Making the Grade in Nursing

15% off nfl scrubs with checkout code "nfl_savings"

During my entrance into this wonderful profession I can still remember the stress over grades. Most ‘students’ in general want to excel at their studies. So as nursing students we fought for every point on our exams. From the first semester all the way to our senior semester there were certain students that just HAD to get that ‘A’.

I was one of them ‘in the beginning’. As the semesters rolled on I realized that being a competent practitioner was not about the ‘grades’ you got in school. Excelling as a nurse was not about the ‘exams’. What mattered most was how you put it all together for the ‘bigger picture’. That bigger picture was and still is all about your patients.

Does an A student equate to a ‘strong’ nurse?

Does a C student equate to a ‘weak’ nurse?

Nope.

In fact in my experience your ‘grades’ as a student have absolutely no bearing on how you perform your duties as a nurse.

That’s the rub.

You can be a rock star-like student nurse. You can kick @ss and take names on all your exams, your clinical performances and even ‘knock them dead’ when checking off a new ‘skill session’. But none of it will matter once you get out there and practice the art of nursing.

Sure getting the good grades and mastering the material is going to assist you and even make your ‘job’ easier in the beginning (and in the long run some times), but if you can’t apply your knowledge, generate some sharp critical thinking skills and develop a compassion for the people you take care of,  you will not succeed as a nurse.

In fact it’s my believe you will fail as a nurse (but that’s another story).

I only bring this to light since I’m back in the saddle again. My first semester as an acute care nurse practitioner student and I’m already caught up in the world of ‘grades’. I’m feeling like a failure if  I don’t get the ‘A’, and I really need to stop it.

I need to center myself and be sure to keep my focus on the big picture. I will grasp and master the concepts, but I will not let the ‘grade’ dictate my success.

For all the ‘students’ out there – don’t lose sight of the big picture. In the end, your patient won’t give a damn what your grades were as a student. They will however give a damn about how you care for them.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Making the Grade in Nursing

  1. You said “Sure getting the good grades and mastering the material is going to assist you and even make your ‘job’ easier in the beginning (and in the long run some times), but if you can’t apply your knowledge, generate some sharp critical thinking skills and develop a compassion for the people you take care of, you will not succeed as a nurse” I couldnt agree with you more. I’m a nursing instructor, and am constantly being pushed to develop rubricks to take the subjective out of student grades. I have taught for several years, and I believe that seeing the big picture, and critical thinking arent things I can readily create a rubrick for. I dont always see the A students as the “best”, but what I have seen is that those who study hard enough to get A’s on exams are usually very dedicated and work hard to do what is necessary to gain a full understanding of the information. You cannot adequately critically think through a complex patient situation if you do not understand the basic information in the first place. A’s are great but you are correct, they do not make the best nurse. Some C students have C’s because of test anxiety, but they can easily handle anything I throw at them. The best nurse is the one with brains (technical knowledge), compassion, patience, critical thinking ability, and problem solving skills. The ability to “play the game” does not make anyone a good nurse, unless he or she uses it to advocate for the patient.

  2. I won’t lose sight of the big picture. But it sure is difficult!
    Hopefully things will work out.
    Thanks for the blog post!

  3. That is so true. Nursing school is so stressful. Another skill folks need is organization. Without that you are dead in the water.

    congratulations on your new endeavor. I wish you the utmost success and joy on your journey.

    1. Thank you dear. First semester down. And you are absolutely correct about needing organization as a nurse.

Your thoughts....? I'd love to hear from ya!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s