April 26, 2007, 7:34 pm

Write Me A River: Nursing Jobs.Org Launches a New Feature


There’s a treatment for student nurses?

Are they some sort of disease?

Is it listed in the DSM-IV?

“Yes doctor, I’m afraid I have an acute case of…gasp…student nurse!”

“There is only one accepted treatment, Mrs. Jones.”

“What is it doctor? I’ll do anything!”

“Cover them in a wool drape and put them in the spotlight.”


That is sure to instill confidence and poise!

Actually, there is only one true cure for “student nurse”.

It’s called graduation!


Have you ever wondered why we use the term “student nurse” instead of “nursing student”, but we refer to our medical counterparts as “medical student” and not “student doctor”?

I’m quite sure there is a wonderfully philosophical post hidden somewhere in that question.

Someday I’ll tackle it.



Great news on the writing front!

Beginning May 8th, NursingJobs.org will feature a nursing column, with a different topic highlighted each day of the week! Two of these columns will be written by yours truly.

I’ll be taking a weekly look at nursing history, along with an additional column focusing on nursing research.

My colleague in this endeavor is well known in the nursing blogosphere! Mother Jones from Nurse Ratched’s Place will be profiling current leaders in the nursing profession.  At the moment, the other columns are by “Mystery Columnists”, but as soon as Shane lets us know who they are I’ll pass it along!

We’re not talking dry, APA-formatted-yawn-inducing material here. We’ll be making these topics fun, humorous, informative and pertinent to every-day practice, so be sure to check us out! I’ll be linking here when the feature goes live on May 8th.


Of course, now that I’ll be writing five blog posts and two columns a week I get immediate writer’s block, or as I like to call it, “blogjectile dysfunction”: the acute onset of fear that nothing you have to say is of any importance. And that’s assuming you can think of anything to say!

Symptoms include: prolonged procrastination manifested by cleaning areas of your house you didn’t even know existed, diaphoresis of the palmar surfaces of the distal portions of the arms, bilaterally (sweaty hands), profuse surfing of the web and obsessive rumination over every shift you’ve ever worked in the hope that inspiration will strike.

The treatment? Read other blogs. Nine times out of ten, another blogger will spark an opinion or an idea.

Thanks, guys!


  • Rita Schwab

    April 27, 2007 at 3:49 am

    Dear Past-Present-Future Student Nurse:

    How wonderful! Congratulations on your latest writing assignment!

    I do believe I’ll take full advantage of “knowing” you by name dropping from time to time… “Well Doctor, my PERSONAL FRIEND and well-known blogger extraordinaire Nurse Kim addressed this very topic and said…”

    Although this example may also apply, “As a Joint Commission Surveyor, you are undoubtedly familiar with the writings Nurse Kim from Emergiblog? Yes, I thought you might be. I’VE NEVER MET HER OF COURSE…”
    : )

  • Funky Mango

    April 27, 2007 at 6:57 am

    “Have you ever wondered why we use the term “student nurse” instead of “nursing student”, but we refer to our medical counterparts as “medical student” and not “student doctor”?

    I’m quite sure there is a wonderfully philosophical post hidden somewhere in that question.

    Someday I’ll tackle it.”

    Oohhh you want to try researching disability. Or rather, you probably don’t. The subtle semantic and political differences between “disabled person” and “person with a disability” you would NOT believe 😉

    Congrats on writing job 🙂

  • Max E Nurse

    April 27, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Well, I didn’t know “Student Nurse” was a disease, it must be the preliminary symptoms of Staffnurseitis. This disease is exclusive to newly gradulated Nurse, who now believe they are the most important thing in the whole health service and have an immediate urge to be cruel to student nurses.

    “Go and get me the diabetic soap student!” Hmm, that gives me an idea, you can share it, if it helps the blogjectile dysfunction…Horrid fictional chores we get students to do.
    We were subjected to laods as students. Or is this just a vicious English hobby.


