10 Things No One Ever Tells You About Nursing School
Whether you’re in nursing school now or are preparing to enter the world of scrubs and stethoscopes, we have some news for you: nursing school is like nothing you can ever imagine.
From the bonds you will form with the other humans who know what it’s like to cram for a test designed to confuse you to the bitter regret of watching other majors do things like relax on the weekends instead of head to clinicals, nursing school is not your typical educational experience. But fortunately, we are here to spill the beans on all of the things that no one will actually tell you about nursing school.
1. Attendance is ahem, more than mandatory
It’s not exactly something that I imagine nursing schools like to advertise, but it’s kind of the hard truth: nursing school has one of the strictest attendance policies known to humankind. Take it from someone who was once involved in a car accident and happened to get married during nursing school — there are no such things as excused absences in nursing school.
2. Your sense of humor will become seriously, seriously warped
By the time you graduate, you will have chuckled your way through some seriously dark stuff, so be prepared to maybe not be the one to crack jokes at the next party--and if you don’t heed our warning, at the very least, be prepared to get some seriously weird looks from non-medical people.
3. Medical shows will be forever ruined for you
AS IF A DOCTOR WOULD EVER DO THAT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??! Your eyes have been opened now and there’s no going back, sorry.
4. You might lose track of what is appropriate dinner conversation
Cervical dilation, sputum consistency, and fecal impaction, oh my! The things that have become normal to discuss with your fellow students while you casually eat lunch may just cause other people to lose their lunch.
5. You will develop superfast eating skills
Leisurely meal times will become a thing of the past, as you soon learn to adopt the nurse’s habit of scarfing down food any chance they get for a real meal--because you just never know what’s going to happen, even when you’re technically on break. I mean, are you going to miss that chest tube insertion or code blue just because you’re on lunch?
6. Nursing memes = life
That first time you nail the hard stick? Nurse Blake just gets us and it’s a beautiful thing.
7. Being a nursing student in clinicals is an art form
Practicing the perfect balance of -- blending in innocuously, being somewhat helpful to the “real” nurses doing, you know, their actual paid work, and asking the appropriate amount of questions so you can actually learn, but not be too annoying -- is a downright overlooked award-winning performance skill and no one can convince me otherwise.
8. You will consider switching your major no less than 654 times
Hmmm, maybe art history? I bet art history majors don’t have to wipe anyone’s butt! Ooo, or maybe economics? That sounds, um, economical.
9. After graduation, not studying anymore will feel downright criminal
Studying every free moment has become a way of life by now, so once you cross that graduation finish line, it will be hard to accept that your new normal does not include studying while your brush your teeth anymore.
Congrats! You are now someone who feels strangely guilty for having any sort of free time whatsoever, but I promise you, it will get easier. Also, night shift is most likely in your future, so free time will be replaced by sleep before you know it anyways.
10. You will secretly pity anyone not in your shoes
All of those regular students attending boring classes that don’t talk about things like gastric emptying rate, tachycardia, and drug half-life, not cramming for tests after getting home exhausted from clinical work, making it through school without learning what it’s like to be responsible for saving lives, and somehow rocking a normal sleep schedule?
Yeah, they have no idea what they’re missing.