Published Jul 6, 2009
how much of the stuff we learn in nursing school do we actually use/retain in real ife nursing? there seems to be so much stuff to learn and seems like i dont remember everything in past classes.
I still remember my first days on the floor -- that "oh my goodness, they think I know stuff!!" feeling. But when I needed the info I was shocked at how much I really did know.
I don't stress about the things I can look up , that's what reference books are for. And I've found that in emergencies what I need is just there. But I studied hard to get it there in the first place !
classicdame, MSN, EdD
since you do not know what you might need, the trick is to absorb as much as possible so you can recognize "not normal". In the USA our license is a generic one, so you will be expected to be COMPETENT as a nurse for any age group. However, you will not be expected to be EXPERT in anything.
chicookie, BSN, RN
I don't remember anything off the bat. but when I am doing stuff I I remember oh yeah because of this and this. Clinical wise it helped because I end up on the floors I was on as a student. =D
CABG patch kid, BSN, RN
This is a great point that classicdame makes. For example, I work in a CCU, I am competent to work there and take critical, adult patients, however, I would not expect to go into the NICU and take care of a critically ill neonate, though I learned a bit about it in nursing school, I have not been working with that population. You can always refuse an assignment that you do not feel safe or competent to work with.
In other words, learn as much as you can while in school, try to absorb as much as possible, especially pathophysiology, medications and disease states (nursing theory isn't as big of a deal once you graduate). Then after you pass boards, you can focus more on a particular area of interest and hone your knowledge more. Nurses are lucky to have such a wide variety of career options, the downfall of that is you have to be willing to be responsible for your own learning. You never stop learning!
What nursing school really does is teach you what's not normal. I lays the foundation for clinical practice. You can't remember it all. Even experienced long time nurses ask questions and look things up. In my nursing school it was pounded into me that nursing is a committment to lifelong learning. You will never stop asking, researching, learning. All the resources are there. Relax, If you learn even one thing a day, its enough. When I'm asked a question that I'm not sure of, I'll say, "I don't know, lets look it up." A good point to remember is that as a nurse, you are expected to have a broad base of knowledge. Especially if you are on a Med/Surg unit. You can't be expected to "know it all." Most nurses don't have the luxury of passing the buck to another specialty, so we have to learn as we go. That's what keeps us on our toes and makes our job interesting and fulfilling.
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