February 28th, 2021

Nursing Student

What helped get me through the pandemic was to focus on the present, what I could control, and to focus on goals I was setting for myself. While I found myself sometimes wishing for the pre-pandemic days, I did my best to accept our current reality but still find ways to move forward. I was able to continue moving forward with moving to Baltimore and going to nursing school, even if it looked differently than I originally expected. I focused on the positives of the situation, versus dwelling on the negative, and gratitude for what we had versus what we lost.
I think focusing on what you can control, staying positive, and continuing to put one foot in front of the other, even when times are challenging, will serve me well as a nurse. These skills can help me keep a level head and problem solve when faced with stressful situations. Staying positive and focusing on gratitude (e.g. why I switched careers to become a nurse) even when it’s hard or frustrating, can help me to stay motivated.
For me, the most valuable skill is focusing on what we have and making the best of it. Recognizing the positives of the situation and literally repeating them to myself daily (especially when it’s hard). I’ve used these skills before when in challenging situations but they’ve become even more relevant in the pandemic.

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Comments (6)

Comments (6)

HI Allison:

Thanks for joining our conversation. Don't we all wish for pre-pandemic life! It sounds like you have always had a pretty positive outlook. Is that true? Or did you develop that approach thanks to our current challenges?

What do you think nursing school could do better to help you and other students handle the stress of being a student in ways that might carry over to help you handle the stress of being a nurse?

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Hi Cindy, yes I think I have had a pretty positive outlook on life before the pandemic. Also, I have been in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years (was active duty for 7 years with multiple deployments and am now in the reserve) so I have been in many challenging situations where I needed to continue to move forward so my military experiences have definitely built resilience in me.
I enjoyed the lectures by Dr. Rushton and Dr. Fowler in our Professionalism class first semester that were focused on ethics, self-care, empowerment, etc. We spend a lot of time focusing on technical nursing skills (obviously needed) but taking time out to sharpen our purpose, moral compass, self-care strategies, how to deal with challenging conversations or confrontations I think can help us better deal with stress as a student and once we enter the real world. Making it a part of class, makes us do it (even when that can feel frustrating!) and encourages some introspection that we often don't do because we are so busy with assignments and learning fundamental nursing skills. I think it would be important to incorporate these things beyond first semester classes so we could continue this introspection and building the type of skills I mention above to increase our resiliency for when we leave the academic setting.

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Welcome to the Forum! Connecting to the positive is a great resource! Sounds like you have found that to be an important resource in other situations. What can faculty do to support that resource?

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Dr. Rushton, thank you! I think it could help if faculty provide reminders at the end of lectures to remind us to connect to our purpose for being in the program. I am in the MSN Direct Entry program and most students I know have really clear reasons for entering this program and a strong desire to be here. Many have switched careers and even left comfortable situations to pursue Nursing (like I did). Reminding us to connect back to this purpose of why we are here is helpful when we are feeling overwhelmed or stressed by the program and that this hard work is part of the process to eventually connect more strongly to that purpose. Even simple written reminders on the 'Questions' slide at the end of lectures (or even before the lecture starts to get in a positive headspace) I think would be helpful!

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Allison the foundation you have made for yourself will most definitely carry you through in your Nursing career. These same ideal have carried me through my 35 years and definitely through our current pandemic crisis. I have had to rely on the most basic trainings that I've received to keep my residents, employees and family safe throughout the last year and am most grateful for the blessings received. I am most grateful that this pandemic has really brought the challenges that we face as Nurses to the forefront and that the world has been able to see the differences that we do make in the lives we touch everyday. Blessings to you in the wonderful career that I know you will have ahead of you.

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Alissa, thank you so much for your kind comment, encouragement, and positive feedback!

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