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Ep227: You’re Not the Only One Struggling (2 tips for overcoming doubts in nursing school)

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psssst . . . I’ve got a little secret: You’re not the only one struggling through nursing school.

We get hundreds of emails everyday from nursing students around the world who are struggling with one thing or another in nursing school.  Whether it’s pharm, clinicals, stress, professors, finances, family, medsurg, YOU NAME IT.

Nursing school is a test of your character.  While most of us TRY to put on a tough face or avoid admitting we are struggling or have debated quitting . . . most of us HAVE.

In this episode I provide 2 tips to help you overcome the doubts, fears, and struggles you are facing in nursing school . . . and in life.

 

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Podcast Transcription

In the 1950s in Northern Minnesota, a young man by the name of Robert Zimmerman was growing up with dreams of becoming a world famous rockstar. Now, to accomplish his dream, he taught himself to play the piano, to play the guitar, to sing, to play the harmonica, and his one wish, his one big dream in life was to play on the big stage in front of millions of adoring fans. Now it was his luck that at that time, his high school had a talent show, you know like high schools do from time to time and Robert entered himself into the talent show, excited to show an audience for the very first time his talent and his passion and his love for music. Now when he hit the stage and the curtains opened, he rolled into his song. Now remember, in the 1950s, rock and roll wasn’t something that people played, wasn’t something that people listened to so most of the audience was speechless. Those in the audience that were not speechless began to boo. In fact, they booed him entirely off the stage.

The principal had to drop the curtain and end his act, so his very first touch, seeing an audience and people hearing his music, he was literally boo-ed off the stage. Now fortunately, this did not end Robert’s music career. Just the opposite of that, he left his small town in search of a more appreciative audience. He began playing in small clubs throughout the Midwest and eventually found himself headed to New York City. While in New York City, he played. He played everyday. He played every night. He practiced. He played in front of more and more audiences, took their feedback and continued this dream, this aspiration to be a world famous musician and eventually, he even landed a record contract and in 1962, he released his very first album under his new name and that name was Bob Dylan.

Now by 2006 and today, he’s become one of the most world renowned recording artists of all time. In fact, just in 2016, he won a Nobel prize for revolutionizing music, for changing the music industry. He’s been one of the only people to get the Rolling Stone’s Magazine for 100 Greatest Artist of All Time, rank number two on there. He’s also been ranked by Rolling Stone as 100 or 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. He’s inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. He’s listed in Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century. He did this through his music. Now imagine if he had given up when he first met defeat. Imagine if he had given in when he was booed of the stage. The world would absolutely be a different place today had he decided to give up rather than to continue going.

His song Blowing in the Wind is considered one of the biggest revolution songs of the 1960s. He also wrote songs Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Mr. Tambourine Man, Forever Young, Like A Rolling Stone, and many, many other songs that you’ve heard remade by other artist or you’ve heard at some point in your life. Now Bob Dylan is a name that you’ve at least heard of, whether you know his music or don’t know his music, what I want you to take from this story is that he did not give up. He chose what his dreams were. He didn’t let the world or those around him determine his dreams and neither should you, okay, neither should you. You need to surround yourself with people who believe in you. As I say many, many times on a podcast and on a blog, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Right now, whether you’re driving or running or whatever you’re doing at this moment, take a minute, reflect. If you can, write down on a piece of paper who are the five people that you’re spending the most time with. Are they building you up? Are they people that you aspire to be someday? Or are they people that are tearing you down? Now realize that you, it’s hard to become better. It’s hard to become a better person than those people who you are spending all of your time with. What I want you to do is first of all, determine what your dream is and as a nursing student, as someone in nursing school, one of your dreams at least should be to become a nurse and to be a very good nurse, to not just be any nurse, but to be a very good nurse, someone who cares for their patients, someone who advocates for their patients, someone who’s knowledgeable and who because you’re listening to this podcast because you’re part of NRSNG family, but that is you.

That is your dream, but what we get everyday, every single day from nursing students, we have 150 e-mails in our inbox right now from nursing students that are struggling with something. Now that might be pharmacology, for many of you, it is pharmacology. It might be EKGs. It might be a professor. It might be the workload. It might be the stress. It might be the family. It might be the job, but what I want you to do is when you show up to school tomorrow, when you show up to school tomorrow, realize that everyone around you is also struggling with something, okay. You’re not the only one struggling. We’re all going through this. We’re all struggling so realize that you are not alone first of all, and realize that you’re not going to give up because of the struggle, okay. I’m telling you that right now, you’re not going to give up because of the struggle.

