How Many Hearts Are Broken By Nursing School?

  1. Failing grades, personality conflicts, money problems...


    How many get their hearts broken by nursing school?

    Not me, but it seems that many may...


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    23 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    i've been a nurse for 30 years. i've got to say that nursing is not for the meek. nurses have to be pleasant, kind, compassionate but tough. nursing school is only the first challenge. you have to make it through school first--and usually the instructors are kindly to you! nurses have to be independent, autonomous and assertive. i often wonder from some of the posts if many of the students understand what they are getting in to. nurses often have to be the ones to take someone by the hand and lead them through a bad time. no room for milquetoasts in this profession or you will find yourself quickly beaten down to the pavement. there is no doubt about it, nursing is a leadership position as well as being as caregiver. 30 years ago i used to hear some of the really old nurses referred to as "battle axes" or "battle ships". there was a reason for that.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Hmm - good subject. I've been a nurse for 14 years. I can honestly say I'm pretty tough - its hard sometimes though. I find that as I get older, I identify more with the underdog. Now, as an advanced practice RN, I have the autonomy to help the underdog which leads to much less frustration.
  5. by   allthingsbright
    Quote from daytonite
    i've been a nurse for 30 years. i've got to say that nursing is not for the meek. nurses have to be pleasant, kind, compassionate but tough. nursing school is only the first challenge. you have to make it through school first--and usually the instructors are kindly to you! nurses have to be independent, autonomous and assertive. i often wonder from some of the posts if many of the students understand what they are getting in to. nurses often have to be the ones to take someone by the hand and lead them through a bad time. no room for milquetoasts in this profession or you will find yourself quickly beaten down to the pavement. there is no doubt about it, nursing is a leadership position as well as being as caregiver. 30 years ago i used to hear some of the really old nurses referred to as "battle axes" or "battle ships". there was a reason for that.
    excellent post...

    my instructor was saying that nursing is personal...and often the criticism you receive in school is personal. "you are unorganized, you are too quiet, too loud, not assertive enough. your body language is wrong, you weren't cut out for this. you are a follower, not a leader." all of that just some of the things i have heard said to students--luckily, the only thing i have had pointed out was that i am shy--the entire class laughed at that one!!! i am only quiet when i am concentrating!!! lol! the instructor has only known me for two weeks...she will learn soon enough!

    if i don't make it, i will take it personally. yeah, it will break my heart. but hearts heal. and there will always be yet another challenge out there...

    gl!
  6. by   amybethf
    Quote from daytonite
    i've been a nurse for 30 years. i've got to say that nursing is not for the meek. nurses have to be pleasant, kind, compassionate but tough. nursing school is only the first challenge. you have to make it through school first--and usually the instructors are kindly to you! nurses have to be independent, autonomous and assertive. i often wonder from some of the posts if many of the students understand what they are getting in to. nurses often have to be the ones to take someone by the hand and lead them through a bad time. no room for milquetoasts in this profession or you will find yourself quickly beaten down to the pavement. there is no doubt about it, nursing is a leadership position as well as being as caregiver. 30 years ago i used to hear some of the really old nurses referred to as "battle axes" or "battle ships". there was a reason for that.
    i understand that u need to be assertive and knowledgeable. but if u are just beginning to learn how to be a nurse, how can a ci critique u as a failure in the first semester? later in the program and if u still haven't gotten the hang of it, yes, but in your first few weeks?! every nurse brings their own personality and way of accomplishing their necessary skills to the profession and i thought the point of school was to be taught to learn.
  7. by   llg
    Good thread ... getting some good responses.

    Yes, nursing is tough and nurses must be tough. But that is true of a lot of fields. A lot of "hearts are broken" on Wall Street ... and in Hollywood ... and in the military ... and in academia ... and on assembly lines ... etc.

    Anyone who goes into nursing thinking that it is an easy career is being unrealistic. That doesn't give us an excuse to be mean, but it is the truth. Throughout history, nursing has been a tough career that requires intelligence and strength from its practitioners. Look at the history of nursing and you see strong women facing adversity, not weak ones with "cushy" careers.

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Sep 1, '06
  8. by   GratefulHeart
    Quote from summerland5
    Failing grades, personality conflicts, money problems...


    How many get their hearts broken by nursing school?

    Not me, but it seems that many may...


    Broken hearts? *Where there's a will, there's a way.* If they want it bad enough, they'll find a way to come back.

    [Speaking from experience on this one...]
  9. by   Jules A
    Nursing school was brutal and my heart broke for my fallen comrades but the truth is that many of the ones that did not make it really weren't cut out for nursing. Its hard to have to shift gears where your dreams are concerned but often necessary.

    The thing that really struck me about my experience is that the course work was the easy and interesting part. The faculty competition, disorganization and disregard for our lives outside of school added to the few students that were immune from having to pull their own weight were what made it an upleasurable experience for me. Didn't someone say nursing school would be fun? Lol.
  10. by   firstyearstudent
    I've seen some really great and compassionate people drop out of nursing school for one reason or another. Fortunately, most have been young and I console myself that there are plenty of "helping" professions out there for people who want to have a direct impact on the quality of other people's lives (and can live with the salaries). They'll find their niches if they keep looking...
  11. by   llg
    Quote from amybethf
    Every nurse brings their own personality and way of accomplishing their necessary skills to the profession and I thought the point of school was to be taught to learn.
    Actually ... a college level student should not expect to be "taught to learn." They should already know how to learn by the time they get to college.

    Nursing schools should be able to focus on teaching the knowledge base of the discipline (science, theory, and philosophy) and the technical skills needed to meet the public's expectation of safe, competent care. They should not have to spend time and other precious resources teaching people how to learn and/or teaching them how to be consciencious, reliable, diligent, compassionate, persistent, honest, industrious, etc. Students should come with the basic personality characteristics and interpersonal skills they need.

    So yes ... the performance standards for evaluation should be lower in the first semester than in the last -- but only for some criteria, not for everything.

    llg
  12. by   Tweety
    I am so fortunate to have gone to a good ADN program that didn't break my heart but allowed me to find a strength and committment that I never knew I had. Years later I look back and can hardly believe that I had such determination, discipline and strength. In many ways it "made a man out of me", in that I let go of a lot of old ideas about myself (you're too old, too lazy, you can't work full time and do this, it's just too tough, you'll never be a good nurse, are you crazy??....).

    I know this isn't what you asked, but I think that while nursing school does break some people down, most of us make it through and most of us come out better people for having made it through.
  13. by   amybethf
    Quote from llg
    Actually ... a college level student should not expect to be "taught to learn." They should already know how to learn by the time they get to college. llg
    What I meant was learning to be a nurse. Obviously u have the college coursework satisfied to get into a nursing program, but if you haven't even begun your clinicals how can a CI already condemn u to be a failure?! Aren't the students being 'taught' to master the necessary skills to succeed as a nurse?
  14. by   puggymae
    Sentimental Women Need Not Apply is a movie about this very topic. I saw many kind, caring people crushed in nursing school because they weren't "tough" enough. And I see other kind souls crushed among the ranks of nurses today. I consider myself like many others as being tough - at the start of my career I learned to act that way or be run over by others, and eventually evolved into that role.

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