OCD about it) and I tend to work quickly and move fast. She thought that I would be a little unreceptive to having a student 'slow me down' or disrupt my routine. I told her I'd welcome any student. And that I could very easily slow down to let them observe and help.

    Got my first student the next day I loved it and the student thanked me over and over for allowing her to do all the things I did. I had asked that she give me a list of all the things she's never done, wanted to try/see, or things she had done before but wanted more practice. I did my best to get all the items on that list crossed off. I even went to my coworker for some of the things the student listed but I had no pt that we could use.

    That being said, my love of having students comes to a screeching halt when I get a student who makes it obvious they are not interested, don't ask questions or don't listen as I explain the how and why of what we are doing, act as if they know it all..let me hear "i've done that already" with a sigh or an eyeroll when I have a task/skill to do and my willingness to teach goes to the wayside. Show me you are interested, wanting to learn and eager..I'm your girl...show me you'd disengaged, not interested or bored and I'm not going to put myself out to help and teach you.

    As a student LPN I had some bad experiences with nurses who made it well known they hated having a student and I had ones who bent over backwards to teach. I'm paying it forward for the ones who went out of their way for me. As an RN student I've had nothing but awesome nurses who make my clinical experineces a great learning and growing opportunity.

    My best suggestion show the nurse you are interested and engaged, ask questions, be thankful for any and all skills/procedures presented to you for you to do. Even if you've done it 100 times, do it 101 times..you only get better with each experience.
    Fiona59, SHGR, and ElSea like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from jamie32764
    I'm in my 2nd semester of nursing school and have med/surg and OB clinicals this semester. I have to say I'm a bit bummed out (as are my classmates) by our clinical experience so far. In our OB clinical, the nurses seem somewhat receptive to having a student under them, but at the same time nobody seems to go out of their way to actually try to teach us anything. One night, sitting up in the nursery waiting for babies to be born, there were 5 nurses that stood there the entire time ******** amongst themselves about how there's not enough coverage....for 3 hours. When I say stood there, I mean literally. The other hospital where we have our med/surg clinical, the nurses don't just seem like they don't want to be bothered, they're downright rude and nasty......to the point of one nurse waving her finger in some of my classmates faces and telling them to "go somewhere else"! I understand that everyone is busy, but why do you have to be miserable too? I'd rather the nurse tell my instructor they don't want a student then to not get anything useful from my clinical experience. It's not a very good feeling when you get home after a long day!

    Last semester our clinicals were at a nursing home. Of course the atmosphere wasn't that great but all the nurses were very nice and took time to show us everything they could even though they had 20+ patients.

    Just thought I'd get some opinions from those who have been in the field for a while!

    Thanks!
    You weren't assigned to a nurse during your OB rotation? You know, with that 3 hours of downtime, I would have grilled my nurse for all she was worth! What an opportunity to learn, wasted!! I had a great OB rotation, and learned a lot, and because of that, I want to learn more! Our first day, they didn't know we were coming, and my nurse actually apologized, they had already done their morning assessments.

    And, with admits waiting why would they cut staff? Students aren't allowed to do the paperwork! (based on another posters posting of staff being cut because they knew students were coming in...)

    I did miss an opportunity to do a cervical check because I asked my instructor too late if we could do one. My nurse was going to let me, but being the diligent student "We can't do that!"....I missed a chance for the "real world" experience! (Yes, I know about the increased chance of infection, I don't need a lecture, LOL)

    I have a hard time remembering I am not the nurse, but the student, when I go to give meds or what have you. (I am an LPN already, so I was in rush rush mode!) I was asked to go do something and said "OK" and got everything ready, and headed on down the hall and went "wait.....time out!" Had to go back for my instructor!

    I try to remember if I were that nurse, with a student, what would I want to learn? What did I want to learn, when I did this rotation...what's important for them/us to learn?

