Surviving Nursing School - Amy's perspective

What was your process of getting enrolled in nursing school?

Getting into nursing school was difficult for me; I completed my pre-requisites at San Francisco State with the hope of getting into their nursing program. Things didn't really work out how I planned. I wasn’t accepted at SF State, or the other five Cal State schools I applied to. I moved home, and broadened the search. I was accepted into USF, which was the first private school I applied to. I decided it was worth it to attend a private university in order to get started as soon as possible and USF has a really great program.  

What has been the hardest part of nursing school? 

The first few clinical rotations in the hospital were difficult. I started out really uncomfortable and out of place, not knowing how to interact with patients or the nurses on the floor. I had been really comfortable learning in the classroom, but taking my skills and knowledge to practical use took a little time for me to get used to. Stepping out of that comfort zone is where I found the most growth and progress as a nursing student. 

What were/are you most nervous about? 

Getting a job! I feel that my first job is going to have a huge influence on what kind of nurse I become and its a little daunting applying for and entering the workforce. 

What throws you off balance and how do you know you are out of balance?

I get thrown off balance pretty easily; I'm a new grad! I hate the feeling of being uncertain of myself, of not having all the answers, but that has been and is going to be my experience as a new nurse at least until I get some experience under my belt. 

What brings you back into balance?

Having a wonderful support system, asking for help, and being able to accept that help! One of my favorite things about working my nursing internship on night shift this summer was the comradery you feel with people you work and stay up all night with. Teamwork in nursing is so important to staying balanced. 

 Tell me about your most favorite day at the hospital and why.

My favorite day was my first day on the labor and delivery unit. My mom is actually an L&D nurse. It was just so different than any other clinical rotation I experienced before. I was able to go in the OR for a delivery of baby girl twins. I thought the nurses might just make me stand in the corner to watch, but I got to be more involved than I expected, and being a part of the birth experience was just so absolutely incredible. 

What advice would you give to nursing students starting out?

School is going to be incredibly difficult, but always remember why you started and where your passion for nursing came from. My best advice would be to try out and experience as many different areas as possible, sometimes the specialty you end up loving most is something you'd never expect! And lastly, failing a test or class does NOT mean you are going to be a bad nurse, its going to make you a better nurse because you had to work that much harder. 


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