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Ep190: You Are Stronger Than Your Struggles (having a baby in nursing school, passing the NCLEX® in Canada, accelerated BSN, and brand new program)

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As nurses and nursing students, we only fail when we stop trying.

My guest today reached out via email about a month ago and shared her journey to RN.  Her name is JoAnn . . . well, JoAnn RN

In short, she was faced with many challenges . . . but never gave in.  Some of the struggles she faced:

  • Having a baby during nursing school
  • Taking the NCLEX® in Canada
  • Attending an accelerated program
  • Going to a new nursing program

Each of these struggles on their own is tough . . . but JoAnn dealt with all of them at once and is now an RN with a job on a Post-op floor.

In order to pass the NCLEX® on her first attempt in a province with a 66% pass rate, JoAnn used the following resources:

 

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Podcast Transcription

Thanks for joining me today, guys. This is Jon Haws, RN, CCRN, with NRSNG.com. I am incredibly excited about the show today. Today, I’m talking with Joann, RN. She is a recently graduated nursing student, newly minted RN who reached out to me about a month ago. She shared with me her journey through nursing school and all the struggles and trials that she experienced and I really had to reach out to her. I really wanted to bring her on the show and have her share her story with you guys, because she faced 4 very hard struggles that few students have to face, and she was able to overcome them all, pass the NCLEX, and is now working on a surgical floor.

 

She had a baby during nursing school. She was in an accelerated nursing program. She had to pass the NCLEX in Canada in a province that only had a 60% pass rate, and the nursing program she was enrolled in was brand new, so she was really a guinea pig for this program. She really faced all of these struggles, and I think her story is so inspiring and so motivating, and I hope that it helps you guys see that you’re stronger than the struggles that you face. You only fail when you give up. Nursing school is just difficult, okay? It just is. Being a nurse is very hard. Joann and I talked about that a bit, too, but you only fail at this game of nursing when you give up. The next thing I’m going to tell you is don’t give up. There’s always a way. Joann’s story is incredibly inspiring.

 

She reached out to us, she shared her story and I’m just so excited to be able to share it with you guys. Before the show gets started, I want to let you guys be aware of our weekly Friday freebie emails. What these are is we’ve aggregated the most important clinical information that you’re going to need on the floor and we send you a cheat sheet every single week. These are called “Friday freebies.” If you go to NRSNG.com/freebies, you can sign up and you can get those emails. We have over 80,000 nursing students that are using these Friday freebies cheat sheets, and I want you to be one of them. Really, go over to NRSNG.com/freebies to get started with that. Again, thank you so much for being here, you guys. I want you to listen to this episode, and I want you to get some value from it, and just a quick thank you to Joann for being so humble and so honest with her story. Without further ado, here we go. Welcome to the show, Joann.

 

Hi. Thanks for having me.

 

Congratulations on recently passing.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Yeah, you bet. Tell us a little bit about you, and then tell us a little bit about why you wanted to be a nurse?

 

Okay. Well, I’m from Canada, like you said. I’m a mom of 1 little boy. He will be 2 this year, actually. I started nursing, it wasn’t my first decision in life, but it ended up working out really well for the plans that we had for our future here, so that’s where I’m at now. I passed my exam, I wrote on the 19th, and it’s pretty exciting, but also really scary.

 

You said it wasn’t your first choice of going into nursing. What was … Tell us about that?

 

I actually never had any idea of what I wanted to do as an adult. Even in kindergarten when they ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” I never knew. I just couldn’t come up with an answer. I graduated from high school, and worked a couple jobs that I wasn’t really happy with and then became a legal assistant for a couple years, did that, and just felt like I needed more out of life and decided to apply for nursing and that’s where I am now.

 

That’s cool. That’s a lot like my journey, because I mean, growing up, I bounced around from … I wanted to be everything probably growing up, but I would take the introductory course to that profession in college and then half way through I’m like, “This isn’t for me.” I did engineering, business, all kinds of stuff. When I finally settled with nursing, it fit, you know? It really worked for me.

 

For sure. Yeah, I hear you.

