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Student nurse blog: What I love about nursing


New Nursing Times student blogger Katrina Michelle Rowan loves being a student nurse - even if she can’t always find the correct orifice…

I’ve just finished my second placement, my head is reeling from everything I’ve learnt and I’m panicking about my essay that is due this month. Why oh why did i decide to do this course?

Actually that’s an easy one - its been on the cards for years. I may complain about the work, shift patterns, the horrible nurse who refuses to learn my name and missing out on time with my children.

But you know what? I’m loving every minute of it.

My second placement, on a surgical ward, was amazing. My mentor was fantastic and i have learned so much. I feel overwhelmed by how much i dont know; I’m still frightened about the anatomy side of things - (I havent studied biology in 15 years); and dont even get me started on the drugs round.

But there are so many things I love: the staff nurses who don’t mind being bombarding with questions and who are happy to show me again what they showed me seven times yesterday; the ones who dont laugh when you’re trying to catheterise a patient and can’t find the right orifice; the ones who give me feedback and tell me I’m doing well.

But most of all i love the patients and the opportunity I’ve been given to broaden my knowledge base and challenge myself to learn things that frighten me.

I love the fact that I take the job home with me, that I have phoned the ward at 2am as I’d forgotten to do something - much to the amusement of the poor staff nurse who answered my call and took 10 minutes to figure out what on earth i was waffling on about.

I also love the people I meet that make me laugh and cry. And most importantly all of them - every single one - helps me learn.

I can’t wait to qualify, even though it’s a distant two and a half years away, and i would love to take you on this journey with me.


Readers' comments (12)

  • I'm really happy to read your column. Its all too easy to get disheartened by the poor staffing, low morale etc, etc.... - its refreshing to hear the good side of being a student nurse voiced.

    Keep it up - most importantly, keep it fresh - and see you in 21/2 years.

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  • I too am a student nurse in my third semester. What emotions I have gone through....and my poor family are many. But I refuse to give in as this career path has been long overdue. No-one will make me quit because of the few unkind members of the "caring profession" that I have met along the way.
    Keep going.. It's hard work but we will make it with our heads held high.

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  • Dear Katrina,

    Keep going! I am just about to complete my second year, first Semester. I have been through the motions and emotions and learned a lot about myself. I did give up for 8 months and joined the next cohort. I felt down-hearted as I watched my fellow student friends move ahead of me but I decided that I depended on myself and had to put that aside and concentrate on a career that I have always admired and wanted. So far, so good - I have not cried even once! I am now enjoying it and not letting the stress of assignments and exams get to me.

    Wishing you all the best.

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  • It is encouraging to read your blog as after 34 years in the NHS I have become cynical about the future of nursing and nursing leadership. Indeed my daughter is a student nurse, and I tried very hard to talk her out of it, because I think ordinary nurses are unsupported my their seniors. Hopefully you will retain your enthusiasm. Good luck!

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  • Well done for all the students who are surviving the current nurse training. I have just completed my course at Coventry University and have picked up my last essay, which thank god i passed and am now waiting for the clinical grids to be marked and to be issued with my PIN number. Throughout the course I have made numerous good friends, had many enjoyable placements and learnt alot about time management! I am sad that the course has come to an end after 3 very quick years but am excited, as are my fellow "awaiting" RGN friends at the prospect of becoming independant practitioners and to helping other student nurse cohorts to succeed.

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  • Hi
    you sound as if you will make a great staff nurse,i am in first year and the work load ia heavy but i can always see the light at the end of the tunnel.Like yourself i love the patients and all the communication skills that i have picked up,i cant say i have enjoyed all my placements,i get really down heartened when i get a mentor who is just not interested in showing me anything,but on a positive side there have been more good than bad.I also cant wait until i qualify,hope you do well and keep up the good work.


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  • Hi Katrina
    I would just like to say how great it was to read your blog. I'm a third year student nurse in Liverpool and qualify (touch wood) in September. Ive got a little girl who is 3 and finding it really hard at the moment as I feel like I miss vital parts of her life with all of the hours and the work however, reading your blog made me smile again about the course I'm doing and like you stated the sense of satisfaction you get from caring for people and making their life's that tiny bit better and sometimes making them just smile can have a great sense of satisfaction. I would like to say thank you as it has all just come back as to why Ive have
    worked so hard over the last 2 and half years. Good luck with your training it gets better regarding the work as you start to understand it more as you put it to practice. Thanks again Katherine Liverpool

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  • l am in the sme sort of situation with you Katrina. second placement and a father of two with assignment coming from left and right. One thing l always have in mind is determination. l am detremined to finish the couse in 2 n 1/2 years no matter the short comings. keep the faith ands dont quench the spirit. keep it up and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    well done you have also given me the urge to push on.

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  • Thanks Katrina for your inspiring blog! I am now in my 3rd year of training and have to admit that sometimes I lose my enthusiasm a little bit- usually when I havn't had a placement for a while and am struggling with essays and presentations! reading your blog reminds me how much I love the ward environment and what I am working towards. Thanks!

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  • hi really good to read all ur comments. im in my third year finishing Sept. im terrified. i know why i went into training. I really dont like going to Uni. i love being on the wards engaging with the patients. All my placements have been fine. the patients all say positive things. they say they can see its a vocation for me. i know iv got the qualities and i fear that with all this OSCE and the way they frighten you about being referred if through nerves you forget to say something, sometimes i feel like stopping cos i wd be devastated if i didnt achieve my ambition of being a nurse
    Presently struggling to finish essay and start placement on the 13th
    good luck to u all

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