Advice and development

Tips for new nursing students

Nursing Standard’s social media followers gave us advice for those embarking on nursing courses. What would your top tip be?

Nursing Standard’s social media followers gave us advice for those embarking on nursing courses. What would your top tip be?

Picture: iStock

What advice would you give to a nursing student starting their training?

We asked followers of Nursing Standard on social media for their top tips for first year students.

Here are some of their suggestions. You can add your own tips in the comments section below.

‘Soak up every learning experience you can. In a flash of an eye you will be qualifying. I’ve had wonderful support from my mentors and my university.’
Emma Louise Fowler

‘If you need to work to subsidise your income, work as a healthcare assistant on medical and surgical wards part-time. The hands-on experience is priceless and you learn loads more than just your placements and classroom time.’
Hanrai MacDhonnchaidh

‘When on placement what you may consider to be the most menial of tasks all have great importance. For example, observation can tell you a heck of a lot of information as to what the patient’s condition is at that time, fetching cups of tea/water can induce and teach you about communication, and even assisting someone with food can give you an insight into the importance of nutrition.’
Natalie Booth

‘Treat everyone with respect – we can’t do our jobs without porters, domestics etc. You will get respect in return. Enjoy and ask to get as much experience in all areas as possible. Areas you may not think you will like might be best suited to you. I was going to do children’s nursing after general training but hated my kids' experience and, although I am squeamish, loved theatres and I'm a scrub nurse. Enjoy.’
Elaine Whitmarsh

‘The university doesn’t want you to fail, utilise the people who are there to help. I stressed about stuff which, in hindsight, I didn’t need to do. If you are struggling, ask for help.’
Katie Belcher

‘If you don’t know something – ask. If you’re not feeling comfortable or competent to do something – don’t do it. But remember… Rome wasn't built in a day. We are given the basics to hit the ground running, but learning comes with the challenges and situations we face daily. Your team will get you through this.’
Louise Styles

‘Nursing is hard, it’s scary, it will reduce you to tears and/or a quivering wreck on more occasions than you can possibly imagine. There will be so many days when you will wonder why you do it, and then a patient will say smile at you, or thank you… Or go home when you thought they wouldn’t, or tell you they love you when you give them that first cup of tea after being nil by mouth for what felt like forever.

'Then you’ll know why you do it, and why you stay. It is the best job in the world.’
Karen Stone

‘Always treat people the way that you would like your loved one to be treated. Never be afraid to ask questions - the day we feel we have nothing else to learn is the day we should be looking for a new job.’
Carol-Anne Bird

What is your top tip for new nursing students? Share it via the comments section below.

Read more articles for new students

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.