  • Labor Nurse

    April 27, 2007 at 8:24 am

    On the issue of the student nurse vs nursing student: when I was in school there was one clinical rotation where a physician (surgeon) felt that our name badges identifying us as Student Nurse was putting us beneath Med Students and so made us all tape over the badge with “Nursing Student”. I had never thought of that issue before this doc pointed it out, but I agree.

  • Platy

    April 27, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Maybe I live in Bizzaro World but we never call them student nurses. They’re nursing students here, but a badge wouldn’t be that specific. If anything it would just identify the wearer as “student”. I think the patches say something like “School of Nursing”.

    The last time a group came through there was some guy who found his way in through a back door, he was on a motorized scooter-chair, and he asked where he could get registered to get his enema. They thought that was funny until I told them they would have to glove up and do it.

    “But I’ve never done one before.”

    “Neither had I but now it’s about all I do. You have to start somewhere.”

    I wonder how much trouble I’d have been in if they actually did it.

  • Cynical medical educator

    April 27, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Hmm.. Some politically correct bright spark Professor (probably of Family Practise…bunch of tree-huggers) at the medical school where I work has just suggested that we should stop saying “medical students” and start calling them “students doctors”.

    Most people in the med school and adjacent hospital with any functioning brain are opposing this for two reasons:

    (i) the medical students already have an over-developed sense of entitlement / importance and calling them “student DOCTORS” will only make it worse;

    (ii) the prospect of some of the half-awake adolescents I teach prancing round the wards talking to the patients while armed with a badge on saying “student…… DOCTOR” is too terrifying to contemplate.

    Keep that word DOCTOR well hidden until they have at least had five years to grow up a bit.

  • Kim

    April 27, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Maybe because “nursing student” conjures up mental images of learning to breastfeed?

  • TC

    April 27, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    I like Kim’s response. But I don’t think anyone would have mistaken my husband for a lactating person when he was a nursing student. My nursing school director always called us nursing students and I followed suit. But sometimes, when I’m feeling slightly irked/enraged/mischievious I tell doctors that they want to “doctor school”

  • Deacon Barry

    April 29, 2007 at 4:08 am

    Congratulations on the new writing opportunity. If it helps, think of the magazine readers as a totally different audience. What you write there, will be different from what you write here.
    In Scotland, we call them Student Nurses. This is abbreviated on the off-duty and daily report as ST/N, which is a bit unfortunate if your first name begins with a K. A first initial of G is not so great either.

  • TwinMamaLinda

    April 29, 2007 at 7:07 am

    I actually had to go and look at my badge to see what they called us 🙂 (NOTICE I SAID CALLED!) My badge lists me as a VTC Nursing Student. I guess we are progressive. But that is all behind me now 🙂 I have one final on Monday and one little NCLEX and I am officially an RN.

    If you want something philosophical to write about try this on for size: At our pinning ceremony you may choose a nurse to pin you – someone who has affected your practice and means something to you. This nurse cannot be a LPN because they are not professional nurses. WTF? We decide on a daily basis several little things that determine whether Nursing is a Profession. Exclusion is bad in my book. I understand wanting a higher entry-level degree, I get that the more you learn, the more you are able to articulate into a professional frame of mind. I also get that there are some LPNs which are hands down more to the point: professional.

    Sorry for the rant! Congrats on the new writing gig!

  • krista

    April 30, 2007 at 12:14 am

    I gotta say, the names for healthcare students in the hospital were just the opposite in the city I attended college! I was made to sign all my charts as “NS K. Lastname.” NS stood for Nursing Student, of course, not normal saline. My boyfriend who attended med school in the same city was forced to introduce himself as “Student Doctor Lastname.”

    Maybe it’s a regional thing.

  • lauren

    April 30, 2007 at 11:51 am

    “Actually, there is only one true cure for “student nurse”.
    It’s called graduation!”

    Testify. I’m pretty sure the only thing that will get me through this last year will be the comfort provided by the thought that it IS my last year.

  • […] on May 3rd, 2007.  Kim got me thinking about the treatment for student nurses, this in turn had me thinking about newly qualified staff nurses with what we called “Staff- […]

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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