A student is never "just a student." Each student represents the dreams and aspirations of many who are sacrificing so the student may succeed. It is important for nurse educators to realize that we hold in our hands a precious trust.As she proudly walks across the stage at the nursing pinning ceremony, you can't help but reminisce about Lindsay, the twenty-two year-old who was assigned to your clinical group nearly two years ago. The fledgling nursing student was quiet, reserved, and somewhat frightened on the clinical floor, but always professional, prepared, and dependable. Now she is graduating with a baccalaureate degree in nursing and brimming with confidence.
You notice after the ceremony that Lindsay is surrounded by an enthused crowd of family and friends. As you walk up to congratulate her, she introduces you to her mother, father, brothers, and sisters. "This was my nursing instructor during my second semester of nursing school!" she remarks excitedly. You also get to meet her former high school English teacher, as well as Lindsay's fiancé.
As you look over Lindsay's entourage, you realize that each nursing student is an investment in love, sweat, tears, sacrifice, and hope by many others who are hidden behind the scenes. You marvel that it is not just Lindsay who is graduating but an extended group of people who have shared her dreams and struggles over the past two years, and who are walking across the stage "in spirit" with her.
Indeed, Lindsay's successful completion of nursing school was a costly sacrifice shared by all. The expensive resources necessary to send Lindsay to college were certainly not easy to come by for her hardworking middle-class parents as they scrimped and saved to pay her tuition. Her family, especially her younger brothers and sisters, missed her presence at home during the long months she was away at the state university. Her fiancé had given her moral support throughout the tortuous ordeal of nursing school, as Lindsay spent weeks away from him, as she studied fervently for examination after examination, worked incessantly on endless projects, and endured a grueling schedule of classes, clinicals, and labs.
Lindsay's case illustrates how important it is for nurse educators to always remember that a student is never "just a student." Each student represents a network of support and sacrifice by family and friends. Each student represents a compendium of precious dreams - not just the student's personal ambitions and goals in life - but dreams of accomplishments in life shared by mothers, fathers, extended family and friends - who are giving sacrificially to make fulfillment of those dreams possible.
It is important for nurse educators to realize that we hold in our hands a precious trust. We must never abuse that trust, but treat each student with honor, fairness, and respect. While it is unfortunate that some students are not cut out to be nurses, the vast majority will make safe, competent nurses with our guidance and encouragement.
We educators are guardians and facilitators of precious dreams - something never to be taken lightly.Last edit by VickyRN on Jul 20, '11
VickyRN is a certified nurse educator (NLN) and certified gerontology nurse (ANCC). Her research interests include: the special health and social needs of the vulnerable older adult population; registered nurse staffing and resident outcomes in intermediate care nursing facilities; and, innovations in avoiding institutionalization of frail elderly clients by providing long-term care services and supports in the community. She is faculty in a large baccalaureate nursing program in North Carolina.
Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 12,040; Likes: 6,492
Nurse Educator; from US
Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, pedsJul 19, '11Thank you oh so much for writing this message Vicky. I know you care about your students. You show it so well in your message. I had one instructor who was like you, but I can't say each one was. One was all military, and when she said; "jump!" you asked; "How high?"
You are truly an asset to nursing. God bless you my dear.:heartbeatJul 20, '11If only more instructors had your atitude nursing school would be a different place. School is a challenge to say the least. It is in everyone's best interest for students to be successful. I was fortunate enough to have tremendous support during my school years many years ago from my family and instructors. Most of my instructors were very supportive but I saw behavior to some students that was demeaning and damaging. Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse but everyone is entitled to respect. Thank you for pointing out the "big picture" Vicky. Education is a team effort!Jul 22, '11Thank you for this, I am currently in my last year of nursing school and I am a very timid, scared person. Making the grades isnt hard but the face to face interaction with patients and coworkers is what dreads me. Many of the people I meet at the hospital are very supportive but you sometimes run into the nurses whom have forgotten that they too were once students and aren't much for helping a novice.Aug 15, '11Quote from almostgraduated2012I'm a bit shy also. It gets easier with time. You don't have to be an overly talkative person to be an awesome nurse. You just have to be able to speak up for your patient when needed. There is a thread on here called something like "Introverted Nurse." You should check it out.Thank you for this, I am currently in my last year of nursing school and I am a very timid, scared person. Making the grades isnt hard but the face to face interaction with patients and coworkers is what dreads me. Many of the people I meet at the hospital are very supportive but you sometimes run into the nurses whom have forgotten that they too were once students and aren't much for helping a novice.
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