Nursing is an incredible profession to practice and it is an honor to have the opportunity to work to be qualified. Prior to my nursing career, I was oblivious to the challenges you can face as a student nurse.
Since I learned in depth about nursing and the challenges you may face throughout the course, I have gained a more realistic view of what it is to be a nurse.
Those I spoke to before I started my course told me nursing is difficult, and they were certainly right. It was extremely difficult at times, but it was worth it at times, such as when you get a good grade or see a smile on a patient’s face after helping them.
There are some points that I think would have been useful to understand before starting my course, and they would be valuable for future students and new students to read.
Professional experience: As many senior students suggest, it is advisable to gain some sort of work experience in a healthcare setting. This gives you a better understanding of the role and whether or not it is right for you.
Whether this experience is in a hospital, general practitioner or clinic, you will benefit from every scenario you face. Try to experiment as much as you can and how you feel about yourself.
Stress: It is very common for students to feel this way. Many other students I spoke to, regarding the feeling of stress, agreed with this feeling across the time periods or duration of the course. This can be due to various reasons, such as feeling overwhelmed by the workload.
The personal stress of the intensity of the class can also be tricky, however, this is when it is vital to seek help if needed. Universities all offer wellness services, which can be contacted when you need to talk to someone.
Time commitments: Nursing is a demanding course and requires a lot of learning, both theoretical and practical. The Council of Nurses and Midwives requires student nurses to complete 2,300 hours of theory and 2,300 hours of practical experience to become a qualified nurse.
Having 4,600 hours of work in three years means the breaks between college semesters aren’t as long, compared to most other undergraduate courses.
During breaks, you may also find yourself catching up on review or preparing for subsequent modules. Free time during semesters can be spent, for example, on studies, internships or preparing for exams. It is important to take time for yourself and to continue to take care of yourself throughout the course and beyond.
Resilience: Throughout the course there may be stages of struggle, moments of doubt, and spells where you are ready to give up. However, these are the points where it is important to continue.
Through the experience, resilience grows and a lot of people I spoke to who wanted to give up were happy to keep going. You may encounter distressing events, which can impact your state of mind.
However, over time, your resilience grows and develops, without even realizing it. From my first mission to the last surrender for the first year, my anxiety decreased considerably. Remembering your strengths is essential, and studying a nursing course is proof of that.
Organization: Managing your workload effectively is a skill that can be learned over time and can still be complex when you’re extremely busy. Nevertheless, it is a skill that has helped me a lot throughout my journey.
Having homework, exams, and other commitments to accomplish simultaneously requires planning ahead so you don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s easier said than done and sometimes even the best planners can leave things to the last minute, but it’s all about doing the best you can.
Nursing is a tough course; however, it is worth fighting for for those who are passionate about it. Remember, nothing good comes easy.