Only 10 weeks of placement stand between me and my second year of adult nursing.
My first year as a student nurse is almost over.
It seems like only yesterday that I started preparing for the beginning of what I expect to be a very fulfilling and rewarding nursing career.
It has been a year since I trailed through online forums and websites searching for information on what to expect from my course, looking for the best tips, the most informative books and the most practical gadgets. I ended up with an endless supply of stationery, more books that I will probably ever read and more lanyards/fob watches/pocket cue cards than I would know what to do with.
I was so eager to start and I don’t expect I was the only one!
Here I am now wondering whether there is anything specific I should be doing to prepare for my second year.
My bursary definitely won’t cover another book/stationery/gadget shopping spree so that is definitely out. I already have all my assignment and exams completed for the year (and my results back – all passed!) so no directed study to do.
I’m thinking maybe I should focus simply on enjoying my placement and making the most out of it without distractions. Maybe do a little bit of reading and a bit of relaxing. We don’t usually get much time for that.
Time really is flying. I didn’t believe it when other students said it would, and I also didn’t believe it on those first days of lectures when I thought I would never understand even the basics of anatomy and physiology.
I thought those days would never end and a year seemed like an eternity. But you are kept so busy with lectures, assignments, reading, revision, placement, work, home life etc. that before you know it, time is almost up, and you find yourself giving advice to new students who are just as apprehensive as you once were.
I’m looking forward to next year. Though I hear mixed reviews on what it feels like to be a second year student so I’m a little nervous. Some say the second year is the worst, because you’re not a complete novice nor almost competent. I imagine it would be the equivalent of the no-man’s land of the student nursing world.
Others say that the second year is better than the first because you become more confident and skilled and are therefore able to engage much more. Either way, I have no doubt each year pre and post-registration will be challenging for different reasons so I’m going to stay open minded and enjoy it as much as I can!
I don’t really have any specific advice for anyone out there looking to start their nursing degree. Apart from perhaps, relax, don’t spend too much on books, start doing some anatomy and physiology reading early on and most importantly, once on the course, make the most of every opportunity whilst on the course and enjoy it! The course will be everything that you make of it.
Ruth Perez-Merino is studying adult nursing at Manchester Metropolitan University.