The New Nursing Student
Dr. Ingrid Simkins
All who enter nursing school 🏫 are taking a risk…they are rolling the 🎲🎲 and taking the gamble 🎰 that this profession they are seeking will be the fulfillment of a dream, a second career that brings satisfaction, an opportunity to make a difference and have a sense of purpose all while being able to provide for their family. The years of preparation that have led you to this moment may have felt akin to the butterflies you get in your stomach as you slowly make your way to the top of the rollercoaster🎢. You know what to expect, you tell yourself, you have assessed the situation, you have counted the number of hills, twists, and drops. You have researched the speed of this ride (2 years) and you know at the end will be the reward of your efforts as you reach your targeted goals 🎯.
Calculated risks are still risks. What I have assessed in the new nursing student however, are those new areas of vulnerability that present themselves. You were an expert student, but now you are a novice again. You are learning new skills 💉, being watched and evaluated as you prove your knowledge and safe practices 💊 before you go off to clinical 🏥. You demonstrate your vulnerability when responding to the instructor’s questions, knowing you are taking the risk you may be incorrect or a skills check may not go as planned. You take a risk that the members in your group project will carry their weight and meet the deadlines so as to not poorly impact your grade. You take risks in forming new relationships with the people you will spend more time with than even some of your family members.
In my humble opinion, the truly successful nursing students are the ones that take the opportunity to embrace risks even when there’s a chance of failure. They challenge themselves with new ways to process information through varied teaching, learning, and testing strategies. Successful students learn to trust their peers, teachers, and instincts. The most important risks one can take are those of self-evaluation and reflection; it is not always easy but having the confidence, humility, and wisdom to adapt and evolve will be what truly guides you on your path to success 🎓.
The new Graduate Nurse
Dr. Mary Resler
I have to admit I am not much of a risk taker. I have lived a life of playing it safe and being conservative. However when taking care of patients and working in healthcare you are putting yourself at risk daily. There are policies and procedures that help support and prevent high risk situations. There are standards of practice that you learn and test to, but nothing can quite prepare you for the realities of patient care.
The worldwide pandemic has been a perfect example of the type of risks you are faced with as a nurse. The recent news coverage of the nurse who made a catastrophic medication error is another example of risk. These examples are not isolated events, they happen all the time. It is important as a new nurse that you hold to the standards of care and policies and procedures that are in place to help protect you and your patients from unnecessary risk.
The new Nurse Educator
Dr. Grace Paul
Taking risks can be exciting and fun to some, while it is terrifying for others. While taking on the role of a new nurse educator, there is fear and anxiety, there is this enormous expectation that is placed on the educator – the fear that we don’t know everything, the fear that the students may ask something and we will draw a blank! But unless we take that risk, we don’t know what it will be like, or if we will be successful. It is only when we take that plunge, we will know what is out there! Innovation comes from taking risks. As educators, if we don’t take the risk and accept challenges, we won’t know what we are capable of, and how we may effectively change the world.
With the COVID pandemic, educators who have never taught outside of the classroom, overnight became great virtual educators. Educators used creativity and innovation to teach a hands-on nursing curriculum into a completely online modality. Tech companies came up with so many engaging platforms that were easy to incorporate into the online world. From taking the roll call, to teaching theory as well as lab classes, grading, tutoring all were changed into a virtual reality. As they say necessity is the mother of invention and innovation. That first step is terrifying, moving out of our comfort zone is not pleasant, but once we take that step, we will take that next step, and the next and so on.
Taking risks leads to positive changes, and we learn from our failures. The more risks we take, we realize that there are more possibilities out there, and there is purpose in life. There is definitely fear involved while taking risks. And while some fear is healthy, and makes us think of all the sides related to the risk, we have to get beyond the fear and take the chance. We won’t know the outcome unless we try it!