• 02 April 2019
  • 8 min read

Misconceptions I had before nursing

  • Lottie Pearson
    Student Nurse

In this blog and vlog, Lottie tells us what her misconceptions were before starting her nursing degree. She shares what she wishes she knew before to help you future nursing students!

Play video: Lottie talks about what she wishes she knew before nursing with these misconceptions she had!

Hi everyone, welcome to another video on my channel.

Today's video it's gonna be another video in partnership with Nurses.co.uk, and I'm gonna be talking about the things I wish I knew before starting nursing school.

There is a lot of misconception about the course; it is completely different to what I expected, I didn't really have a picture of it really I just knew from what my mum had told me because she's a nurse as well.

Read more

What does a registered nurse do?

What I wish I knew before nursing (RMN)

There are so many opportunities

So the first thing is that nursing is not just hospitals and wards like drug rounds and all that kind of stuff.

There is a lot of things you could do as a nurse, so many different opportunities.

I kind of thought that it was just mainly hospitals but actually a hospital ward is like one of the hardest placements or places that you could be.

Nursing school is so much harder than you think

The second one is that it is harder than you think.

I heard a lot about nursing, people saying that the nursing course is easy.

To be honest with you, all of the lecturers say it all the time and I completely agree, it is genuinely the hardest degree - at our university anyway, and we don't take on medical students, so obviously medicine is gonna be a lot harder than nursing but I would definitely say that nursing is the second hardest degree that you could probably do.

It's definitely not easy so if anyone tells you that nursing it's easy, it’s not at all - there is a lot of people that drop out, mainly because it's not what they thought it would be.

Play video: here are Lottie's nursing school must haves!

Every lecture is important

The third thing is that I wish I'd have known that every single lecture actually means something and that we're being taught it for a reason.

We don't even get told what the lectures for, usually we get given the information and then later on when you're doing an assignment or an exam, you're looking back on the lectures thinking, so that's what this lecture was about!

I also wish I knew that I probably should revise after every lecture because they only skim the surface on the subject when they do teach a lecture, especially anatomy and physiology ones.

To actually get to grips with the subject you have to revise after the lecture and really make sense of it yourself.

You have to teach yourself a lot

The fourth one kind of ties in with the last one and that is that you don't get taught everything at uni.

In fact, you probably get taught like a quarter of what you will know at the end of the degree in lectures, most of it is self-taught, so what you personally come across in placement.

Not what your lecturer tells you, not what your mentor tells you; it's usually what you personally come across and what you decide to research into and all that stuff.

I wish I’d have known that in the beginning because I have definitely researched a lot more.

You can't use it as an excuse when someone asks you why don't know something, you can't say ‘I never got taught it’ because it’s down to you.

You need to put yourself out there

I wish I had known that you have to really put yourself out there as a student nurse, and that's in terms of mainly learning and like knowing your place because a lot of times you are kind of ignored slightly, especially in hospitals unless you get a placement like in the district or in a small area.

On the ward you generally get ignored and a lot of people that aren't nurses will not know what your degree expects from you and what you're there for, like med students they don't have any idea, the doctors or even the HCA's don't even know what your course is for, like they don't know what you're supposed to do on placement or anything so you really need to know what you're there for, where your place is and not to be treated like an HCA.

You should go to different wards if you need to, like if you're getting really bored or you don't feel like you're getting anywhere on your placement, speak to your mentor or the ward sister and say ‘I need to go to a different ward to learn more because I don't feel like I'm learning much here’.

Just put yourself out there in terms of that and don't let yourself get looked down on at all because sometimes that happens.

Play video: how do you manage to stay energised for your whole 12 hour shift? Find out in Lottie's video.

You can shape patients' lives

The sixth thing is that you can impact a patient’s life a lot more than you think.

It might have been their only experience in a hospital ever and you might shape their entire opinion on the NHS - just know how you can impact their lives.

Read more

What brought me into nursing?

6 unexpected things you didn't know about nursing

Prior experience is valued highly

The seventh thing is that universities value experience a lot, and I mean a lot. If you've been an HCA for 15 years and you've gone back to college to get your access to nursing and then you apply for uni you're pretty much guaranteed a place.

However, if you were like me and you came straight from college and so you don't really have any work experience as an HCA or in health care whatsoever, unless you've got straight A's you probably going to get declined.

So that's why I'm super glad that my college told me that I need a lot of work experience to get into the hospital, and because I didn't have a hospital near me I just kind of volunteered at the local primary school and I also volunteered at a learning disability club for children because I wanted to be a children's nurse back then.

That kind of boosted my application a lot, I did that for about two years whilst at college.

Getting into the nursing course is super competitive

Again tying in with the last one, the eighth one is that it is very competitive to get into uni.

A lot of people again say that it's a lot easier to get into uni than other courses, but it's actually probably one of the hardest to apply to and get into.

A lot of courses have 100% like acceptance rate probably because they have hundreds of students and don't even have that many people apply to the course, and nursing is completely different they probably only have like 100 spaces and there's only like one course in every uni.

If you're applying to like mental health or children's nursing they have literally like 20-30 places for each of those courses depending on what uni you go to.

It's really hard to get into and anyone that tells you that it's easy is definitely lying.

Play video: are you thinking of becoming a nurse? Here's how to get into nursing school.

Preparation is key when it comes to exams and assignments

The ninth one is that assignments and exams and whatever else take a long time.

You can't just wait two weeks before an exam to start revising and you can't just wait two weeks before the assignments due date before you start writing it.

Some people are like that and can do assignments and exams really fast and just inhale all the information and write really fast, but honestly, most people I know have literally started revising for exams months before.

As soon as they give us the exam date they start revising for it. The tenth one is to start everything early.

Be organised!

Again, it ties in with the last one - be organised!

I wish I knew to be very very organized because at college I didn't think I was that organised and it really showed in the first year when I wasn't really that organised.

So at the beginning of the year, this is my first week of the third year, so I'm going online and looking all of the modules and the exams and assignments and knowing them so I’m expecting them. 

I know we should have done that all the way from the first year really!

Not everyone is kind in nursing

The last one, the eleventh one is that just because you're going into nursing, not everyone is going to be nice and not everyone is going to be mature.

My friends and I have this conversation loads if we've had a negative experience.

You never think a nurse would be rude or immature or anything like that, and even people on your degree as well.

Just because they're doing nursing it doesn't mean that they're super nice, down-to-earth and all of the other good things because there is a lot of people that are not like that.

So yeah, there are all the things that I knew I wish I knew before starting this degree!

That's it for the video, I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you in my next video.

Bye! 

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  • Lottie Pearson
    Student Nurse

About the author

  • Lottie Pearson
    Student Nurse

I'm currently studying as a student nurse. In between studying I create vlogs on YouTube on both my own channel and Nurses.co.uk.