One of the most nerve-wracking moments in nursing school is the first exam of the semester. Especially if you’re taking a course with a new professor who may or may not have the best reviews online. As a nursing student you probably have a minimum exam average you need to move on in your program, which makes every exam you take HIGH STAKES. This ranges from low 70’s to the mid 90’s (if your program requires anything over a 90% exam average, you are my personal hero for achieving that). A favorite line for a lot of students is “C’s get degrees”, but what do you do if a C is a failing grade in your program? You need to take the initiative to maximize your study time and retain the information you need to ace those exams.
But you’re also expected to read the textbook, participate in discussions, complete case studies, review PowerPoint presentations, use supplemental articles and website, attend clinical, and then some. The question begs, what the heck is on the exam and what’s the best way to study?!
Coping With Death in the Workplace:
“Grief is the price we pay for love” - Queen Elizabeth II. This quote is something that resonates with me. As nurses, we care so strongly about our patients, we may care for these individuals for minutes to months, yet we create a bond unlike any other in these periods of time. Often our patients' passing will be peaceful and surrounded by family, and other times it is traumatic and lonely. We may wonder, did we do everything we could? If I were a better nurse would they have pulled through? Did I miss something that could have been a warning sign? What if we intubated them even a minute fast? All of these what if’s can leave us distressed after a patient's passing, and can become something we bring home with us.
I’ve caught myself thinking about patients' deaths for days and weeks after they’ve happened wondering all of those same questions. I’ve cried in the bathroom after codes, and driven home in silence after shifts with a heavy heart. But all of these hard feelings remind me that I am human, and nursing does not have to make me cold to death and sadness.
I realized that I didn't have a handle on things I needed for my mental health. I was depressed, full of anxiety every day.
The Pros and Cons of Being an Adult Learner
The thought of going back to school after having your life pretty much established for years can be a bit terrifying. That's how I felt after deciding to go back to school after being out of college or years, getting married, buying a house, and having a baby. I thought, do I have time for this? Am I still cut out for college life? The late nights studying, the early morning classes, the financial burden, etc.
But then I thought about something else…Do I feel fulfilled with my current career? Am I happy on the drive to work every morning? Am I doing something I love? Can I honestly encourage my kids to follow their dreams if I don't follow mine?
The answer to all those questions was a HARD no. That's when I knew I had to go back, despite all the thoughts and questions racing through my head.
Fast-forward to my junior year in my BSN program, I've learned that I'm at an advantage in some areas compared to the rest of my nursing cohort.
If you're wondering if it's too late to go back and become a nurse or wondering if you'll have a hard time adjusting to the nursing student lifestyle, read some of my pros and cons below!