Nursing Program Student to Pre-Nursing Student
Advice to what I wish I had known before I started the BSN nursing program. My own perspective and how to deal with stress. Concepts about nursing in which I have learned so far.
This goes out to all the students who are pursuing a Bachelor's degree in nursing.
Believe people when they say:
IT IS GOING TO BE TOUGH. Because it will be.
Now I know there are different perspectives but before I had entered the nursing program I was a 3.9 GPA student who had even worked two part time jobs before beginning. I thought with all of that under my belt, how bad could it be.
Whoa, was I wrong. literally knocked me on my knees the first semester.
I had about two mental breakdowns. When I started nursing school I was working 15 hours a week as a cashier, so no time to study and went to school Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for about the whole day.
That left me with about 2 whole days to study and if I was lucky with scheduling that week 2 half days to study.
Please believe everyone when they say nursing school is tough! Because it is. Do not think for a second you will take a free ride.
Now that I have warned you about the toughness of it, I will make recommendations. Mentality prepare yourself for the course you about to embark on. Nursing school will give you massive amount of information to understand in a short amount of time. Specific to my program, we mainly self -taught ourselves due to class time constraints and whatnot.
Before the program I suggest you write yourself a letter to your future self and remind yourself why you wanted to be a nurse. So many people in my program are reconsidering their choice of this profession due the stress. Maybe they are not cut out for it or may be the stress of being a nursing student is so much you may start to think you are incompetent and that you should not be a nurse. Whatever it may be, hopefully this letter will keep you grounded and remind you why you even wanted to do it in the first place. I was dabbling on the line for a while there. YOU HAVE TO WANT IT. Suffer through this now and enjoy it later. Nothing easy in life comes free. I remember writing those essays about why I chose nursing to get into programs and to me they were just letters on a paper to impress the program. You will understand what it means to be a patient's advocate and provide effective care. Now I know I have a long way to go but I can at least say I have an understanding on those words.
In the program, become responsible for yourself! Do not rely on your fellow classmates to pull you through the program. Create your own study habits but if a study group works for then, hey, do it.
Stop all of the negative thoughts before they happen. DO NOT think that the professors are out to get you. People have gone through the program before so then if you create right habits, why shouldn't you. Nursing school is meant to shake you up because being a nurse is not easy. Let's face it. There is no black and white when it comes to nursing and once you step onto a hospital floor with the RN next to your name a lot of responsibility comes with it.
I am saying all of this from my own experience. Once you start nursing school it may be common to only hear the negative. A bunch of people will start talking about how nursing is such a terrible profession. How nurses eat their young and blah blah. I see it this way, as true as that may be everything in life is subjective to the person. Develop coping strategies now! Learn to not take things personally and not everything is about you. I know every situation is different and I have a lot to learn still considering I am only in my second semester of the program but these type of thoughts are helping me regain confidence and are helping me want to be a nurse again with no doubt.
Nursing is not always going to be heroic. Patients will question your motives for the very simplest things. Like, "Does the doctor know I need insulin since my sugar is high"? (which in a standard patient with high glucose you would administer insulin as a nurse as protocol) You have to keep in mind the whole do not take anything personally and focus on the patient's needs and maybe even do some patient education.
Nursing to me is those moments when you actually do hear your patient say thank you or even if they don't it's when they walk away healthier from when they were administered into the hospital.
Nursing to me is when you talk to patients with chronic illnesses that are filled with positivity and have such a high outlook on life. I have had so many patients' tell me their stories in which some made me cried and made me realize how lucky I am. I have no right to complain or at least definitely nowhere near as much as patients do.
Anywho, again this is all my perspective. I wish to not hear any criticism and really just wanted to give some unsugar coated advice I wish I had heard before starting.
Tell me your thoughts fellow nursing students and nurses.Last edit by Joe V on Feb 21, '14
Feb 21, '14One tip- there will be days where you're surrounded by negativity. It's SOOOO easy to get sucked in. DON'T. Develop tunnel vision, focus on YOUR job, help others where you can, and make your POSITIVITY contagious.
Just FYI- insulin varies. Here, we have to have a MD's order, as sliding scales vary for different patients.
I like your idea about writing a letter to yourself with your reasons. They may change a lot by the end of school, as you develop a better sense of what nurses REALLY do every day (might be endearing to hear your thoughts from before RN school! LOL).Feb 22, '14I am totally aware of the sliding scale. I was simply stating how I have seen a patient doubt a nurse just trying to give insulin when they had high glucose.
Thanks for your commentFeb 23, '14Thanks for this tip , as a future nurse student i will take your advice and write myself a letter and read it whenever i feel discouraged or stressed
All the bestFeb 23, '14Another tip is not to be overly concerned with making A's as it is with passing the courses with B's & C's and understanding the concepts. The goal is to pass NCLEX on your first attempt. The NCLEX will not know you have been making C's throughout your nursing education, rather it will have hoped you've mastered the concepts enough to pass it.Feb 25, '14Quote from Nursing Student 2015I agree. However, an applicant with more A's in the nursing program are more likely to be hired than those who did not.Another tip is not to be overly concerned with making A's as it is with passing the courses with B's & C's and understanding the concepts. The goal is to pass NCLEX on your first attempt. The NCLEX will not know you have been making C's throughout your nursing education, rather it will have hoped you've mastered the concepts enough to pass it.Feb 25, '14[QUOTE=amygarside;7771825]I agree. However, an applicant with more A's in the nursing program are more likely to be hired than those who did not.[/QUOTE]
Since when? It's not like you're submitting transcripts along with your resumeFeb 25, '14[QUOTE=LL143KnB;7771976]Quote from amygarsideIn some new grad residencies, they look at transcripts, and some have GPA requirements, just FYI.I agree. However, an applicant with more A's in the nursing program are more likely to be hired than those who did not.[/QUOTE]
Since when? It's not like you're submitting transcripts along with your resumeFeb 26, '14Totally agree on the emphasis on scholastic ability and effort. My organization uses GPA as a criteria for hiring new grads.Mar 11, '14I recommend journaling or finding a way to reflect on your experiences, soon after they happen. Your most meaningful patients and lessons will be the ones that you share during your job interviews It's crazy how easy it is to forget what happened the next day.
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