Going to have a student!


  • Specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice. Has 18 years experience.

I love to teach, so when my boss asked me if I would be interested in having a senior student with me for the next 2 months I said YES! So anyway, I met her tonight and she seems very sweet, articulate and smart. So my question to you students is this...what can I do to make her feel comfortable? How can I make this experience a positive one for her and mostly where do I begin? I mean, with new nurses I would just have them follow me for a few days, then slowly increase their responsibiliies. I am only going to have 2 months to show her the ropes. How can I get the most "bang for her buck?" Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


193 Posts

Don't be mean. Be friendly. Show her the tips and tricks. Say things like "you're doing great" "that's awesome" "perfect!".

Let her do has much as possible! I have shadowed some nurses and they do everything for me, which is bad because I need to gain confidence with experience. At times, they'll ask me to do something like an NG tube placement or even suction and I'll show a little hesitation or pause, trying to recall my simulations in lab, build up some courage, but this signals them to take over and do the procedure for me. Not helping me at all.

Be positive and quiz her a lot. She'll appreciate it. We, students, look to you for guidance and as potential role models. And we are all stressed out, so a little encouragement, help hints, and teaching go a long way!!!

Good luck!!! and have fun with it


503 Posts

I hate it when my nurse acts like I am stupid when I don't know how to do something or have never done it and would like her to watch me and correct me in a way that does not make me look stupid in front of the patient. Give her confidence statements. My nurse last week was amazing and walked me through things in a non prissy matter. She treated me like I was a new nurse on the floor, just showing me the ropes.

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,978 Posts

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 8 years experience.

Make sure everyone else on the floor knows you have a student so they can pull you in for procedures she might not otherwise see or do. Let her do things like calling docs (after you practice/roleplay with her), and trying to decipher MD orders. My preceptor was awesome, but she handled all of the MD business, so I still had that learning curve when I started as an RN.

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

Always tell her don't be afraid to ask questions, keep your nice sweet attitude, and let her get lots of hands on experience.


598 Posts

Wow. It would be so cool to get to work with a floor nurse for clinicals. We only have our instructor and they are usually no more familiar with the assigned floor than we are. I would love to follow a floor nurse, just once, and observe their routine and time-management skills.

I'm in my last semester and I've never got to observe a nurse doing anything. After all, we don't get to watch our instructor do things - she watches us. The only time I've ever observed anything was the one demonstration per procedure in the lab 1st semester. There has to be a better way!


1,046 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice. Has 18 years experience.

Thank you all so much! I was a preceptor at the hospital when I worked there, but since we have a very small facility and very low turn over I haven't done it in a while(as in all the nurses that were hired with me 2 and a half years ago still work here or within the agency.) I am really looking forward to having a student with me and will let you all know how things go.:redbeathe


157 Posts

Can I add that we would all wish for someone as open and helpful as you when we get to that stage of our life? :heartbeat


When I precepted nursing students I would first get a feel for what they were comfortable with. The first day or so, I would just want them to follow me and watch the routine... during those two days, they would chart on the flowsheets. When it came time for them to give meds........ they had to tell me what they were giving, why, side effects etc. When we were doing procedures... I would ask if they had ever done it........ if not, and they wanted to, then I asked them to go find their procedure book (whatever they called it)... read over it, then come talk me through it before they touched the patient. They would have to read the H&P before they could do anything to the patient. Not just listen to report.

Quiz them on the disease process....... we would go over EKG strips.......... even if it wasnt our patient.... I would print strips from other patients.... especially if it was an interesting strip........ find note cards that may be kept on your unit or floor that are protocols.......If our patient went for a test.......... the student went too....... or if another patient went and we were kind of caught up......the student went with that other nurse and patient.

As the semester went on, I would slowly back away and they would be "the nurse"........ they had to do everything. The only thing I wouldn't give them total control over was the meds........ they still had to tell me all the things about the meds before giving them...even if they had given them before.

There are tons of things that you will think of to teach them. I had students in an MICU... so there was always something going on new to learn.

Hope this helped and have fun!!


98 Posts

your enthusiatic and dont run away from us students so youre off to a great start! If theyre senior they should have a fair amount of knowledge anyways just ease her into it let her know the routines first and then see what shes able for wants to learn aims and goals and how to achieve them. I like ot know if im doing well or badly in clinicals but in a nice way!


119 Posts

Gosh- I wish I had you as my primary nurse!!!! The fact that you are a) excited to have a student and b) wanting to do the best job you can do is pretty amazing. Last semester (my first) I had one, repeat, one nurse who actually seemed to care that I was there and interested in teaching me.

I agree with a lot of what's been said: Encourage her/him to watch you, explain what you are doing, ask if she/he has questions, and let them do as many tasks as they seem ready for. Also, ask them questions: "Why am I doing this now?" "What seems abnormal to you here?" "What should we be on the lookout for?"

I don't need to tell you to be kind, you seem to already have that down. Good luck to you and your fortunate student.

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