 

I wanted to talk a little bit about … I mean, there’s 3 things I really want to talk about. It’s the whole having a baby in nursing school and surviving that, and then I wanted to talk about you ended up in the accelerated program, and then also your journey in Canada. Let’s talk about having a baby in nursing school. I mean, that had to be tough.

 

Yeah. I actually got pregnant. We found out I was expecting right before I started my 3rd year of nursing, so it wasn’t planned, but that’s okay. I had awful morning sickness for the first 3 months and I had to drop out of one of my 3rd year clinicals, which wasn’t really my plan and it was kind of devastating actually, at the time, because I planned it all out. I was going to finish my 3rd year, have my baby for the Summer, and then start my 4th year and be done, and I was like, “Yeah, this is the plan. This is going to be great.” It didn’t work out that way, unfortunately. I had to drop out of that class, but I continued on with as much as I could, did my online classes and a couple of my other 3rd year ones once the morning sickness went away which was great.

 

Then, I wrote my final exam for 1 of my 3rd year courses a week before my son was born, which was not … Yeah, it was interesting, that’s for sure. He was born. I took that Summer off, and then I started back up in September again. It was pretty heavy, but anybody can do it. If I can do it, anybody can do it.

 

That’s what I say, too. I mean, we had 2 children during nursing school. Obviously I didn’t have the children, but even as a dad, and dealing with the newborn in the house and everything like that. It presented a lot of challenges. How did it adjust your study patterns and everything like that?

 

That’s a really good question, actually. Well, first of all, you’re not getting as much sleep as you usually would without a child, so that was definitely life altering. I found it slightly difficult to just even make that time to get out. Before I had my son, I would go out whenever I felt like it. I would spend hours studying, but once he was around, definitely changed things for me a lot. He was difficult. He was a difficult baby, but we made it work and we had a lot of supportive family and my husband was able to make his work work out so that I could go and do my patient research or other things like that. It ended up working out okay for us, but it was difficult, for sure.

 

Oh, absolutely. Let me ask this question, too. How did your … Did your grades suffer at you had the baby? Did they improve? What was the difference in your grades after that?

 

I think they actually stayed around what they were before. Maybe a little bit different, but I wouldn’t say they got any better. It’s tricky, for sure, but there’s so many mom’s in this program that I was in, and I knew that if they could manage that I could do it, so I thought that’s kind of what got me through it.

 

Yeah, for sure. You know, having a couple children now, too, one thing that people talk about is the baby effect, and what they refer to when they say that is when you have kids, you learn how to be more productive.

 

That’s right.

 

Like you said, too, before kids, you would just study all day long, and that’s how it was for me, too. I would just go to the library at 7 in the morning, stay there until 5 or 6 at night, and I would just, I don’t know what I was doing. Then, we had kids and it’s like, “I only have 2 hours now.”

 

That’s right. You have to make it work in your time, yeah. You have to set it up properly.

 

Yeah, and you’re still able to maintain the grades, so really, same thing like you said, I would suggest to people that it is possible to have kids. It’s hard, but you almost become more productive, I think, in some ways.

 

Yeah. I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting pregnant during nursing school, but it’s totally possible and if you have kids, I wouldn’t not do it because you have kids. You know what I mean?

 

Yes. Did you work at the same time, too?

 

I wasn’t working. Thankfully, I didn’t have to work.

 

That’s good.

 

Yeah. I don’t know if I would have been able to do it all, to be honest, but yeah, I didn’t work. I also was in the accelerated program, like you had mentioned, so I was in school from September of 2014 all the way to December 2015.

 

Wow. Was your school pretty accommodating with taking a semester off and stuff like that?

 

Yeah. They were awesome. Actually, that’s kind of one of the … If you have a child during your schooling, then they’re really accommodating in terms of if you wanted to take a year, they’d give you up to a year. They were really great about it. All my instructors were awesome, very supportive.

 

That’s good. I mean, I think nursing in general is good about that. Even just the scheduling in hospital and everything, too, it’s possible to really book your days together, have a lot of time off, work around people’s schedules, and that was one of the things that drew me into nursing, really, was just the flexibility of scheduling and how understanding people are about family really in the whole career.

