What’s the difference between “textbook” nursing and “real” nursing?  I’ve heard nurses say that they didn’t learn how to be a nurse until they graduated and began working as a nurse. 

I think it’s important to note that nursing school gives you the backbone you need to survive as a nurse.  It may not teach you how to actually be a nurse, but it does teach you how to critically think, something that nurses have to do every day. This is why you are able to pass the NCLEX without previously seeing the questions they ask you. You are able to decipher the best treatment for each patient on the test, just as you would in real life.

You can’t be a nurse without knowing anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, microbiology and the disease processes. You must have a thorough understanding of all these subjects. 

But it’s difficult not to get caught up in textbook nursing when you are a nursing student. You want to do everything by the book. While that sounds great in theory, if I had the choice between going with what a book says versus taking the advice of a 30 year veteran nurse, I believe I would choose the veteran nurse. 

What is different about nursing in the “real” world versus the “textbook” world? 


 What have you learned while being in the nursing work force? 

 Do you think nursing school prepared you to be a nurse?