What They Didn’t Teach You in Nursing School

Nursing is a fast-paced, stressful job, and being a nurse is more complex than you might expect. As such, there is an extensive amount of information one must learn. Unfortunately, there are many things that you might not learn in nursing school that will be valuable to your nursing career. Here are practical pieces of advice they do not teach in nursing school.

Intrapersonal Skills

Most nursing tasks are affected by how you approach people and their perceptions of you. Nursing school does not prepare you for people skills you will need throughout a shift. Intrapersonal skills are crucial for success as a nurse.

Complex Patients and Family Members

Difficult patients and family members are part of every nurse’s life. There should be an entire course in nursing school regarding what to say and how to say it to patients. You must know what politically correct statements to say and understand personal limits and standards.

Time for De-Stressing

Stress is something that will be a part of your entire nursing career. Taking the time to handle that stress is vital to your success. Unfortunately, nursing school does not teach you to establish a decompressing routine. Reading, watching movies, taking a bath, getting a massage, or taking a vacation are great places to start.

Take Notes When You Get Hands-On Experience

Note take and be present when you get opportunities for procedures such as inserting a foley catheter, an IV or a nasogastric tube. These opportunities do not happen in school but will frequently occur once you are a working nurse.

Rapid Response Scenarios

You will not learn how to respond to a rapid response scenario in nursing school. The correct reaction and protocols are not second nature. Additional experience would be valuable before being thrust into an actual code.

Splurge on Supportive Shoes

Do your research and invest in a good pair of supportive shoes. Take it a step further and buy sole inserts. Those days spent sitting in nursing school classrooms will not prepare your feet for the real world.

Days Vs. Nights

Nursing school poorly explains the difference between day and night shifts. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and each one might not be for everyone. Yes, you make more money on nights, but can your body handle it? There are questions you must ask yourself before committing.

Bring Your Snacks

Bring in your snacks. Bringing healthy snacks to work to keep in your locker is essential on busy days, and you might be a lifesaver for a co-worker who needs extra calories. Helping others is a great thing. Also, consider having instant coffee available.

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