Monday, February 23, 2009

Nurses Don't Learn it All in School

From a new article at

Most new nurses say that the things they wished they had learned in school include such things as the overwhelming amount of paperwork involved in admitting or discharging a patient, time management skills, how to prioritize and organize their days.

The trouble is, most of this is simply just not possible given the structure of nursing programs. In some of the older diploma programs when nurses actually lived on the campus of hospitals and worked on the floors for whole shifts, they learned more about these things because they experienced them. Today, nursing students typically care for one or two patients and spend only a part of a shift on the floor once or twice a week for the majority, if not the entirety, of their clinical rotations.

And so for new nurses, a lot more learning is left to their first year on the job. Nursing is a lifelong learning process, but the first year is intense as new nurses learn about their roles and the function of their various work environments.