Saturday, August 30, 2014

Setting Priorities in Nursing School

During the orientation to my nursing school program, one of the [many, never ending] speakers told the incoming class something that was met with criticism from a lot of students.

"Make nursing school your Number One priority."

People called out things like, "I have children!" or, "I have a life outside of school," or, "I need to earn a living to pay for school."

The speaker offered some explanations.  Like most of the faculty and staff at the School of Nursing, she was a self-enamored kind of a person, so convinced in her own rightness that any explanation of her views was unnecessary.

I remembered what she had told us because I disagreed and because I remembered the roar of protest.

As school continued, I came to agree with her statement.

Nursing school needs to be one of the top priorities in your life.  It's not wonderful and it's mostly irrelevant to the practice of nursing, but you have to devote considerable time, effort, emotions, and money to nursing school in order to earn the degree that will qualify you to sit for the licensing exam.  You may never read another EKG after nursing school, but you need to figure out how to read EKGs to get through school.  Should the need arise while you are a practicing nurse, you can learn then.  (YouTube is wonderful for this- but it did not exist when I was in school!)

To those student nurses who are also parents, this statement does not mean that you should attend a clinical instead of taking your child to the emergency room with a suspected fracture.  You have to balance your priorities.  The time you are in nursing school may not be the time you take the children hiking every weekend.  It's not fair to you or your family to make a partial investment in nursing school, only to have you flunk out after draining time and money away from the family.

People who are not fresh out of high school go into nursing school for intentional, specific reasons that their current situations do not meet, such as career fulfillment or finances.  Nursing school is intense but temporary.  Put off as much as you can so that you can graduate from nursing school.

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