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Relationships in Nursing School (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ

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    00:01 When I was in nursing school and then later NP school, my teachers started orientation with essentially the same, just, very welcoming speech.

    00:09 They all must have gone to the same, like, Academy of Motivation.

    00:11 They stood up there and they said: "This will be the hardest thing you have ever done.

    00:14 And if you are in a relationship, I hope you are ready to break up or get divorced." Literally, I was like, wow, I truly have no idea.

    00:24 Like what? Like I said, motivational speaking course that these people were watching when they decided to go into this.

    00:30 But they are all the same and they're absolutely awful.

    00:33 And I wanted to put this section in here in case you needed a little bit of cheering up.

    00:37 If you've had a similar introduction, because your relationships, whether they be romantic or otherwise, can survive nursing school.

    00:45 And here's a few tips to help make that, hopefully, a slightly smoother process. So, whether you realized it or not when you enrolled in nursing school, you introduced a third person into every relationship that you have.

    01:01 The third person here is nursing school.

    01:03 And this person is, they're very assertive, quite needy.

    01:07 And therefore, you are going to need to have some conversations with your friends, your partners, your children, whoever, to help figure out the dynamics of your new relationship now that there's a new player in the game.

    01:21 Do not be me and just think that all of these things will magically work out for themselves. This results in a lot more stress.

    01:28 And remember, we are avoiding the bear.

    01:31 We're avoiding the nursing school bear of stress.

    01:34 So don't do that.

    01:35 So, the key here to actually fix that is communication.

    01:39 Like, I'm talking a lot of communication and a lot of check-ins to see what is working and what isn't. And you're going to need to be really honest.

    01:47 Let your partner know what you can and cannot do and give them realistic expectations of how much time you have to be with them and also how much time you have to get things done.

    01:58 Have honest conversations about what chores you can reasonably get done, or how much you can actually help with making the kids' lunches.

    02:05 And on and on.

    02:06 Communicating up front will make this so much easier because the expectation is already there.

    02:12 So there's going to be a lot less disappointment when you can't show up and do those things because school is taking over.

    02:19 And, I just want to put out there, I am not a relationship expert, but I have been through nursing school and then NP school with a...

    02:27 Started with the boyfriend who is now the husband.

    02:29 And, then, in NP school we even upgraded to dad mode.

    02:33 And I promise you that figuring this out and trying to do it without communication is really, really hard.

    02:41 There's a lot of pain that happens when you don't set realistic expectations, and it's a lot easier when you tell them, you know, you want to tell them, like, what they want to hear, right? But that's going to make it so much harder.

    02:53 It leads to disappointment.

    02:54 And disappointment in relationships is poison, particularly for partners.

    03:00 Same with friends, though.

    03:01 Family, parents, whoever.

    03:03 Disappointment is going to be poison in that relationship.

    03:06 Part of them loving you is acknowledging that you have an insane commitment right now and rolling with you to help juggle that.

    03:13 If people can't respect that, it's maybe time to just reevaluate how important that relationship needs to be to you right now.

    03:21 You should feel super supported by the people that are closest to you.

    03:24 Not carried completely, obviously, I'm not saying that, but you should feel supported.

    03:29 Now, how many of you are thinking, "That's really nice, Liz, but my partner doesn't even know how to do what I do.

    03:35 So I can't communicate all of those tasks to them because they're not going to do it the right way, right?" This is, this is 100% me.

    03:43 So I am just going to tell you something that took me a really long time to learn.

    03:46 A lot of relationship poison happening before I learned this.

    03:50 Your partner, and this is mostly for partners, but maybe for friends sometimes too, they might not do things like you do, but it will get done. And that's the important part.

    04:01 And having it done exactly your way needs to be something that maybe we let go of until school is done, which is really hard.

    04:08 I totally know. I seriously thought I would have an aneurysm sometimes looking at the lunches that my daughter got packed for school.

    04:14 But you know what? It was totally fine.

    04:17 I didn't need to do it.

    04:19 My husband did it, and she is still, she's fine.

    04:21 You know, she was totally fine.

    04:22 And, in the end, my nitpicking at how much my husband chose to pack or how he chose to pack a lunch, or how many fruit snacks were in there, it wasn't helpful.

    04:32 So eventually I learned, and I stopped, and things got a lot better.

    04:35 Learn sooner than I did.

    04:36 Communicate realistic expectations, prioritize what is actually important, and just let the rest go.

    04:43 Oh, and adjust. Each semester will look totally different, right? Just when you get the hang of things, it'll change.

    04:47 Each week will look different.

    04:49 Communicate that, particularly the really crappy weeks.

    04:52 Always communicate those.

    04:54 I would write in the family calendar, literally, "there will be tears this week." Or just the emoji because I'm dramatic.

    05:00 But it was helpful because then at least my husband knew.

    05:04 He knew what to expect. He knew there would be a lot of tears.

    05:06 And then there were. And again, expectation, reality.

    05:09 And remember that this is not forever.

    05:11 You are not alone. Your relationships really can survive.

    05:14 You can do the hard things.

    05:15 You can relinquish control of the grocery shopping or the grass mowing.

    05:19 You can do the hard things.

    05:22 But how do you keep doing the hard things? That is our last tip here in this section of preparing for nursing school.

    05:28 Let's look at how you keep going.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Relationships in Nursing School (RN) by Elizabeth Russ is from the course Preparing for Nursing School (RN).


    Author of lecture Relationships in Nursing School (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ

    Elizabeth Russ


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