A Letter to my Nursing Students:

I’m so glad to meet you. SINCERELY. I firmly believe I am meeting a group of lifelong friends today. I look forward to becoming your mentor and colleague.

I hope when you’re struggling you hear my voice in the back of your head reminding you to use your nursing judgement.

I hope when I have to give you some negative feedback you can understand it is only because I want the best for you and your patients. It’s better to learn as the student than to learn as the nurse.

I hope you are patient with me. There are so many of you and just one of me. I want to give you all of the knowledge I can. Please know I’m trying.

I hope you are patient with yourself. I wasn’t strong like this when I started out, none of us were. You’ll struggle. Embrace it. Most of all learn from it. Give yourself the time to grow into the nurse you want to be. It doesn’t happen overnight.

I hope you give it your best effort. I know sometimes it feels like you’re “working for free” but I challenge you to challenge yourself when you aren’t feeling challenged. Ask for a heftier patient assignment. Volunteer to assist with an admission.

I hope you are forgiving of your classmates. Nursing school is such a stressful time for everyone. Emotions run high and you never know who is at their breaking point. Please be forgiving of them. Please understand what they are going through.

I hope you think of me every time a beta blocker makes you LOL or when you give Lovenox, low molecular weight heparin, in the love handles. (my former students should understand that joke)

I hope you remember what this feels like when you’re nervous and new and green. I hope you are patient with nursing students when it is your turn to be the expert.

I hope you can build your confidence. I hope that when you have a bad day or when someone makes you feel small or someone makes you feel like you aren’t cut out for nursing you won’t believe them. I hope you know you are made for more and that you are enough.

I hope you are learning to understand and not learning to pass the test. There will come a day when you catch something everyone else missed or you save someone’s life with the information you’re working so hard to understand.

More than anything, I hope you appreciate the struggle. One day you’ll look back at how far you’ve come. I hope you can appreciate how much you’ve grown. I hope you can draw strength from your weaknesses. I hope you can remember how scary this all feels right now and be proud of the nurse you’ve become.



  1. Susan the Farm Quilter
    January 21, 2020 / 1:20 am

    You are making me want to go back to school and become a nurse!! When I was doing my student teaching, I wish my lead teacher had written a letter like this to me. She was busy falling in love, so her attention was diverted.

  2. Missy Reynolds
    January 24, 2020 / 12:19 am

    A resounding AMEN! From a semi-retired nurse. Everything you say is such an important reminder to new nurses and the old ones that have forgotten what it is like to be a student!! Keep up the wonderful work!

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