There are many joyous and thrilling aspects of being a parent, but few can match the pure relief that you feel when your child graduates from nursing school.
You have gone through the roller coaster ride of emotions with them, from abject terror at first-time needle injections to sheer elation as they come out in front of their classmates as an RN.
Be Proud But Be Supportive
Being a supportive parent is not as easy as it sounds, especially if you have had previous experience with a nursing school yourself and your child is following in your footsteps.
Just getting into nursing school can be difficult and challenging for any child, whether they decide to take the traditional route of going to college for nursing, or even if they want to take an alternative route into nursing, such as doing a direct entry MSN for non nurses course online.
If your child is getting up to the final year of the program, talk with them about the personal and professional changes that they will need to make. Try to make it as painless as possible for them, but also be realistic about what they can realistically do.
Contact your child before they start or during a break in their program and let them know that it is OK to stop in and ask for advice if they are getting worried.
Support Them During A Letdown
After an initial letdown, your child needs to regroup and refocus on what they need to do in order to pass the NCLEX-RN and become a nurse. Nursing school is challenging and it can be overwhelming for even the most level-headed individuals.
It is important to remember that often your child will pick up on your emotions and your feelings. That is why it is critical that you remember these tips for how to help your kid get through nursing school without all the stress.
Communicate With Them
Let them know that you have their back, encourage them and remind them of what their strengths are, and remind them that it is OK to stop and ask for help if they get worried or unsure about what they need to do.
During the final two semesters of nursing school, it is a good idea to schedule weekly conversations with your child about what they are doing in terms of study habits and test-taking strategies. If you see areas where they can improve, do not be afraid to offer advice.
Allow Them To Offload
If you have been an RN for decades, you may think that you are well-versed in how to help your kid get through nursing school, and they are going to want to need that support during their final months of nursing school.
If there are issues that they cannot deal with on their own, encourage them to seek help from the school or even talk with a faculty member in the nursing division at the college or university they attend. Remember that your child is smart enough to know their own limits. Do not presume to know what they need or what they can do.
Discuss Their Test Anxiety
If your child is experiencing test anxiety, it is important that you offer feedback about what may have caused this and what can be done about it.
Nursing school is not all about tests; it is also about acquiring the knowledge that you need in order to be a well-rounded nurse. Your child may just need to be reminded of this and it may be helpful for them to revisit this topic in a different way.
Help Them Study
Your child may want to go it alone when it comes down to studying for the NCLEX-RN, but you know that the more help they have, the better off they are in terms of increasing their chances of passing the exam.
If your child has a test coming up, help them with flashcards or taking practice exams and letting them know whether they need more work or not. Remember that you want them to be at ease when taking this test.
If you see that they are starting to get frazzled before something big such as a nursing school final exam or making an honest mistake on a weekly quiz, take time out of your day and sit down with them and explain that stress will make things worse, give them some coping mechanisms to help them cope, and work with them to calm their nerves.
Do Not Push Them Too Hard
You know that you can push your kid to work harder than they are, but this will backfire and make them want to quit nursing school altogether.
Try to limit your kid’s workload during the final semester of nursing school if they are a full-time student. If you see that they are struggling with their workload, do not hesitate to offer advice by offering suggestions; this way you are not signing them up for more work and stress on top of what they might be experiencing already.
Cut Them Some Slack
There are times during your child’s nursing school years that it might be difficult for them to handle. They may be dealing with family issues or other personal situations that could be getting in the way of their focus on their studies.
Try to let them know that you understand that they are dealing with their own unique situation and that you will still be there for them when it comes to answering any questions about nursing school, taking a test, or life in general.
Remember, the final semester of nursing school is all about graduation. Do not forget this, but at the same time also let your child know that you want them to succeed in whatever way they need to.
Have Fun And Enjoy The Ride
Nursing school is a highly competitive process where your kid will be pushed to their absolute limits. It is not just about your kid being smart or good at what they do; it is about having a passion for nursing and wanting to help others.
It is difficult for many young people, but it is important that you remember that your kids are capable of making the right career choices on their own by following through with what they have set out to do, and let them know that it is ok to enjoy the ride!