I tell everyone that asks me this question the same thing….. Expect to work hard! Nothing worthwhile comes easy. We must work for it. Nursing is a rewarding and worthwhile career.
Also, there is no way to learn it all while in school. Therefore; you commit to lifelong learning. Learn as much as you can, but just as important as book knowledge you must learn now how to self-care.
Those that know me, know that self-care is my mantra. I ask my students in the beginning of the semester to tell me what they do for fun. And I remind them to remember theses things and make sure they are doing them while in school. Nursing burnout is real. And without a self-care plan it is easy to burn out- even while in nursing school!!! So, plan to have a plan of self-care! It’s a must.
Don’t expect to be spoon fed. Nursing is a profession and once you enter into nursing school your professional career has begun! Act like a professional. You may sometimes have to teach yourself some of the material that you need to know. Expect that. You will be given resources but you may have to teach skills or materials to yourself. That’s okay, it does t mean you have a horrible teacher. It’s just part of the learning process.
Do your best, but remember B is for Balance. Just remember though, that it’s okay to have balance, fun, and Bs while in school. The competition to get into nursing school is over – you’re in! That’s not excuse to make Cs or Ds, but relax a bit!!
Figure out what kind of learner you are. This is most important for your success in studying and retaining material. If you don’t know what kind of learner you are there are many resources online to help you. I will post some later.
Now you can start buying books and devising a study plan! Now you are ready to embark upon your journey!!
Yesterday, I was on a panel of professional nurses to speak to a group of nursing students. What an honor! I remember being in the audience full of excitement and questions. Each of the students had great questions and were at different places in school. The best advice I can give to any and all of you is to get a mentor. I can’t speak enough on how important it is to have a mentor or two. One mentor should be an upper class person in your school, and the other should be a nurse that is doing what you want to do!
Nursing school can be very challenging with all the demands. You need help, and you need to be inspired. That is the job of the mentors. They support your success and inspire you.
Check out your schools mentorship program. Get involved, then become a mentor yourself! Once you made it through prerequisites and official acceptance you can help those and inspire those trying to get in. Pay it forward!
Lisa Marie Walsh
Being a nurse is truly a gift. Helping patients and families during a vulnerable point in their lives is a privilege that I hope I never take for granted. As a nurse, I can inspire my patients to get better, work harder, or let go. During these transitional times I can give the gift of inspiration. And it is a gift that I have the ability to give every single day, with everyone I meet. I honor that ability, not for me, but for the greater good of humanity.
Lisa Marie Walsh