I was educated as a RN 38 years ago and I completed an AS/Diploma program. I didn't take the NCLEX as a nurse educated that long ago took a 5 part - 2 day long state board of examination to qualify as a Registered Nurse. My clinical rotations involved hundreds of clinical hours as the AS/Diploma was a 3 year program with only one week off each summer. Even on the days we attended our college classes the local university we were required to return to the hospital for afternoons of clinical instruction or additional hours of clinical experience. Our endless clinical hours always included an instructor breathing down your back every second. By our last portion of our third year we weekly administered medications for an entire "floor" of 44 patients and were constantly verbally questioned on each medication given. We were required to spend 3 months on site at a large psychiatric hospital and a month's rotation at a rehabilitation facility. Before I completed my RN program I had already graduated and worked as an LPN. Once again the LPN program was a non-stop clinical and classroom experience including working evenings and nights while attending regular classes - Yes, back then we were actually used as hospital staff. So let me see, that would make me an RN with 40 years experience as a nurse including working in the ER, ICU and the last 10 years in the Cath. Lab which has been the specialty closest to my "heart". Our interventional lab runs four rooms and averages about 25+ patients a day. With a very, very rare exception, our STEMI times meet the national standards 100% of the time. We are always involved in numerous studies, run a separate large EP Dept. and are always the first lab in a multi-state area to use the newest stent, balloon etc. THREE of my five children are on active military duty and all of them are advanced trained corpsman. I am quite aware of their intense training and the responsibility these three have at sea or on the battle field. But, my education's advantage is it's more broad based and all specialty inclusive. Although I love working with any passionate Cath. Lab team member from RCIS, RT, Paramedic, etc., etc. I still feel that only a RN should be administering medications. It's not only the knowledge of the medications but the total patient care including issues that involve other specialties. I know you as much as I are still amazed at the unusual conditions that our patients surprise us with that affect their care aside from their CVD. That is where I feel my broader based education has an advantage. I graduated high school at 16 & even with 40 years of being a nurse I still jog like a maniac. So I'll can certainly match you or your colleagues and run you down in or out of the lab.
Alright my dear enough said. Please keep your wonderful passion for the Cath. Lab but remember to play nice & no generalizations!