 

Yeah. For sure. It’s an awesome atmosphere to be working in. It’s great.

 

Let’s talk about your accelerated program. Did you plan on attending accelerated program, or it was just what you got into? How did that work out?

 

You know, it’s funny. Before I had my son, I said I’d never do accelerated. I always wanted my Summer’s off. Like, not a chance, but once I had him, I decided that I just wanted to be done with school and get on with things a little bit, so I decided to apply I think it was October of 2014, after I had gone back. I got in, and I didn’t look back.

 

What was the biggest difference between the accelerated program that you got into and then being the normal program?

 

The accelerated program goes through the Summer, so as of right now, our schooling is from … Our first semester is September to December, and then our second semester is January to April. This one basically, I just went from September all the way to December of the next year to finish up.

 

Wow. I did an accelerated program, too, and the reason I wanted to do it was because I just … Like, “I finally found out what I want to do with my time. I want to get it done,” you know?

 

Yeah.

 

I felt like every semester I was in school I was losing who knows how much money that I would have been making as a nurse, you know?

 

Yeah, for sure.

 

It was busy, for sure, but I don’t think I would have chosen any other way, either.

 

No, I’m actually really thankful that I chose to go that route, actually. It worked really well with our schedule, and it wasn’t as heavy as I was expecting it to be. It was just you don’t get a break. That was it.

 

Yeah, exactly, and I think there are a lot of horror stories about accelerated programs and everything, but I mean, I think the theme we’re talking about here so far is everything’s manageable if you make it work.

 

That’s right, yep.

 

I mean, I don’t know how it works in Canada. Do you have electives in nursing school or is it a set program?

 

Yeah. No, you have electives you have to take. I think our program requires 4. I had actually taken some university courses before I went into nursing so thankfully they just transferred over, but you are required to take 4 throughout your years, as well.

 

What type of electives can you take in Canada?

 

Anything. The ones that I had I think was sociology, English, stuff like that, but a lot of people take nutrition, things that apply to the nursing profession, just so that it helps you out a little bit.

 

Got you. When you reached out, too, you mentioned … I’ve been looking into NCLEX pass rates and stuff in Canada now that it’s … Because it just started in 2015. Is that right?

 

I think it was December 2014, that graduating class actually wrote the NCLEX, so yeah.

 

Okay. I mean, in one word, I think it’s crazy, but they made that choice. I’ve really been looking into the pass rates and stuff. I wrote a couple blog posts about it, did a podcast about it, because it’s almost like they really just threw it on you guys. They were like, “Here you go. [inaudible 00:12:25] good luck.”

 

Yeah. When I started the accelerated program that went for 3 years, so they’d be done a degree in 3 years. They still wrote the CRNE which was the old NR, the old exam that we would write for nursing. Even people that I went school with were still writing the CRNE

 

Oh, my gosh.

 

Then, all of a sudden, they threw this NCLEX at us, but I feel like our instructors weren’t prepared for it, and we weren’t educated in that way to write exams that way. Our exams were all multiple choice, one answer only, whereas the NCLEX is a bunch of different things so it was a little bit shocking.

 

How much … I mean, you guys knew it was coming, kind of, or was it like …

 

I honestly had no idea. I went into this blind. I didn’t know anything, but I’m assuming that they knew, for sure. We just unfortunately, it just wasn’t correctly played out, I guess.

 

No, I don’t think so. Like you said, the instructors in the schools, I mean, I’m assuming most of the nursing instructors are from Canada, took the CRNE, and they had never taken the NCLEX either.

 

There is a few instructors that had worked in the States in the past so they had taken the NCLEX exam, but pretty much the majority of our instructors were CRNE writers so very different.

 

Yeah. I mean, it’s hard to expect them to be able to teach to an exam that they’ve never seen, and then I don’t know.

 

The CRNE, too, was a paper exam, so to change from the paper to the computer is a little bit different, too. You have to change your study habits, you know?

 

Just little cultural nuances and everything because all the data from the NCLEX is from US test takers and everything. Yeah, because I’ve read through all the stuff on the … Oh, gosh. I’m blanking on the name. NSBN website, and the CCRNR website and everything, trying to figure out how much really thought that went into this, and it seems like it could have been much differently.

