Aspiring nursing as a career is tough.
I know that is so cliché, but it is. And here is my top tips for first year student nurses!
- Organise your costs. If you are not as fortunate as some and like me, make your own way in regards to funding, then organisation and being real with your money is the way to go! Let me explain.. Be as prepared as you can, Know all the blood tests, vaccinations, uniforms, travel, book, stationery costs etc. Knowing is better than getting the shock of your life finding out you need this $300 blood test to test what you are immune to and what your are not immune to; because where I study, this is reality!
- Cut costs and stick to them! Next is to become organised with your money! As students, we are fortunate if we earn enough! So cut costs to a minimum. You need to become strict with what money you may be able to earn between all the assignments, placements, exams etc. Allow yourself reasonable (but not crazy) amounts of money, for the things that really need to be paid each week such as gas. I allow myself $40 per week on gas for an average week, and I never need to put more in per week!
- Being realistic with yourself. You know that you want this career, you need to work for it. So if you’re lying there after a particularly hard week and you just don’t think you can get up for 8am lectures, think again. If you want it, it’s waiting for you; you just need to show your dedication and hard work.
- Asking for help, if you are unsure! I’ve learnt this one personally as I find it hard to ask for help.. But I stress this! If you are struggling, if you do not understand or simply confused on one tiny subject.. ASK! Our tutors are not there just to talk at us and be paid (generally) they are very passionate nurses themselves and ache to shed advice and see that lightbulb moment when you understand. Just remember they aspired to be nurses once, just like we are now! And if, for some reason you do not find the answer you seek from a tutor, ask a peer! 🙂
- Prioritise! Yes, procrastination is vicious, and it is addictively hard to overcome but prevail! I believe in you! As a sufferer myself, I know the hardship! What I do to survive is to start easy. If it is an essay I begin by starting as early as possible to allow myself time. I go to the library, and read up on all key works the essay is about, so if it is about elderly nursing cares I will look up journal articles and books relating to these. Then, I find that I look for structure. So I will brainstorm how to structure the essay and I just let the passion take storm. In majority, It is the idea of beginning it that is the hardest! I just make sure I have breaks and keep track of my referencing so I can do them as I go along. I almost always ask a peer to read it, just for a fresh view.
- Asking advice. Majority of nurses withhold the same fiery passion burning in you to embark on this journey and like me, right now; are ripping with information and advice to give. Me, only in my second year of nursing, have learnt so much, so I do not dear to imagine the levels of advice a nurse of 20 years for example would have. Without the select few nurses, I would have struggled a lot more than I would like to think, because it is hard! and just hearing feedback on your practice and hearing that hey, you are doing great when you feel like a hot mess is great! It’s a motivator and a pick-me-up to think hey, I am going to be a great nurse soon, but at the minute, I am content with being a great student nurse!
- Peers. Find peers with the same positive motivation, passion and drive to succeed as you. Do not get messed around by half achievers and get caught up thinking that only expelling enough energy for the job is suitable for a degree, because it isn’t. And because unfortunately this does happen-This was me and I learnt my lesson quick enough! I enjoy reading up on subject prior to lectures, taking notes in class and lectures, doing them u into my own presentations, making flash cards, definition and drug referral books-Doing as much as possible, striving for success. I’m lucky I have on board to graduation; a handful of talented, aspiring student nurses with me who I only dream to be like.
This student nurse journey is exceptionally difficult but with organisation, motivation and passion; trust me, it will fly by! But enjoy it!