YON 2020 Day 6: Connie Bowler, RN, DNP

What advice would you offer to a person considering nursing?

As a nurse educator, I speak with potential nursing students on a regular basis, I am often asked what advice I would share. There are typically two points that I encourage them to consider. The first is to keep an open mind. Many students enter nursing programs because of their prior work experience in health care, some enter based upon beliefs from what they have observed on social media or from television programs, and many come in because of a personal experience. Most bring preconceived ideas of the profession based on a limited frame of reference. I encourage them to keep an open mind and to think beyond what they have already seen or experienced. Nursing is complex with many layers and facets. In order to get the most from ones nursing education program and expand their view of the profession, I encourage students to be fully present in the moment of each nursing experience that they are privileged to encounter. It is through these experiences that they will truly learn and grow.

The second bit of advice I share is that nursing school is hard work. Nursing attracts many high achieving students. Many of these students have found success from their previous study habits where memorization and repetition were the cornerstones. These strategies alone do not lead to long term success in nursing. I encourage nursing students to pay close attention to the learning outcomes of the course and restructure their studying to habits to match. This may mean exploring new study skills that employ strategies that facilitate application and analysis of information. Students that are able to transition to study strategies that promote the critical thinking aspects of nursing typically experience nursing school success.

Connie Bowler, RN, DNP

Interim Nursing Program Director, Lakeland Community College

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