    As a result of awesome clinicals and the impression we made on the nurses, I was told they hope to see me interviewing there. Only problem is they don't hire new grads in L&D! Yes, I know, most grads say that's where they want to be, and that is exactly where I want to be. My passion for babies/women and education/knowledge of the whole experience (personal and school) has fueled that passion even more. I would consider it a great honor to work with those nurses who told me they would have let us do their assessments, and morning cares. That, to me, says a lot about the staff.....and the work environment!
  5. 1
    I don't mind students, as long as they are willing to learn something. I have had quite a few who would be quick to tell me "I already know that," or "We've already done that." It would be better if they were just appreciative, regardless. I had a post-op patient once, who a student was assigned to. When the patient came back from surgery, the student never went in there to see the patient. I finally said "We get vitals every 15 minutes on the post-ops, etc." She ran to her instructor and complained that I wanted her to do vitals!! I never said that, I was just teaching! So, it goes both ways.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  6. 1
    Depends on the student. Those who want to be there, are interested, ask questions- I love. Those who are there only because it's a requirement, have no interest in learning anything, and sneak off to the lounge to sleep (true story- said she felt faint, was found sleeping on the couch in the lounge shortly thereafter. oddly enough, never saw that student again...)- why should I spend my time teaching you when you have no interest?

    Except for very few facilities, nurses are not compensated for working with students.

    And the misconception that you're lightening the nurse's workload? Not true, because the nurse has to check behind the student to ensure that everything is done plus take care of all things the student can't do (such as my first semester with clinical we weren't allowed to touch the IV).
    Fiona59 likes this.
  7. 0
    I started out my orientation as a new nurse with a preceptor who was a good teacher when they wanted to be, but then as I proved myself with tasks and gained more independence, they saw it as an opportunity to sit back, text more on their cell phone, sit their ass at the computer to shop, and just intervene when I had questions. It became evident that precepting was more to them a way to lazy-sail through a shift rather than be a true preceptor. For the last couple of weeks of my unit orientation, I had a different preceptor and what a difference that was. That preceptor was not only a great teacher but also worked diligently most of the shift. Grateful to start out on my own with that nurse on the tail end of my orientation.

    I also noticed how many experienced nurses have forgotten what it was like to be new and get very frustrated and visibly impatient with new nurses. That is sad. I want to be a preceptor once I am ready and I am committed to remember what it was like to be new. I don't want to be like them.
  8. 1
    I hate students. I work in ER. I hate being assigned a student who has never put a foley in a female, and has started 1 IV. If your clinical instructor hasn't done his/her job, you are too green to be in the ER. The students I've met this semester have had no skills, little knowledge and lots of arrogance. It is very discouraging when I am attempting to teach you, and a real learning oPportunity comes along, and the student says something like " I think I am going to go to lunch now" 3 1/2 hours into a shift. If the student doesn't really want to learn, quit wasting my time, because you will slow me down.
    Fiona59 likes this.
  9. 0
    I have only been a nurse a few years but I love students. I had nice and mean nurses in school and I am always nice to students. I also show them what to do rather than just doing it while they watch. I can't learn that way so I know others can't all do that either.
  10. 1
    I'm always blown away hearing about students who don't actively engage in their clinical experience and who say things like, "I've already done that before."

    As far as I'm concerned, this is what I want to do for the rest of my working life -- why would I not want to get every possible opportunity to get better/faster at doing it?

    Also, every clinical day is a potential job interview. I take pride in the fact that when I float to another unit for a "clinical observation day" I'm always told "come back anytime, loved having you here today!" And every semester when we have our final evaluation from the clinical instructor, I always hear that the floor nurses gave me glowing reports. After graduation when it comes time for me to find a job, HR is going to ask the charge nurses of those units their opinion of me, and you can bet your sweet bippy I want them to sing my praises!

    I've had nothing but great experiences so far with the floor RNs at my clinical sites, and I wish everyone could have such a wonderful opportunity as I've had so far.

    And a huge THANK YOU shout out to all the floor nurses -- RNs and LPNs -- who take the time to help out a student nurse! You folks rock!
    Fiona59 likes this.


Top