Brand spankin' new nursing clinical student!

  1. Hi all...

    Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Lisa, and I'm about to begin my first clinical rotation in nursing school (Foundations of Nursing). During the 15 week semester, the first 7 1/2 weeks are spent in lecture and lab, and then the last half we head to the nursing home for 3 weeks, and then 4 1/2 weeks at the hospital on a med/surg floor.


    Yesterday was our orientation meeting, and while I know that the curriculum is tough, a little positivity would have been great. No. Most of the nursing coordinators stood up front and told us how hard it is, how we will never see our families and our lives will be turned upside down.


    I am not naive. I know it's difficult. I know that my time will be stretched thin, but I refuse to believe that I can't find a balance. It was a very discouraging day for me and for everyone else in that room. It's no wonder we lose people each semester. The pressure is enormous.

    In any event, wish me luck. I work full-time 2nd shift at a local hospital in Labor and Delivery as a Unit Clerk, have an 8 yr. old son, a wonderfully-supportive husband and I thought I'd train for a marathon in May.

    I look forward to meeting all of you, and I am sure I'll find many valuable tidbits of information here, too!

  2. Visit happynewLPN profile page

    About happynewLPN

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 152; Likes: 15
    Licensed Practical Nurse


  3. by   collegebound
    Good Luck, it will be tough but we can all do it! I have just been through orientation as well, and while we did hear how hard it is and time consuming, our instructors offered us lots of support. So while I heard, hang a picture of yourself on the fridge so the family will see you now and again, I also got numbers to reach our instructors ANYtime--not that I would ever call at 3am, but they said we could!

    So, again, best of luck and I hope your instructors will become a little more encouraging!
  4. by   NRSNFL
    Its funny, everyone kept saying how impossible it is to work full time and go to school full time, then I met people who have DONE IT. Although it is not easy by any means, with good time management and follow through and plan, it can be done. For some of us, it has to happen this way. Sooo, I started reading my books long before class started with the hopes that I would be ahead of the game, and it has paid off, all this week I've just listened to the things that DIDN'T make sense in my head, we'll see come test taking time though. Good luck!
  5. by   Daytonite
    lisa. . .i'm in no way defending these nursing coordinators, but i suspect that they are just wanting to toughen you guys up a little. it's probably not the best way to do it. what they are trying to do, as i'm sure you know, is impress upon you how serious your study must be from this point on.

    let me also say a couple of other things that you may or may not know. let me say them for the benefit of others that are going to read this thread. your education is a very expensive proposition, so your success is being watched and hoped for from many directions. (1) you, obviously! (2) the college itself (3) the community who supports the college programs (4) the local healthcare facilities that also provide support in many different ways to the college nursing program. nobody wants to let anybody down here. every student who drops out of the nursing program is a tragedy and a loss to the community. it also means an opportunity that could have been extended to another student that might have been successful, but that will never be known.

    also, i say this so many times i should just write a paragraph and cut and paste it. your time in nursing school should be looked at as a job. many very young students just don't get this. they don't get the fact that they are in a kind of on-the-job training for a career, probably because they are in a college. the vocational schools make this very clear to their students from day 1. some nursing students think nursing school is just classes they are attending and not thinking about the career and job responsibilities of what they are engaging in. when you are in nursing school you are constantly being evaluated as a potential employee. when your time of graduation comes it is going to be your nursing instructors who are going to be the ones providing the references for your first jobs because they are the only nurses who are able to attest to the kind of nurse you are going to be. they are the only ones who have had the opportunity to assess your performance of rn or lpn skills and your attitude toward learning these new things. a job as a cna or a nurse tech is only going to be able to provide information about you as an employee, not you as a nurse. i worked with a nurse recruiter who hired new grads. she wanted to hear what the nursing instructors had to say about every single new grad she hired--period, end of sentence. nursing instructor evaluations made or broke a new grads chance of getting hired at her facility.

    so, when these nursing coordinators are sounding serious, it is because they are thinking of what's coming up down the road. you are going to see some students who aren't going to get these ideas. could the instructors be a little more cordial? probably. understand, however, that you are going into a profession where you are going to be dealing with people with all kinds of personalities. part of the challenge of nursing is learning to get along with all kinds of people. sounds like you've just had your first challenge. it could have been worse, i guarantee you. one of the hardest things to do in life, in general, is to keep a positive outlook when others around you are wallowing in misery and negativity. but, you know what? people who are winners gravitate to the positive people, not the negative ones. or, they find the positive things for themselves that will keep them going.
  6. by   Epona
    Hi imatarb!! I am starting clincials this Tuesday! All my previous college credits are tranferring over. I have had all the pre-req classes. I met with my advisor yesterday and she told me that come Tuesday (first day of classes) that I will hit the ground running on the floor!! I was like WHOA!!! I have to get scrubs, medical insurance, shots, etc. in no time flat!! I have to jump right in so I am brand spankin' new to clinicals too!!!!

