Do You Have What It Takes to Be A Nurse? Step into the lives of Quincy University nursing students

By: Taylor King

The nursing program at Quincy University is an outstanding program to be a part of. The hard work that they students put into becoming a nurse is quite remarkable. Some students say it is the hardest major and hardest field to study at Quincy University, right next to science majors.

Quincy University partners with the hospital in the town of Quincy, Blessing  is great place for students to learn and for them to have hands on experiences as sophomores. For their clinicals, they are one week on the floor dealing with real patients and having to deal with thinking on their feet and being able to know how to take care of patients on the spot, they never know what kind of patient they get until the morning of and they  will have to know how to care for them. The other part of the their clinicals are going to the simulations labs where they can practice on the “fake” patients. Here, they can work in groups of three and are able to help each other out how to care for the patients.

“As stressful and hard being a nursing student here can be, I really enjoy doing this because I get to help people get better,”  Kaeley Mueller, nursing student, says.

As assumed, being a part of the nursing program there are many layers that go into the play than just study, taking test and going to clinicals. The more behind the scenes things are what could make or break some students. One frustrating event happened earlier this year.

Nursing students had received an email stating that the required chemistry course CHE 124 was no longer was required for students to take for nursing. Now, you can imagine that previous students that had to take this course were furious. The nursing class of 2021, they had to take this course last semester and some of them had to work extremely hard for their grades, it was not an easy course.

“I mean I am glad that the younger nursing students don’t have to do that class, but it is unfair because I had to work hard for a grade that doesn’t even count anymore,” Emma Lynch said.

“I am extremely happy that I do not have to take this course, I was in it for about two maybe three weeks and I was already struggling. I could imagine having to take this course for the whole semester,” Sara Pate said.

It was strange that the nursing program had dropped a course from being required because they just had made it required last year and then changed it a year later. Students did argue that they didn’t need to learn any of the material in the first place and that after taking the course they did not and probably would not have used any of it in the future.

“I don’t know why it was required in the first place, I knewI wasn’t going to need this material in the future, there are better courses for us to take than that one,” Lynch says.

But, there is another part of being a nursing student…. On top of just nursing school some have to even declare a minor because they need to have enough credit hours each semester to be a full-time student, they would have to take twelve credit hours and some nursing students have already exceeded their classes and have to find more to take so they can be full-time students.

“I would have never guessed that I would have to declare a minor with being a nursing student. I thought that I would already have had a huge load with just nursing classes but I think this is going to be a very beneficial for me because if I decide not to do more hands-on things then I can go into the administration part of nursing with my business minor that I believe I will be declaring after winter break,” Mueller says.  

But declaring a minor could be difficult for some students, they are unsure of what they could do outside of just being on floor and helping people.

“I really do not know what I am going to minor in, I am not really one for administration things and that seems like the route to go, also I know being a communications minor would not be bad because being a nurse you have to communicate a lot and it makes the most sense but, I have heard you have to write a lot more and I am not one for that. But hopefully I will have a plan before my junior year, so I can get started with some minor classes,” Lynch says.

Declaring a minor as a nursing student is uncommon and students are taking advantage of getting the chance to learn more to help them with nursing in other aspects besides the science side. Knowing that they had no idea that they would learn so much more is exciting for them.

“I know I am excited to learn more about nursing in other aspects. But seriously had no idea I would have to declare a minor while being in nursing school, I am looking at it as a blessing in disguise because it will only benefit me more in the future,” Lynch states.

“A few of my older nursing student friends have to declare minors and I am curious to see if I will since I am getting a lot of my classes done and out of the way I might have to think about that but, I am only a freshman, so I shouldn’t have to worry about that too much just yet,” Pate says.

A day in a life of a nursing student can be pretty hectic. Especially if they are student athletes  or if they have jobs you can imagine their days can get crazy.

First, when they get up, usually it is about seven in the morning and their first classes are around eight. Their classes will be longer than your usual student like an education major would have the normal seventy-five-minute classes. But they are in class all day and if they have any general education classes left they will have to come back from the hospital and go to main campus or even north campus if they have to take a science class with a lab there.

Next, after all of their classes are finished, they will either go to their work and work for some of the night, the student athletes will have practice for close to four hours or they might even go and study and work on homework if they need to especially if there is a bug test coming up or the next day. Most nursing students stay up for a long time and through the night if they need to cram for an exam or they need to catch up on homework.

Nursing students do not get a lot of free time as you can see so they must be willing to give up most of their social lives to become successful and focus.

“It was a lot at first, I knew with being a student athlete and being a nursing student were going to be difficult. My social life was about to almost be non-existent but for my future and my career I was fine with it because it was what I wanted to do for a long time. I also enjoy helping people and caring for them, so this had to be the right fit for me,” Mueller says.

“When I came in as freshman, I was an accounting major. I thought I wanted to be a money cruncher and in high school that is what I was good at and I was excited to make a lot of money. Then, I quickly realized that this was not for me. I chose nursing because I also knew I was good at science and that I too loved to help people out. So, I chose to become a nurse after my first semester of college. Yes, this is still stressful because I have a lot of assignments due at once, test and clinicals can be hard especially to think on your feet but I know the material. With accounting that was a whole other story,” Lynch said.

“Our ultimate goal as nursing students are to learn and to help whenever needed,” Mueller says.

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