Does anyone else feel like NON nursing students don't "understand?"

Nursing Students General Students


It seems as though only nursing students can understand what nursing students are going through.

From my experiences, nursing is unlike ANY other major at my school. No other major requires a background check, lots of blood work, and an admissions process.

Yet all my non nursing friends and people who are OUTSIDE of the profession have the biggest misconceptions such as...

-You can work full time while going to nursing school.

No, you can't work full time, sometimes not even part time. This is not a major where you can just copy a friends homework, read a FEW pages, or BS a paper and call it a night. No, you have to read the material and KNOW what you're reading and how you actually apply the material as well practicing all the skills associated with patient care. Working 40 hours a week would be a lot more hurtful than helpful. This is assuming you have a job where you CAN'T or DON'T have "downtime" to study and do homework while working.

-"You're being fake!" "How come you never talk to us anymore?!" "I go to school full time and have [x credits] and I still manage to go out and party every weekend!"

It's not that I'm being fake or trying to avoid you, it's just that between the patient research, drug research, and reading that has to be done between lecture, lab and clinical, I literally have no 'extra' time to do such things. Every week, we learn something different and if I were to just skip a week, it would have a domino effect for the rest of the semester. Or I'm not going out that Friday night because I was at a clinical all day... and they only get longer next year!


It just gets annoying when other people perceive me as being lazy, unwilling to work, etc... I tell everyone, including perspective employers that school comes first and that I will NOT work 40 hours a week if I can't at least get some studying done while on the job (I don't tell them the last part haha, just the working full time part). I've spent way too much money, time and effort to jeopardize it all by trying to be a 'do it all' and work 60 hours in a non related field while doing school full time as well.

I don't know, maybe the people around me just put education as a low priority because they constantly try to undermine it anyway they can.

Yup. I've had no life for a year now. I see my boyfriend once a week for a one-hour lunch. That's all I have time for. He understands. Sometimes he'll get frustrated about my schedule (as if I'm not frustrated myself). But I say to just suck it up for 2 more semesters. I say it to myself as well. The couple other friends I hang out with understand (they're older and more mature... therefore it's easier for them to understand my situation). So yeah, you're not alone. I HAVE TO GET BACK TO STUDYING NOW!

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Hospice.
My favorites are the people who say stuff like... "They are letting YOU work giving FLU SHOTS?! They LET YOU DO THAT KIND OF STUFF?" Dude, I'm a third semester nursing student. What do you think I do in the hospital all day? Knit?


The OP is right, though. Many people outside nursing just don't get the actual hours we do put in reading and re-reading stuff. I have a friend @ CC who says 80% is a B--for us it's a very low C. 79% is a D and failing. My husband is finally beginning to understand why I read so much and as far as my other friends-- they are all nurses and know what I'm going through. Good luck, everyone!

I completely agree... It seems like people are confused about how hard the nursing program is, especially compared to some of the pie programs out there! However there are a few programs, at least at the school I attend, that could understand, such as Respiratory or Dental Hygiene. (Both Respiratory and Dental Hygiene require and admissions process as well as some pretty instense classes and clinicals, at least where I attend.)

I guess that's the reason we all come to, because we know everyone will understand!

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