Musical selection: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, K. 492, courtesy of Classical MIDI Archives, © 1999 Pierre R. Schwob

(aka "The Hard Knock Cafe")

The Unofficial Student Nurse Web Site of the New Millennium!

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Welcome! You're visitor # to the Student Nurses' Lounge!


Introducing my NEW site, "The Recycled Students' Roost 'n' Rest", a campus pub for all students age 30+, no matter what you're studying!

Click here to read about my Bermuda cruise!

Click here to read about my THIRD ever 50 mile bike ride!

Welcome to the snazzy, jazzy new homepage of THE STUDENT NURSES' LOUNGE! I think the jeweled background is appropriate because we nursing students are like uncut diamonds -- treat us carefully and gently, and you'll be rewarded with brilliant, precious gems. Treat us roughly, and you'll end up with nothing but dust.

The stunning background on this and several other pages comes from the graphics Web site Moyra's Web Jewels and several other graphics sites, with links back to them, as dictated by good Netiquette (and probably a buncha lawyers).

This is where we "nurse wannabes" can hang out, relax, grab a cuppa Java java, meet other nursing students, enjoy some of the world's greatest classical music (from Classical MIDI Archives, © 1999 Pierre R. Schwob), or swap stories. Most of all, it's a place to share experiences and ideas, help each other out, and draw strength from each other. Or think of it as sort of like the nursing school version of the Smithsonian Institute -- all kindsa stuff, little nooks and crannies, and it takes at least a week to see it all.

Let's face it. No one knows what it's like to be a nursing student like another nursing student. Friends and family members don't always give us the support we need, and sometimes even instructors and experienced nurses forget what it was like to be a student -- scared, excited, hands shaking as we prepare to give our first injection or insert our first catheter (which automatically confers membership in the exclusive Catheter Club). Not to mention ugly uniforms, instructors from Hell, care plans, test questions where all the answers seem to be wrong -- in short, all the things that make nursing school the wonderful adventure that it is. And all leading up to the dreaded NCLEX!!

This is YOUR site and I'm still looking for your contributions -- poems, essays, jokes, stories, etc. Just e-mail or snail mail 'em to me and I'll get 'em in ASAP!

Just a few words about myself: My name is Diana Bitritto, Diva Nurse Extraordinaire, and in Jan. 1999 I graduated from the 2 yr evening LPN program at Ocean County Vocational Technical School in Toms River, New Jersey (home of the 1998 Little League World Champions and water that makes you glow in the dark). I've been working as an LPN since April 1999 and I LOVE it (usually)! But let me tell you, pals 'n' gals, real nursing ain't NUTHIN' like nursing school! (But then, ain't NUTHIN' like nursing school anyway).

I'm 52 (yipe!), have a husband, 2 adult (at least legally) children, a dog, assorted Beanie Babies and other chatchkes, and 3 bicycles. Before that I worked in banking for 11 years -- talk about a mid-life career change! I also used to be a legal secretary but decided I wanted to do something less stressful, like NATO peacekeeper in Kosovo. My passions include nursing, bicycling, my home state of New Jersey, and classical music (especially Beethoven), not necessarily in that order. And my classic, all-American, hopelessly dysfunctional family, when we're not fighting and yelling and screaming at each other and generally driving each other crazy. My e-mail address is (I call myself JerZFox because it's a helluva lot easier to type than JerZFatTiredOldDog.).

Well folks, on May 15th, we sold the house in Toms River (and got royally screwed in the deal) and moved back to our ancestral homeland in North Bergen, NJ, which is about half an hour by bus out of midtown Manhattan. We're living upstairs from my father in law and we're busy fixing up the apartment and putting stuff away. No more suburban home ownership for us -- we're strictly city apartment dwellers! Outside our bedroom window we can see two pairs of sneakers dangling from the phone lines, a curious northern New Jersey custom which even expert sociologists are at a complete loss to explain. Plus our block seems to be a prime route for every emergency vehicle in town. But it's so great to go outside and see people actually walking around and to have stores, the post office, the library, and the bike shop within walking distance. Northern NJ has a very ethnically diverse population and you can walk down the street and hear Arabic, Spanish, Korean, Italian -- all on the same block. I'll be working at Sunbridge at Oradell, a rehab and LTC facility about 1/2 an hour from home.

But, going back to the Lounge, have you had a particularly rewarding or aggravating clinical? Feeling discouraged? Have a question about a subject, medication, or procedure? Want to share a joke or two? Whether you're seeking information, support, a cyber-shoulder to cry on, or just wanna say "Hi," your fellow SNs are waiting to hear from you. Please feel free to put an entry in the guestbook, e-mail me with your comments, or just chill out.

I'm also looking for Guest Authors to contribute to this site. We welcome essays, poems, research papers, etc. on any nursing (or non-nursing) topic. Did you got an A in your Alzheimer's paper? Don't keep it to yourself; share it with us! Got any tips on dosage calculations (ugh!), writing nursing processes (HELP!!!), or doing a procedure? Did you have a particularly memorable patient? What's your view on (mis)managed care or the role of nurses in the future? How 'bout you seasoned pros -- any words of wisdom to impart to us eager newcomers (besides "Go into another field")? Here's your chance to share your wisdom and impress your fellow SN's with your literary or poetic talents! E-mail or snail mail your contribution, along with a brief bio and your e-mail address (optional) and I'll include it stat, and maybe even sooner.

I'd like to hear from nursing students (as well as instructors, experienced nurses, and anyone else) with different perspectives -- "recycled students" like myself, young students, male students and nurses, international, gay/lesbian/bi, disabled. Whatever your background is, you're welcome in the Student Nurses' Lounge anytime! So take a break from the books and SMILE!

Other stuff from the fevered mind of yours very truly:


Reflections on the Romance of Bicycling
Chip 'n' Dip
Virtual Food
Nutritional Correctness
So You Wanna Go to Nursing School
The Recycled Student's Survival Guide to Nursing School
Miss Irina's Music

Notes from the Trenches
Dear Flabby: Advice to the Nurselorn
The Student Nurses' Cookbook
Sing Along with the Med-Surg Songbook!
Helpful Hints from the Pros
Nursing School Survival Rules
The Catheter Club
Nursing School Follies,Vol. 1
Nursing School Follies, Vol. 2
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's Got the Dorkiest Uniform of All?
Save Your Sanity in Half an Hour
Nursing Classifieds
And Now, a Word from Your Instructor...
I'm a Guy. I'm a Nursing Student. You Gotta Problem with That?
Odds 'n' Ends, Vol. 1
Odds 'n' Ends, Vol. 2
Odds 'n' Ends, Vol. 3
What is Class?
Ever Wonder...?
I Took the NCLEX -- and Lived to Tell About It


Seven Nurses Contributed by Rebadee
You Know You're from New Jersey If... Contributed by JULIECR
And God Created New Jersey Contributed by Marcie
Male Nurses, Men in a Female Dominated Profession: The Perceived Need for Masculinity Maintenance By Christopher Neighbours, New Zealand
Application to Live in New Jersey Contributed by my classmate, Laurie Stauffer, LPN
Mija's Legacy by Sue Angelo
Poems by Vera Johnston, RN
Danielle Welzig
The Student Nurse's Prayer by Meredith Joyner, Nash Community College, NC
20 Things I've Learned from Being a Nurse by Sally P. Karioth, RN, Ph.D,, Associate Professor of Nursing, Florida State University
Poems by Michele Paterson, EN, West Perth Australia
Circle of Life - a poem by Jeff Reichardt, RN

Graphics courtesy of

This site was created 1/98 on TRIPOD. Copyright© 1998 by Diana Bitritto