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Typical college student vs. the student nurse

We all have friends who didn’t go down the nursing school path as we did. Instead, they studied theatre, joined a fraternity or sorority, and generally had what they’ll continue to refer to as the best four years of their lives(!) well into retirement.

Needless to say, nursing school was the teensiest bit different. Let’s explore.

Typical college student: 

Tells all their friends and family they got accepted to college and they’re starting in the fall.

Student nurse: 

Tells all their friends and family they got accepted to nursing school and they’re starting in the fall.

Typical college student:

Somehow manages to enroll in classes that only fall on either a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoon. And yet…

Nursing student: 

Sweats through two exams by 9 a.m. on any given Monday morning. Finds a half-eaten and slightly warm bag of trail mix for breakfast/lunch in a pocket. Reaches for bag…

Typical college student: 

Is assigned 150-plus pages of reading. LOLz.

Completes an exam on the French Revolution, referencing dates that are 200-plus years old.

Still scores an 89 percent. Not too bummed.

Nursing student: 

Is assigned 150-plus pages of reading. Completes 150-plus pages of reading.


Quotes the textbook verbatim in response to every exam question.

Fails exam, theoretically killing a nonexistent patient.

Typical college student: 

Calls home to ask for money.

Nursing student: 

Fields calls from distant relatives with questions about a heat rash, Ebola or teen drinking.

Typical college student: 

Has lunch with friends in the cafeteria between classes.

Nursing student: 

Refuses to eat in the cafeteria due to a recent study on bacteria in public spaces. Similarly, has issues touching used textbooks.

Typical college student: 

Arrives five minutes early to the lecture to snag a seat next to that cute classmate. Numbers are exchanged.

Nursing student: 

Arrives to the lecture five minutes early to snag a seat next to that cute classmate. The lesson covers Chapter 15: Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Love is not in the air.

Typical college student: 

Finishes classes for the day. Will likely attend a social event, meet a few friends for dinner or watch a movie. Okay, two movies.

Nursing student: 

Finishes clinicals for the day. Gets ready to meet up with friends, but pauses to sit for two minutes…

Typical college student: 

Dates (or tries to).

Nursing student: 

Dates all lecture notes. Obviously.

Typical college student:

Sees professor outside of lecture.

Nursing student:

Sees professor outside of lecture…

Typical college student:

Forgets many a Saturday night.

Nursing student:

Tries to forget the worst code brown in code brown history. 


Typical college student:

First majors in political science. Decides to switch to the study of contemporary European art instead. Visits the campus career center three days before graduation…

Nursing student:

Graduates with applications to four high-volume ERs already completed. Casually saves an elderly citizen’s life on the way to the ceremony.

In other words?


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3 Responses to Typical college student vs. the student nurse

  1. dianeskate

    I hope this is written in jest because it is just plain ridiculous. I don’t know why we still refer to majoring in nursing as ” nursing school”. The nurses I know went to college, 2 or 4 year, and majored in nursing. We didn’t go to a “nursing school” At least in the northeast, that has been done away with. It is 2015…we go to college, we are college students. We join sororities, we do other activities, we play on varsity sports teams. We do clinical, we do lab. Education majors student teach (a lot of work), bio majors have hours and hours of lab, engineering students spend hours working on projects. Calling it “nursing school” sounds second rate. I am a nurse, but more, I am educated. I went to college. I didn’t just study nursing. Nursing students party, drink, go on spring break…just like everyone else. Sure it was demanding, but so is the college program for PT, OT, education…..and many more. And don’t diss the theater majors….work in the arts and humanities is important to our society and culture.

    • dogsfrogs

      I created an account just to say THANK YOU. This was so self-absorbed, and so typical of many nursing majors I knew (though my two best friends were nursing majors, and not included in that statement. Sorry, but they don’t work harder, they just complain more.

      • kkers2018

        As a nursing student who has already completed 2 other BAs in Sociology and Theology I can honestly say that these memes are 100% correct. I literally never showed up to class my senior year of my 1st degree and still graduated with honors. I’m still pulling a 3.8 in nursing school but I definitely don’t have time to party like I did with the first 2! Not sure where you went to school but my school you have to submit an application to the program the sophomore year, only half are accepted and then half of those fail out by the time we graduate.