September 2, 2019

Uncomfortably Learning | Nursing Hacks # 16

Learning has a certain level of uncomfortableness to it that can deter some individuals. Trust me, I've wanted to quit many things after either being reprimanded or after performing an outright inappropriate action. I remember being a nurse technician (as a nursing student) and giving a patent a Pepsi after he requested one. I thought I was helpful. But what I didn't know was that the patient was a diabetic. The unit manager had a discussion with me and explained the error and the increase in the patient's blood glucose as a result. Now, I could have taken that moment in time as a sign that nursing wasn't for me. Granted, I did mess up. But we must understand that learning is messing up. It is the only moment in time where you are expected to make some mistakes. When you are learning, you are below a novice. You are at the beginning of the video game, where you are only learning what the controller buttons do, you are not even at level one.

The goal isn't to mess up, but you must be aware of the capacity for error when you are learning something new. You always see nursing graduation photos online, and registered nurses talking about the complexes of the profession, but I wish more people would discuss the struggle. The times were you weren't sure if you were going to be successful because those are the defining moments. The moments that will determine if you stay with this profession or not. It's not the NCLEX or certifications. It is your determination to keep getting up and to keep going. No exam will give you this trait or mindset, you must trust the process and know you will get there when the time is right.

No one graduates from nursing school and then immediately passes the CCRN. Critical thinking is developed over time. Allow yourself time to grow and develop. Education and knowledge aren't instant, no matter what Instagram or Facebook makes you believe. We all started at the same place, and you will get where you need to be when the time is right. Rushing will only cause anxiety because you can't control this aspect of your development. Deciding to be a nurse isn't a big, defining moment. It's a series of micro-decisions over a long time frame that will get you to the finish line. Every day, wake up and decide you are still in it and will try your hardest to be the best version of yourself. That's all you have control over in life.

The frustration of learning comes in one's inability to control outcomes and the stress of believing in the future. It can be scary. Hell, trying is scary. But learning is supposed to be uncomfortable. Learning is filled with growing pain you can't escape. Everyone who is learning something new is uncomfortable. Some just have better poker faces than others. Be secure in knowing we are all unconfident and uncomfortable together.

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