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What They DON'T Tell You in Nursing School

What They DON'T Tell You in Nursing School

Brittney Wilson | The Nerdy Nurse

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one of these people who grew up being a nurse. It would be nice to say that I put bandages on my dolls, and had dreams of nursing since I was a child. But I just can’t say it. It’s not true.

I came to the realization that wanted to be a nurse six months after passing my NCLEX and working as a nurse. Before then, I knew I could be a nurse, but I didn’t really know I wanted to.

I went to nursing school because it was local, cost effective, and would be a bridge to my more lofty aspirations of plastic surgeon or lawyer.

I’m sure you will have people tell you not to even dream of wasting you’re time with nursing school if you are not absolutely sure you will love it, but I beg to differ. Nursing is many different things to many different people and I found my love when I realized the impact I could make as a nurse.

So here are a few things I learned after nursing school, on the floor, that I certainly was not taught in a book:

1. I have to think every day. Sometimes I think so hard my head hurts. I had no idea that this job would require so much thinking, but it does. Everyday, all shift, all the time, I have to think.

2. You should never be bored or burned out. Although it happens, there are so many avenues in which to practice that you should never allow yourself to get burnt out as a nurse. If you get tired of bedside care, then work in the OR, the ER, a doctors office, home health, Informatics, and any of the other facets of this career.

3. Sometimes it’s what you say to someone, and not what you do for someone that makes the biggest difference. I work with many competent and skilled nurses who perform their tasks for their patients flawlessly, but they do not take the top to stop and talk with the patient. They do not acknowledge the fact that this person is a person and not a bracelet to scan or a vital sign to record. I did not realize just how much talking would be required of me to provide good care, but honestly, it’s one of my favorite things about nursing.

4. Nurses Eat Their Young. This was a topic not discussed in school and only known to me in fleeting whispers before I became a nurse. In a field that is meant to promote nurturing and caring, it is unfortunate that there will be many nurses who soul source of joy appears to be making the lives of new nurses miserable. If you find yourself being a victim, do your best to avoid them. Stand up for yourself and your patients. And speak out about the issue – it is the only way that we as professionals can help to stop it!


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  • 05-13-07_1823_max50

    lalababy

    over 1 year ago

    96 comments

    They dont tell you that they will try and give you as many patients as possible and expect for you to check in pts q1hour give q2 pain meds and give quality care....

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mandal

    almost 3 years ago

    32 comments

    My mom is a nurse.I take courses for an online nursing bachelors degree and I can't wait to work with her. Working in this field will eventually make you become a little more harsh,but that doesn't mean that they horrible persons that will make your life miserable. In fact an experienced nurse will teach you everything you have to know, even though the whole experience will be a little bumpy.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MirandaM

    almost 3 years ago

    22 comments

    I wish they told me back in nursing school about the lack of respect and interdisciplinary collaboration there exists between doctors and nurses in many health care settings. I wish I knew how much seasoned nurses undermine the development and practice of new nurses. I wish this wasn't so because it is the main reason I will never go on for an advanced degree in nursing. I would chose a different field, maybe I'll take a social work masters degree or better yet, become a chiropractor.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ahritter_rn

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I read this article and totally agree with all these points. The one that has always bugged me the most is #4 Nurses Eat Their Own. My question to all of the nurses out there, WHY?
    We all have been in their shoes, we all remember how scarred, unsure and slightly timid our first job was. Why are we as a whole group are not more nuturing, kind, smile alot and very encouraging to this younger group of nurses has always baffled me.
    I challenge the Nurses that have been one awhile: Mentor a New Nurse and stick up for her or him when needed. This impact will be more postive to the whole culture of your group, clinic, and or floor.

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