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Preparing to be a Nurse

Many students come into the program knowing very well what a nurse does because they have a close friend or family member who is a nurse; however, many students get their concept of what a nurse does from media (tv, movies, etc.) and these sources very often give inaccurate perceptions of nurses or show very little of what a nurse actually does.
Let’s start by talking about some of the personal qualities that are important for nurses and nursing students to have.

Personal Qualities

Personal qualities that are important for individuals wanting to become a nurse include:
  • Good communication skills
  • Caring attitude toward patients, peers and other individuals you may encounter
  • Interest in working with people
  • Openness to diversity and a non-judgmental attitude
  • Desire for a career which is continually changing and evolving
  • High motivation to achieve
  • Ability to think and act under extreme stress
  • Ability to solve problems with limited resources
  • Realization that nursing and nursing education are demanding physically, mentally and emotionally

Settings for Nursing Work

Nurses work with patients in a variety of clinical settings, however, the nursing program at Laramie County Community College educates its graduates primarily to enter the profession of nursing in the acute care setting under supervision of other more experienced Registered Nurses.
 
As a student, you will be placed in a variety of clinical settings from a long-term care facility to a medical floor in an acute care center to the newborn nursery, all under the supervision of a member of the nursing faculty.

Before You Commit

Nursing's first responsibility is to the public and as a result of that, students can be sent home from clinical for unsafe behaviors in clinical (not being prepared to care for your patient, etc.).
 
Nurses in practice have to be able to think critically and problem solve when caring for patients and one way in which a student’s ability to do that is measured is by asking multiple choice, short answer and essay questions on exams, just like the questions you are answering in this module.
 
Each person must begin school when it is the right time for him or her. You must be mentally and physically ready and have your life as stable as possible. You have a lot of things to think through before you will know whether you are ready to expend the amount of energy it takes to be successful in a nursing program.
 
Organization and development of a strong support system must begin early, long before you find your self in the middle of course requirements. You must be able to include your family and friends as a part of your educational journey.
 
Scheduling a family tour of the school and having them read this module are good examples of ways to make these individuals feel included in what is going on. It will be helpful for them to know what to expect and to share in your educational goal. Graduation should be identified as a team goal.