"Just" a nurse? You can do so much better! - page 4

When I announce my choice of career, I often get looks of disappointment along with the, "But... you're too smart to be a nurse. You should be a doctor," line, or, "Oh, you couldn't get into med... Read More

  1. by   ali_gator
    I would also like to add that three Ivy League schools and many other prestigious universities, such as Georgetown, NYU, UCSF, UCLA, and Duke ALL have nursing programs. Nursing a career for underacheivers? I think not. :wink2:
  2. by   Mirai Kangofu
    One of my friends, also a nursing student, tried this tactic on someone who dissed the nursing profession via lamenting that she should be a doctor, (imagine an annoying ostentatious enthusiastic happy valley girl voice), "Wow, omigod, thank you soooo much for demonstrating the layman's view that nursing is a handmaiden job for lazy underachievers and people too dumb to become doctors. You're such a good actor, but of course YOU know the truth about the nursing profession. Only ignorant, uneducated, biased people who are dumb enough to fall for stereotypes have that misperception, RIGHT?" She said that an awkward silence ensued and the woman slunk off, but the point was made. Nothing like a little humor and sarcasm to get a point across. I had to laugh at her story, especially at her bimbo impression that she put on when retelling that line.
  3. by   leaflet
    I guess I am lucky to have a very supportive family and support system. My parents are the ones who helped me to see the nursing profession for what it is rather than the blurred inaccurate vision of many people. So there is some hope!!
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Mona Mona
    Wow, that's amazing that someone would say that to you! I'm getting the opposite remarks here. How wonderful it is I want to become a nurse and how hard it is for the schooling, and the job. Also, a few of the "Oh, you'll be SO rich!" comments also. :uhoh21: Uh, I could probably make more staying in the accounting field like where I was headed, but, we'll never know now.

    It's funny because I hate telling people I am an Administrative Assistant, "secretary" is all they hear. "You're so much smarter than that!", when I have had some VERY demanding positions, but, never got recognized for my hard work.

    I want to be a nurse because I want a job I can be PROUD of. I know I will feel pride in telling people I am a nurse, and I hope I can respond gracefully if someone ever questions my career choice.
    When I read your post it made me chuckle to myself because a great friend of mine graduated with a four year degree in accounting but could not land a decent paying job and is now back in nursing school! He would say you made the right choice....
  5. by   ali_gator
    Quote from leaflet
    I guess I am lucky to have a very supportive family and support system. My parents are the ones who helped me to see the nursing profession for what it is rather than the blurred inaccurate vision of many people. So there is some hope!!
    It's good to know that there are smart people in this world.
  6. by   Mirai Kangofu
    I found this while browsing the Nursing Advocacy website. It's very well written in my opinion.

    "You could be a doctor!"

    Well-meaning persons sometimes suggest that a nurse they find to be skilled or knowledgeable could or should be a physician, or kiddingly address such a nurse as if he were a physician. Although nurses appreciate compliments, many nurses view these usually innocent comments as unhelpful to the profession. Nurses work together with physicians to restore and maintain health. But nursing is an autonomous profession with its own theory, scholarship and clinical practice areas. Nurses are not junior physicians or physicians' assistants, and few nurses wish to become physicians. In fact, nursing has its own "doctors:" nurses with doctorates in nursing.

    In many cases, these statements reflect a common stereotype that a health care worker who displays significant knowledge or technical skills must be a physician, since nurses do not have such qualities. When it becomes obvious that a particular nurse does have such qualities, it is not surprising that many conclude she must be exceptional, which does not conflict with their larger pre-existing ideas. The challenge is to help the public see that knowledgeable, skilled nurses are not the exception, but the rule. Breaking down this part of the nursing stereotype could also help persuade more bright, motivated people to enter the profession and relieve the current shortage.

