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An Open Letter to the Weak and Weary Nursing Student

Updated on September 8, 2016

An open letter to the weak and weary nursing student,

If you are feeling exhausted and don’t have any more energy to care, you are not alone. I’ve spent my day crying and reviewing exactly what I did wrong on my tests and lab, because it is just one of those days. Today is the day after I received my first test grade of third semester. I studied for hours and hours preparing for a 50 question multiple choice exam. I prepared exactly as I was told to, with endless questions, concept maps, study group, and case studies expecting to get a grade that was worthy of the amount of work that I put into it. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but that is okay. Just because you didn’t make the grade you feel you deserve doesn’t mean you’re going to be any less of a nurse.

What counts is what happens after you make that grade or miscalculate a dose. I told my friends and family that I wanted to quit, that I was done and wasn’t going back to school. An hour after I had made this declaration I had already gathered up my books, went upstairs to my desk and started studying again. That’s what counts. What counts is the fact that it is not physically in you to not care. You can’t not care. You can’t stop putting in the work because it is not in you to give up. That’s what counts when a patient has lost all hope. It is what counts when a patient is told that they have too many coinciding complications. You will not give up. You will not stop caring. All the time and hours and energy that went into studying is not in vain. It is worth it. It will get you to the moment when you will have the ability to show everything you have worked for was meaningful, it was to be prepared to help save a life.

Nursing school is hard, and it’s supposed to be for good reason. Not everyone can be a nurse. Not everyone has the perseverance it takes to make it. So when you feel weak and weary because it’s the end of the semester, you received a poor test grade, or you gave a med when you were supposed to hold it in lab, do not give up. Continue to be the compassionate, hard-working nursing student that you are. That’s what counts.


Another tired and worn out nursing student


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