Worst/Best thing a nursing instructor ever said to you?


  • Specializes in NICU, Newborn and Maternal Health. Has 10 years experience.

What is the worst or best thing a nursing instructor (or preceptor) ever said to you?

My first clinical instructor told me to consider a different career because I cried too easily and wasn't assertive enough.

Ironically a later preceptor (after I teared up at my first delivery) said you were born to do this and you'll make an excellent nurse.

Both pushed me to keep going so I guess both good? Although I still can't stand that first nursing instructor.


45 Posts

Specializes in OR.

THE very best thing a nursing instructor said to me (actually the class)? If someone is telling you how to do something, even if you already know how, shut up and listen; you might learn something.

NightNerd, MSN, RN

1,129 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 9 years experience.

Well, the very first clinical experience I had, the place was awful. There was never any soap on the floor, but there were plenty of roaches. :arghh: My instructor was just beside herself with how bad the place was, but she looked at us that first day and was just like, "Well, this is ridiculous, but we're in Rome, and we're gonna do like these Romans are doing." And she got promptly to helping us steal soap and linen and whatever else we could find to give our residents decent baths and get them comfy and clean. She taught me that even in the worst of situations, with almost no resources at your disposal, you can do something to leave your patients better than you found them. And the Rome stuff made it some like an awesome adventure instead of a nasty ALF in dirty Baltimore.


12,646 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

Told me that I had to continue in nursing when I was thinking about leaving school because my human touch was a gift, and you can't learn that.


2 Articles; 26 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Newborn and Maternal Health. Has 10 years experience.
:nailbiting: Wow! What a great instructor!

Wrench Party

823 Posts

Specializes in Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgical. Has 3 years experience.

First one I ever had said something like "hmm, this bunch of white girls are never going to make good bedside nurses" overheard at the nursing station. She was about beside herself at our graduation, when not only did we all make it out alive and pass the NCLEX 1st time out, but among the bunch of us, we now have:

1 CT stepdown

1 OR

1 L& D

1 mother/baby

1 med/surg/stepdown

1 psych

1 hospice

LOL! :roflmao: Thanks for the not-support!


139 Posts

Specializes in Addictions, Adult Psych.

"Tending the fires within so others can feel the warmth."

"If you worked for me I would fire you right this second."

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

(to the clinical cohort, not just to me)

"I will stick to you like white on rice. Like ugly on an ape. Do NOT even think about doing something that you shouldn't."

("something you shouldn't" meant things like sitting around the nursing station doing nothing, attempting a procedure or passing meds without her presence, doing anything to annoy/slow down the floor nurse)

my first clinical instructor (after threatening us that if dirty linen hit the floor she'd fail us), saw me with an armload of dirty crappy linen and my shoe was sliding and I was trying not to fall or drop the linen told me I was too fat to be a nurse (because I was red faced and sweating). that was nearly 5 years ago and not only did I graduate and pass NCLEX on my first try, I've lost 85 lbs.

The Best: My tough as nails clinical instructor told me during our last days on the floor before graduation that I was a born leader and a great patient advocate. Weeks later at our pinning she told me I'm the kind of nurse she'd want at her bedside. What a wonderful compliment to pay to newly licensed nurse!

The Worst: term 1 I was told that I ask to many questions and that if I didn't work on my poker face I wouldn't get hired!?!?


128 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care. Has 5+ years experience.

My absolute favorite thing an instructor ever said to me/my clinical group was "Is the patient better off having met you?" I still think of this every day when I'm working. It has just always stuck with me.

Buyer beware, BSN

1,137 Posts

Specializes in GENERAL. Has 40 years experience.

My clinical instructor once told me "there's no room in nursing for men." That was thirty years ago so quite possibly she's dead now. I sometimes wonder that if upon her demise there was room for her in hell.