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Do nurses really remember everything they learn in nursing school?

Posted

Hello everyone,

Throughout my time in clinicals and my own experiences with the healthcare system, I have have always wondered, do nurses and even physicians really remember all the information that is given to to them in school? In nursing school you are provided with a lot of information you have to analyze related to the pathophysiology of a disease, its treatment and the subsequent nursing implications. It can be hard to remember this information just a few months after being lectured on it, so how are you supposed to remember it a few years down the road when actually practicing as an RN?

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

If I’m being honest no I don’t remember everything from nursing school.... and my GPA was 3.98. The nice thing about working in the real world vs the classroom is you are able to — EXPECTED TO — look up the things you don’t deal with every day. 😉

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

1 hour ago, gabemedi said:

Hello everyone,

Throughout my time in clinicals and my own experiences with the healthcare system, I have have always wondered, do nurses and even physicians really remember all the information that is given to to them in school? In nursing school you are provided with a lot of information you have to analyze related to the pathophysiology of a disease, its treatment and the subsequent nursing implications. It can be hard to remember this information just a few months after being lectured on it, so how are you supposed to remember it a few years down the road when actually practicing as an RN?

Nope! I remember enough to know what I don't know, if that makes sense. I know when I'm in over my head, and I seek out more experienced staff or utilize other resources.

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

In the beginning of my career I remembered lots of stuff. But as I specialized, I lost some of the things I learned that I didn't apply on a daily basis. Over time that loss was replaced by new stuff.

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

You don't want me birthin' babies (only maternity clinical); cranial nerve testing fuzzy.

Need to know Cardio-Pulmonary: trach/ vent care, High flow oxygen devices, home oxygen therapy and Home Care Case Management/Insurance coverage, I'm your nurse.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

I agree with the sentiments expressed above in that we tend to remember and expand up knowledge needed for whatever area of nursing we're in at the time, and toss the rest.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Of course not. What I DO remember from nursing school, though, is how to collaborate with others to find answers and how get resources that help find answers. I also learned how to evaluate research materials and how to tell if something is worthwhile as EBP.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

5 hours ago, gabemedi said:

Hello everyone,

Throughout my time in clinicals and my own experiences with the healthcare system, I have have always wondered, do nurses and even physicians really remember all the information that is given to to them in school? In nursing school you are provided with a lot of information you have to analyze related to the pathophysiology of a disease, its treatment and the subsequent nursing implications. It can be hard to remember this information just a few months after being lectured on it, so how are you supposed to remember it a few years down the road when actually practicing as an RN?

This is why it's good to get in at least a year in med-surg right off the bat. Down the road, you will be more likely to remember that knowledge from nursing school that was quickly matched up with floor experience.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU. Has 15 years experience.

Nope definitely don't. But 14 years as an RN and even just this month I found myself experiencing a new scenario and having a vague memory of it from nursing school.

DavidFR, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 35 years experience.

Nobody remembers everything they're taught on a course of study. Ever!

What's vital in any such training course is that it should give you powers of analysis and reflection, and the thirst for research, continuing knowledge and lifelong learning. That is what keeps practitioners updated, not memorising all the notes they took down in nursing school. Having finished my training in 1986, much of what I was told back then is in any case irrelevant now.

Somebody mentioned CPR, trachy care etc. Well, things change. We don't look after trachs in the same way as I was first taught in 1984! And if I did CPR in exactly the same way as I was taught in 1983 I would not be following current international ressuscitation council guidelines. Keeping updated is the key; maintaining your intellectual curiosity, constantly seeking out information and ensuring you don't fall back on ongoing training and education. And if you don't know - ask someone! I would say all of this is more important than memorising those notes you took in 1997!