This is my final blog as Student Nursing Times adult branch editor, and before I hand over to the new editor for 2015/16 there is one final message that I would like to give to those of you currently studying nursing and those of you who are just about to start.
”A pass is a pass” is a phrase I have often heard during my 3 years of training. It is one that I have used myself on occasion, mainly when I have been struggling academically or when I didn’t understand the essay criteria.
I have sat at my laptop and thought how, if I managed to scrape through and pass this next assignment, then that would be good enough. However as quick as that thought came, there would be a nagging voice in my head. Am I really giving my best?
“I am not academically gifted, but what I do have is the determination to do the best that I can.”
Of course, the answer was ‘no’. There was no satisfaction to be gained. I would never have this attitude towards the care of my patients so it was not acceptable for any other aspect of the course.
I am not academically gifted, but what I do have is the determination to do the best that I can.
There have been many times that I could have submitted a piece of work I hadn’t given my all to, and I may have passed. But where is the satisfaction in that?
The feeling you get from knowing you gave energy and time to a piece of work, even if the grade you receive does not reflect what you feel you deserve, should be reward enough.
I will always be the first to say that I do not believe it is only the academic side of a nursing course that makes a good nurse. However, knowledge is crucial and although I haven’t always had excellent grades I have worked at expanding my knowledge and learning as much as I possibly can.
“Doing our best is what our patients deserve and we should apply this in all aspects of the course.”
I have always worked hard and therefore whatever grade I received I was happy with because I had given my all. Nurses need that attitude. Doing our best is what our patients deserve and we should apply this in all aspects of the course.
Falling into the trap of half-heartedly applying yourself to the academic side of things because it gets difficult will only leave you feeling unsatisfied and questioning whether you could have done better. Embrace the course, every bit of it, because being a student nurse goes fast and the reality of a newly qualified nurse will soon hit home.
“I would advise you to not be competitive with your fellow students but to always be competitive with yourself”
If you do struggle academically as I do - and there is no shame in this - then seek help. There is plenty available. Speak to your tutors, access learning zones, utilise library staff who are also a great help. Do whatever you can so when you press that submission button you know that you have given your utmost. You will have a greater sense of personal achievement, which will lead on to you wanting to always feel this way.
This will be great for your progression throughout your career and although you may experience failure, and we have all done so, it will make you stronger because you gave your best and could do no more.
“You will have a greater sense of personal achievement, which will lead on to you wanting to always feel this way”
I would advise you to not be competitive with your fellow students but to always be competitive with yourself. I understand this can be difficult when you feel everyone else is doing better than you - and seemingly doing so with ease. But if you worry about what others are doing you will certainly lose focus on what you need to be working on for your own progression.
My graduation day will be a proud moment where I will be able to confidently say I have worked hard and given my best. I think that feeling will be the icing on the cake.
I am still awaiting my degree classification and whatever it will be, I know that on the day I graduate I will be awarded with what I did my very best to achieve.
Your best is all that you give, so go for it. You will only do this course once.
Good luck and thank you for reading my blogs.
Leanne Siekiera is Student Nursing Times’ student editor for adult branch