By Glenn Fredenburg, September 2015
I remember stepping on campus the first day of my (RN) nursing classes; full of excitement and hope, surrounded by other eager faces filing into the lecture hall, wondering who was going to be first to drop out. The college traditionally started about 80 people first-year and graduated about 20 or 30; 70 was passing, and the instructors held the line.
The first question the instructors asked the group was, “Who among you came to nursing to make big money for relatively easy work?” Those who raised their hands were encouraged to head for the door now and change majors, as the work would be dirty, back-breaking, thank-less and some days utterly tear-jerking.
They were right. The classes were tough, the clinicals were challenging and the instructors and clinical instructors rode us hard and asked tough questions. I thank them every day for making me learn both brand and generic names for common medications and why they do what they do, teaching patients about procedures and what to expect and, most importantly, encouraging me to treat every family with courtesy and respect.