What is the one thing you wish you were told before starting nursing school

Students General Students

Published

I finished my orientation a few days ago, and I start my nursing classes in less than 2 months. During orientation, there was one question that popped in my head and I figured I would ask it here. What is the one thing you wish someone told you before you started nursing school?

Thanks,

CyberVulpine

twow

60 Posts

-that the horror stories about terrible instructors and instruction are true.

"Surely they are exaggerations," I thought.

Nope, they are not.

Ang_RN

191 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics.

I was pretty much told everything.

But I will tell you... Your personal life becomes almost nil.

jeanyis

28 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Psychiatry.

"Four months after you start class (Dec 07) will be the start of the longest recession since World War II. Two months after you graduate (May 09), the unemployment rate will be at 9.5%, the highest it has been in 26 years. It will be hard, if not impossible, to get a job as a new graduate." (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090702/ap_on_bi_go_ec_fi/us_economy)

Or to put it more plainly, "Don't expect to have a job waiting for you the day after you graduate."

Specializes in ICU.

Several things:

Try to be "one of the crowd." By this, try not to be a know-it-all in class, or the poor person at the bottom of the grade sheet. If either of these happen, you may get some unwanted attention from your profs or fellow classmates.

Stay on top of your assignments - you will need to be organized.

Your first clinicals with real patients will be scary - you'll do fine!

EleniRN

43 Posts

I love what the people before me said.. I second the fact that you want to blend in and not act like a show off both in class and on clinicals. Instructors are keen and you will be noticed for your work in a non-blatant sort of way.

Also, do not get yourself all caught up in the rumors. Oh, this is harder than that.. or this professor is nicer than that one... Remember this is all individual.. what fits for you or who you think is nice may not be for someone else.

Also, always remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Is it hard? YES... Will there be sleepless nights? Yes! I have just finished my first year in a two year ADN program... I thank God everyday for my mother who helped me with my son sooo much. At the end of my term, I gave him the biggest hug because there were days where I had not been there enough.

If you really want it and put your heart into it, you can do it.

EleniRN

43 Posts

One more thing.. NEVER act super nervous infront of a patient.. NEVER say this is your first time doing a procedure.. You'll set their anxiety through the roof as well as your own!

CuriousMe

2,642 Posts

Several things:

Try to be "one of the crowd." By this, try not to be a know-it-all in class, or the poor person at the bottom of the grade sheet. If either of these happen, you may get some unwanted attention from your profs or fellow classmates.

Stay on top of your assignments - you will need to be organized.

Your first clinicals with real patients will be scary - you'll do fine!

I need to disagree with the section in bold. While of course, you shouldn't act like a know-it-all (as know-it-all's generally don't know anything and just bluster)...you should strive for excellence and never be ashamed to volunteer to answer a question in clinical or lecture. Don't believe the hype, there's no need to just keep your head down--you have gifts and talents, let them distinguish you from the crowd. Your nursing prof's are going to be writing your letters of recommendation at graduation--let them know who you are and where you excel. Walk tall and confidently, acknowledging both what you do and do not know.

Best of luck!!! Oh and strap in; get ready for the ride of your life :-D

Specializes in ICU.
I need to disagree with the section in bold. While of course, you shouldn't act like a know-it-all (as know-it-all's generally don't know anything and just bluster)...you should strive for excellence and never be ashamed to volunteer to answer a question in clinical or lecture. Don't believe the hype, there's no need to just keep your head down--you have gifts and talents, let them distinguish you from the crowd. Your nursing prof's are going to be writing your letters of recommendation at graduation--let them know who you are and where you excel. Walk tall and confidently, acknowledging both what you do and do not know.

Best of luck!!! Oh and strap in; get ready for the ride of your life :-D

I didn't say not to strive for excellence (or egg salad, for that matter:D). What you don't want to do is be the single person who consistently raises your hand, answering questions asked by a prof when NOBODY else in your class knows the answer. Even if you DO know the answer, the unfortunate truth is that you cannot afford to be perceived as an arrogant "look at me & how smart I am" type student by your profs or by your fellow students. The Japanese have a phrase "the nail that sticks out gets pounded down."

This doesn't mean that you should act ignorant or clueless. Show your competence & your knowledge, just watch the attitude.

It's a careful balancing act between "waving your flag" & being in everybody's face. What I tried to do in nursing school was make sure that the profs knew I had my kaka together (in clinicals, on tests & by asking/answering questions in class), but also would sufficiently "brown nose" by emailing them appropriate info (journal articles or whatnot based on my EMS experience) outside of class. Yes, I said "brown nose". It's a conscious decision to SELL yourself in the smartest way possible. Don't be a wise-axx, always raising your hand in class saying "oooh, oooh, pick me, pick me!" (memories of Horshak from the Welcome Back Kotter TV show umpteen years ago). Conversely, don't be a shy, quiet little peon quivering in the corner.

Choose the smart way to sell yourself - your strengths & abilities in such a way that you are remembered by your profs in the most positive light possible.

As a newbie grad nurse, starting my first RN job next week (after 20+ years in past engineering/management jobs), you can bet your sweet bippee that I will do my best to make sure that any preceptors know that I have my kaka together, without coming across as an arrogant "know it all".

There are times when strength comes from apparent weakness, to use a just made up martial-arts-ism.

I was pretty much told everything.

But I will tell you... Your personal life becomes almost nil.

That's not ALWAYS true, depends on the person, as well as their definition of a personal life

CuriousMe

2,642 Posts

I didn't say not to strive for excellence (or egg salad, for that matter:D). What you don't want to do is be the single person who consistently raises your hand, answering questions asked by a prof when NOBODY else in your class knows the answer. Even if you DO know the answer, the unfortunate truth is that you cannot afford to be perceived as an arrogant "look at me & how smart I am" type student by your profs or by your fellow students. The Japanese have a phrase "the nail that sticks out gets pounded down."

This doesn't mean that you should act ignorant or clueless. Show your competence & your knowledge, just watch the attitude.

I still disagree. If you're the only person in class who knows the answer, there's nothing wrong with raising your hand to answer (notice the big difference between raising your hand to answer and the Horshack method of "oooh, oooh, oooh, pick me"). Knowing the answer when others don't, doesn't make you arrogant and won't make you a target....if anything, I've found it can get you some slack cut at a later date.

There's a difference bwtween knowing the answer and arrogance of course, and acting arrogant or as if you already know everything will surely get you the wrong sort of attention.

Raising your hand to answer an asked question? That will only get you ahead.

Specializes in IMCU.
Several things:

Try to be "one of the crowd." By this, try not to be a know-it-all in class, or the poor person at the bottom of the grade sheet. If either of these happen, you may get some unwanted attention from your profs or fellow classmates.

Stay on top of your assignments - you will need to be organized.

Your first clinicals with real patients will be scary - you'll do fine!

Ah yes.... A student among students -- wouldn't that be nice!

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X