How many patients do student nurses have?

  1. Currently I'm overwhelmed at my hospital as a tech. I average 12-20 patients a night. All the techs and nurses say how good of a nurse I'll be. But I'm afraid if I can't make it through this tech job I won't be a good nurse or student nurse. I'll do the work and put a smile on my face through it but I'm being paid worse than I ever have(I took a paycut to get hospital experience) I worked with children and now I'm working on med surg and I don't think I can take it. I have an interview at a hospital in the nicu and they seem to really like me. Should I wait to judge if I'll like nursing by getting experience at another hospital in a different department? How many patients do student nurses usually have? I'm sorry if I sound ranty I'm just overwhelmed and I know everyone has to start as an overwhelmed tech. Thanks in advance for advice💕
  2. Visit Katlin1315 profile page

    About Katlin1315

    Joined: Jan '16; Posts: 18; Likes: 42
    from AL , US

    26 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Student nurses may start with one patient, then normally two. At other times toward the end of their program they may take on a full patient load, depending on the circumstances.
  4. by   Horseshoe
    You usually start with one and very gradually work your way up to several. Not every school gives students a full load, even as a senior. But ideally, the student should be getting as close as possible to a normal patient load by the time they are about to graduate.

    I personally would take the NICU position. But that's just me.
  5. by   bugya90
    Most students at our hospital and local nursing programs take 1-3 for the first few semesters. Your final semester you may take 4-5 with a primary nurse, meaning you have the exact assignment as her and do all of the nursing with her watching you and guiding you.
  6. by   verene
    My program started us with 1 patient and gradually built us up to full loads by the end of our last term (though we were still working with a preceptor who could help us out). I actually found the transition from CNA and multiple patients to student nurse with 1 patients a little rough at first because I was so used to having to move move move through my day, but it is very helpful to be forced to slow down so you have the time to think, to look things up, ask questions, learn and just spend time getting to know your patient. Those CNA time management skills did come in handy when I started taking a full load during my practicum term, and I was able to manage that load about 3 weeks earlier in that term than our faculty generally recommended. They were also useful for impressing instructors along the way - it's good to be known as the student who can efficiently use their time, be trusted to prioritize AND communicate those priorities.
  7. by   TigraRN
    You have an advantage being a tech, try to learn as much as you can and observe the nurses' routines. If you are thinking of getting the job at the same facility - you already would know how to chart some of the things, right? Plus, being a tech, you have more patients which makes you feel overwhelmed (being nurse - more responsibility which will make you overwhelmed as well, but give yourself some credit!). Good luck to you.
  8. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Katlin1315
    How many patients do student nurses usually have?
    None, for me. The patients I was assigned to were not really "my" patients and I was not ultimately responsible for their care. I showed up with some paperwork, did a few things I was allowed to do, and left when the instructor said it was time to go. It was nothing like actual nursing.
  9. by   Katlin1315
    I'm hoping the second interview goes well for the NICU. I've been interested in the NICU since my brother was a nicu baby. I've always been interested in pediatric nursing though.
  10. by   TruvyNurse
    We would start the semester with one. I never had more than 3 though.
  11. by   NNurseLina
    We started with 1 first semester and second semester. 3rd semester I had 2 patients. 4th semester it was 3.
  12. by   Cuttykupcake
    During each semester we had 4-6 in the SNFs and 5 in the acute care hospitals. The first few weeks it was only 2-3 and increased.
  13. by   VivaLasViejas
    I started out with one then went to two pretty fast. I never had more than three until I did team nursing, when I had five or six while the nurse assigned to those patients gave me the full load. I was a tech in a hospital during nursing school and that helped a lot when it came time to transition to the nursing role. If you can handle 12-20 patients as a tech, you can do anything!
  14. by   Tenebrae
    I've had 1st year student nurses at work this week. They took care for one patient with assistance from either myself, clinical tutor.

    When I was a transition student (just prior to graduation) I was expected to be able to take a full patient load (4-5 patients) by the end of the placement.

close