Preparing to become a nurse is a uniquely exhilarating, terrifying, and humbling experience. Having originally majored in liberal arts for 3 years before switching to nursing, I can accurately attest that there is something distinctly paralyzing about nursing. Maybe it's the reality that, every single day at school, you are not simply learning to expand your mind, you are learning 100 new things that are vital to keeping human beings alive. Now, if that itself is not enough to entirely freak you out, in order to gain this knowledge, you are taking constant, massive exams, while also navigating the demands of learning in a clinical environment, and of course simultaneously learning an entirely new (medical) language and set of skills. However, mastering all of these skills AND maintaining some level of sanity is the true mark of a successful stint in your quest to become a nurse.
Please don’t get me wrong: I LOVE being in nursing school. If there is one thing all nursing students have in common, it is the desire to help people in our communities and even around the world; we are passionate about this, and I find it absolutely incredibly. But like all things worthwhile, the journey towards becoming a nurse is certainly not an easy one.
My fellow nursing peers and I often discuss the various ways we attempt to cope with the demands of school. Most of us agree that the correct diet can make all the difference (and by "correct" I mean ALL OF THE CARBS), getting plenty of sleep is key, and of course, the ability to make fun of the particularly dark hours of our quests towards become real-life health care professionals. Here are 11 terrible realities of being in nursing school:
1. Care Plans
Because we need one more thing to keep us up until 4AM.
2. Every test has the amount of material as midterm
Yeah, that’s no problem, I’ll totally memorize those 400 slides for Thursday.
3. Everyone thinks we are going to get Ebola
Oh good, because our friends whom we never see anyway because of all our tests could really use a reason to stay away from us. *Eye roll*
4. You are ALWAYS falling behind
By the time you take a test for one class, you are five lectures behind in three others.
5. New Onset Hypochondriasis
Each class is nothing more than an opportunity to diagnoses yourself with EVERYTHING.
6. Oh and all your friends and family are dying too
Once you have diagnosed yourself, you can move onto finding everything you think is wrong with the other people in your life (medically, at least.)
7. No matter what the weather is like, your preceptor makes it to the hospital
Three feet of snow sits unplowed outside of your door means that your preceptor has been waiting for you for ten minutes.
8. Your non-nursing friends begin avoiding you
If not for your various diagnoses, than for your prodding at their veins and lungs and heart and...
9. All non-scrubs feel like corsets
Once you know the comfort of medical pajamas, there is no going back.
10. The bags under your eyes, have bags, that have bags
I could tell you the last time I actually slept if I had slept enough to remember.
11. You cannot contain your excitement
No matter how overtired and overworked we may feel at any given moment, each day we are one step closer to our dream careers in health care, and we wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.