Imagine yourself on fire, juggling chainsaws, running from a T-Rex, and pulling a sled of giant, squealing cats all at once on about 3hrs of sleep and an energy drink in hand…that is about how I would describe nursing school.
Needless to say, it has been one of the most stressful times of my life and has lead me to a point of being the least healthy version of myself…which I find quite comical as we are always being taught about “how to be healthy” and “how to advocate for our patient’s health.”
All this chaos and stress stems from the very first day you step on campus when you get the initial lecture, that is then constantly reiterated by all instructors to follow, that says “You’re holding someone’s life in your hands with every decision you make” and that “Everything you will learn over these 2-3years will be important for your career as a nurse.” For me, this has stuck and has added a whole extra layer to the stress. This time I am not going to school just to get a job, I am going to school to have a career making peoples lives better and if not better, at least more comfortable. That’s a pretty big concept to wrap your mind around if you ask me.
To bring that back to nursing school, that statement means each and every time you go to class it requires all of your focus and attention so that you can learn to be the best nurse possible. You will stay up all night studying for the exams where 4 of the 5 answers are correct and doing patient research into the wee hours of the morning so the next morning you can spit off a list of meds and what they are used for and your plan of care with all the interventions you could possibly find just so that you will be allowed on the unit to try and be the best advocate for that patient’s health that day.
All of these things take up much of your time, so try to add a job or a family or even just a coffee date with a friend in there and quick bites to eat and energy drinks are sure to come your way. Anything that will allow you to keep pushing though to the finish line. So forget about your hours of fancy meal prep each week and the time spent exercising, those will come back when you finish (or when you finally catch your stride in the program) and set your focus on the finish line. A line that truthfully is a bit imaginary as when you graduate you still have not earned the title of “Nurse.” So don’t let up on the studying because your tassel had turned, your boards exam is yet to come. It is not until the word PASS comes across your screen and your name is on the state registry do you get to place those two sacred letters, RN, behind your name. That is when you are officially a “Nurse!”
The stress is unreal but the outcome will be surreal! So, happy studying my fellow nursing students, we will make eventually!