Orientation day came for the beginning of my nursing degree last year, and I’m not going to lie I was pretty nervous, I have studied before and for some reason the start of this degree was one of the most daunting things I think I have done! On the way to orientation I came up with about ten different reasons why I shouldn’t start this, but also came up with ten different reasons to get over it and give it a go, and sitting here halfway through second year, I am so glad I managed to talk myself into doing nursing at Massey.
I came to nursing a little later than most people did and although I’m not considered a mature student, I am definitely a little older than your average first year student. But I wouldn’t change the decision I made to swap paths, it’s one of the most rewarding and challenging degrees, and I love it!!
When I started first year I felt like I had very little knowledge of anything to do with this career. I’d never worked in healthcare and didn’t have a lot of experience in that regard, but I was up for the challenge and that is half the battle when it comes to trying anything new. In the first few weeks I learnt the intricacies of hand washing, feeding, bed baths and showering, all things I had taken for granted and never thought about how difficult and humbling it is to learn how to do it for someone else. When first year was explained to me, I must admit I thought all this would be easy and something we could get through quickly and get onto other exiting stuff, but this is a lot of what nursing is about, the fundamentals if you like, and the skills you will fall back on through your entire nursing journey.
One massive thing I learnt in first year, and advice I would give to anyone, whether studying nursing or any other degree is that you will rely hugely on the friends you make within your degree. Whether it’s to wake you up in the morning with a text because you are notorious for sleeping through alarms (guilty!), or to keep each other reasonably sane during the days before assignments are due when I can usually be found holed up in the library until some questionable hour of the night. You need your friends and colleagues, and in my experience nursing students are some of the most friendly and giving people.
By the end of first year, I took a moment to look back on everything I’d learnt over the year, and it’s a massive change. I went from not having a clue how to even wash my hands properly to feeling confident looking after someone else. After first year I never imagined I had the capacity to learn and retain more, and then came second year…… another big step and another massive challenge that I wouldn’t change for anything!
If you are thinking of enrolling in nursing, I have one piece of advice… DO IT, you’ll never regret the day you made the jump into an amazing and rewarding journey to this career. And to the first years I know some days feel never ending but look back on who you were even four weeks ago when you started, and think about how much you have already learnt, its all a constant learning process and I personally wouldn’t swap it for anything!