Whatever it is right now because something else is going to come. There’s going to be another struggle and what I found in life is these struggles tend to be as big as you’re capable of handling. As you grow as a person, the struggles get more complicated, all right. My three year old daughter, my three year old daughter’s name is Kai, some of you have seen picture of her on Instagram or on Snapchat or whatever. My three year old daughter Kai, a huge struggle for her is simply learning to brush her own teeth. That’s something that she’s trying to figure out. We have to remind her everyday. We have to teach her. We’re showing her, that’s something that she’s struggling with as she’s growing up. Now thankfully, I don’t struggle with that anymore, okay. I figured that one out, but my struggles have gotten more and more and more difficult as I’ve grown and that’s true within NRSNG in general you know.

Our first struggles were how are people going to hear about us? Okay, how are people going to know our message of trying to change nursing education, of trying to revolutionize the way nurses are taught? Now we have bigger struggles. Now we have okay, how do we manage all these people and how do we handle all this? How do we reach more people? Our struggles change as we grow and they get more difficult as we grow. I don’t want you to take that and hear that as that it’s always going to be hard. What I want you to do with that information is I want you to realize that you’re capable of conquering this. If pharmacology is your struggle right now, if study habits is your struggle right now, if financial concerns are your struggle right now, realize that you’re going to get through that. Your goal at this moment, your goal, your number one goal is to become a nurse and to do that, you have to get through nursing school. You have to conquer all these struggles, whatever they are and you have to get through them okay, and you will get through them, okay. We’re here to help you as well.

The other thing I want you to take from this is that you are the average of those people that you spend your time with, okay. It’s very hard to be better than your peers you know, and when I said I mean, it’s hard to be a better studier, it’s hard to be more focused, it’s hard to be more patient, more caring, more kind than those people that you spend your time with. You tend to be like those people who you spend your time with, so I want you to evaluate who you’re spending your time with and make sure that you are spending your time with people that are lifting you up and making you better. Now one thing you can do with that guys is simply listening to this podcast, think to the people that we interview, listening to the other nurses that come on and share their stories and then engaging on social media with us and with the people in the NRSNG community. We’ve attracted and we’re building this community of highly focused people, not the ones that want to take shortcuts, the ones who just learn a simple test hack or whatever.

We’re building a community of nurses and nursing students that want to improve nursing education and you are part of that, so just the simple fact that you’re listening to us today is going, is proof that you’re surrounding yourself with good people. I want you to continue to do that, okay. Share this with people that you want to lift up and to build and to make better. You guys, I’m so grateful for you being here and I want you to think about this the next time you’re feeling a big struggle and also today, hopefully, this will help a few people and if today, you’re not feeling a struggle and that would be incredible, I hope that your struggles are all manageable now, but if you’re not feeling a struggle but later on you do, I want you to think back on this and I know, these feel good stories about people who made it and looking back at it retrospectively can be a little misleading because you have to realize, how did Bob Dylan really feel as Robert Zimmerman, playing that first time in front of his peers, taking that leap of faith.

Imagine that, taking that massive leap of faith, playing in front of all your high school and being booed off the stage. He had to confront those people the next day. He had to confront them in the next class and that was real to him at that moment. That pain, that rejection, that fear was all very, very real and palpable to him in that moment, but his dream, his desire, his motivation was stronger than any fear, than any rejection and any pain, so you guys, yes, the struggles are going to come and they’re going to be very real and they’re going to hurt at times, and they’re going to be very, very difficult to manage, but your desire to be a nurse has to be stronger than all of that. I encourage you to keep pushing and realize that we’re here for you. Here at NRSNG, our goal and our mission is to give you the tools and the confidence that you need to succeed, all right. This podcast is primarily focused on giving you that confidence, okay.

With that said guys, I know that’s kind of a long spiel and I appreciate those who have reached out to us on social media. We’ve got a couple Instagram messages this week, a couple Snapchats this week and Facebook messages this week from people who have said the podcast has really helped them especially when I shared my story about quitting nursing school and I want you to know that means a lot to me. When I spend time pondering and thinking about what I want to say to you guys you know in these podcast episodes, I put a lot of time into that and it really means a lot that they’re helping you and that they’re reaching you wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I’m truly humbled by that and if this has helped you guys, please share with someone. It’s very easy to share a podcast. They’re on your phone, just send it as a text, whatever and leave review. I truly appreciate that. Remember, we’re here for you. If you don’t feel like you have anybody else on your team, realize NRSNG, we got your back, all right. We’re here to help you through this.

With all said, again guys this is Jon Haws, RN CCRN, your biggest fan, here to help you along in the process. Now remember, we have the NRSNG Academy that you can join for just a three day, $1 trial and that will give you the tools, right, the tools that you need, the courses, the inquest questions, the flash cards, the video, the audio, everything that’s included there, it’s in nrsngacademy.com. Check that out. We also have a private Facebook group where we chat and we build each other up for members of the academy. With all that said, you know what time it is now. It’s time to go out and be your best self today. Happy learning.

Date Published - Jan 30, 2017
Date Modified - Apr 18, 2019

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.