Registered nurses (RN) are key players in improving the quality of life of a patient today in the healthcare setting. This was especially seen during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when they were one of the frontliners and immediate providers of care. But the lives of registered nurses aren't always triumphs, as they have faced challenges, especially in one of the most demanding training programs in college: nursing school.
In this article, we discuss some notable tidbits from our newest Caring Support podcast episode where we get to know Ayrika Nicole Rose better through a meaningful conversation with her. In this episode, we learn about her journey as she navigated nursing school and how she overcame some of the challenges she faced along the way, eventually gaining success in her career, evident in the positive impact that her TikTok videos brought to fellow nurses.
Specifically, they discussed the following:
Ayrika Nicole Rose said that she wasn't really planning on being a nurse growing up. This is because she thought she'd be pursuing a career in music as she's from a family of artists. In fact, she's immersed herself in singing and songwriting. She's even competing in singing contests and has self-taught skills in playing the guitar and piano.
It was not until she was 16 or 17 years old that she found her interest in nursing. Since she found herself in a dilemma of not knowing exactly what career she would take, she approached their guidance counsellor and asked for help. There, she took a test to find out what job would best match her personality, and she got healthcare and social work.
She then applied for nursing in a school program, got in, and was placed in the cardiac and renal unit at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. At first, she thought she wasn't really interested in what they were doing, but a life-changing situation that really set her heart on nursing was when a nurse came up to her and asked her to follow him in assisting a renal patient.
In her own words, "I remember the nurse sat down beside the patient, and he held his hand. And he's like, I don't know what the results are going to be. Doesn't matter. Like I'm going to be with you the whole entire way. And instantly that entire room changed. And I realized like, this is exactly what I want to do the rest of my life."
From then on, she continuously immersed herself in volunteering for hospitals every single day of the week and started changing her courses from arts to sciences.
Her path to nursing wasn't exactly a rosy one, though, as she was discouraged by an instance when her chemistry teacher approached her and told her, "You have the heart to be a nurse, but not the brains. You're failing this class." This made her forego nursing for a moment and go to Western for music, but she has always looked up to nursing students in their scrubs. So, in March 2020, she got into nursing school after two years of prerequisite upgrading.
Different healthcare professionals have found their voice in different social media platforms, and we've seen them showing bits of their professional and personal life through their posts.
We've seen popular TikTok nurses like Nurse John who made funny skits on the hardships that nurses experience at the bedside and on the hospital floor. We also have Hadley Vlahos, a hospice nurse who educates her followers about end-of-life care on various social media platforms, particularly TikTok.
In the same vein, Ayrika also found her niche and became one of the most followed nursing content creators on TikTok. According to her, it all started when she found out about an educational app provided by Littman to those who bought their stethoscope, where users can listen to different lung sounds, heart sounds, and bowel sounds, and learn how to differentiate all of them. She shared this information through her TikTok account, and this content was made viral twice on different social media platforms.
From then on, she continuously created content about the tips that helped her pass nursing school, like tips on how to remember stuff in pharmacology, which she personally found challenging. According to her, it's always important to present herself as a resource and support to nursing students.
When asked if there was a difference between how she initially expected her nursing career in Ontario would progress and how it is now, Ayrika shared that she initially thought she would go into medical surgery and really wanted to be there.
However, fear started to creep in when she realized the pressure of short staffing in nursing: "We were splitting six or seven patients between myself and my preceptor." This, according to her, was a turning point when she decided to leave the bedside and started working from home as a nurse, which she didn't initially think was an option.
While she thinks that it's fantastic that nursing school focuses on bedside nursing because "that's where you are going to be using all of your skill," she says that bedside nursing is still not the only thing that a nurse can amount into.
In her own words, "In my personal opinion, I would encourage every single nursing student to hop on job search engines and see what kind of nursing jobs are out there, even if it's not your scope of nursing." Indeed, job platforms like Caring Support will help nurses explore different career options and can help them broaden their horizons when applying for jobs that are still suitable for their skill set.
Ayrika says that a nursing mentor is someone "...somebody that you can confide in, count on, debrief with, ask questions to." This is why she finds mentorship a really good idea for nursing students, "...because it makes the experience less lonely [as] being a new grad is really difficult. You are now working on your own license. You're taking care of people's lives and well-being." She thus encourages nursing students to grab the opportunity to have one and sign up if their facility offers it, especially since not a lot of nurses are willing to be a mentor because of the short staffing.
Ayrika is currently a mentor herself at WeRPN because she sees mentoring nursing students until they're new graduates as something fulfilling and she herself would like to have when she was in her first year of nursing. In her words, "...uplifting them through the really tough time of being a new grad nurse is something that is really fulfilling to me."
This Caring Support Podcast episode is truly inspiring, as we get to understand the struggles a nurse like Ayrika Nicole Rose may have faced during her stay in nursing school, and how she overcame these challenges. We also saw how nurses and other healthcare professionals strive to build a supportive environment by producing quality content on various social media platforms.
At Caring Support, we're committed to providing healthcare professionals with a one-stop platform where they can connect with their schools, their peers, and esteemed individuals in their field, while also being able to explore the various products they can use in their workplace. Join the Caring Support platform now for free and bring your career to new heights.
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