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'I feel utterly alone as a student nurse'


Can you advise this student nurse?

“I have recently started my nursing training. However, I feel very isolated and alone.

“My flatmates are all studying courses without any intense placements attached to them - at least not now - so they are having a very different experience and facing different challenges to me.

“What really makes matters worse is I don’t have many close family members to talk to so I was banking on making some close friends on my course. However, everyone is just so busy and we’re often apart from one another studying, on placement, or working part-time jobs it makes it hard.

“I usually make friends fast and am a bit in shock and embarrassed that I am struggling to be honest.

“I don’t know anyone that has studied nursing before or any healthcare-related field so I’m getting more and more panicked now as I have all these burning quesitons, doubts about my ability and nobody who I can trust to share what I am feeling with, or about the specific stuff to do with nursing - some of which is so scary and important to get right otherwise you could be putting someone’s life at risk.

“I feel so responsible and pretty alone.

“Has anyone got any advice? Anything would be really appreciated.”

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Oh dear, that is a tough place to be. I doubt you're alone in being in that situation - I know I've been somewhere similar. Difficult to talk about though, and it is difficult when everyone seems to be so busy. Maybe you could take the initiative and invite a few people to do something together. A drink? A meal? Or a joint study session? They might be glad of the chance to chat too.
    Are there any joint activities in the school you can get involved in to meet people other than in your year group?
    Or any sports clubs or uni societies you could join? Even if it's not healthcare related you'll be able to meet people with similar interests.
    Also, are you on social media? Twitter can be helpful for finding enthusiastic and helpful fellow students and nurses . I know it's not the same as meeting in person but it may be a way to discuss your nursing specific queries (by DM as well as 'in public'). And you might even meet people who are close by too.
    You are not alone though! All the very best and good luck with the course.

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  • I was lucky enough to have a large social network when I started nurse training, but this dwindles over the years, especially working shifts and two jobs at that to get by - truth is there is never any time or energy left for being social, and you have to work very hard to maintain friendships over the years, but it is possible - just focus on those that mean the most to you.

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  • That is very sad and at a time you need them most. Making good friends always takes time and fluctuates through life as people come into your life and move away. Also you can't force people to be your friends as everyone has a different agenda. Sometimes friendships just form spontaneously or gradually over time.

    I have also, like many, had to go through some very difficult times without anyone to talk to with the loss of my family and close friends spread across the globe and have had to develop resilience through interests and hobbies. Throw yourself into your studies, do well, try and enjoy what you do and friendships should develop. Don't give up.

    When I started training I was the only mature student among school leavers and a 10'year gap. It was not ideal as we had nothing in common, but I made it and it opened up an amazing career.

    Even now, I would love to have somebody I could just ring up for a chat over a coffee when one feels down or go and travel with, or go out in the evening with but it just doesn't always happen and it seems others are having a far better time, but who might be in just the same situation

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  • I felt like this at the start of my training. You will make friends via group sessions and activities... so do not worry. If you have doubts and need someone to talk to I found my tutor at university was always there to help .. although I know this is not always the case but also student services might be able to help. I think you should remember that when you are qualified and you are in the full-time position as a qualified nurse you will soon make friends there and also that everybody has moments where they might doubt themselves ... its natural.

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