Grace Students Reflect on Leaving a Legacy after Nursing School Clinicals
For nursing students, clinicals are crucial. This is where all of the time spent studying for exams and practicing in the labs comes to fruition. Nursing students put on their scrubs, head to the hospital, and get hands-on experience doing the job they have tirelessly trained for. The student gets to take the wheel and work directly with patients under the watchful eye of a seasoned nurse. It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time, no doubt.
But for students who are completing their nursing clinicals in the middle of a pandemic, the experience has looked much different. The stress is high. The floors are full. There’s a lot less observing and a lot more doing.
During these trying times, some nurses are questioning their career choice, but others are stepping up and allowing their faith to drive them forward. This is what we’ve seen of our nursing students at Grace. The pandemic has made them reflect on why they chose nursing to begin with. And they often come to the same conclusion: it’s about being the hands and feet of Christ. It’s about leaving a legacy.
This is what differentiates Christian colleges that offer nursing from the rest.
Current students Jessica Kaurich and Lydia Thompson share more of their reflections on nursing clinicals with us below.
It is hard to put my thoughts into words when describing what I have seen and what I have gone through while in nursing school clinicals during COVID. After two years of repeating to myself “just keep going,” my mind goes numb to what is going on around me.
However, through these years, I have been blessed to see the strength and resilience of the human race — both healthcare workers and the patient population. My time in nursing school clinicals gave me a role to play in the midst of the chaos going on. Due to COVID, my time to learn and ask questions was very minimal. I had to have a “learn as you go” mindset and jump right into the fire.
And when I say fire, I mean it. I have seen nurses break down in the break room because of the weight of this pandemic. But when they go back to the floor, they look stronger than ever. The nurses have banded together to hold each other up through this. I saw how God worked through each and every nurse to show them how strong they are. It is something I will never be able to forget.
On the other side, I have seen the spirit of dying patients. I have seen them keep the faith up until their final breaths. I have seen some fight the hardest battle of their lives and come out on top. I have seen hope drain from some but for others, it never leaves. But one thing all patients expressed was gratefulness that they weren’t alone in the hospital. They had us. They knew they wouldn’t die alone because we were there with them. I was honored with that responsibility and trust. Even through these struggles, I knew God created me to do this.
This is the time that has molded me into becoming a nurse. People keep asking about when healthcare will go back to normal. For me, there is no other normal. This is my normal. I have nothing to compare this time to. However, I believe that my generation of nurses will be a generation of strength. In part, because we know no other option.
I am truly blessed that God has used this era to craft me into the nurse He wants me to be. I am not a straight A student. I’m not someone who always has it together. But God continues to use me.
The legacy I hope to leave is one of grit and determination. I hope that when future students come through the nursing school clinicals while at Grace, they realize that they are strong enough even when they feel like they have no chance. I am proof of that. So are all of my peers.
Whatever battle comes our way, we can win it. Why? Because the war is already won.
I will not mince words: nursing is incredibly difficult.
It has taken so much from me, physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, I would not trade it for the world. Even on the days when nursing is the hardest, I push through it by the grace of God. After all, this is not about me. This is about serving the Lord by serving others.
A few weeks ago, I did my emergency room observation day. I performed CPR for the first time on two different patients. Neither survived. Later, I heard the sobs of a patient’s wife as she found out her husband was dead. I do not think I will ever get that sound out of my head.
In heartbreaking moments like these, I remember I do this for a purpose. Not for myself, but to serve the Lord by serving others. This is what keeps me going. Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” This verse has become my motto in nursing school clinicals.
Nursing sometimes means doing dirty jobs. I have had my hands in multiple bodily fluids. I have become nauseated by certain smells. I have gone home with an aching back after a long shift. I have been assaulted by patients. But as a student in nursing school clinicals, I have been given some of the most amazing opportunities to minister to those around me.
I have prayed with the wife of a dying man, held the hands of a young man in severe pain from a gunshot wound, and washed the feet of a man with wounds all over his lower legs. To show others the love of Christ through serving them in this way is an honor and a privilege. Whatever I do for the least of these, it is as if I do it for Christ. This is the legacy I want to leave.
If nothing else, I want to be remembered for how Christ used me to show His love to those in their most vulnerable states. This is what nursing is truly about. It is not about getting glory and credit for what I have done. It is about how I can glorify Christ by being willing to serve those He has called me to love wholeheartedly.
Grace College partners with Bethel University in Mishawaka, Indiana, to offer a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree that equips students for a purposeful career — from the very first class they take to nursing school clinicals.
Are you looking for Christian colleges that offer nursing? Look no further! Apply to Grace today.