Handling Stress and Preparing for the Real World

Balancing the demands of clinicals and college life is no small feat, especially for an exceptional nursing student like Hanna Weber.

Hanna shares how her experiences in clinicals and college have prepared her for the stress of a hospital setting and the challenges of the real world.

Preparing for the Real World

Hanna knew she wanted to be a nurse her junior year of high school. She reflects, “At first, I chose nursing for simple reasons. My love for science and human anatomy led me down this path.”

Hanna’s perception of nursing changed dramatically during her first week of clinicals when her grandmother was admitted to the hospital and passed away shortly after. Sitting by her grandmother’s bedside, she witnessed the dedication and compassion of the nurses in the ICU. “The nurses were with us the entire time. They were so helpful and caring,” she recalls.

For Hanna, the reality of nursing is far different from what she initially perceived. The human connection she experiences, like sitting by the bedside of an elderly man and talking with him, has become the driving force behind her passion for nursing. “I realize now the difference I can make in others’ lives,” she says.

Facing Stress in Nursing

Hanna acknowledges that nursing comes with its own unique stressors. She recalls a particularly challenging experience during her clinicals in labor and delivery.

“On my third shift of practicum this semester, we had a baby die,” Hanna shares. “It’s really hard to see that for the first time, and I knew it was coming. But it’s not something that most people in other jobs have to go through.”

Despite the challenges, Hanna found support from her professors and peers, which made a significant difference.

“I’ve experienced a lot of support from the Sinclair School of Nursing and my professors specifically,” she says. “They literally called me after the shift because my preceptor had let them know what happened and offered me support, counselors, things like that.”

School-Life Balance – Setting Limits

As Hanna reflects on the lessons she has learned she says one of the most important has been juggling the demands of college, clinicals and extracurricular activities.

“I think that it has been definitely a trial-and-error process to learn how to manage those long hours versus studying versus all these different things,” Hanna says. “I’ve definitely learned my strengths and my limitations. I think limitations are huge.”

Learning to set boundaries and recognize her limitations has been crucial for Hanna. She’s had to learn how to prioritize her time and commitments.

“As a student, you’re encouraged to do all the extracurriculars and do everything you can and be a part of everything,” she explains. “But I’ve definitely learned where I need to set my limits and say, I would love to be a part of this thing, but I think I need to hold off.”

Despite the demands of nursing school, Hanna makes time for extracurricular activities. A musician with a heart for service, she plays guitar and writes music in her free time. She also spent part of her winter break in Jamaica, leading music and serving with one of the college ministries on campus. Additionally, Hanna is involved in her sorority, serving on committees and participating in philanthropy events throughout her college years.

But studies come first. And to become a Mizzou Nurse you need to study hard and learn a lot. One of the most impactful aspects of Hanna’s education is the elevated level of responsibility expected by the school of nursing. “You have to step it up and try things, even if you feel you are not ready,” she explains. “But you learn to think on your feet and practice your skills to fulfill and exceed expectations. And Sinclair gives you a safe space to do that.”

The supportive environment created by the faculty has also left a lasting impression on Hanna. “The faculty always make you feel good about yourself and want you to succeed,” she notes. “They help you separate the need to get a good grade from the need to learn a new skill. You practice, you work and you grow.”

Advice for Incoming Nursing Students

For incoming nursing students, Hanna offers words of encouragement and advice.

“If you have a passion for nursing, never doubt that,” she says. “Keep the fire behind what you’re doing, and never downplay that. Just keep going and working hard for what you want, and everything will work out for a reason.”

Advice for 7th Semester Nursing Students

For students entering their last semester of nursing clinicals, Hanna advises them to stay focused and enjoy the journey.

“Try not to get too overwhelmed by the idea of what’s coming,” she says. “Enjoy your last bit and enjoy those moments with your teachers. Soak it in and really be present for every practicum shift, because there are great learning opportunities and memories to be made during your last semester.”

Looking Ahead: Future Plans

As Hanna prepares to graduate, she looks forward to starting her career at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, where she’ll be working in labor and delivery.

“I’m excited to go to a place where there are a lot of learning opportunities, a lot of high risk,” she says. “I feel well-equipped, and I’m excited to continue learning.”

Hanna also wants to continue her nursing education and pursue a master’s degree.

“I realized throughout nursing school that I really like teaching,” she explains.

We know her dedication, compassion and her unwavering love of science and human anatomy will give Hanna a bright future as a nurse, and maybe someday, even a nurse educator at her alma mater. Congratulations Hanna!

Written by Anissa Lockett

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Handling Stress and Preparing for the Real World

Balancing the demands of clinicals and college life is no small feat, especially for an exceptional nursing student like Hanna Weber.

Anissa Lockett

Director of Strategic Communications