    Not all elements of the common nursing stereotype are negative. Many regard nurses as notably trustworthy, caring and patient-focused. However, we are still waiting to hear about a physician who displays these qualities being told: "You could be a nurse!" Of course, given the wide disparity in status between physicians and nurses, such a statement would be virtually impossible today. And we are not suggesting that it should be made; it could reflect negative stereotyping of physicians.
  7. by   ASYL
    Yep. I came from an Asian family as well and my parents/relatives think I'm crazy for even considering going into nursing. I think it has to do with them not wanting to tell people I'm going to be a nurse because of "prestige" or whatever... It's hard... I finished my undergrad in biomedical engineering and they're constantly saying why would I "settle" for a nursing degree.... it's driving me nuts. It's true that if I had the money or the time, I'd probably go for MD, but since I don't, I want to become a nurse practitioner. The reason is because it's a field that makes use of science, which I like, but at the same time allows me interaction with others, which is lacking in the engineering field.
    Also, another thing that drives me crazy is that they automatically equate nursing to a low-paying, dead-end job, whether you have an advanced degree or not. I was quick to point out that out of all 4-year program students, nursing graduates are well-paid, but for some reason they just keep thinking that it's such a horrible job.
  8. by   westcoastgirl
    OP, being from an Asian family boy do I understand! It can be a very different world, with academic achievement and "prestige" of jobs being top priorities and parents being an incredible source of pressure.

    I don't know how old you are or what your experience was before, but you could politely point out that going into nursing was a well-thought out career choice for you because you've grown up and figured out your passion. A while ago my family and friends, many of whom went to med or dental school due to parental pressure, would have made similar "but you're too smart" remarks to me. A short 10 years later everyone is encouraging me, they see it as me making an informed choice as a mature adult who knows what she wants out of life. Time works wonders!

    hope the same happens to you. It's sure been a nice surprise to me!
  9. by   Mirai Kangofu
    I hear you on that one. My Japanese side of the family sees nursing as "cute." In other words, it's noble, but still a pink-collar job in which you get to wear a pretty outfit and be a caring angel to patients and a doctor.
  10. by   Mirai Kangofu
    Follow-up: I ended up not giving her the letter. Instead, I made it an Abraham Lincoln Letter. You know, when you write a letter, put it in an envelope, and put it in your desk drawer rather than send it. I did talk to her about it and I think that things have been cleared up. I was able to work it in the conversation while we were half-watchin a movie. I forget what the title was, but one of the lines was something like, "Man, that doctor's office was sleazy. It seemed like the nurses were doing all the work." We looked at each other with totally "DUH" expressions on our faces, and I exclaimed, "The is the most redundant thing I've ever heard. Nurses ALREADY do all of the work!" I told her about the career, and she seemed to understand. We spent the rest of the evening packing, talking about her lech of an ex-husband and her life in NYC while giggling about my poor boyfriend who was painfully constipated in my apt bathroom who was struggling while trying to gulp down the nasty cherry-flavored magnesium citrate laxative. Yay for happy endings!
  11. by   Jessy_RN
    Awsome, I am happy to read this. Good luck
  12. by   TypicalFish
    To be honest, nothing that you write or say can convince some people of the validity of your career choice; they will think what they want regardless of what you tell them. You letter is awesome, but honestly, if you are happy with and proud of your choice, that is all that matters. It might be an unpleasant reality that they feel that you could "do better", but maybe with time, through your enjoyment and satisfaction with your career choice, they will be more understanding. I wish you the best.
  13. by   Toothbrushx2
    Quote from Mirai Kangofu
    When I announce my choice of career, I often get looks of disappointment along with the, "But... you're too smart to be a nurse. You should be a doctor," line, or, "Oh, you couldn't get into med school?" This especially tend to happen on the Asian side of my family. Most of these people are victims to the presteige job stereotype and tend to view nurses as single moms and high school dropouts who don't have the brains to go beyond organized domestic work. I have a neighbor and friend who's great but pulls the above line all the time despite my requests for her to stop, mostly in front of others. In response, I wrote a letter that will serve as a template to others should the need arise.


    How does it sound? Is it too ****** or vindictive? Should I add or delete anything? Thanks!
    Well written. Continue to stand up for our profession. We all need to stand up for our profession. It is a wonderful profession to be in.

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