Four Things to Know Before Becoming a Registered Nurse
- Nurses are indispensable in healthcare
If you did not know this, now you know! Nursing is the most trusted profession in Australia. This is due to the ethical frameworks, professional standards, codes and knowledge that form our discipline, and give shape to our profession. You will learn about these and appreciate them!
- Make the most of placements
Placements are going to be fantastic and challenging. You will see a range of skills and practices in your various area of specialty. You will do and see cool things done (i.e. Angioplasty, SPC) and not so cool things (i.e. wounds or stools, showering). Take courage. Throughout the program, you will be developing your professional identity through the content, socialising with peers, staff, role models, and nurses in your practical placement. So, there is ample support and guidance. You might not get your area of interest, but be willing to learn, and look on the bright side.
- Grades do matter
It is important! I cannot stress this enough. It can be difficult to get a Graduate position if you have failed and must repeat classes. Also, those nurses who say it does not matter already have a job, whereas you don't. So while you are studying, keep your grades a priority! Cut off grades often change for postgraduate, so don't assume it will be the same today, 2 or 3 years from now.
- You can't fake it until you make it.
You cannot have this attitude in this industry before you realise you might cause harm. You need to know your stuff. Learn the material, ask questions and revise what you have learnt. You will need to justify what you are doing and why. Your assessments will bring out what you need to apply in clinical settings during your placements. The nurses there can discern the depth and clarity of your knowledge and thinking. Developing a professional identity is an evolving process which you will gain from a combination of experiences (i.e. life, placements etc) and reflection on practice. You must begin to reflect on things you see, hear and think about. Nothing should be left to chance. Lives are at stake.
Hope this helps. All the best for your journeys!
Author: Sandith Oyet Kep | 2nd Year Nursing Student - Australia