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What was the most difficult part about becoming a registered nurse ?

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Ann’s Answer

For me, it was all kind of tough. Worth it but tough. The learning curve is huge-so much to learn, memorize, apply. Nursing care plans were tough and time consuming. Working with real, actual patients was “scary”. But it all worked out. Been an RN for 40 years, an NP for 30 of those. Didn’t know how tough it would be when I started but can’t imagine doing anything else. Lots of rewards.
Thank you comment icon I keep hearing it's not an easy job but on the other hand, I also hear all these amazing stories about how they wouldn't have it any other way. Memorization is the toughest for me so far, a lot of my time is taken up by studying. I'm glad you were able to find something you seem to really enjoy. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and for your service! Roxana
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Lorraine’s Answer

Hi Roxana, Hi Roxana,

What a great question. The most challenging part of becoming a registered nurse for me was completing all the prerequisites (classes such as anatomy, chemistry, and required courses for nursing school acceptance). I was eager to get accepted in nursing school, and realized it took longer to complete all the prerequisites than I had anticipated. Generally, what was frustrating was the lack of availability of certain classes at the time I needed them, or the need to wait to take them if they were too full.
However, just remember the key to success is patience, planning, and a clear focus of your goal!
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Ercelene D.’s Answer

Throughout my experience in nursing school, I can’t say that I found any aspect of it to be particularly difficult. While the courses are indeed tough and demanding, you will be studying and learning alongside others who will not only become your study buddies but may also turn into lifelong friends, making the entire process enjoyable and fun. One aspect I wasn't fond of was writing care plans; however, now there are various electronic resources available to assist with that.

To help you navigate nursing school successfully, here are a few essential tips:
1. Always go to class prepared and avoid winging it.
2. Complete your reading assignments on time.
3. Engage in class discussions actively.
4. Find a good study buddy or a group of study buddies.
5. Stay organized and manage your time efficiently.
6. Utilize academic office hours and consult with your professors.
7. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it, no matter how big or small the problem!

There will be times when you have to make sacrifices, like spending less time with friends in order to complete assignments or prepare for clinical assignments. However, remember that this is all worth it in the end. You may even feel overwhelmed and consider quitting at some point, but don't give in to that temptation. Instead, always remember the reason you want to become a nurse and let your "why" inspire and motivate you. You can do it!

I began my nursing career in behavioral health, and for the past 23 years, I have worked in Kidney Care (CKD/ESKD). I am constantly learning new things, and I absolutely love this aspect of my job. The field of nursing offers various disciplines to explore, along with non-traditional nursing roles in product development, research, business operations, and healthcare informatics. The possibilities in this profession are truly endless, providing you with an abundance of opportunities to grow and thrive!

Ercelene D. recommends the following next steps:

Speak with your guidance counselor about dual enrollment options at your school. If available you may be able to complete a CNA or LPN program while still in high school.
Inquire about High School days at your local universities. There may be an opportunity for you to shadow a nursing student for a day
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Christina’s Answer

I would say there are two challenges that I found most difficult in nursing. Trusting that you know enough to take care of someone who is very sick, and being able to set aside normal human feelings of fear/sadness for the patient's discomfort to be able to care for them to help them heal. But you can do it and it is all worth it. I started as an ICU and CCU nurse then became a Nurse Practitioner. I worked in the ICU/CCU for 8 years then worked as an NP for 32 years . Just remember, you aren't doing it alone. You are part of a team. If you don't know something... Ask. If you need help...Ask. Trust and knowledge grow when you are honest about what you know and what you don't know. You will be learning your whole career and the relationships you establish are incredible. Enjoy it.
Thank you comment icon I really appreciate you touching on the concept of being honest when one doesn't understand something, that's the only way to grow and expand our knowledge. I find myself guilty of sometimes holding back due to the fear of sounding "dumb" but this really reinforced my own goals of asking more questions. Thank you for your insightful comment and all the work you do! Roxana
Thank you comment icon You are so welcome. Other health care professionals will respect and trust you when you are honest about what you aren't sure about. When you discuss care plans with others, it builds the safest approach for the patient who needs you to take good care of them. Christina Birch
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