How badly do you really want it? Nursing school is not for the faint-hearted or weak-stomached. And, contrary to popular belief, nursing school is not a place for would-be medical school flunkies. It’s tough. It tests your intellect, but also challenges you emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Nursing students have to do more than just pass exams and tests. If you think you’re up for it, then you had better accept the following dirty little secrets:
1. You will have to prove your worth
You will prove it to your instructors, your fellow classmates and your family. You will have to prove yourself worthy to the staff nurses precepting you. You will have to prove yourself worthy to the physicians. You are being judged on a continuous, unrelenting cycle, every time you set foot in the classroom, every time you put on your uniform. Get used to it.
2. You will get crapped on
Literally and figuratively. Welcome to nursing. You will do a thankless job, even when you go above and beyond your responsibilities and your physical means. You will clean it up with your hands, and you will have to take it from some of the worst attitudes known to man. Get used to it.
3. You will never get comfortable
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The minute you learn a new task or sharpen a new skill, another one will be given. The minute you get comfortable working with or working for someone, it will change. The minute you get comfortable, someone or something will make it uncomfortable. Welcome to nursing. Get used to it.
4. You will fail, miserably
You will not excel at everything; in fact, you may not excel at most things. There are times when just squeaking by will be an accomplishment. There will be concepts you will not get. There will be skills you will not be proficient at. Get used to it.
5. Get used to the “What the…?” feeling
That moment when the walls feel like they are closing in because you feel like the smallest person in the room. That feeling you get when you get the wind knocked out of your sails. The emotional scare you get when you fall backwards and you have no idea where and when you’ll fall. Yep, welcome to nursing. Get used to it.
Nursing school is not only a time and place to teach you the skills and knowledge you need to care for patients, it is also the time to weed out those who can’t hack it. It’s time to buck up and suck it up or move on.
And once you do make it out of nursing school? I promise that your crazy school experience will be 100%, completely worth it.