Being a student and being a student nurse are two very different paths to take and although they have similarities, being a student nurse can be a far more demanding route to go down.
A student nurse may have expectations of their time studying alike to a university student’s life, but the two can be very different indeed.
Why Be A Nurse?
People choose to do a nursing career if they’ve always had a passion for caring for people and looking after individuals. It’s a job that changes lives and makes a real difference in the community. Nursing is a chance to interact with people of all different ages, from babies to elderly citizens.
A nursing degree does usually take place over three years, similarly to a normal degree, but nursing students have to be far more specific with what they want to do as they are usually trained and gain skills in a particular field. The knowledge and skills they finish with will determine what wards they can work in and who they can work with.
Unlike usual university students, there has been a recent and noticeable increase in workload and pressure for student nurses. However, this is to fully prepare the student for life after their studies and for a career in nursing. There’s a lot to learn and not a lot of time to do it all in. Expect 9am starts, late finishes, a lot of exams and stacks of books all over your bedroom floor.
Similarly, to a usual student, if you don’t like what you’re studying you can always change direction. If you don’t feel like the field you’ve gone into is working for you, you can always switch. Do not be disheartened if you feel your nursing course isn’t what you thought it would be, as you can always find a new branch of nursing that will suit you better.
Say Goodbye to Life As You Know It
After seminars and research are over normal students can go enjoy themselves, take time to relax and unwind, maybe go catch a film or have dinner with friends. However, nursing students may be far too tired to even stand up! Nurses will have to undergo clinical placements where they are accessed by nurse mentors. Clinical practice is extremely useful to a training nurse and helps provide solutions to the challenges and issues many may face as a nurse in the real world.
You have to be willing to say goodbye to your social life as you will have to budget like a normal student. Pack your own lunch, walk instead of drive and find cheap but comfortable accommodation. You may work alternating shifts, including nights, which will limit the time you’ll get to spend with family and friends. You’ll also be expected to work weekends and bank holidays, meaning that while your other student friends will be out hitting the town, you’ll be hard at work.
Being a nurse is a lifestyle choice and although at times it is difficult and demanding, overall it is a rewarding and inspiring career that will introduce you to new people and a new way of life.