Dear Nursing Student, here are five tips you need. They are from my heart and born from experience.
You will succeed
Congrats, nursing student, you made it this far! You had to purpose and plan and sacrifice to get to where you are today. You see, all us nurses have one thing in common- we’re determined, goal-oriented people. Like you! It’s why you’re here. Welcome to the Nurse Club, friend!
Pre-requisites, college applications, exams, loans, books…which classes to take, studying the catalogue…you’ve already done so much and come so far. Give yourself credit! Look back at how far you’ve come since Day One!
It will be over, trust me
You’re so tired. No, you’re exhausted. Tired would be an improvement, right? The assignments are endless. Care plans are crushing the life out of you.
We know, we all went through it. Every single nurse before you. We made it, and you will make it, too. It may seem never-ending to you now, but
all you have to do is get through today. You can do that, we know you can!
This, too, shall pass
The demands of nursing school can stress, if not totally overwhelm, you at times. If you tend towards anxiety or depression, either or both could flare up. Be prepared, monitor yourself for symptoms, and see your doctor. You do not have to suffer alone, and there are no medals for needless suffering! Get help.
Lower your expectations
Most likely you are the one putting high expectations on yourself. Not your mother, husband, or boyfriend…you.
Eliminate self-imposed obligations where ever you can. You do not have time to volunteer, make crafts, train for a Spartan, update your Pinterest board…let it go. Look around your life and ask, “What can I simplify?” Birthdays, Christmas? Give gift cards. Shop online.
Getting magazines you have no time for nor inclination to read? Cancel the subscriptions. They’ll just make you feel guilty sitting there, unread.
Make sure your hairstyle and makeup are low maintenance. Find a fifteen minute morning beauty routine.
Do you have to cook for yourself or others? Prepare all your food on the weekends so you don’t have to shop and cook during the week. You’re also less likely to gain weight if you plan your meals ahead of time.
It’s All About You Right Now
Prioritize. Focus on yourself right now. You have to, and it’s perfectly OK!
Loving, supportive, boyfriends and husbands will understand. Loving parents and friends will understand. It’s temporary, and necessary. A friend of mine who is in school told her children “Mommy will be back in April, I promise! Just hang in there with me!” Not that she physically left or abandoned her family- but you can only spread yourself so thin. She can go back to being Super Mommy in six months. Just remember you can make it up to everyone when this is all over, and you’ve reached your goal.
Has anyone offered, “Can I do anything to help you?” Say “Yes!” Think now about what others could do to help you if asked. Take your dog to the groomers for you, do your laundry. Buy stamps, water your houseplants. Take your car in for an oil change while you study. Babysit your kids for an afternoon.
Others are watching you
You may not realize that you inspire others. You do. Many people are watching as you journey this path-family, friends, teachers.
If you are a second year student, a first year student is looking up at you in awe. If you are taking pre-reqs and working as an EMT or CNA, your coworkers are watching, and silently respect you.
Your family and friends are cheering you on. Some of you are the first in your family to graduate college. Some of you have young children, and are role modeling for them that you value education.
And finally, the nursing profession needs you. We need you. Your brightness, your fresh compassion, your quickness. All that you uniquely bring to the table.
If I could have one wish, I’d wave my magic wand and give every one of you a spa day- a massage, a facial, both. So you’d relax for just a bit, and gain distance and perspective.
But here’s what’s even better- think about that RN after your name. Sweet.
Feel the love from those of us who’ve been there. Know that you ARE going to make it. Because you WILL, RN to be!
Leave me a comment about how you are doing! I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time friend,