Katie Morales, PhD, RN, CNE
Several years ago, our senior nursing students were overwhelmed by some tragic events which occurred in clinical. Although they had a good theoretical foundation of death and dying, the practical clinical experience was overwhelming. Recognizing our students were in moral distress, we contacted Dr. Marshall Jenkins to speak to our class. Dr. Jenkins is a licensed psychologist and Director of Counseling at our college. He clearly has a heart for all people, especially nursing students. We left him with our students so they could speak freely and openly. He shared that it was important for our students to see that were not alone and others were struggling with the same things they were.
Dr. Jenkins was so helpful, he returns each year to speak with our students. We schedule his visit after the first few weeks of clinical and the first course exam. Our students report his visit is very helpful and advise us to continue scheduling him every year. I met with him this year regarding my freshman experience class and he confirmed what the literature reports: today’s students enter college with more anxiety and other mental health issues than previous cohorts. To help ensure success in a nursing career, he drafted the following five self-care tips for nurses.