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A Day In The Life | Clinical Day edition

I did one of these last semester, so I’ve taken you along on a nursing school day before.

Kristen in her van.

from the last day in the life post

But no two nursing school days are the same, so today I’m gonna have you tag along on a clinical day. 🙂


I rolled out of bed, threw my walking clothes and shoes on, and drove to a trail by the water, where I caught the sunrise.

sunrise over the water.

Actually…because of the way the trail is set up, I could see the moon on one side of the peninsula, and the sun on the other.

moon in early morning light.

I spent part of my walk on the rocks instead of the trail.

rocky shoreline.

Something about navigating the uneven rocks makes me feel like a kid again…and on the rocks, I can enjoy the eastern sun, hear the waves, and feel the cold breeze on my cheeks.

waves by a rocky shore.

Happy is not a big enough word for how I feel but…I do just feel like I am bathing in happiness at moments like those.

Kristen in winter gear.

It was a cold morning! My nose and cheeks matched the pink of my hoodie by the time I was done.

After my walk, I drove back home, but I made a stop at Safeway because I’d had a brain cramp the day before.

See, I’d gone to Sam’s Club, largely because I needed eggs. But I came home with exactly no eggs. Sigh.

Sooo, I bought a dozen at Safeway after my walk.

dozen eggs in carton.


I got home and

  • did a weights workout
  • unloaded my dishwasher and put away my hand-washed dishes from last night
  • showered
  • did my minimal hair/makeup routine
  • put on a white t-shirt and my scrub pants (yay for no thinking about an outfit!)

Kristen in scrub pants.

  • made my bed
  • fed Chiquita

Chiquita eating kibble.


I made a batch of no-stir granola and put it in the oven.

I made whole wheat blueberry pancakes for myself. Or rather, I cooked them. I’d made one recipe’s worth of the batter two days ago, cooked half, and put the other half in a Mason jar in the fridge.

blueberry pancakes.

That makes for a nice quick breakfast for me in the next day or two!

I also started a batch of creamy tortellini soup because I needed a packable meal for my two clinical days.

I tried this new-to-me recipe, and I landed on it mainly because it used a lot of things that I happened to have on hand, and my main need was to use up some wilty kale from my fridge.

wilty kale

I only needed about half an onion, so I stored the other half in this jar; it’s all glass, so I never have to worry about the onion stinking up a lid. I got the jar at Goodwill for $1 a long time ago.

purple onion in jar.

Next, I printed out my required clinical paperwork; we have plenty of documenting that we do on the computer system, but there’s also actual school paperwork that we do each day.

nursing paperwork.


I sat down to type up my day before I forgot everything I’d done!

Then I finished making my soup and did some dinner-packing prep.

I packed up my non-food stuff for clinical (because if I do this last-minute, I am sure to forget things.)

blue backpack.

I broke up the granola and put it in jars. It was an easy process to get it out of the pan because this time I remembered to grease the pan first. Yay me!

chunks of granola.

I made coffee.

cup of coffee.

And I cleaned up my kitchen.


I made a very unimportant Instagram Reel just for fun.

I responded to blog comments, shared the day’s post to social media, sent it out via email, and worked on a post for the next day.


I ate a peanut butter sandwich, put a coat of paint on the scuffed table, and got my lunch packed.

can of green paint.


I headed out the door to drive to the hospital.


Clinical starting time! Obviously, I can’t give you a detailed report of what I did because, hello, patient privacy.

But I can say in general that at my clinical shifts, I:

  • get report from a student nurse and a regular nurse
  • do vital signs
  • do a head-to-toe assessment on my assigned patient
  • administer oral and injection meds (with the supervision of my nursing instructor)
  • hang IV meds and program IV pumps
  • document things in the hospital system and also in our student system
  • fill out clinical paperwork for school
  • make a care plan for a patient

And I try to take advantage of every opportunity to observe the nurses and techs as they do their tasks. If they’re the type that doesn’t mind questions, I ask about their process and the why behind they do certain things.

We get a dinner break around 5:00, and after that, we’re back on the floor until 8:30.


Home! Tired!


  • caught up with Zoe
  • unpacked my lunch stuff
  • started the dishwasher
  • did my daily Duolingo lesson
  • spent some time on my phone (noooo phones during clinical, so there are a lot of notifications by the time I get off)
  • texted with Sonia
  • tried returning a call from Lisey (our schedules did not mesh well this day, so I didn’t end up getting to talk to her)

I also ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole wheat bread because I was hungry.

whole wheat sandwich.

And then my exhausted self got ready for bed, where I fell right to sleep.

screenshot of Withings app.

I logged over 6.5 miles. No wonder I was tired!

And that wraps up my day. I hope you enjoyed riding along with me virtually. 🙂

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Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

You should try some mayo w/ your PB instead of honey (or jelly). You can't beat it.

Central Calif. Artist Jana

Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

@Selena, weird. I might try that tomorrow—thanks for the suggestion!

Sophie in Denmark

Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

I really enjoyed reading about your day and love the pics of the ocean! I try and see the sunrise there as well, but am not very good at getting up early!

Also love the Chiquita pic :)


Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

At first I was really confused! When I was in nursing school, most of our clinical time , we worked 7am-3 pm. I was a traditional student. Went to nursing school straight out of high school. I got my diploma from a Catholic nursing school in '85. And a BSN in '87. It is such an awesome career. You are going to be a blessing to your patients!


Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

@Kristen, That gives me hope that we're replenishing our nurse population after the problems created by the pandemic.


Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

There is a shift that works those hours, but we are in staggered shifts, at many hospitals. There are 130 of us in my semester alone, and there are four semesters worth of students, so we are sprinkled all over at varying hours!


Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

I try to catch the sunrise so I can see the elusive green flash, but hasn't happened yet.

Central Calif. Artist Jana

Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

@Rose, I've only heard of the green flash with sunsets over the Pacific (never seen it either).


Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

@Liz B.,

Liz B.

Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

@Rose, I'm flash?


Wednesday 3rd of April 2024

Whew! Depending on the season, I take pictures of the sunrise as I leave work and post on fb.

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