Training as a professional nurse is a rigorous exercise that requires commitment, passion, and dedication. The nursing students pass through various learning experiences with clinical learning being the most important. The clinical practice has become an indispensable part of nursing student learning. The preparation work in the nursing school allows the student to use that opportunity to correlate their clinical and theoretical knowledge. However, evidence-based studies gathered from the research studies have shown that students experience problems and challenges throughout nursing school (Rezakhani Moghaddam et al., 2020). It is hard to train as a nurse and combined with the demands of studying and practical experience, it is a tense moment. Nevertheless, the experience was made bearable by the clinical rotation which enabled the integration of both skills and knowledge gained from the classroom and clinical practice.
Worries Before Joining Nursing School
Being a nurse is different from what is portrayed by popular culture. Currently, nurses are working in an environment that is tougher than what most people imagine. The route to gaining a practicing nursing license is challenging and requires patients. Before I joined the nursing school, I had fears which had compounded by judgment. The cost of education was the first challenge that I encountered. Payment of the tuition fees, school supplies, housing, books, and the general cost of living can discourage a person from joining the nursing field. However, finding the right program and developing realizable goals are important in this journey. Additionally, there is nothing that can prepare a student for the tasks ahead. The learning, clinical practice, exams, and long hours put in the library, no one can prepare you both psychologically or mentally. After I joined the nursing school, I was faced with the reality of lengthy lecturer hours, notes, and practical exams alongside the written tests. Therefore, I learned that nursing school is not all about memorizing facts, rather, the student has to develop critical thinking skills.
A large section of the nursing course is conducted in clinical environments. This is a challenging environment that is physically tiring but it offers students the requisite training and important moment to employ the theoretical knowledge gained in class (Zulu et al., 2021). It gave me the chance to use the different mental, psychomotor, and psychological skills that are crucial to patient care. The Scientific World journal outlines several challenges that nursing students may experience in a clinical learning environment (Phillips et al., 2021). Some of the problems that the journal outlines include ineffective communication and inadequate preparation.
Nursing is demanding and affects the student’s social life. For example, being assigned shift work, ward rounds, and classwork can reduce social activities. Hence, I found myself less time with friends because of my hectic schedules. Additionally, apart from trying to keep pace with a dynamic schedule, nursing students have to clear the necessary homework and worksheets before they start the next day’s shift. As a nursing student, I was faced with unreasonable expectations and unreasonable demands from the community. People expect student nurses to immediately start solving their emergencies and at times expect them to offer medical advice. However, in reality, it takes more than basic understanding to be able to solve some medical problems.
Reflections of the Nursing School
My focus in nursing school has been greatly shaped by the challenges I encountered along the way. First, I was determined to finish my nursing course, it has been my greatest motivation so far. My decision to join nursing school was informed by the health issues that have been troubling people in the community. Therefore, the challenges that I have encountered in nursing are nothing compared to the burning desire to complete the course and help the less fortunate in society. Additionally, people expect as a nurse that I can solve their health issues and this also fuels my desire to become a qualified nurse. However, my nursing journey has been made bearable by the passion that I have for becoming a nurse. It is something that has been in me since I was ten years when I went to the hospital for medical tests. The desperation that I saw made me vow to one day become a health medical practitioner and be of help to those suffering.
Nursing is a discipline-based practice. Its education comprises two parts, theoretical and practical. As licensed practicing nurses (LPN), our role is changing rapidly according to the natural, social, political, and economic events happening around us (Najafi Kalyani et al., 2019). For example, the role of LPN is increasingly becoming common in the nursing field. Thus, I realized that LPN working in the acute care sections are given lower ratings than their counterparts working in other healthcare settings. Nevertheless, my nursing experience, goals, and capacity have been reinforced by the positive experience that I received during clinical practice. Key among these factors was the positive nursing work environments that concluded accessible and responsible leaders, opportunities to serve patients directly, and provision of enough resources to provide quality care (Wangdi, 2019). Therefore, as an LPN, I anticipate to work in an environment that is both challenging and educative. I hope to work within an environment where I am given the necessary support to succeed in my work. The practical experiences working with acute care patients and children have given me the motivation to continue pursuing my goal.
Being a nurse requires passion, commitment, dedication, and a knack for helping people. Therefore, having a personal philosophy within the nursing field is important in helping one to express what makes them choose the field, what defines what makes them a good nurse, and what makes them a great healthcare practitioner. As an LPN, I realized that I have to be detail-oriented, patient, and available to ensure that I give my patient the proper care. Therefore, as a nurse, I will use my experience in treating patients by collaborating with other physicians and maintaining a clean and safe environment for the patients to recuperate. Additionally, I will be persistent in finding the best treatment through research to ensure that the patient has received the best care available.
In my opinion, human beings are the core of the nursing profession. It takes commitment for a nurse to know and understand each and every person they treat. Nurses need to categorize patients by simply saying they are humans and from that point let the personal belief and knowledge gained in class guide them. It is my belief that the environment plays a crucial role in ensuring the health of people. On the concept of health, my beliefs and attitudes are largely informed by the worldwide view that perceives health as reflection of the whole person. Lastly, in the concept of nursing I am convinced that nurses should use their core personal attributes (kindness, dignity, compassion, and respect), to provide quality care to their patients.
Nursing is a practice that is governed by a high level of discipline. It is a field that comprises both practical and theoretical work. However, the journey to becoming a competent and licensed nurse is a treacherous one that is marked with many challenges. First, one has to consider the source of tuition fees, accommodation, and upkeep. Additionally, the rigorous coursework, exams, clinical reports, and practical work overwhelm someone. Lack of social life is a common feature in the lives of nursing students because of the long hours spent in the classroom and the practical work. Moreover, the community has mounted unrealistic goals on the nursing students to solve their long-time illnesses. To solve these issues, it is important to develop a philosophy that would become a guiding principle in work. The philosophy will remind you why you became a nurse, your goals as LNP, and your motivations.
Najafi Kalyani, M., Jamshidi, N., Molazem, Z., Torabizadeh, C., & Sharif, F. (2019). How do nursing students experience the clinical learning environment and respond to their experiences? A qualitative study. BMJ Open, 9(7), e028052.
Phillips, L., de Los Santos, N., & Jackson, J. (2021). Licensed practical nurses’ perceptions of their work environments and their intention to stay: A cross‐sectional study of four practice settings. Nursing Open, 8(6), 3299-3305.
Rezakhani Moghaddam, H., Aghamohammadi, V., Jafari, M., Absalan, M., & Nasiri, K. (2020). Challenges faced by nursing students to work with nursing personnel: A qualitative. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, Volume 11, 313-319.
Wangdi, U. (2019). Perception on nursing profession and academic and work-related stress among nursing students in Bhutan. Biomedical Journal of Scientific &Amp; Technical Research, 22(3).
Zulu, B., du Plessis, E., & Koen, M. (2021). Experiences of nursing students regarding clinical placement and support in primary healthcare clinics: Strengthening resilience. Health SA Gesondheid, 26.