You've probably heard every rumor there is by now. How nursing students never have time to do anything but study. How they all burn out and go crazy. How they have to deal with all sorts of bodily fluids. How do you separate fact from fiction here? To get you started here are 5 things that every LPN-RN nursing student needs to know.
1. Leave Your Expectations At The Door
You probably think you have a good idea of what nursing school will be like based on research or previous interaction with nurses, but prepare to be surprised. Nursing school is probably nothing like the picture you have in your mind, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Leave your expectations at the door and try to enjoy the experience for what it is. As long as you have a desire to learn and a willingness to get down and dirty, you'll do just fine.
2. Networking Is Important
Networking is just as, if not more, important in the field of nursing as it is anywhere else. Use your time in your LPN-RN program wisely. Study and make good grades, but also take the time to form bonds with your fellow students and instructors. Nursing is a very social job so personal recommendations will go a long way towards advancing your career.
Study groups will be one of your greatest assets in nursing school. You will be given loads of information during your classes. Some of this information is essential and some of it is less so. Sharing notes with classmates and putting your heads together to discern the key points of your lectures will pay off come exam time. Working with others is also a great way to learn things in general, as you retain information better when you explain it to real live people.
4. Nursing Isn't For Everyone
Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. During your LPN-RN program, the classes will be difficult, your schedule will be full at almost all times, and you'll have to deal with some gross stuff. This can cause some students to burnout,especially those with poor study habits.
Once you're out of school the job can be fast-paced, stressful, and you'll have to deal with things that are more than a little bit icky. There are options, however. Not every LPN or RN has to work in a high energy emergency room environment. Some choose to go into elder care or home care where the pace is a bit slower and strong bonds are developed with patients.
5. Getting Your first Job Will Be Easy, But You May Not Love It
Nursing is a pretty in-demand field right now — and that won't be changing anytime soon — so landing your first job will probably be a cinch. This is especially true if you're in a good LPN-RN program. Many even have 100% job placement rates after graduation.
With all that said, your first job may not be glamorous. The sky is the limit with most nursing jobs, but you have to start from the bottom just like anyone else. Don't get too discouraged by this. Put in your time, make connections, and always keep your eye towards the future. Nursing is more than a single job, it's a career.