 

Yeah. I didn’t really look into much, but just from the experience and from what I heard from my friends that had written earlier, it just was kind of … It all just went poorly. I’m not sure. Things seem to be changing. A lot of people seem to be passing on their first try now, and it seems to be more successful, so that’s definitely a good thing I would guess.

 

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’m looking at some of the data right now, and it says that the last published data was the 66% pass rate in Saskatchewan.

 

Yeah. It wasn’t great, that’s for sure.

 

Before that, like you said, it is getting better. The first test takers had only a 43% pass rate in Saskatchewan, so it’s improving as people are learning how to take the test and what’s really on it and stuff like that.

 

Yeah, exactly.

 

I mean, yeah. Overall, average pass rates for all of Canada for April and June 2015, for the NCLEX, was 71%, and for US, it was about 80%.

 

Hopefully we’ll make it up there.

 

No, I mean, and like you said, I think it’s a matter of … I don’t think it’s a matter of preparation or knowledge base as a nurse. It’s a completely different test.

 

Yeah, I agree.

 

What would you recommend to Canadian NCLEX test takers, or nursing students getting ready for that?

 

Oh, boy. Okay. Well, when I finished up my degree, I took a little bit of time off and just gave some time to myself to refocus and bring myself together, get ready for this NCLEX exam because like I had said, I had heard a lot of awful stories about it, and I was really nervous to write it. In January, I started looking up courses and started reading books and there’s lots of stuff out there and it can be really overwhelming when you don’t really know where to start, because a lot of our instructors, they don’t even know what resources we should really be looking into, as well. I read the Kaplan book which I found was really great.

 

It had lots of practice questions which really helped. I did also the NCSBN course, as well, with all those questions, and I found that those were really geared toward the NCLEX. Those were the most realistic in terms of what I saw when I wrote the exam. I also went through my notes and did all that, and then I one day was just tired of reading. I couldn’t do it anymore, and I looked up different ways to study, and then NRSNG.com showed up.

 

Yay.

 

I was really excited. I watched through all the free [med-surg 00:17:00] videos, took some notes, and actually, I honestly re-watched some of them 3, 4 times. Ones that I was like, “Okay. This is important, and I need to know this, so I’m going to make sure I know it.” I watched it over and over, and over. I also paid for the medication review and looked over some of that, and honestly, I think it saved me when writing the NCLEX. It calmed me down, it made me feel like I knew my stuff and I could do it. Thanks so much for putting all that stuff up on the internet for us.

 

No, that’s so awesome to hear. I mean, it really is awesome to hear because we put a lot of time and effort into this stuff, kind of like looking at our experience and what we wish was different and to hear it working in Canada also, that’s awesome. That’s really humbling to me, so thank you so much.

 

No, thank you.

 

I mean, I just want to ask a couple side questions here just for my own benefit, I guess. What was it about our videos and stuff that you felt was helpful?

 

I found that you … I don’t really want to say it this way, but I feel like you dumbed it down, you know what I mean? Instead of with all the tough … I’m trying to think of a word here. When we’re in school, they teach you everything and they try to get you to know everything, whereas, I feel like you made it more specific. You’re like, “Okay, when you’re on the NCLEX, let’s be realistic. What are they going to ask you about? What do you need to know?” You focused on certain points, and I found that that was really helpful and made me feel confident that I knew, “Okay, if I see this then maybe look for these kind of side effects, or these kind of symptoms, or these things.” I felt just better about it as a whole. That’s one thing. I enjoyed watching videos. It was really hands on a lot of them, and I don’t know. It was just a different way of learning, and I’m a visual learning, so I felt that it was really helpful that way.

 

Good. No, I like to hear that, and I’m being sincere, too. I really am, because I think … Like you said, in nursing school and nursing books, I mean, a med-surg book alone, I think I have mine sitting here. I think it’s 1300 pages or more. It’s not realistic to learn all of that, and you’re not going to learn all of that. I think when things started to really click in my head, both in nursing school as well as on the floor, working ICU and everything, it was when I started to build, to make those small connections that made everything click.

