it true what they say?

Nurses General Nursing


So i am a 2nd semester nursing student in an ADN program and so far I have heard mixed things about life after nursing school. Some say that it is COMPLETELY different when you become an RN and you don't use ANY of this "book smart" knowledge they crammed into your brains during nursing school...most of it is hands on, you learn as you go, etc, etc. Others say you do use the book knowledge but also use the hands on. I know to SOME degree you have to take SOMETHING from nursing school and use it in practice but just wondering how much? I get pretty good grades in my lectures but feel like some of it just goes over my head. as an RN how much of your nursing school lectures do you remember and use on the job?

It's a mix. That simple. The books give you a good framework and then you expand from that.

Anybody can perform the physical "hands on" tasks of nursing. Its not hard to listen to a chest, do a bp, insert a foley etc etc.

The difference between the above person and a nurse, is a nurse understands the pathology of disease and the physiology of the human body in health and disease. Yes, you should be using the information you learned in nursing school. Whether you do or not depends on the type of nurse you want to be.

Specializes in telemetry.

I'm in my 3rd semester of an ADN program and actually asked a nurse on our telemetry floor that question cause I have heard the same thing. She has been a nurse for 34 years and said that you actually use everything in one way or another, maybe not everyday, but all of this book knowledge plays into caring for your patient. And even in clinicals, I sometimes find myself mentally referred to what I have found in class and using that with the patient. So it does help though alot seems to be hands on.

Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

As one of the pp said, anyone can be trained to insert a foley or start an iv. However, a good nurse will understand the pathophysiology of what is happening with the patient. On the floor, you run around a you think, but mostly run around. However, when your patient starts going down the toilet...hope you remember the book stuff too. I find that since I've started working in the unit I've been using a lot of the book knowledge in addition to the hands on stuff. So you need both.

Specializes in critcal care, CRNA.

I was told during my three month orientation that nursing school was teaching to pass the NCLEX and my new work center was going to teach me how to be a nurse. Pretty much was true for me.

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

I'll agree with the others and say it's a mix.

Nursing school for me taught me how to think critically and it gave me a decent foundation. It taught me where to look when I don't know the whys of a situation. In no way did I learn absolutely everything I needed to know to be a nurse, but that's still true nine years down the road. I still don't know all I need to know. Almost every night I learn something else that helps my nursing practice.

Being a RN is completely different than being a student, but that doesn't mean you don't use what you learn in school. You just build on it...over and over and over.

Specializes in ER/Ortho.

I am an new nurse...graduated Dec 09. Here's what I found. If you are a person who memorizes what you need to know then you are in trouble. No one in the hospital will ask you to ramble off complex book knowledge.

What you do need to do is understand what you are learning. You don't need to know the name of ALL the drugs in the world, but you do need to understand the types, and why they do what they. No one will ask you to label a heart, but you do need to know how the heart works, what someone with different heart problems will look like, how it will effect other body systems etc.

You will lose all the details, but you need to see the big picture. Then when you see it in the hospital you can put it all together with your critical thinking.

It is like learning to swim from reading the swimming instruction manual and doing some practice moves in the water. It is a beginning, but to truly learn, you must do the work.

In nursing, every day is a clinical day.

Specializes in FNP.

No, it isn't true. You do need to know them there "book smarts."

Once you begin to practice these things that seem "over your head" now will be the very things that will pop.into your head when you are trying to figure out what is going on with your patient. Actually a lot of that book learning makes more sense now than it ever did in school.

thank you all for the responses! i hope that through more clinical time and as I progress in the nursing program things will start to "click" more for me. I guess I just worry that although I am passing my classes, am I really understanding it enough to be a nurse? Nursing school anxiety I suppose :) But thank you all!

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