All The Water In The World Can't Sink A Ship Unless It Gets Inside

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    The role of the nursing student can be downright stressful due to the multiple demands that one must juggle. The intended purpose of this article is to bestow some encouragement upon nursing students because they are the future and lifeblood of our profession.

    All The Water In The World Can't Sink A Ship Unless It Gets Inside

    All the water in the world can't sink a ship unless it gets inside. - Chinese proverb

    I've walked in your shoes at least twice during my lifetime because I was a nursing student at two different times during the past few years. I was a student in a vocational nursing (LVN) program back in 2004 and 2005, and attended an LPN-to-RN completion program from early 2009 until the spring of 2010.

    The role of the nursing student can be stressful in numerous ways. First of all, you are responsible for learning a massive amount of nursing theory, hands-on clinical skills, communication techniques, and other important material in a specified time frame.

    Secondly, personal or family life often takes a backseat due to the sheer amount of time that you must devote to your studies.

    Third, financial pressures might arise when the student must resort to measures such as reducing hours worked, quitting a job altogether, or depending on other entities (spouses, parents, student loans, savings, etc.) for money.

    Other variable factors such as tough instructors, classmates with varying maturity levels, rigid attendance rules, long commutes, weight gain or loss, and family members or friends who just don't understand, might make the nursing student feel as if he or she is trapped in a pressure cooker environment that just won't stop boiling.

    In a nutshell, being a nursing student is not easy. However, I want you all to reread and remember the proverb that appears at the very top of this page: all the water in the world can't sink a ship unless it gets inside. This proverb is also a powerful metaphor for human behavior. In other words, you are the ship. You, the nursing student, are vital to the future of our profession just as the ship is vital for transport of people and goods from one shore to the next. The ship must travel in a certain direction for success; likewise, the nursing student must move in a certain direction to achieve success. The ship must bypass other vessels and obstacles in the waterway to avert disaster, while the student must circumvent drama, gossip, time wasters, and other barriers to avoid disaster.

    Since you are the ship, please do not let the water in. The multiple struggles and hardships might cause the nursing student some inconvenience, but they will not hurt in the long run unless you allow the negativity to get to your head. All of the stress in your life cannot sink you unless you keep it bottled in.

    Nursing students are our future and will be tomorrow's bedside nurses, educators, managers, leaders, and clinicians. Today's students will be tomorrow's colleagues, so it will pay off in the long run if mutual respect becomes a two-way street. Keep your heads up, nursing students, because light is at the end of the tunnel.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 9, '15
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    About TheCommuter, BSN, RN Moderator

    TheCommuter is a moderator of and has varied experiences upon which to draw for her articles. She was an LPN/LVN for more than four years prior to becoming a registered nurse.

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 38,035; Likes: 69,274
    CRRN, now a case management RN; from US
    Specialty: 11 year(s) of experience in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych

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  3. by   CapeCodDreamer
    This couldn't have come at a better time! Thank you!
  4. by   jmiraRN
    The more I re-read the quote here, the more personal it becomes to me.

    Great post!
  5. by   blessinge
    this post was much needed! thank you!
  6. by   Stephalump
    Thank you for this, Commuter. This is something I'm really going to take to heart.
  7. by   Tonks57
    I love this! I am going to print it out and keep it in my folder. Thank you!
  8. by   RainbowDash
    Wonderful post. Reading this has helped to alleviate my fears of starting my RN program!!
  9. by   ♑ Capricorn ♑
    Beautiful! Thank you. Your post gave me hope and I found your words touching.
  10. by   Fearless_leader
    Printing this out right now and posting it to my board. This was awesome.

  11. by   chorkle
    The Commuter echoes and amplifies the tag line in the recent song--"what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
  12. by   texasmum
    Sorry but I can't help myself - nothing but love, but that quote is WAY older than the recent song. Friedrich Nietzsche
  13. by   kpossible
    Thank you for the inspirational post... right before school starts up again~
  14. by   sawatskd75
    Timely...meaningful...answer to prayer. Thank you for this life preserver! Third year psychiatric nursing student.