[VOICES of EXPERIENCE] Advice for Nursing Students From the Field

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Voices of Experience…  Advice for Nursing Students

Some words of experience from men and women who are working nurses in a variety of settings, with myriad skills, perspectives, and levels of education.  Thank you to all of the nurses who have been so forthcoming in sharing their views and experiences !

It takes a lot of hard work and determination. You can start off by job shadowing at the hospital, that way you can get a feel for the nurse’s role first hand. I saw that you were an observer for a medical team which is a good start. If anything, for now get your prerequisites out the way. A community college is a good start for those, save you some money, just make sure your classes will transfer to the prospective nursing programs. I would definitely recommended getting your BSN though, it will be beneficial to you in the long run. Just know that nursing is a whole different field, a different way of thinking. Good luck to you! ~Jwana

 

Get ready to change your way of life! I was 47 yrs. old before I started nursing school.
I had to eat, breathe, and sleep nursing. I traveled 70 miles one way to class.
I ate my sandwich walking across campus to my next class. Maybe you can partner up
with a friend. I did and we traveled together. By the way,neither of us had prior nursing experience. We quizzed each other on what we had studied on the way, to and from class. I studied on the couch sometimes until 2;00 A.M.and set my alarm clock. I had to wake up early early in a.m. to hook up with my ride and get to class on time.

It won’ t be easy, but you can do it. You really have to be determined that you will make
it through the course and graduate. By the way, if you are married or in a relationship,
I hope you have a supportive spouse or partner. That will help a whole lot.

Nursing was the experience of a lifetime. You will never be sorry. Being a nurse will do
a lot of things for you. It will makes you a more caring, organized, stronger person (emotionally), able to make right decisions for your patients. It teaches you a different way of thinking. I had a little trouble leaving my patients at the hospital, when my shift ended. I hope that you learn to do that. Be determined and stick with it. Do not let the words, “I quit!” creep into your mind. Good luck!
mind, no matter what. ~Katie

Get as organized in your life as possible.
Make sure you have everything in your life done ahead of time. Get all your dental, medical, car appointments, etc….. done beforehand. We weren’t allowed many absences and if you missed something it was hard to fill in the gap.
Expect for your world to revolve around school and most things will be second.
Best of wishes, ~Lynda

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About Heather Swift

Heather “Swifty” Swift has been Kicking mAss since 1998. At 28 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a recently single mom with two small babies on her hip. After completing treatment with the thought that cancer was in her rear view mirror she worked, locally, as a volunteer for Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance doing community outreach to be certain that no one faced cancer alone. In 2005, she had a secondary diagnosis of breast cancer and tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation, which only amped up her commitment to creating positive change and to becoming a strong and effective advocate for the young adult cancer community. Now, at age 42, Swifty, her partner, Brian, and her two teenage children work together locally, nationally and internationally to advocate for change. Swifty regularly meets with legislators to work towards tangible change in health care, legislation that addresses the needs of cancer patients, care-partners, and families. She works directly with clinicians, medical/nursing students, youth & college students, cancer support organizations and others to educate them about the special needs of young adults living with a cancer diagnosis. Swifty is passionate about providing support by connecting people living with cancer to resources, to other cancer survivors, and to mobilizing and training individuals and groups to find their inner advocate. Swifty currently works with a number of amazing, hand-selected organizations, which provide her with opportunities to educate, to advocate, and to change the conversation about cancer and to work to bring an end to the disease. A few include: LiveSTRONG, mAss Kickers, Imerman Angels, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes, Dusty Showers & The Second Basemen, and Stupid Cancer. Swifty is an oncology nursing student in upstate New York, loves time with her family, paddling sports, and peanut butter. She is a Virgo, but not the really anal-retentive type. Her strange fascination with superheroes makes her popular in geek circles, but it can be endearing. Swifty will be riding a llama across Oregon in July of 2012 and really does believe we can achieve and end to cancer and in world peace. Motto: Never Give Up! Favorite quote: “Our own life has to be our message.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

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