Confessions of my Misconceptions: Volume One

June 17, 2008


I decided that it was time to admit to a misconception or two that I had held prior to nursing school. I know that we’ve all held erroneous beliefs before, but I think that mine were built from my own cockiness. I’ve taken it upon myself to label this Volume One, as I have a pretty strong feeling that I will face many more misconceptions during my next three semesters of nursing school.

 Ok, so here it goes… I hope nobody holds this against me…


 I thought that Nursing School was going to be easy.


Let me start off by defending myself here; I now know that this is completely false, and I will readily correct anyone who dares to say otherwise. But, with my prior experience and innate scholastic ability (yea, I said it!), I thought Nursing School would be a breeze. Let’s face it, I had already finished my BA, and this was only an Associates… so how hard could it honestly be?

On the first day of class we were given our semester schedules; a calendar mapped out perfectly of our day to day lives throughout the next four months. It looked brutal. There was no time for introductions, reviews of syllabus, or any of the usual initial “first day” bullshit. Our first day we had both lecture and lab. The following day, we had Labs number 2 and 3, as well as lectures 2a and 2b. Looking ahead, the first exam was in three weeks, followed by a medical calculations test, and finally a skills test would be held in just over a month. Our clinical rotations in the nursing home would begin in three weeks, and after three weeks there we would begin rotations in the hospital. And so, it had begun.

After our first two days of class (we were lucky enough to have a truncated week—thanks Martin Luther King!), I realized that this wasn’t going to be quite as easy as I thought. I was already five chapters behind in readingyes FIVE… and I had hardly picked up a book in my seven years in college up to this point. I was going to need to read, because we had a weekly quiz, and our labs were geared towards what we had read. It was getting more exhausting by the minute.

Over the next few weeks I read what can only be described as a mass of text, studied my new found skills of taking blood pressure, pulse, temp (ok, that was my favorite because it was a no brainer), and studying range of motion exercises. I also needed to practice medical calculations diligently because without an 80% or above I could not pass the exam, and my math skills are anything but wonderful.

And now, a note on grades. Needing an 80% on the medical calculations wasn’t an option… it was necessity. Like most other exams and skills tests in nursing, you only get two chances. If, by some horrible fate you fail the first test and cannot score high enough on the second… well, let’s just say you’ve just read and studied your ass off for nothing, because you are officially booted from the program. No pressure though…

My other favorite part of grades was that most of them only count AGAINST you. In fact, of all of the work we had to do, very little counted towards our actual final grade. So, if you failed the medical calculations, any of the three skills tests, or had absences (more than one) in clinical, your nursing career was done. However, come grades time, not one of those grades or hours of work were credited towards your final grade. I found this nauseating… to work so hard and get nothing in return except being “allowed” to stay in the program.

There were other things that made nursing school difficult too. I would not recommend for anyone to work full-time during it, but I really have no choice. And, as I noted in a previous blog, that led to a complete lack of sleep. Having to come home and study after late night class and labs was even more difficult, and I often had to give up my work breaks to sit in the conference room and finish reading for my quiz.

My first semester of nursing school was not all bad though. I already knew a handful of my classmates, and although some were real bitches, most of them were really sweet and helpful. We definitely help each other out in class as well in the hospital. The hospital was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I was always in awe to see how busy the nurses were…how much responsibility they had… and how well they handled it. I want to be just like them.

So, with risk of this getting any longer, I just want to wrap it up by saying… I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO WRONG ABOUT ANYTHING IN MY LIFE!!





  1. look at that….hard at work. looks good bb

  2. I understand. I hope you stand your ground. I am so over nursing school.

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