If Nurse Eye Roll ran nursing school

iStock | Nikola Nastasic

Here is what my curriculum would look like if I were Dean Nurse Eye Roll.


Freshman Year

Anatomy Abbreviated

How to Be the Best CNA Ever

Vitals + Developing Your Nursey Sixth Sense

How to Talk to Patients and Their Families Without Sounding Like an Idiot

Mastering the Nurse Walk/Run

Optional Elective: Walking Quickly in Danskos

Mental Health Nursing

Lab Values That Doctors Care About

Nutrition + GI System

Optional Elective: How to Not Turn Into a Morbidly Obese, Lazy RN


Sophomore Year

How to Use IV Pumps + Give IV/IVPB Meds

Cardiac Nursing (Minus the Fluff)

How to Do 25 Things at Once

Optional Elective: Eating Your Lunch in Less than Seven Minutes

Giving and Taking Report

Meds You’ll Actually Use and How to Administer Them

Optional Elective: Becoming a Medication + Applesauce Mixologist

How to Make Kids Cry (aka Pediatrics)


How to Not Get Sued


Junior Year

Med-Surg (Minus the Fluff)

Holding Your Pee for 12 Hours

Optional Elective: Learning How to Not Hate Your Life While Working Nights

Not Crying When Doctors Yell at You (Dealing With Difficult Coworkers)

Dealing With Pain Med Seekers

Understanding Diabetes and How to Teach Patients About It

Gross Wound Care

Optional Elective: Mastering 700 Different Kinds of Tape

Dealing With Dying People + Their Families

Head-to-Toe Assessments for a Nurse (NOT an Advance Nurse Practitioner)


Senior Year

Nursing Procedures You’ll Actually Use

Optional Elective: Helping Doctors with Bedside Procedures

How to Talk to Physicians

Charge Nurse 101

How to Not Cry and Be Useful During Codes

How to Delegate to CNAs

Critical Care Nursing

Mastering Microsoft Outlook

How to Realistically Manage Your Time


There would be no 25-question quizzes after being responsible for 300-plus pages of material.

There would be no memorizing ridiculous amounts of information and medications, just to forget it all for the next exam.

You’ll actually know how to be a nurse when you graduate and it won’t be up to your hospital to train you/teach you literally everything.

You would spend 10 minutes of the first class on nursing theorists and not an entire semester.

You wouldn’t be taught assessment skills for advance practice; you’d be taught assessments for normal nursing practice.

You wouldn’t spend four years learning how to work in a perfect nursing world that doesn’t exist.

You wouldn’t spend $400 to $700 per year on textbooks you’ll never look at again and can’t resell after you graduate because they’re outdated.

The focus of your education wouldn’t be on passing one single test.

You wouldn’t waste the time and money on two years of prerequisites that have nothing to do with nursing.

To read more, visit NurseEyeRoll.com.

Nursey-123x185Learning how to be a great nurse at the bedside while maintaining your sanity at home is no easy task. Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Take Care of Your Patients and Yourself talks about how to realistically live as a nurse, both at home and at the bedside…with a little humor and some shenanigans along the way. Get ready: It’s about to get real, real nursey. You can  get your own copy at at NurseEyeRoll.com (pdf), Amazon (paperback) orGoodreads (ebook).

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4 Responses to If Nurse Eye Roll ran nursing school

  1. bettebug

    I am in school currently to be an LPN in Canada. The scope of practice in most provinces for LPN’s is very wide. The school I go to is taught by RN’s and it seems like we have a huge advantage in this for us. Our instructors are teaching us how and the things that they wish they were taught in their four years of their BSN. Of course there is the obligatory extra stuff the school requires us be taught, however I feel like we are learning in this school of thought. It’s awesome!

  2. Meghan Parin

    This kind of thing is one reason we’re not taken seriously as a profession. Limiting nurses to this would definitely prevent the next generation of theorists and educators from even aspiring to become those people. Nurses need to be well rounded and versed on our history and knowing where we come from and why things are this way are important!

    • NurseEyeRoll

      I have to disagree. While theory is great and necessary, it’s difficult to comprehend how various theories apply when you don’t know how to be a nurse in the first place. I believe it would be more beneficial to practically learn how to be a nurse first and then explore the different theories. I left my theory class confused as to how that applied to my day to day at the bedside… because I didn’t know what my day to day would be like during my first semester of school.

      Regardless of theory, there are basic things about nursing that don’t change between theory – we need to know those things first before we focus on the different ways to steer our careers and clinical practice. Additionally, you receive so much information in school that you’re told all essential that you end up only remembering the things that are repeated constantly or are extremely important and applicable to what you’re doing. Once you have a handle on things and don’t have to focus so closely on all of these brand new essential tiny details, then you can circle back to things like theory. It’s like the progression as a nurse.. you start out task oriented and then once you master that, your critical thinking skills then start to kick in. Presenting theory first is like asking people to handle complex clinical situations when they don’t know the basics yet. I think it’s necessary, I just think it’s done backwards and that until we are caring for patients every single day and have our licensure, it doesn’t really make sense yet. Therefore, spending such an exorbitant amount of time at the beginning of school is inefficient and ineffective in my opinion.

      While this is a satirical post, it is a reflection of how poorly prepared I was for the practical side of nursing.
      I wish I would have come out of school ready to hit the ground running so that I could have gotten involved in professional development earlier. However, I was too overwhelmed the first year to even think about those things. I had to learn very essential things that are the cornerstone of our practice on the fly and informally from my workers. Not where I thought I should have learned it – in nursing school. We spent so much time worrying about the NCLEX and APA style formatting that we didn’t get to really immerse and familiarize ourselves with actually working as a nurse.

  3. lauradriggers

    I totally agree with you; I feel so inadequate in skills it’s not funny, yet in theory I’m not too bad according to my grades. I graduate in May and I’ve only started 2 IV’s, both this semester and both unsuccessfully. I feel like a failure. The RN, a “good stick”, blew the veins the next 3 times and finally, on his 4th try, got it in the thumb. It did little to make me feel any less of a failure. I guess I’m bringing this up because all we do its theory. I’ve spent way to much on books. I do feel like we’ve put the cart before the horse. I will most definitely be relying on the first year to close the circle. It seems as though there could be more of a happy medium where theory and skills could compliment one another better. Signed, soon to be RN, BSN, who couldn’t be more proud and more scared all at once.