Welcome to Change of Shift. Nursing school is hard work. We all had our good days and our bad days, but we somehow made it through nursing school despite our bad hair days. Check out this picture. That’s me taking care of Snoopy back in 1977. Thank God I had my cap to cover that hideous perm! I got this picture out of my school yearbook. Pictures from yearbooks can do a couple of things.  They can come back to haunt us as well as teach us about the history of the nursing profession. The following photographs come from yearbooks from my personal collection. Come join me for Be True to Your School Week at Change of Shift.


My goodness, check out those bones! These nursing students look intense, and they are praying that they don’t bomb their next anatomy and physiology exam. Trust me, I know what they are thinking. Nursing students are notorious for cramming the night before a test with their classmates just so they can get a passing grade in the class. Classroom work in nursing school is no walk in the park. Have you ever wondered why nurses work their butts off to get through nursing school and then quit the profession? Jennifer from Online Nursing Degrees explains some of the reasons why nurses are jumping ship and leaving the profession. I encourage you to read her in-depth discussion about why nurses are still being underpaid. And if you are still confused about who is saying what about health care in the upcoming election, I invite you to read Jennifer’s post that strips away the Democrat/Republican rhetoric. This is really important stuff. November 4th is just around the corner so read her post right now!

 Nursing students learn all kind of skills when they are in nursing school. Meet Nurse Autoclave. She taught nursing students everything that they needed to know about working in central supply. I know it seems pretty amazing now, but nurses use to perform all types of nursing duties before techs made their way into hospitals. Somehow I bet there were a lot of nursing students who wondered why they had to learn how to use a stupid autoclave. After all, they had their hearts set on working in another nursing specialty. NurseExec from It’s a Skilled Nursing Thing knows exactly how those student nurses felt. Read her post about what she learned in nursing school. Feel free to leave her a comment on her blog and tell her that she’s not a twit.

Nursing school instructors cringe when they hear the phrase, “I’m just a nurse.” Back when I was in school, it didn’t matter whether a nurse ran the hospital autoclave or worked in ICU. Everyone understood that we all played a vital role in patient care, and we took great pride in the nursing profession. Kim from Emergiblog isn’t a fan of the phrase either. Read her post and decide whether you are just a nurse.

Look at these fun loving student nurses from 1978. This group really knew how to work together as a team. Nurses and other health care professionals are team members when it comes to patient care. We all help our patients in different ways, each according to his or her own discipline. Sometimes however, teamwork is kicked to the curb when squabbles breakout among team members. Nurses are often their own worst enemies. Miss-elaine-ious from Miss-elaine-ious RN remembers some rather unprofessional behavior that she witnessed when she was in nursing school. She wants to know why can’t everyone just get along.

It not only takes teamwork to get through nursing school, it takes persistence, too. Robert Fraser from Nursing Ideas knows about failure and persistence. He’s a nursing student and newcomer to the nursing blogosphere who is producing some very amazing videos. Welcome to Change of Shift, Robert!

Brad Levinson from Healthcare United knows that it’s going to take teamwork within the health care community in order to change our country’s failing healthcare system. Last week Healthcare United sent an e-mail urging members to submit questions to Steve Chaggaris, the Political Director of CBS News for the Oct. 15th Presidential Debate. Find out what nurses and other health care professionals want to ask the next president of the United States.

Keith from Digital Doorway sent in a post about the irony of mental health parity. It took a lot of teamwork over the years to push this important bill through Congress. Keith wants to keep the ball rolling by helping everyone in the world get the mental health care that they deserve. Thank you Keith for promoting this great cause.


Nursing students learn that a nurse’s work is never done. They also learn that it’s the paperwork that keeps us from ever completing our work. I bet this nurse had writer’s cramp by the end of her shift. ER Murse isn’t crazy about paperwork, but he doesn’t mind filling out some forms that will keep drug abusers from invading his hospital’s ER. He writes that California is cracking down on rampant prescription drug fraud, including the top fifty abusers who average more than 100 doctor and pharmacy visits to collect massive quantities of addictive drugs like Valium, Vicodin, and Oxycontin. Go get em’ ER Murse!

  I wonder if this old time nurse is looking over an incident report. Nurses hate filling out incident reports, especially when a patient falls down in the hospital. Medicare rules refer to a fall as a “never event.” Dr Val Jones from Getting Better with Dr. Val calls them a fact of life. Dr. Val wants to know if Medicare rules are going to force us to start putting patients in straight jacket? Read her post.


Check out the student nurse that’s diving into the swimming pool. Love the bathing suit! When this drawing was produced back in 1937, student nurses were taught that everyone needed a balanced life. All work and no play makes for nursing burnout. Poor little Ward Bunny from WardBunny’s Coffee Break is very stressed out. She writes that nursing school isn’t warm and fuzzy, it’s more like a cold hard surface. Sounds like she could use a break. Hopefully things will look up for her soon.

  Max E Nurse from It Shouldn’t Happen In Health Care thinks that he might be working too hard. He decided it was time to go on a family vacation when his three year old daughter started talking like a nurse. Read about a busman’s holiday.

Mofo from Nerdy (not quite) Nurse said that she’s finely making time to blog because she’s in the midst of some procrastination. She doesn’t feel like doing anything this semester. Sometimes kicking back is a good thing. Keep on blogging!

Caroline from Brain Scramble has had a couple of very stressful weeks.  She just lost one of her patients and she writes about it in a series of four posts.  Here’s the first post in her series.


I call this picture, “The Iron Maidens.” I worked with these type of nurses when I was in nursing school, and I can tell you from experience, old time nursing supervisors were tough. They don’t make them like they use to. Strong One from My Strong Medicine writes that times are changing. So true! Also read his post, The Top Ten Reasons to go to Nursing School.

 Iron Maidens may have been tough, but they were fair. They also praised nursing students when they did a good job. Nurse Kathy from Nurse Connect agrees. She writes that a little recognition goes a long way. Iron Maidens nurtured nursing students and didn’t eat their young.

Sometimes nurses would do something that would make an old Iron Maiden laugh. Iron Maidens were stern, but they liked to have a good time just like everyone else. Running Wildly made everyone laugh when she suffered from a hysterical case of foot in mouth syndrome. These old gals would of popped out of their corsets with laughter.



This student nurse is applying hot packs to her patient’s back. I bet they felt pretty good. Too bad about the patient gown. I’m sure that the patient would have been more comfortable in something else. Nurse Laura from Nurse Connect thinks that patient gowns are frumpy. I think that she is too kind. Patient gowns remind me of the movie title “Gone with the Wind.” They flap open in the wind, and your dignity is gone the minute you put it on.




The class of 1934 and I want to thank you for stopping by Change of Shift. The next Change of Shift will be on October 30th at This Crazy Miracle Called *Life*. And as always, remember to be true to your school!