I know what you’re thinking and no this isn’t anything like a sorority initiation. In fact, its the complete opposite. Subtract the drinking and silly series of group “activities”. Add voluntary long hours at a hospital learning to help people… completely sober I might add. In nursing, you cross over from a normal human to a healthcare professional the moment you see someone covered in their own feces and voluntarily help to clean the mess and the patient. I saw and assisted in my first unplanned adult bowel movement. It wasn’t my assigned patient, but the nurse I was assigned to had another patient who had been given medication to relieve constipation.. and BOY DID IT WORK.

A good nurse teacher will teach you skills that are most important and doesn’t make you do the tasks they just don’t want to/are too lazy to do. My assigned nurse didn’t ask me to help, but when I saw her rushing around and gathering a ton of cleaning supplies I knew she needed help. Myself and my TA offered to help her. Helping your nurses anyway you can will always pay off. They will be more inclined to show you cool things, teach you cool tips, and show you interesting cases. Did I want to clean poop off a patient? No. I secretly hoped I could get through nursing school without any sh*tty episodes ( no pun intended) because when I am done with my program I will be an NP. Did I know this was unlikely… yes. I have never planned on being an RN with a BSN (although I do have a great respect for the work they do…my mother is in this category and there are few who live up to her). I have always planned on being a happy medium between a RN and MD which is an NP for me.

If you plan on going through any ELMSN program, expect to start from the ground up. You will be learning everything an RN does and must master it to be a good NP. Learn everything. Offer to help in everything. The more you help, the more experience you will have and NOTHING can make up for those clinical hours of experience. BUT don’t let RNs and CNAs walk all over you. Practice your skills, but be NO ONE’s maid. I am lucky that APU has set a clear relationship between ourselves and the nurses we work with. You will inevitably get nurses who may not enjoy teaching students, but prove you are an asset and they will teach you.

Today. My 4th week of nursing school. My 2nd clinical shift in the hospital. I became a full fledged nursing student.