Nursing students. Stop memorizing.



You don’t study to take an exam. You study for that moment when you are the only thing standing between your patient and the grave.

Stop freakin’ memorizing and start freakin’ learning.

The last time I checked….. Nursing is a cumulative profession. What you learn on day one will matter when you graduate…. it will matter 2 years later… it will mater 5 years later.. it will matter 10 years later….. trust me.

You aren’t learning to just get a good grade. You need to acquire, absorb and apply the concepts. Remember, you’re affecting human lives. You’re studying to make a difference. To improve someone’s life.

Adobe Spark(5)

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The MOST challenging part of transitioning from Nurse to Nurse Practitioner


Entering into the new role of a Nurse Practitioner is difficult. We’ve taken all the course work, fulfilled all the requirements and successfully passed our national certification exam. We now have to learn how to actually ‘do’ the job.

It parallels the same phenomenon we experienced when we graduated basic Nursing school. There’s what they teach and show you in school… and then there’s what happens in real life.

One of the things they don’t ‘teach’ you is how to walk across that imaginary line. The line drawn in the professional sand that separates the RN from the NP (APRN, CRNP, ACNP, etc.) The ‘advanced practice’ line.

This may only apply to the role of an NP caring for the inpatient population, but there comes a moment when you have to actually piss off the bedside nurse.  You have to be the bad guy. You have to be the provider that causes a tad bit of nurse-misery.

The nurse-misery I’m talking about is making the job of the bedside nurse worse than it already could be. You write an order that is going to tax their physical and emotional tolerance as well as test their patience.

Here’s an example:

Yep, wtf are you thinking 😂😂 #nurselife #wannarethinkthat

A post shared by Katie (@diaryofadallasgirl) on

Or ordering Go-Lytely,  Kayexalate or serial enemas…


You get the point.

As a Nurse Practitioner you have the medical rationale to support why you place such an order, but as a former bedside Nurse you know how bad it will sting……

so you feel guilty and horrible.

Regardless of how bad you feel for the bedside nurse you know the order needs to be placed and the intervention needs carried out to provide the care needed for your patient. Whether you’re treating a lethal electrolyte level, prepping for a procedure, or addressing constipation it’s a needed therapy for your patient.

Aaand whether the bedside nurse wants to hear it or not, a patient can become severely septic and (or) develop a medical emergency (colon perforation) if the constipation is left untreated.

But, lets be serious here. When I was the bedside nurse, all I heard from any of those orders was the amount of clean-up I had to endure or how uncomfortable it was going to make my patient (or me).

This is when you have to brush up on your communication skills, because the way you deliver this sort of message matters greatly.

The last thing you want to do as an NP is to be perceived as demeaning, condescending or dictator-like when placing these types of orders.

Because you know better than anyone…..

You do not to piss off the nurses.


I remember the time I had to move back in with my parents…

I had this crazy idea of going back to school. Yes, back to school. I wanted to become a Nurse.

I had just been discharged from the hospital, after being treated for an illness that scared me. I had a long conversation with my Nurse on the last day he took care of me.

He enlightened me on what being a Nurse was really like. He talked about impacting lives, saving lives, the possibility of being payed to travel, earning a respectable pay, etc. More than anything, he taught me that Nurses do more than just pass pills and clean up poop.

I was hooked and wanted in.

But, I didn’t have the finances to start. I needed money to apply…. I needed money to pay off outstanding debt before I could submit my school application.. I needed to save money to pay for prerequisite classes…

I needed help.

I was floundering around in my life, working a job that barely paid my bills. Things weren’t desolate… but I was struggling.

I had nowhere to turn…


For my parents.

To make a long story short… at this point in my life.. I didn’t have the greatest of relationships with my folks. In order to ask for help, I was going to have to swallow a great deal of pride. I was 29 years old and I was about to ask my parents for not only a great deal of money, but could I move back home?


That was 13 years ago.

I can proudly say that moment of humility in my life defined my present life.

I went on to take those pre-req classes and apply to a diploma nursing program.

I went on to graduate from that diploma program and work as a bedside nurse in the ICU as a new grad.

I went on to gain my CCRN certification less than 2 years after working as a bedside nurse.

I went on to attain my BSN.

I went on to attain my MSN and become an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

I now mentor and teach all levels of Nurses.

All because I was willing to swallow my pride, tuck my tail between my legs and ask for help.

What are you willing to do to pursue your dreams?