 

Yeah, for sure.

 

That’s what I try to do and that’s what hope we’re trying to do with these courses and everything is that once you understand what’s really important, you can really make that connection, and then you really start to understand. I hope the stuff that you learned in the course has helped you as you go onto the floor and everything, too.

 

Yes. They do, actually. I refer to them and people ask me how I studied for my exam, and I throw your name out there.

 

Well, thank you. Thank you so much. You prepared, from the email you sent, it looks like you prepared like actually focusing on preparing for the NCLEX for about 3 months.

 

Yeah. I would say it was a little bit less than that. I wasn’t super dedicated throughout, unfortunately. It’s hard when you go through school that you take that whole year straight through to continue, to keep to your focus, but I knew that it was really important so I started looking at things, but definitely February and a little bit of March was probably 6 hours I would say, average a day that I would be studying.

 

That’s a lot. That’s good. It sounds like NCSBN and Kaplan you used for a lot of questions and then our material for content review?

 

Yep, exactly.

 

That worked well? Did you feel confident as you were taking the test? As you were answering the questions?

 

That’s … I don’t know. I never, ever, honestly felt confident throughout the exam and whenever I talked to people about the exam, that’s basically what I hear. You don’t feel confident about it. You go in, you are convinced you’ve failed regardless of how many questions you’ve written. I wrote in 75 questions and it only took me an hour and a half.

 

That’s great.

 

I was so convinced that I failed, like I didn’t feel good about it. I felt like I did the walk of shame out of there, but they gave us our results in 48 hours and thankfully, I had the “Congratulations” in my email.

 

So cool. Like you said, I remember, I still remember. It’s been several years now and I still remember walking out of the testing center after taking the NCLEX and I called my wife. I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t have a clue right now.” I’d done well at nursing school, I’d done well on all the practice exams, and I felt like I knew my stuff, but I came out and I was like, “I really have no clue so I’m just going to try to forget about it for a couple days.”

 

It’s so hard to just put it in the back of your mind. I honestly came home and I was like, “What are the chances of having failed at 75 questions?” Reading all these blogs, and I honestly should have just left it, but it’s so hard because you put in so much time and effort, and not just that. All the money you put into it, as well. It’s hard to just forget about it. For those 2 days, it’s only 2 days.

 

It feels like forever, for sure.

 

[inaudible 00:22:10] does.

 

Yeah. The whole time you’re thinking, “Okay, if I’ve failed, what the heck am I going to study this time?”

 

Exactly.

 

“I don’t even know.” You know what I mean?

 

I was trying to prepare myself like, “Okay, where do we go from here? I feel like I’ve looked at everything, I’ve watched these videos, I’ve done a million questions. How do I even prepare myself to do this all over again?”

 

I understand. I think you’ll remember that feeling forever, and unfortunately. I want to talk … You passed the NCLEX almost a month ago now.

 

Yep, almost.

 

Are you working? Are you looking to work? Where do you want to work?

 

I have a casual position at a hospital here on a surgical floor.

 

Surgical, is that an actual post op or med-surg, or?

 

It’s both. Well, it’s a little bit of everything. Unfortunately right now we have a lot of flow of medical patients, as well, so it’s a little bit of everything, but it’s great. It’s a good learning, a place to learn for sure.

 

Were you able to find that job before you passed the NCLEX or how did that work?

 

I actually did one of my final practicums there so it worked out really well for me that I got a position after I was finished.

 

That’s cool. To get that position, did you talk to the manager or did they have something posted?

 

No. When I was there, I just made a connection with the manager, the nurse, and the charge nurse that was there. I had really good connections with a lot of the nurses on the floor, as well, so I think that really benefited me. I just made contact with her and said, “I’m really interested in working here when I’m done at school,” and she contacted me even before I was able to contact her, actually.

 

Oh, wow.

 

She offered me just a casual position as of now, which works really well for my schedule. I actually really like it.

 

What would you … Just some advice that you would give to nursing students as they go and do their clinicals. What would you tell them? I mean, as far as how you were able to get your job, what would you suggest?

