Keeping my smile

I was asked today what it was like to be a graduate student. The actual question was: “I could never go back to school. I’m too old. How do you do it all and still keep a smile on your face?” Actually, if they could see the jelly of uncertainty, the butterflies of “Just what have I gotten myself into” under the skin, they would wonder that I could ambulate and make any kind of … Read More

What do you do with a student nurse?

I have been a student for many years. First in grade school, then high school, the GED program, trade school and then college. I will always be a student; I will never stop learning. But as a student, sometimes I need help. As a nursing student, there are practicums and clinicals that take place on campus and in other locales. There are on-site proctors, clinical instructors and a myriad of site-specific persons that are dedicated … Read More

Well worth it

It’s a first class problem to have so many interesting/inspiring topics to talk about that you are unsure of which one to write about in your blog…but that’s where I’m at lately. I’m just about done with my third term of five in this program and I’m chaotically busy but loving every minute. Do I choose to write about the issue I researched that is so near and dear to my heart? Do I write … Read More

Clinical Reflection in Nursing

Students are asked to write reflections as part of their nursing curriculum. Recently, the students were asked to read an article and compose a response based on what they were experiencing in the program. Ruby Engreitz was kind enough to share hers with us: I think it is best that this reflection writing is happening a few days after my first clinical day as a nursing student. Don’t get me wrong, there is huge value … Read More

A common thread

Two weeks into my Acute (third) term in this program, I find myself feeling inspired on a daily basis. On Tuesday, I shadowed a nurse who, based on my observation, is exactly the kind of nurse that I want to become. She was incredibly competent and every single thing she did throughout her busy day was patient centered. My patient these past three days is a real life example of what resiliency and strength looks … Read More

The Hazards and Gifts of Caring

Well into the second term of this program, we are learning about and addressing some deep and emotional issues. This term is about chronic illness and in that, also death and dying. We have been inundated with the stories of people who have lived one of both of these experiences- speakers, patients, those whose blogs we’ve chosen to follow as part of an assignment, and even some of our classmates. It has been a privilege … Read More

On the Horizon

In a mere ten weeks, my life as I knew it had been completely transformed. From day one of nursing school, I was quickly immersed in a deep sea of knowledge – without really knowing how to swim. I envision myself in a scene from Yann Martel’s recently popularized novel The Life of Pi – trying to survive in the ocean with but a few tools onboard, and attempting to make friends with (or simply … Read More

Finding the “click”

Well I’ve survived one term of my program and I can happily say that I’m 1/5 of a nurse! I’m excited and nervous to start term #2 and anxious to get into the hospital this time around. I think getting to apply some of our new knowledge in clinical situations is going to teach us so much more than our books ever could by themselves. In thinking about being in the hospital, I’m also thinking … Read More

The Summer of Snacks

Summer vacation is essentially over for me; my children went back to school a few weeks ago and I was ready for them to go.    In October, when the full impact of school, homework, and activities hits, I will wonder what I was thinking.   Right now, however, I am enjoying having more structure to their days.   There are no young kids on our street, so sending my kids outside meant that they would start a … Read More

The competition is over

An anonymous author once said, “It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. ” To this author I must inquire: were you also a nursing student? On the first day of my nursing school career I met my fellow cohort members (after weeks of reaching out to one another via social media), purchased my nifty new stethoscope, and took a seat in a lecture hall where my … Read More



Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

Participation Guidelines

Remember: information you share here is public; it isn't medical advice. Need advice or treatment? Contact your healthcare provider directly. Read our Terms of Use and this disclaimer for details.