Now meet Mary, another nursing student in your class. Mary has most of her books, shares a computer with another student and her scrubs are really the wrong shade of blue. Mary has a slip in her hand today because she wants to withdraw. She states that she just can’t do this.
What makes one student with obstacles resilient and another student with the same obstacles resign? The answer is grit. Grit is a term coined by Angela Duckworth in her Ted Talk entitled The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Grit is defined by Duckworth (2016) in her book with the same title as “the combination of passion and perseverance that makes high achievers special” (p.8). So, then the question becomes, can grit be learned as an adult in nursing school, or is it just something one is born with? Let me challenge you to see that the answer is both.
Students are in our hearing for many hours out of the week. We teach them all the essential knowledge to being a nurse: breath sounds, hospital diets, central line care, etc., but do we teach them to persevere? Characteristics of a good nurse include passion and perseverance. Where is that in our course objectives and teaching plan? Today, you can start to include these two “P”s in your curriculum by offering a bowl of grit to your students every time you meet with them.