 

Just starting out I would say honestly, to be easy on yourself and not to stress out a lot. When you’re first starting, it’s tricky, and you’re going to be … Even though you’re done school, you’re not done learning. You’re going to be learning for your whole career and honestly, I haven’t been working for very long, but I learn something new every single day. I just need to be okay with that and know that I’m not going to know everything. Also, to just respect yourself, respect your patients, and respect all the nursing staff and anybody else that’s on the floor. You really want to … As terrible as it may sound, but stay on people’s good side, and make good relationships with everybody. There’s care assist, unit assist. You need those people to help you get through your day. I don’t know what I would do without them. They’re amazing, they’re life savers. I don’t know. Just be positive, and go into it with a good attitude, and honestly, you will rock it.

 

You said so much good stuff right there I don’t even know what to talk about. No, I mean, be on everybody’s good side. That’s so huge. So huge, because just be a real person and be good to people because yeah, when stuff does hit the fan and everything goes down, you want to have a team of people that are rushing to help you.

 

Exactly.

 

Then, learning everyday, I can’t remember how you said, you said, “Being okay with not knowing everything.” That can be really hard and I think trying to pretend that you do know everything can get you in a lot of trouble.

 

I agree, yep.

 

I think it can be hard to really be humble enough to say, “You know, I don’t know. Can you help me? Can you show me?” There’s been instances when I’ve had to admit, like precepting a nursing student and they’ll say something, it’s like, “You know what? I think you’re right.” That can take a lot of humility but the nursing student’s fresh and just learning this content and they might have something they can teach me, so that can be hard, but I think that’s really important. Let’s talk, really quick. What are your plans in nursing? I mean, do you want to stay post op? Where do you want to go with nursing?

 

Actually, it’s funny, because when I started nursing and we did some of our clinicals, I said to myself, “I’m never going to work med-surg. I don’t want to be on those kind of floors.” I really enjoyed pediatrics but that kind of seems where everybody wants to go so it’s really tricky to get a job there. I honestly, at this point, I don’t know where I want to be. I loved postpartum, as well. I just love being with the little babies so much, but I’m going to see where it takes me. There is a lot of opportunity here and I’m just going to take it one day at a time. I feel like where I am right now is going to benefit me in the long run, in terms of getting my skills down, just understanding more and being able to chart properly and reporting off to my staff and stuff like that.

 

I think this is a good place to start, and I’ll probably stick it out for a little bit and then just see where this career takes me. We also had talked about going down to the States, and seeing if there’s opportunity there and that’s the great thing about nursing. You can go anywhere. I love that about it. We’ll see when …

 

You’re absolutely right. I think that yeah, what really happens after NCLEX and nursing school is you get to start forgetting all this stuff that doesn’t pertain to your job and you’ve really got to become a specialist in what you’re doing. That’s really cool. I have bookshelves full of neuro nursing stuff now, where in school, I’m learning stuff that I had no clue even existed.

 

Yeah, for sure.

 

It is really cool, and I think yeah, those little things of learning how to give rapport, learning how to chart, those can really make huge differences in your career, so it’s cool that you’re really focusing on those things. What would be … You gave some advice a minute ago, but what would be your biggest advice to someone who is in nursing school, getting ready to take the NCLEX, feeling that fear or that anxiety that you were feeling back in December. What would you suggest to that person?

 

[inaudible 00:28:20].

 

Hard question.

 

It is. That’s a tough question. What I would recommend to somebody who’s getting ready to take the NCLEX. Honestly, I think it’s all about taking, like I said before, taking time for yourself and just preparing yourself for that and being confident. Don’t rush yourself into it. If you don’t have to write right away and you’re not feeling good about it, maybe just take that time for yourself. I know they say it’s best to take it right away in terms of just being fresh out of school, it’s still in your mind. I didn’t take my exam right away, and I’m so thankful that I didn’t. I would also maybe recommend if you have a job, to just take it slow. I know a lot of people want to get in there, they want to start working, they want to start making money, and I get that, but I think that can create bad habits and that’s not what the NCLEX is going to be testing you on, too. They’re testing you through the textbook, not really experience so much, so just be careful with that. I don’t know.

