Reply To: Anonymous nursing student needs help

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Agreed, Jason. The first thing is to check accreditation. When I started nursing school (2008), the number one thing I found out was that they wanted to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. One way they did that is they put the fear of God in us all quickly (it was a Catholic college, btw)! First semester was interesting to say the least. We had labs . . . they taught us how to wash our hands, do an assessment, take a bp & pulse and make a bed, among other things. There were things that we did not learn in a lab. There were things I did not learn in clinical rotations. There are things that I watched on a video and was expected to know how to do. Blood draws? Please! That was not taught. Injections? Wow, I got to put a needle in a rubber pad. First semester clinicals are boring. Yes, I had to change beds, feed patients, take down trash,etc. because I did not have enough “nursing foundation/knowledge” to be doing anything else. Nursing school was hard; I got married 2 weeks before I started. The hours spent studying, memorizing, reading and laboring are a lot and if I hadn’t had the support system around me that I did at the time, it would have taken its toll on me. No, I didn’t get to go out and have fun; no, I didn’t have the time to goof off with my new husband. I look back now and think the reason it is so hard, laborious and all encompassing is that YOU END UP HOLDING LIFE IN YOUR HANDS. That is a pretty sacred thing, if you ask me. When I look back at those who had a freak out in semester one, those were the ones that either struggled through the program or they “washed out” quickly. I loved my nursing school! I went there because of how difficult it was and the reputation it had. I am not trying to be discouraging, far from it, but this is the reality of nursing school now. Your best bet is to go above and beyond what is expected of you in this first semester and don’t focus too much on the next semesters. Be the best at semester one! Believe it or not (and I HATED when people said this to me) it all falls together at the end. It really does. Also, don’t think that you will get to do everything or you will see everything when you are in school. Your real learning is the first year out of school, I promise. Wherever you go, be honest! If you haven’t seen it and want to, just ask. If you haven’t done it and need help, just ask. If you need help, find a mentor that has “been there/done that”! I promise, you will do fine. I did, and I was one of the older (40 at graduation) people in my class. Good luck~

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