What to Expect As a Student Nurse

When you first start out as a student on your nursing course, you may not know what to expect. Although experiences of student nursing do tend to vary from person to person, there are a few things which you may wish to bear in mind, in order to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for life as a student nurse.

Expect to be busy

Working as a nurse is not a nine-to-five job, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself working unsociable hours as a student too. You might only be on placement for three days a week, but this is unlikely to mean that you will be able to spend all your days off relaxing and socialising. Expect to work hard and you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by days spent in the student library or looming coursework deadlines. Don’t forget, you’ll be working to get your head around nursing theory, whilst also learning how to put such techniques into practice. Learn how to manage your time effectively and you’ll be better able to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Expect to meet new people

Student nursing will require that you work closely with other students and members of medical staff, so you’re sure to meet plenty of new people. Sharing the knowledge which you learn can be extremely helpful, especially if you’re living with other student nurses who are likely to be having similar experiences. You will also meet a good number of qualified nurses, doctors and other members of hospital staff, who you will be able to learn from during your journey to becoming a nurse.

Expect to use your initiative

Student nursing courses tend to be relatively independent and you may often find that you are often required to use your initiative. From organising your accommodation, to arranging your own study groups, thinking ahead can prove advantageous. When completing clinical shifts, don’t be afraid to speak up if you want clarification on anything and be honest if you are unsure. Asking lots of questions can help you to progress more quickly and will demonstrate your enthusiasm to learn. If you want to impress, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re never late and always organised.

Expect the unexpected

As you will soon learn, no two days working as a nurse are ever alike and it is always good to be prepared. Patients do not always respond in the way that your expect them to and you will want to ensure that you are always alert to spot anything unusual or out of the ordinary. At the same time, your nursing course may also be subject to change and you may not find yourself working on the placements that you were hoping to. Learn what you can from every situation that you find yourself presented with and you’ll soon be well on your way to qualifying as a nurse.