 

No, that’s a great tip. It can be hard. You’re like, “But this is what they actually do on the floor.” Well, it doesn’t really matter.

 

Exactly. I mean, if you’re working full time, to fit in studying in between that, it’s hard. I don’t know. Make sure you know how much you can handle, and I guess go from there. Everybody’s different so it’s hard to …

 

No, I think … Your story is a great story, because like I said, you really encountered a lot of challenges that people encounter during nursing school and we’ll get other emails from people that share the same challenges but then they say, “I just want to give up.” I love that you kept that motivation going. You even said, I’m actually looking at the email now, that you had very little motivation left, but you knew you had to do it.

 

Yeah. It’s tough. There’s times where I honestly was like, “I don’t know if I can do this,” and just to be honest with you guys, I think everybody goes through those moments. It’s tough. Nursing school is not easy, but it’s so rewarding once you’re done, so just stick with it, and you can do it.

 

Absolutely. I want to ask one more question. Oh, shoot. Yeah, I do. I want to ask one more question. I almost forgot what it was when I was saying that. It sounds like you had a really great school, a really great program, and they were really supportive of you, but what would you like to see change from nursing education or from the experience that you had?

 

Oh, boy. I don’t know. Like I said, nursing is just stressful and I’ve never read anything different. You can go online and everyone’s going to say it’s stressful. No one’s going to tell you it’s an easy program. That’s for sure. I think that now they’re definitely changing it to be more geared towards the NCLEX which is great, so what I guess what I didn’t mention earlier was that my program was the first of a new program that started up in the city that I’m in, so we’re basically the guinea pigs of the program, which I guess had benefits, but it also, there was a lot of drawbacks as well. Right now, they’re catering it more towards the NCLEX which is great, so I’m so happy for all the nurses that are coming through now. They’ll definitely have a lot more … They’ll be more prepared for it.

 

I think what we had talked about before, they just throw so much information at you and it’s really tricky to feel confident and knowing your stuff, but like I said, how you dumbed it down and made it just I don’t know. It just felt easy, you know? I don’t know why they can’t do that for us, and I’m not sure how they can make it like that, but it would definitely be nice if they could figure out a way, for sure. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’m just hoping they make it a little bit easier on other people.

 

Well, I hope so, too, and I’m glad that what we’re doing is resonating. I really am, because it just doesn’t … I think some people misunderstand when I say nursing school doesn’t have to be so hard. What I mean by that is, we make it overly complicated. There’s so much to learn and stuff, yes, that’s a lot of stuff, but we don’t have to over complicate the way we do it.

 

Right.

 

Joann, thank you so much for coming on. I think you dropped a lot of value bombs on everybody, so thank you so much for coming on today.

 

Thank you so much for having me.

 

You bet. I hope you guys enjoyed that episode as much as I did. I loved talking to Joann. I think she had such an amazing perspective on nursing, what nursing is, nursing education, and after the episode ended, we actually ended up talking for a little while about really how to think like a nurse and that whole transition of going through nursing student to nurse and one of the things that she really kept saying that I really just loved is that it takes time. You have to be patient with yourself, and you just need to be easy on yourself. You need to be okay living in, and not knowing everything. I really hope you guys enjoyed that episode.

 

If you did, be sure to visit us on the blog. Be sure to visit on us social media. Say hi, leave your comments for Joann. You can go to NRSNG.com/joann, j-o-a-n-n, and leave a comment for her. Let her know that her episode impacted you and helped you on your journey. You guys, we’re all in this together. This is a journey, and as a community of nurses, we really have to stick together. We can be stronger than the struggles that face us as nurses, and that face each of us individually if we band together and build this community, and as strong and as big as we can, and we’re here for you. Here at NRSNG, we have a team of nurses, and a team of people here to help you succeed, and I want you to be a part of this journey with us. Thank you so much, guys. You guys know what time it is now. It’s time to go out and be your best self today. Happy nursing.

 

Date Published - Apr 17, 2016
Date Modified - Jun 14, 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.