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Does Nursing School Equal No Life?

Does Nursing School Equal No Life?

Ani Burr | Scrubs Magazine

I recently helped out at school at the new-student orientation for the incoming nursing class. My friends and I were passing down advice to the “newbies,” all the while finding it hard to believe that we were in their shoes only a year and a half ago.

So among the sage advice of “don’t wear colored underwear under your white scrubs,” and the “get to know your classmates because no-one at home is going to understand what you’re talking about,” I heard those chilling words I had heard so many times before, “You’re not going to have a life once you start nursing school.”

Have you heard this?!? I had heard these same words from countless students in the weeks leading up to nursing school, and they haunted me. I remember talking to my family and friends, warning them that they may not hear from me once I start, and telling my boyfriend that I hoped we would find some time to go out once-in-a-while, because I wouldn’t have a life once I started nursing school.

I would like to set the record straight: you CAN have a life outside of nursing school. In fact you NEED to get out and do something else every so often. It might not be the party-every-weekend kind of life that you see on TV or in movies, and it might not be as eventful as you’re non-nursing friends’, but it is possible to have fun.

Nursing school does not have to be the life-consuming black hole everyone makes it out to be. Yes, there are nights when you would rather be out with your friends, but you have to finish a paper, and maybe you can’t make it to EVERY (insert family event/party/date here), but after a year and a half of it, I am a firm believer that you NEED to make the time every so often to put yourself together, meet up with your friends/family/significant other and relax. It is not impossible. Nursing school only controls your life as much as you let it. You have to be in control, plan your week out, and balance your study time with a few hours of “you time” whatever that is. It’s not always ideal, but on those days you HAVE to study, come up with an alternative way to reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve done. Nursing school is tough, but it’s not the end of life as you know it…it’s just the beginning.

Is your school plagued with this saying too?
It’s always tough trying to balance it all; what ways work best for you?

More on

In Mind & Mood: Life Outside the Nurse Job
In Student Nurse: The Adult Student
In Nursing Blogs: 6 Best Ways to Stay Focused

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    I heard the same things before I started nursing school and I'm currently at the end of my third semester. I have managed to not be totally consumed by school, but I did have to make some adjustments. I changed jobs last summer. I went from a Mon-Fri 8-5 job to a nursing assistant job on a cardiac floor. Now I work 3 12-hour shifts a week, so I have been able to work around school. I can study on my days off when everyone else is at work and school and daycare. I'm still able to get my full time hours in, but sometimes it a challenge. And that sometimes means staying up late some nights studying and doing homework and stuff, but there's no law against going to bed after 9 pm. So yes, there are some sacrifices to be made but it's not totally impossible. I have something resembling a life and my kids and husband still know who I am. I just keep telling myself that December 2010 isn't too far away. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!

  • Me_in_cocceticut_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    It's a short time of inconvience for a life time of knowledge

  • 1024963740_m_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    As a nursing student who works every weekend, there is not much time for family time. However, I learned in LPN school that the best thing to do was to designate one nite a week as Family night. No books, no paperwork, no housework-face time with my husband and daughter. Without this I know I would have lost my sanity.

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