Celebrating Student Nurse Day: Honoring the Future of Healthcare

Celebrating Student Nurse Day: Honoring the Future of Healthcare

A time to acknowledge and honor our future nurses

Student Nurse Day is a perfect opportunity to recognize the dedication of those pursuing a career in nursing. Since registered nurses (RNs) undergo four years of nursing school to obtain their bachelor’s degree, it is meaningful to celebrate student nurses’ hard work and accomplishments.

At Propelus, our mission is to power professionals throughout their careers, especially our future nurses. We understand the importance of supporting student nurses as they navigate their education and transition into their careers. 

In this blog, we’ll provide insights into the life of a student nurse, including their role in the healthcare system, the challenges they may face, their tech-driven learning environments, and ways you can support the student nurses involved with your organization on Student Nurse Day.


The Role of Student Nurses in Healthcare

Student nurses represent the future workforce. Despite sometimes not receiving as much credit as they deserve, their contributions are essential for improving patient care and advancing the nursing profession. Their dedication and hard work are critical components of the healthcare team, without which the system would struggle to function. 

Let’s take a closer look into some of the responsibilities of student nurses:

  • Patient assignments
  • Administering medications
  • Performing a head-to-toe assessments
  • Obtaining vital signs
  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Feeding patients
  • Charting all patient’s medical records
  • Assisting with procedures
  • Communicating with patients and family members


Challenges Faced by Student Nurses

Nursing school presents unique challenges due to the demanding nature of the nursing profession. According to the National League for Nursing, 20% of nursing students drop out, highlighting the program’s intensity. Unlike many other fields of study, student nurses face the rigorous challenges of clinical trials and real-life scenarios before graduating. They face a lot of pressure and expectations to perform at a high level. 

From juggling their academic load to the challenges of clinical rotations, all while dealing with financial burdens, it’s no wonder that student nurses experience a lot of stress. While these challenges can sometimes feel overbearing, they help prepare student nurses for their responsibilities when they become nurses. 

Let’s explore the three main areas where student nurses face these challenges in more detail.


1. Academic Challenges

Academic challenges are a huge aspect of the student nursing journey. Employers expect student nurses to retain significant information within a short period. Their work requires a keen attention to detail, given its hands-on nature. From mastering procedures like starting an IV and inserting a catheter to conducting accurate patient assessments, they expect to excel in numerous areas simultaneously. 

Additionally, they must comprehend complex subjects like anatomy, physiology, clinical mathematics, and various medications’ names, actions, and side effects. Balancing each of these learning objectives, along with the curriculum and exams, creates a hefty workload on student nurses.


2. Clinical Challenges

Nursing education blends intensive theoretical instruction in the classroom with extensive practical training in clinical settings. Unlike traditional classroom learning, clinical training offers nursing students opportunities for hands-on learning through exposure and application. The knowledge and principles learned early in nursing school are implemented to develop the mental, psychological, and psychomotor skills required for patient care (Jamshidi, Molazem, Sharif, Torabizadeh, and Kalyani).

This dynamic learning environment is heavily focused on practical experience and comes with great stress and pressure. Frequently, students feel overwhelmed when demonstrating new responsibilities in front of their nursing instructors and peers during clinical rotations. The demands of these rotations can physically and mentally wear down students, causing many to drop out.


3. Financial Challenges

Nursing school is costly for several reasons. For starters, tuition fees vary widely, ranging from approximately $7,000 for those pursuing an associate degree in nursing (ADN) to over $300,000 for students pursuing advanced graduate nursing degrees. The demanding nature of nursing programs, which includes attending rotating clinical placements and keeping up with the coursework, leaves little time for most nursing students to have a separate job. 

When living expenses are factored in, the financial burden can be substantial, adding to the stress experienced by students. Balancing these financial obligations along with academic and clinical responsibilities is extremely challenging and a big contributor to student stress.


Celebrating and Supporting Student Nurses

Student Nurse Day is an annual observance held on May 8th, coinciding with National Nurses Week. Its origins trace back to Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health in 1953 when she proposed for the U.S. to have a day dedicated to recognizing nurses. Although Sutherland’s initial proposal for a Nurse Day didn’t come to fruition, it spurred the recognition of National Nurse Week the following year. Sutherland played a pivotal role in bringing attention to the idea. Eventually, in 1998, the American Nurses Association established National Student Nurse Day to recognize student nurses’ diligence. 

In honor of Student Nurse Day, consider sharing stories and posts on your organizations’ social media platforms to highlight and acknowledge student nurses, sharing thank you notes with the students nurses involved with your organization, or providing a small token of appreciation. 


Resources for Student Nurses

It’s common for student nurses to face burnout during their nursing education. A Swedish survey revealed burnout rates of 29.7% among first-year nursing students and 36.9% among second-year students. With burnout rates higher than most other academic paths, it is incredibly important for student nurses to seek out resources. 

Mentorship and peer support networks offer valuable insight into the field, providing advice and a listening ear when times get too overwhelming. It’s a great way to learn from others in the same position.

Financial support through scholarship programs, grants, and financial aid is another avenue for students to explore. This assistance can significantly alleviate financial burdens in the long term.

Here are some recommended organizations and programs offering resources for student nurses:


Final Thoughts

Nursing is a noble career. Without our nurses, the world lacks care and comfort within healthcare settings. It takes a selfless person to endure the challenges of this career. This selflessness is why we choose to shine a spotlight on student nurses for Student Nurse Day! We celebrate the future of healthcare and encourage them to keep up the hard work.

We support our student nurses and recognize their unwavering commitment to serving our communities. Their path towards becoming healthcare leaders does not go unnoticed.

So, on May 8th, take a moment to express gratitude to the student nurses involved with your organization and offer words of encouragement for their journey. They are actively shaping a brighter future for us all.


Additional Resources: