The New Nursing Student 🌳
Dr. Ingrid Simkins
As a student begins their new journey in nursing school there is a mindset that, if adopted, can garner student success and that is the ‘bloom where you are planted’ philosophy. This landscape called nursing school provides soil that is rich, fertile, and just begging for a new seedling to take root. The difference between that seedling bearing fruit and just existing is growth.
🌳Growth, such a positive word, but one that also comes with a set of growing pains. Perhaps before nursing school classroom success took minimal effort, was a solo mission, and came with the reinforcement of an “A” to validate your contributions…what could be painful about that? Nothing at all! However, you are now in a new environment, one where the conditions are unfamiliar and success now comes with hours of practice, intentional effort, potential setbacks, and opportunities to receive constructive feedback that may not feel as good as that “A”. However, you persevere and realize that when you lean on those around you in a give and take dichotomy, your growth is less of a struggle.🌳
🌳Wherever you are in the nursing program right now, I ask you to take a moment and reflect upon your personal growth. Where are you now compared to that first day of nursing school? The end of the first semester? Whenever you feel doubt in yourself or your growth think about the following…
The New Graduate Nurse🌳
Dr. Mary Resler
As a new graduate nurse the career field is broad. It is like a blank canvas that only you as a nurse have the power to control the end products. In order to get there a lot of growth takes place. Growth in the profession can be positive and challenging at the same time.
One of my favorite quotes is “there is no growth in comfort and, there is no comfort in growth.“
If we are not growing then we are standing still.
As a nurse you must be prepared for lifelong education. As evidence-based practice continues and new medical advances take place the nurse must continue to educate themselves to be the best for their patients. Many new graduate nurses feel a sense of relief and accomplishment when they pass the nursing program and the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Although the education piece may have been accomplished, the learning and growing – is just a beginning.
The New Nurse Educator🌳
Dr. Grace Paul
🌳All great students are not great test takers, and all great nurses were not great test takers. Likewise, all great bedside nurses are not necessarily the best educators! I started out as a community health nurse in India. The Vellore Christian Medical College and Hospital Nursing College has adopted quite a few villages around, and community health nurses worked alongside the government workers for the area. As a community health nurse, I was responsible for one village of about roughly 1000 people. As the College of Nursing Community Health Nurse (CONCH), among my many responsibilities, I also had 2-4 students assigned to me for their community health experience. 🌳
I still remember my first two students who were assigned to me. I was feeling awkward inside, since I was myself new in the role of a community health nurse, and then to have to be a role model to these two students! I was scared that I might say something wrong! Just like when I was a student, I used to have nightmares that I had slept through my alarm, and the student had arrived and was searching for me, and that I lost all the assignments that were submitted to me! Students rarely realize that as a new instructor, we are quite vulnerable too. But for the most part, we try to put on a brave face, because we don’t want to lose our credibility! We want the students to have a good experience! I, of course, grew out of those nightmares in a few months.
🌳As a novice educator, there are so many qualities that need to be cared for, tended to, and developed. With the pandemic, all of us have evolved and grown to the extent that even we did not think we were capable of! That is what humans do, we rise to the occasion, when we are challenged. And so, it is good to keep ourselves challenged, so that we can learn new things, keep our mind active, and although we may grow older, we can still be relevant when younger generations of students come to us.
🌳As an educator, we need to be relevant, and current, and learn the ways our students learn, so that we can be effective in our role as educators! We have to continually reflect on our own teaching philosophies, build on creating a trusting relationship with students, where students are able to think critically, and feel free to ask questions. Teaching a student to think critically is a skill that educators must develop. Every student learns differently, and as educators, we must meet them at their level. The pandemic has taught us the importance of self care, and this goes both ways. Just as food and rest are necessary for our physical bodies, positive thoughts, reflection or meditation are necessary for our souls!🌳