Special Ways to be supportive

Nursing Students General Students


Hi all,

My girlfriend and I have been together for 3 years now. We're best friends and I can't imagine my life without her.

She has just started nursing school this past week. At one time I had been accepted to nursing and my mother is a ICU/Emergency Room Nurse of 25 years (the poor old lady has no cartilage in her knees from 12 hour shifts along with running 8 miles every mornigng :eek:), so I have a very BASIC understanding of how stressful it all is.

Basically I just wanted to get some ideas of special things I can do to make life easier for my brand new Student Nurse girlfriend. I'm already cooking her breakfast, making her lunch, and making us dinner, but just wanted to see if you all had some ideas of special things I can do that will take her mind off of her stressful day, if only for 5 minutes.

Thanks for any help and props to all of you hard working nursing students!

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

If you guys live together just helping keep the place clean can help and take stuff off for her to do. Give her a foot rub after clinicals or a back massage, help her study if she wants you to, most of all, just be supportive and understanding. Make a date night once a week or every other week to make sure you all get "you" time. Don't over do yourself because you don't want to end up feeling resentful or burned out. But it sounds like you already are doing good :) Congrats to your girlfriend.

Specializes in Oncology, LTC.

You are so awesome to be asking for advice!!!

Making her food (and make sure she eats) is really good.

Here are some things I wished my boyfriend would have done:

-Don't get mad at her when she would rather study than hang out or go out

-Understand that she is going to be under a tremendous amount of stress; little things may stress her out and make her snap sometimes. Know that it is not you, or her, but it is nursing school!

-Buy her highliters

-Put gas in her car if you notice it low. The last thing she is going to want to do either driving to or from nursing school is stop to fill up gas.

-Just be there for her-that's the best support. Listen to her complaints and stress, even if she is just saying the same thing over and over again- she will remember you for this.

That's just a few, but good luck to both of you!

Specializes in PACU, OR.

Just make sure she eats healthy food-at least most of the time, otherwise she'll end up with a weight problem like too many of us lol

Specializes in CWON.

Figure out what her two biggest pluses are with regard to daily living and make sure it gets taken care of. Is she happier if the laundry gets done and put away or if the dishes filling the sink get washed and put away. Would she prefer that the toilet get cleaned or that flowers are waiting on a table for her when she gets home. Whatever allows her to best relax would be fabulous to have arranged. Now...having said that...you sound like a treasure already...:yeah:

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

Anything you can do without having to be asked makes it special. Dishes in the sink? Quietly get them clean AND put them up where they go. Trash overflowing? Quietly take it out and put in a new bag. Clothes all over the floor? Pick them up and put them in the hamper. Or better yet, run a load through the washing machine, the dryer all the way to folding and putting them away again. Seeing she is overwhelmed? Encourage her to go take a hot bath, then bring her a candle and a glass of wine while she is in it.

Tell her frequently how stinkin' proud of her you are. But most importantly? Ask HER what would be most helpful. And then when she tells you, DO IT.

Specializes in ICU.

Let her practice assessments and vital signs on you.

She will need lots of study time.

Keeping your place clean in addition to cooking will be helpful.


Dallasdreamer: the gas idea is great!

Nursing school can be all-consuming. Just remember, this too, shall pass. It will be so worth it when she is done.

Thanks for being supportive!


Do her laundry, at least sometimes. Nothing says "I love you" like finding clean clothes in your closet!

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education.

Make her a study zone. Take her once a month for an inexpensive surprise (ex-30 min massage, manicure, surprise picnic, etc). Have an established time for both of you to spend each week so you don't feel neglected when she's busy. Hide notes in her things (ex- lunch, by toothbrush, in backpack) telling her she can do this.

Awww! You sound like such a sweet boyfriend!

Please understand the next couple of years will be a trying time for your relationship. She will be under alot of stress and pressure. This is the time to be as supportive as you can. Remember, this is only a bleep on the radar in the grand scheme of things.

Take her out at least once a month, to unwind and release stress. Maybe dancing or just a movie.

Don't take it personal if she don't want to spend time with you. She will be studying ALOT!

The making dinners idea sound good. You are already on the right track.

Good luck to you and your future wife!

When I was in school, my husband kept me motivated by planning special surprises after each major test. Going out to a new place to eat to celebrate, buying me collectibles to add to my collections, ice skating and hot chocolate, little things, but they sure helped keep me motivated. It meant a lot to celebrate these small successes together in memorable ways.

I would also echo what others have said here, don't get mad when she is trying to dedicate time to studies. Nursing school requires quite a bit of study time outside of class. Kudos to you for being so supportive, good luck to both of you on this new adventure!

Specializes in Emergency Dept, Med-Surg.

After 12 hr clinical days, run a warm bath for her or offer a foot massage to help her de-stress! And, like the other posters have said, try to stay understanding of the pressure and demands on her time. Help her to understand that she HAS to take some time for herself and the two of you in order to keep herself and your relationship healthy! :redbeathe

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