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‘Is extra reading really necessary?’


Can you advise this student nurse?

“Since starting my course in September I’ve started to realise that there is a LOT of academic work that goes into becoming a nurse.

“I have friends who do extra reading every night and spend literally hours in the library researching essays.

 “I just want to enjoy being at uni so to be honest I’ve not been putting my all into it and I’ve been getting ok grades, but not great.

“But I just have this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that passing probably isn’t enough and actually if I feel this way then maybe I should put my nursing aspirations on ice.

“I know I can scrape through the course doing as little as possible but, then again, will that make me a good enough nurse?”

“What does everyone think – does a ‘pass’ make you good enough to nurse?”

- Anonymous


Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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Readers' comments (11)

  • If your mother was in hospital would you want a nurse who 'scraped by doing as little as possible'?

    Me neither. Buck your ideas up now before it affects real patients. You know it makes sense.

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  • Michelle

    If all you're after is a degree at the end of your three years rather than sound knowledge and analytical skills, then skip the library.

    But I would say that doing background reading shows enthusiasm and you may pick up on things that broaden your understanding of topics and enlighten you on things not taught in lectures.

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  • a great disservice to patients and to the profession if you just intend to scrape through or even express such an attitude. if this is the best you can manage you should rethink your degree course and future career which will require life long learning and a considerable amount of reading to keep up to date and provide the very best standards of care which patients, your peers, your interdisciplinary colleagues and your employers have the right to expect from you. Nursing studies and every job and task you carry out require from you at all times motivation, an interest in everything you do, a desire to learn and the drive to constantly seek improvement, curiosity, sound analytic skills and above all a life or at least career long commitment.

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  • As a nurse we will be judged on what we should know, not what we do know.
    The NMC will not look kindly on someone who just knew the bare minimum.

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  • Think it's completely dependent on you. I know plenty of nurses who weren't great acedemically but are brilliant nurses. There are plenty students in my cohort that are book smart but haven't got a clue in practice

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  • Ask yourself do you really just want to scrape through ? This is 3 years of your life make the most of the opportunity. Do the best that you can do ! You don't have to get top marks but if you get a mark that you have worked hard for then surely that is far more rewarding that just getting by.

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  • It is the 'extra' that makes the difference. Milling over the books and literature is the hardest part. Nevertheless, the easiest bit is wanting to know almost everything.
    Please read more.
    'Nurses do not think about Nursing. Nurses think about being a Nurse.'

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  • I'm a fellow student, and while I don't read every single night I do put a lot of research into essays and revise my lecture notes quite often.

    What was it about nursing that drew you into the career? For me I really wanted the human connection and the making a difference, but I also wanted a job that was mentally challenging and required scientific understanding.

    If you are more in it for the interacting with patients only then perhaps another role in the hospital environment would be more suitable for you.

    Good luck x

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  • I'm a student nurse with an assignment due next month no i do not sit up and forcibly read every night shock horror! I do read because i want to deepen my knowledge. I would hope that everyone studing nursing is doing it for the right reasons and therefore actually makes it their responsibility to want to go that extra mile and understand why we have certain processes etc. Otherwise what's the point?

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  • I totally get how you feel! There's so much work and the last thing you often want to do after revision is to then pick up a book on research methods and sit to read.

    However it all comes down to what you want from the degree and if it will effect your ability to be a good nurse in the end. Also we never stop learning and reading, your registration with the NMC requires that you have proof of ongoing learning. It's a pain in the bum but keep going :)

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