Before I start, let me please please throw this disclaimer out… This blog post is purely the views of myself and some of the other student nurses and they do not represent the university we attend.
With this week being International Nurses Week and with myself being a student nurse, this blog topic just seemed so fitting for today. Now no degree is easy, in fact uni itself is a whole different ball game. Juggling 9ams, with multiple modular deadlines and revision (see my Essential Guide to Revising if you’re unsure of how to revise), on top of trying to live your best life on student loan? It’s not easy, at all.
As a student nurse, you’re often bombarded with loads of new information, and a lot of it goes beyond the lecture hall. I definitely wish I could go back and tell myself what I know now, to save myself from all the current stress.
So I teamed up with some of my friends who are also student nurses, to give some advice and to tell you what we wish we knew about Nursing before we started.
1. First Year Isn’t As Fun as Everyone Makes Out
Now definitely everyone’s uni experience is different, but first year nursing? different.
You’re literally thrown in at the deep end from the very beginning and if you don’t have your act together, you can definitely lose yourself in the fun that’s happening around you. Unfortunately you have to do a lot of prioritising from early, tonight’s party or tomorrow’s 9am?
We recommend aiming for a balance, don’t sit every motive out, but make sure that you’re work is your priority because first year sorta kinda counts.
2. Budget, Budget, Budget
With the bursary gone, it means we have to pay for everything. From books, to travel, it all comes out of your small small student finance. On top of that, because the course is September to August, your rent is considerably more expensive and you’re more than likely going to have to move during year anyway. You’d assume that this just means we should get a job and work around uni right? Far from it. Holding down a job is all fun and games until your 40 hour a week placement begins.
We highly recommend that you save as much as you can before you start or budget really well while you’re at uni, it will come in handy.
3. Know Your Limits
The role of a healthcare professional isn’t an easy one, keeping up the professional etiquette side alone can be difficult in itself. However, ensure you’re healthy and ready to take on the responsibility of the course. Try and become as holistically healthy as possible, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, nutritionally etc. Understanding how you function and your personal limits, it sets you up for success. Uni is a marathon, not a sprint. Trying to go at 70mph the whole way through will inevitably cause you to burn out and you’ll have to take more time out to recover.
We recommend giving yourself a day off here or there, a day where you can rest, reflect and recuperate.
4. There Will Be Good Days and Bad Days
No two days are the same in this profession, and you realise that more as you begin placement. Sometimes being in a completely new setting for the first few weeks can throw you off and it can cause you to be overwhelmed at times. Somedays you may feel really confident and on other days you may feel completely lost, wondering if this course was the right decision for you.
Our advice? Take each day as it comes, there will be times when you might not know what you’re doing. But stay the course.
“You cannot get to the end from the middle. You won’t find the beginning at the end. No matter what we are doing, there is a process. Whether positive or negative, we must go through the process.”
All in all, nursing is a very very rewarding profession.. so don’t lose hope when things get tough, things often get worse before they get better. You may not always get the best grade, but don’t let that get you down. Studying to be a nurse is probably the best thing you could decide to do.
I’m always happy to hear your stories or answer your questions regarding uni in general or nursing.. you know how to find me..