If you have ever seen a student running across campus, energy drink in hand, wearing blue hospital scrubs, you’ve likely spotted a nursing student.
The intensity of being a nursing student may be underestimated by students on campus because nursing students are often too busy to take a breath to talk about all the responsibilities they hold.
“Yes, it is worth it to be a nursing student,” said Rachel Powell, a junior studying nursing pre-licensure. “But a lot of times, you don’t feel like it’s worth it. You don’t. But the best part of nursing is that all of the students are part of family that are there to support each other. This is the hardest I have ever worked and I feel like a better person for it.”
Attaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing at BYU-I is requires many hours of homework and clinical training because the program can be completed in just four semesters.
Depending on what semester they are in, nursing students are required to be in a nearby hospital for 12 hours a day, every week of the semester. This means their shifts start early in the morning in order to leave time for other assignments to be completed.
But students aren’t just thrown into hospitals on their first day — that would lead to all sorts of problems and probably a spike in mortality rates for the hospitals they are assigned to.
Nurses are assigned to work in the Clinical Simulation Suite in the John L. Clarke Building on campus before going to work in local hospitals. During these simulations, students in the program are a part of a four-hour simulation test to help prepare them for worst-case scenarios.
Even after students have been through several clinical simulations in the Clarke Building, they will continue attending those simulations while doing their clinical shifts at local hospitals.
Aside from the actual labor that students perform in simulations and in hospitals, homework and exams take a large portion of their time.
To measure the progress of students’ learning and knowledge each semester, a Health Education Systems test, or HESI, is administered. The HESI covers all content from the current semester students are enrolled in and is usually 55 questions long with a minimum score requirement of 850 points. This test varies each semester as information presented is always different and builds upon previous semesters of learned information.
Some of the subjects included in the HESI that students are required to be tested on are physical health, mental health, medical-surgical, maternal health pediatric, population health and the exit HESI which requires a passing grade in order to exit the nursing program.
High-level skills and learning that students acquire from the nursing program prepare them to be able to perform at the best of their abilities.
“The program prepares you so well,” said Ashlynn Prince, a senior studying nursing pre-licensure. “In your first couple semesters, you feel like you don’t know anything. After looking back at all the hard work that I did, I feel like I grew in confidence, knowledge and in my skill set to be able to go into the workforce to be a nurse.”