When I started the nursing program I had a lot of expectations. I expected to be immersed in the nursing world (did that!). I expected to be studying all the time (yup, I do that too!). I expected it to be a challenge, but knew that it would be worth it (yes again – I love it!). What I did not expect was to be amongst a group of caring, fun-loving, and fabulous people.
I just got home from a wonderful birthday celebration my nursing friends had for me. They weren’t going to let our massive psych midterm last week stand in the way of celebrating, so they took me out for some stress-free, non-nursing time. Sure, we see each other in the classroom, but we don’t get the chance to laugh and talk as much as we’d like during out 10-minute stretch breaks in class. Today we spent the afternoon hanging out and just having a good time – it was a good break from it all. It’s hard to believe that only a year and a half ago we were all strangers.
As much as it’s important to stay on top of studying and to do your own research to stay on top of what’s happening in the nursing world, I believe it’s just as vital to your nursing career to be a part of your class, to grow together, and to see each other as more than just classmates, but as friends. We’re there for each other for group study sessions, to help explain the details of some confusing theory or disease process. But we’re also there for each other when we need a good laugh after a hard test, or a shoulder to cry on when clinical gets overwhelming. When I am down they help me with some “positive reframing” and put life into perspective, and they’re there to force me to take a much needed break to celebrate my birthday.
Nursing school is its own world, and your classmates, your nursing friends, are the only ones who will truly understand what that world is like. I really think that working together and building relationships with your classmates is vital to getting through the nursing program anywhere. Not only does it help with coping with the stress and managing all the work, but I think it also helps you work as a team, a vital part of working as a nurse. Not everyone in the class has to be friends, not everyone has to want to hang out, but building a sense of cohesiveness, and a sense of pride in one’s class, is something that I think is just as important as learning skills in class. And if wonderful friendships blossom along the way, then consider yourself blessed. I do!