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New Grad NP

Helping Students

Published October 4, 2012 9:15 AM by Beverly Clayton

True friendship is a tremendous responsibility, a responsibility that I do not take lightly. My best friend has wanted to return to school for many years to pursue her master's in education, but due to life (married with children, work, financial) she postponed it until now. She states she has never been a good writer and looked to me for help. While I want to return to school to obtain another degree, I have found myself literally back in school helping her. I am not complaining; it feels very good to help someone and introduce them to the world of an advance degree.

So for the next ten weeks we will be meeting to collaborate on writing papers, posting assignments and challenge fellow students' postings on blackboard. Online education is new to my friend but I really enjoy the virtual connection you can develop with a variety of nurse professionals. On September 11, 2012 we met at the McDonald's to talk about a paper on nursing theory until they kicked us out! This may sound strange, but it was so much fun having the paper come together; we were high fiving each other and laughing because the words flowed, and I could not be more happy for her because one week prior she was doubting her decision and considering quitting.

So the cheerleader in me had to route her on. I truly believe if I can do it anyone can, it just takes the commitment, determination, goal setting and visualization of the prize. I decided to share this with my collaborating physician and I may have stated it like, "Yeah, my girlfriend needs help with writing papers, I guess I am back in school." His comment was, "Sometimes you just have to tell people no."

Really?! I do not think so; his words left a bad taste in my mouth. How meaningful is my education if I do not help someone who needs me. I am so glad when I needed help in school, I was not told no. There are many nurses who have the drive, knowledge and expertise but not the degree they need to advance, and if I can bring someone along I am very willing to do it. My friend was very concerned about the online community and mastering all that it has to offer. I told her in no time you will be a pro, and it just takes time and patience.

So as we enter into week two, she is getting responses and she is accusing students of "stealing her comments and articles" and twisting them around (to me) and she is having anxiety again, so the cheerleader directed her on constructive discussions and thoughtful responses. That is how you obtain a healthy dialogue; that is what makes us nurse scientists and professionals. Sigh...eight more weeks to go.


You are right Brenda, and I am happy to say she is beginning to use those resources. Every now and then she will ask for my opinion on how a sentence she is considering to post. I also recommended for her to reach out to her professor if there is any clarification needed.

Thank you for your response!


Beverly October 10, 2012 10:48 PM

I think it great to cheer new students on.  Having a more experienced professional mentor a novice is a wonderful service.  I think one has to be cautious though.  It has to be a balance.  You don't want the student/novice to develop dependence.  For example - You don't want to become the one doing the work instead of the student. Perhaps the physician has been burned by students who wanted him to do their work for them. So these students didn't have to do the research to find the answers.

Also, universities have resources to help their enrollees too - including writing services that teach students about formatting and writing papers.  Having the student use these resources helps them to learn to seek out resources and learn to be a self-starter and initiator.  Important attributes of a good future employee.

Brenda Lenz October 8, 2012 5:43 PM

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