    Daytonite... that was a very informative and up front post. I think you hit the nail on the head. You are in school, but in traning, in performance. I see what you are saying. I totally agree. I hit the floors Tueday, and I learned a lot from your post. WISH ME LUCK!! :studyowl:
  7. by   Daytonite
    Good luck, Epona!
  8. by   locolorenzo22
    I 2nd Daytonite...I'm overwhelmed, a lot of papers/reading/notes this semester, but I realize I have to plan to do work when I can...tomorrow after clinical orientation and then Sat when I'm off work...posters who know me can attest I had a difficult start to the semester, but rebounded nicely....It takes time and drive and dedication.
    Now, we started with 70 and lost 31 students from 1st semester. I say that not to scare you but to drive home that you have to do well from the 1st test on. If you blow the 1st have no make up hope....
    I worked a 40 hr job last semester...including one weekend day to make up I work 36 hrs a week on a medical floor at I lose 4 hrs work a week, but it's still stressful...
    My advice from 1st semester is study fast, study hard and don't forget anything or else you will be farther and farther behind...
    Good luck! It's up to you to decide what kind of student YOU want to be!
  9. by   Race Mom
    I will add, don't EVER blow off a paper because it isn't worth many points, or quizzes for that matter. I worked my hiney off on two papers worth 2.5 points a piece. All together, I spent about 6 hours on them. I kept my A that way. EVERY point matters. Put your all into everything you do, no matter what the reward is. The instructors do notice.
  10. by   al7139
    Hi Imatarb,
    I am a nursing student in Norfolk, Virginia and am in my last semester. I understand how you must be feeling at this point. Whent I was accepted, and went to our orientation, we got the same speech about how you will never see your family, won't have time to clean, etc. I can tell you that I have found that this simply is not true. Yes, you need to devote alot of time to studying and learning new skills, BUT, if you do not take time for yourself, you will go crazy. We go to class twice a week and clinicals twice a week, so I have Fri, Sat and Sun "off". I do not work or have children, but I know people who do, and they say the same thing: We try to get all of our studying done during the week, so we can spend at least one day a week relaxing and taking time for ourselves and our families. I do sometimes have to spend time on the weekends studying, but I try to get the bulk of it done after class. Don't let your instructors get you down! Look for support from other members of your class, and if your school has a counseling center, take advantage of it. I attend a community college, but they have a full time counselor devoted specifically to the nursing students, and she is a great person to talk to, and to get help with stress, study skills, and resources to help you get through this. Just remember, you are choosing a field that is known for being high stress, but it is a very gratifying career to be in. I promise you it will be worth it, just stay positive no matter what your instructors say, and organize your time so you can take time for yourself to de-stress.
  11. by   Megsd
    Before I started nursing school, family and friends who knew what nursing school entailed told me that I would have zero free time, my family and friends would be neglected, etc., etc. When I went to orientation, I was told roughly the same thing. My program "strongly encouraged" us not to work at all, and even then, they assured us we would be busy busy busy.

    So I told myself "I'm going into this thinking I will have no free time, so that way if I get some, I will be pleasantly surprised!" And lo and behold, I had some! I made sure to study as soon as I got home from class and study either everything required or until 9:00, whichever came first. 9 is TV time with my boyfriend. I never pulled an all nighter and I usually had one day (or at least half a day) over the weekend that was MINE, that I would use to spend time with my friends or catch up on phone calls.

    Second quarter started on the 2nd and so far I have a lot fewer unit tests (only have them in one class) and I have a LOT more free time. I am not taking it for granted, though. I study everything I need to, and THEN I relax. Nursing school can be challenging and very time consuming, but for me it was a matter of prioritizing and time management (which is funny because those two things are such a big emphasis for nurses anyway). The classmates who struggled last quarter were ones who started studying at 9-10 at night and were surprised they didn't get any sleep, whereas I started at 3 and was done by the time they got going. I know with kids and spouses it can get more hectic, but the principle is still the same. Good luck to you, and don't be discouraged.. just be dedicated.