Real World v. School World

  1. I've heard mention from various folks that the "real world" of nursing is nothing like nursing school. While this is true of school in general, I was hoping to get some comments about the specifics of this observation as it relates to nursing.

    Which did(do) you like better--school or the real world? Why?

    Which do you find harder?

    What are some of the specific hurdles you faced in school? On the job?

    Thank you to all who take the time and trouble to reply!:spin:

    P.S. This is not a school assignment or anything like that--I'm just curious, as a soon-to-be nursing student (starting Monday, yikes!)
  2. Visit Trophywife81 profile page

    About Trophywife81

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 91; Likes: 49
    clinic nurse
    Specialty: Med-Surg, gynecology

    9 Comments

  3. by   castens
    Which did(do) you like better--school or the real world? Why?

    I much prefer the real world, because I know I'm making a difference. Of course, school is important so that you can learn HOW to make a difference, but there's nothing like the feeling of real life.

    Which do you find harder?

    Specifically, the transition from school to real world. I'll never forget my first couple weeks of real life and feeling that whole weight of pressure and responsibility. Otherwise, I think they are equally as hard, just in different ways.

    What are some of the specific hurdles you faced in school? On the job?

    Forcing myself to be humble (both IRL and in school). I came into nursing with huge motivation and quite a lot of medical understanding. I still have to force myself to admit when I don't know, or force myself to be patient with those who don't know. After 10 years, though, I'm much better at it.

    Maybe I should put it a different way... I've never had a problem with saying "I don't know", but forgiving myself for not knowing.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Altra
    Quote from trophywife81
    which did(do) you like better--school or the real world? why?

    kinda irrelevant, as the point of nursing school is to go out into the "real world" of nursing, doncha think?

    which do you find harder?

    this differs from person to person. some have a harder time with the sometimes unrealistic "blue sky" scenarios presented in nursing school, others have more difficulty with real people & real institutions with all their built-in foibles, limitations & idiosyncracies.
    good luck to you.
  5. by   PiPhi2004
    Quote from castens
    Which did(do) you like better--school or the real world? Why?



    Maybe I should put it a different way... I've never had a problem with saying "I don't know", but forgiving myself for not knowing.

    Good luck!
    Thanks so much for that!! I just graduate nursing school and I always feel I have to know everything about everything. I will keep that in mind when I get in the real world. I should tattoo it on my arm or something. You are one wise nurse!
  6. by   DaretoDreamRN
    real world....its flawed and real sometimes
  7. by   joy09
    School and the real world are different. Mainly, I think the difference is learning the basics and doing it by the book, vs. knowing the basics and the book, then learning how to do it safely, effectively and efficiently - and your style influences that. You are in charge of your own practice, appearance, communication, relationships etc. when you are in the real world. As a student, the instructor is in charge of you and the school has everything to say about how you act, dress, speak, practice. The flip side is school hopefully, is a safe place to learn and make mistakes. In the real world, you are on your own and you alone answer for your practice. It is stressful getting tested in school and having to do it all exactly right. Once you are out and give yourself a chance to get adjusted, you will flourish as your own person. Hopefully, you will ever lose touch with the desire to learn. We all need to keep up with new things that directly and indirectly affect our practice. Good luck! and welcome to the profession!
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    The difference between real world nursing and textbook to me is that the textbook helps you pass NCLEX, and for documentation purposes. You really do not have the time to do things the way that they tell you ALL the time. Just my opinion. Best of luck to you!
  9. by   RNperdiem
    Every day is a clinical day in the real world.
  10. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Trophywife81
    Which did(do) you like better--school or the real world? Why?
    The school world was less stressful, because the patients tended to be nicer and less abusive. In addition, student nurses generally have less patients, more time, and less paperwork than real world nurses.
    Quote from Trophywife81
    Which do you find harder?
    Real world nursing is definitely more stressful.
    Quote from Trophywife81
    What are some of the specific hurdles you faced in school? On the job?
    In school, I had to watch everything I said in order to avoid offending my instructors. After all, the nursing instructors had the power to pass or fail me on a whim. On the job, I must deal with customer service demands. My patients and family members expect me to be the bellhop, concierge, messenger, secretary, courier, receptionist, waitress, housekeeper, launderer, and miracle maker. If I cannot pull a miracle out of my hat, the patients and family members become vulgar and abusive.
  11. by   classicdame
    one thing I do remember about school (years ago) that applies to the real world is the necessity to know and practice time management. If you cannot set priorities in study habits, what to worry about and what to drop, how to keep others from eating up your time---- you will have the same problems at work. Only then it will under more stress.

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