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Dear Nursing Student

You're probably reading this on one of your breaks from what seems like endless studying. Either that, or you're like me and you're procrastinating all that you have to do. 

No matter whether you're in your first year of nursing school or fifth, you probably have this burning question that lingers deep down... 

Will I be a good nurse? 

This question probably rears its ugly head in the meanest of ways after you make a mistake in clinical or fail an exam. I'm here to tell you that yes, you will be a good nurse and it all gets better. 

If you're anything like me, most days in nursing school you wondered why anyone didn't warn you that nursing school would be so dang hard! Why didn't anyone tell you that while most of your friends focused on one paper, exam, or presentation at a time-you would be focusing on all three at the same time? Why didn't anyone tell you that your textbooks weighed more than a small child, and that you were actually expected to read through it?   Why didn't anyone warn you that you'd be doing twenty page care plans... every week? 

And for the love of everything that is good and right in this world... why didn't anyone warn you about the fact that you would be waking up when it was still dark outside while the rest of your friends considered an 8 o'clock class "early"?

(this is me after one of my first clinicals...ever)

These thoughts ran through my head on a weekly daily basis in nursing school, and there was more than one time that I felt like quitting. 

You may have felt like quitting last night as you stumbled into bed after having worked on your care plan for the previous 8 hours straight. You may have felt like quitting this morning when you got to clinical and were told to redo part of your care plan because you missed some important points.

I'm here to tell you don't quit because it.gets.better. Nursing school is a grueling 4-5 years. You are learning so much, and believe it or not the skills you are developing in clinical will help you in your career. You'll still have a lot to learn when you start your first job, but the foundation that you're forming now is essential to the knowledge you'll learn later on. 

When you graduate nursing school and land that first job you will be so nervous. The lectures you heard in nursing school of nurses losing their license will run through your head. Ignore those thoughts. Don't let that fear cripple you. 

In that first job, take advantage of every opportunity. Learn from your preceptor and watch and listen to nurses around you. Some of the most important lessons I've learned have come from observing the nurses around me. Focus on being a safe nurse, that cares for his/her patients. This means looking up your medications and asking if something doesn't make sense. This means asking for help if you're not comfortable with a procedure {even if you're worried you'll look dumb}. This means questioning orders that don't seem to make sense, and going with your gut feeling. 

Each day you will get better. 

As stressful as your first year can/may be, you will finally feel like a "real" nurse. You'll feel that you are getting somewhere and finally achieving your dream of being a nurse. You will start to realize that you know more than you think you know, but you will constantly be aware of how much you don't know. 

You will make mistakes and doubt yourself. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned the first year is... 

Be nice to yourself. 

You're a human and you make mistakes. All the nurses around you that are great nurses, made many of the same mistakes that you did. Learn from those mistakes and move on.   

You will no longer have to do care plans and when you get home from the hospital you are finished. You won't need to study for another exam or write a paper. You can go home, make dinner, and watch TV free of guilt. You may even find yourself wondering what to do on your days off. For these reasons alone, the real world is so much better than nursing school. 

Depending on your job, you may land up working more weekends, holidays, and nights that you ever bargained for... but at least now you're getting paid instead of waving goodbye to every penny of your existence every time the university tuition bill lands in your mailbox. 

Nursing student, what you are doing at this very moment is no piece of cake. It's hard, it's long, and sometimes you'll wonder if it's worth it. 

It's worth it. 
Don't quit. 

Your job as a nurse will give you career stability, endless opportunities for advancement, and one day you will find the area that makes you tick, and makes you excited to go to work

Your job will leave you feeling fulfilled, and this sense of purpose is something that most people spend their entire lives searching for. You may not find the job you love, or the one that leaves you feeling fulfilled right away. Keep searching. Its out there. 

What I heard so many times before I graduated nursing school is true... I hated nursing school, but I love my job. It's possible, friend, it's possible.

(My first day at my first job)

Take it one day at a time until you cross that stage to receive your diploma. Breathe. Enjoy life outside of nursing school. Never forget why you chose nursing in the first place, and focus on the good around you.

You will be a good nurse. You will make a difference, just like you've always wanted. You are the future of healthcare, and you are going to change the world.  And just remember...

It all gets better.

 Yours Truly,

A nurse that loves her job and is glad she didn't quit nursing school


  1. I have so many friends from college and now that are nurses and school was totally brutal, but now they are SO happy! They love their work....and what an important work it is! Found you at the link-up, thank for sharing!

  2. I think you'll make a great nurse, if this post is any indication. You've obviously thought about your motivations and still manage to stay optimistic for others!

    Another Beautiful Thing


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