Nurses, Be Kind to Our Nursing Students

I’m not sure why this has to be a constant conversation, but it does. I have seen it as a nursing student and ten years as a nurse. I recently spoke to a nursing student who was upset after a clinical with a difficult nurse. This nurse went as far to give her a poor review, which thankfully her instructor corrected. But to treat any human like this. Yet alone the future of our profession. My heart broke for this very kind person being hurt by someone from my profession. A profession that is support to support and care for other. Yet, we can be so mean to our own.

The Stress of Nursing

Nurses, I get it. Nursing is becoming more and more stressful as we continue to work through a pandemic and higher acuity patients. Nurses are taking on more tasks, responsibilities, patients while working with less and less staff. Then, you probably aren’t even told until the day of your shift you will have a student with you. And I get it, I have precepted new nurses, travel nurses and students. They can slow you down. Teaching slows you down. When the shift is crazy, it’s overwhelming to have someone right beside you.

However, this is NOT the students fault! They need us to be kind and help them to learn, so they can grow into competent nurses. We need nurses to want to stay in the field, so we can finally have staff again! Abusing a nursing student is not okay.

Nursing Students

I know I was a kind and appreciative nursing student. I know this person I spoke to is a great student. I know plenty of kind nursing students who were bullied by nurses in nursing school. I will say, I also know nursing students who come to clinical unprepared and act like they don’t want to be there. This is not okay either. Come to clinical ready to learn and help-whether you are interested in the speciality or not.

If you do get paired with a less than kind nurse, take a deep breath. Do not take it personally. Because it’s not about you- it’s about the nurse and the broken system they are working with. Treating you poorly is not okay, but unfortunately that happens sometimes. If you really are being mistreated, please tell your instructor. If they are just not pleasant, try to make it through. Be as helpful as you can, give them some space, and if they don’t feel up to questions- skip questions this clinical unless really necessary for school or patient safety.

Something I noticed when I was in nursing school (and even a nurse), when you have a terrible shift/clinical/class- where you feel like it’s the end of the world and everything is awful- a better day is coming. You just have to get through the hard day, but it won’t stay this way forever. I would have a terrible clinical with a mean nurse and then the next clinical I left on cloud 9.


Nurses, like I said before, I know sometimes students can be unprepared and act not interested. This is frustrating. Instead of being rude, try privately and kindly encouraging the student. I also know, I personally have had nurses in clinical be awful to me- as well as witnessed them be awful to students. This is not okay. We have to do better. These are our own, and they deserve kindness and support. If you see this type of behavior from a coworker, talk to them in private. If it doesn’t get better, talk to your charge nurse or higher up about this person no longer taking students. It’s truly not fair to the student nurse and not a good learning enviorment.

Be Kind

All in all, remember we are all human with lives outside of the healthcare setting. Be kind to each other. Support each other. We are all on the same team.

1 thought on “Nurses, Be Kind to Our Nursing Students”

Melissa Weaver

I’m so glad you wrote this blog because it needs to be said, over and over until they get it!

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