In this episode of the Ask Nurse Alice Podcast, Nurse Alice welcomes Kristine Tuttle, registered nurse and founder of Nurse in the Making, a website dedicated to providing nursing students with the resources they need to be successful in nursing school. Tuttle shares her nursing journey, her venture into entrepreneurship, and the importance of overcoming the challenges of nursing school.
Tuttle describes her journey into nursing school as “a bit different”, explaining to Nurse Alice that she had initially been denied admission into nursing school. After speaking with her advisor, she opted to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition instead and then applied to accelerated BSN programs.
While she was attending nursing school at the University of Tennessee, she found herself struggling to study effectively. Tuttle came up with the idea to create useful study guides and resources for her and her friends. Although she initially intended the resources to be for personal use only, she quickly realized she could create a business out of it and help so many other nursing students along the way.
Image: Kristine Tuttle
Nurse in the Making offers study guides for every nursing class, which can be purchased individually or as a bundle. They also offer flashcards for each class that include memory tricks to make retaining complicated information easier.
Nurse in the Making also has several study guides and resources that nursing students can download free of charge.
Tuttle focuses on creating resources on the “core content” that she feels is the most important to understand. In fact, Nurse in the Making’s slogan is “Nursing School Without the Fluff.”
There is also a Nurse in the Making Youtube page with over 400 videos on a variety of nursing topics, including medications, diagnoses, and more.
The resources offered by Nurse in the Making are not just useful to nursing students. They can serve as great refresher tools for practicing nurses, as well.
Tuttle says the feedback she’s received regarding her business has been very positive.
“It’s so rewarding to do it and just try to meet the needs of the students,” she tells Nurse Alice.
Image: Nurse In The Making
During the episode, Tuttle and Nurse Alice discuss the many challenges of nursing school, including applications, waiting lists, and the rigor of the curriculum.
Tuttle believes that her experience applying to nursing school resonates with a lot of nursing students, saying, “It’s not your traditional ‘I applied and I got in’. A lot of people need to apply to multiple places, multiple times, and that’s completely normal.”
Tuttle also notes that nursing school was unexpectedly competitive.
“It’s so competitive…it’s just all of a sudden you walk in and there’s this competitive atmosphere, when you’re not competing against each other, you really should be working with each other.”
She instantly realized that nursing school was incredibly academically demanding, as well.
“I quickly realized two months in, I’m just going to try to pass,” she says in the episode. “And it was really hard, it was really, really hard. Because you’re really learning how to study all over again because nursing school is so different, the exams are way different… it took me a long time to figure it out.”
“It’s a whole new world,” Nurse Alice agrees. “And the medical terminology is a whole new language.”
Tuttle also emphasizes the importance of knowing that you are not alone in your struggles.
“You kind of feel alone, like ‘Am I the only person who feels like this?’…It’s okay to struggle and, honestly, if you weren’t to struggle, you’re not really learning. So, in those struggles, you learn so much to be a better nurse, a better learner. You’re getting stronger.”
Image: Kristine Tuttle
Passion and consistency are key
For those who may be considering a venture into nurse entrepreneurship, Tuttle believes that passion and consistency are ultimately the keys to success.
“For me, consistency was a huge part of it. I think people expect to be a one-hit wonder when they’re doing their new business venture, but it’s kind of like nursing school: You have to find what works, and you gotta be consistent with it, and you gotta push through the difficult times.”
She also reflects on a time when she was attending a seminar where she learned the simple formula for developing a business idea.
“You see a problem in the nursing field–or anywhere–and you have a solution for it, you meet that in the middle and you just made yourself a business…Some of the most amazing businesses that nurses can come up with are just meeting a need and fixing a problem in the system.”
“Be passionate about it!” Nurse Alice adds. “I think that goes a long way…that’s going to be the fire that drives you to work.”