The Path, Advice, and The Nursing School Adventure

Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) Final Semester Nursing Students share their paths to nursing school and their advice.

Uncertainty is a given for all industries including nursing. No one knows for sure if there will be a change in hiring trends for new nursing grads. Then there is also the nursing school variable. Is nursing school difficult? Current nursing students as well as those in the application process have these and related concerns weighing on them constantly. Going to nursing school is a big commitment and you must be prepared for it’s demands.

Nursing school is not easy–it is really more like boot camp than school, but I think it will be worth the effort.” ~ Lacey H.

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Is Nursing School the Right Path for You?

Are you one of those that isn’t interested in math and science, but would still like to care for people in need? Do you have previous work experience in an unrelated field but want to enter the nursing profession for the job opportunities? Does this describe you? Sherrin M. was in the same boat and here she shares her story:

“I decided to go into nursing based on the job prospects. Nursing is a profession with good pay, benefits, and hours. It is also a well respected profession. I have worked most of my life in hospitality (restaurant and property management) so it is a big change for me. Yet, I feel my past work experience will help prepare me through time management skills, attention to detail, and the ability to have many things going on at once requiring professional interactions, composure, and thick skin.

I live in the mountains and love outdoor sports; I wanted to find a job that would support my lifestyle without depending on seasonal trends. In high school, I was never interested in math or science. I was more into reading and writing. This was fine, since the science prerequisites for the nursing program gave me the foundation I needed to move forward, and only certain math skills are used for medication administration.

My advice to anyone considering this profession would be to start working in a hospital as a CNA (6 week course through TMCC), unit clerk, or any other position to see if you like the atmosphere and demands. I have no experience in health care, so it was quite a gamble to see if I was going to like it and if it was worth the investment of time and money. So far so good, but I’m still only a student, so the long term aspect remains to be seen! ” ~ Sherrin, M.

Sustainable International Development to Nursing

“When I was in high school, I thought I would become a teacher. I received really good grades in school–honor roll, all that kind of thing. I ended up going away to college in Olympia, Washington (The Evergreen State College). The school was very different from traditional schools and I loved it. I took mostly literature and art classes without really considering how this would affect my resume or future career. I just liked English–and I thought that was enough.

When I graduated college in 2000, I got some near-minimum wage jobs here and there. I became a substitute teacher for Washoe County School District for about 10 months. I knew after that experience that I didn’t want to become a teacher. I pondered what to do with myself and decided on graduate school.

I was interested in sustainable international development after spending a summer in Nigeria and Cameroon. I applied to Brandeis and went to visit the program director. I was told I should go and get some more international experience. This led me to joining the Peace Corps where I was a health volunteer in Madagascar for 14 months. My time there was spent giving simple health lessons (hand washing, preventing malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.). I really enjoyed the teaching aspect of my experience. I’ve always been a hands-on sort of person where I want to make a difference by doing instead of by forming policies in an office somewhere.

After returning from Madagascar, I worked in a coffee shop, a warehouse, and then a preschool for a few years. Again, I wondered what to do with myself. Sustainable international development suddenly seemed so broad–what sort of job would be guaranteed to me after school? So, I looked around and found the nursing program. I figured I would become a nurse and then possibly do some international nursing.

Now I am in my last semester of nursing school and I am still interested in international work. I will most likely end up working at a local hospital, but I hope to have the opportunity to travel to developing countries and help out there. I’m also extremely interested in psych nursing–it was my favorite clinical rotation. I think nursing is a great career because there are so many different opportunities to choose from. I will be able to choose what population I work with, what sort of schedule I wish to keep, and I feel that I will have job security. I also hope to feel that I am making a difference in some small way.
Nursing school is not easy–it is really more like boot camp than school, but I think it will be worth the effort. Going in knowing that it is going to be tough will help you motivate and get through.” ~ Lacey H.

The Importance of Developing Good Study Habits

“My advice for high school students who are interested in the nursing program at TMCC is to fully develop their own studying methods. My main challenge was to discover how to study, perfect it, and fully grasp the enormous amount of information
presented in my studies. I really would have appreciated receiving this advice in high school. However, my chance was denied and I do not want the next nursing student to suffer.” ~ Aisha F. – Life Is Me

Your Adventure

These nursing students in their last semester at Truckee Meadows Community College shared some of their experiences and tips in hopes that they can help make other nursing students lives a little bit easier. This is your time to create your journey whether you are finishing up high school or changing careers after 10 years. You have a chance to find pieces of yourself that you never knew existed and challenge yourself in new and rewarding ways. Take these stories and advice for what they are, stories and advice. Keep them in the back of your mind because as John Wooden said, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”