Is this the publics perception of nurses?

  1. i am a charge RN in a cvicu. yesterday i took care of a man that was pod1 5 vessel cabg on a balloon pump and multiple drips. i had post op'd the pt the previous day so i had developed a repor with he and his family. he was telling me that his daughter is a physical therapist and works in a DR's office yadda yadda, yadda. he then asks me if i make good money beings that i have no college degree. i informed him that i did have a college degree and was very well educated in my field. he stated that he was unaware that you needed to go to college to be a nurse.
    i was shocked! this was a very sick man and needed detailed care! is this the perception of the public that anyone can walk in off the street and get a job as a nurse? do they think it is like checking groceries or something? and this was a very well educated man himself. i am still just shocked and offended! has anyone else had this happen?
    thanks for letting me vent
    •  
  2. 191 Comments

  3. by   sanakruz
    YES
  4. by   spineCNOR
    Recently, while working in the OR, I commented to a co-worker that I hoped to be able to go home early that day so I could finish a paper for school. The SA asked what I was doing in school, and I replied that I am in graduate school, working on a master's degree in nursing. The surgeon (who is a very intelligent man) asked me "what is the difference between a master's degree nurse, or a regular nurse, or an LPN?"
    I was speechless for a moment, then someone changed the subject.
    I had never thought about this before, but what do you think--do most physicians have any clue about what is involved in nursing education? I am quite sure that all nurses have an understanding of what is involved in the education of a doctor.
  5. by   Irishcreme
    I'm not sure where I read this, it may have come from ANA, but it seems a large number of people have no idea the educational requirements or the difference between LPN/RN. I'll try and find it again.
  6. by   Irishcreme
    This could be it. I got it from http://www.nurseweek.com/news/features/02-06/image.asp. I thought I read about this on a similar website with more information.

    According to a recent Johnson & Johnson study:

    Only half of Americans know that RNs must have a bachelor's or an associate's degree.
    Fewer than one in five know that nurses must be licensed.
    Less than 20 percent of Americans know that RNs must have continual education.
    More than two in three Americans do not know that nurse practitioners are allowed to prescribe drugs.
  7. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    yes one can become a nurse without receiving any degrees. there are two types: lpns which usually receive a diploma & diploma rns.

    lpn programs last from 10 to 18 months...depending on full or part time status...after the didatic & clinicals are done...gpns sit for the nclex-pn & receive a licensed to practice practical or vocationcal nursing.

    diploma-rn programs are the oldest of the rn nursing school programs which are hospital taught & based. these programs run over 3 years & after the didatic & clinicals are done, the gn sits for the nclex-rn & receive a license to practice as a registered nurse.

    then of course, there's all of the various degreed levels in nursing that's enough to confuse the nurses in the field...let alone the general public.

    i'm not trying to be disrespectful as that is not my intention...it's just that perhaps some folks of the general public are only aware of the diploma programs (as they're the oldest ones around) & aren't up to speed with all of the recent higher level degrees out there. i bet you any amount that many are not aware of the various doctoral programs offerred in nursing...it would confuse the heck out of some folks to be introduced to a nurse as dr. so'n so. but that's just people. there are many doctors that feel threatened by nurses with their doctoral degrees & many have tried to dismiss them as just being in the academic circle....but there you are...it comes down to insecurity & ignorance. hope this help you some with how or why the public are confused.

    cheers!
    moe.
  8. by   austin heart
    moe, no offese taken to your post.
    this guy didn't realize that you had to have any education to be a nurse!
    as far a LVN/RN, i know all that too. i was a LVN for 3 year while finishing my degree. i still had to take 3 semesters of college classes to sit my NCLEX-LVN. also, my name badge clearly states, in more than one place, that i am an RN.
    i also know all about diploma programs. my best friend is in one now, but they are very rare now in my area.
    Last edit by austin heart on Dec 26, '02
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by austin heart
    this guy didn't realize that you had to have any education to be a nurse!
    Are you sure about this? Most people think that a diploma, certificate or even an Associates degree does not constitute a "college degree." And seeing as his daughter or whatever was a physical therapist, they DO require a Bachelor's degree, whereas nurses seem to be exempt from this requirement. Basically, it seemed this guy figured out that everyone else that works in the healthcare industry (with exceptions to support staff such as techs and aides) require a Bachelor's, and nurses do not.

    Again, if we had one point of entry it would eliminate the confusion among the public; not to mention, we'd be in line with our healthcare counterparts (physical therapists, social workers, respiratory therapists, pharmacists...shall I continue?)
    Last edit by Susy K on Dec 26, '02
  10. by   Pretzlgl
    Originally posted by Susy K
    [Again, if we had one point of entry it would eliminate the confusion among the public; not to mention, we'd be in line with our healthcare counterparts (physical therapists, social workers, respiratory therapists, pharmacists...shall I continue?) [/B]
    And nurses would be respected by doctors unconditionally. And administration would pay nurses what they were really worth, and pigs would start to fly..........Sorry, don't buy it that this would be the great nursing solution. It is still the nature of the beast - we are a service profession. A profession - yes - but we perform tasks that the other professions you mentioned do NOT perform. (And will not in many cases). Feeding, bathing, changing, turning, etc. etc. Do we critically think - absolutely. Are we an intelligent group of employees who advance our knowledge, continue our education, and know as much as doctors (after we've been at it for awhile)????? YES. But the general public is a fickle bunch - all they see is that we do the feeding, bathing, changing, etc. Certainly don't mean to offend anyone - I love nursing. I just can't come to grips with the idea that this bachelor's entry point would solve our problems.
  11. by   Flo1216
    Diploma programs actually focus more on the nursing than the associate's does. We have to take the same sciences (a&P 1 and 2. micro, chem, pysch, sociology, english) but not the history and all that. There is a LOT of focus on clinical. I think some people get the wrong idea of diploma programs because you only come out with a diploma and it's 3 years but I actually feel that they prepare you well for the real world. And while the ADN programs here get a month off for Xmas, we only get a week. And our semesters are longer. Not to say that ADN programs aren't good...I just think a lot of people discount the diploma programs because there is not a degree. The boards are the same, the pay is the same and you can always transfer to a 4 year school and get your bachelors.
  12. by   Flo1216
    Also...I think the older population has a jaded idea of nurses and doesn' t realize how much they do. I said before, my grandpop thinks they just empty bedpans and give injections. But I think younger people understand. Whenever I mention that I am in nursing school, I get responses about how hard it is to become a nurse and how I am choosing a good career yadda yadda yadda. I think it is a generational thing. Most of our doctors appreciate the nurses as well, although we have a few jackasses floating around. An ignorant person is hard to change because they have no idea how ignorant they are.
  13. by   austin heart
    Originally posted by Pretzlgl
    I just can't come to grips with the idea that this bachelor's entry point would solve our problems. [/B]
    i agree. i have an ADN, it is a college degree (says so on the nice piece of embossed paper). and i worked my butt off for it
    but... i did not start this thread so that it could become an ADN vs. BSN debate. i believe that one has already been done. SEVERAL times.
    by the way, you do not need a bachelors degree to be a repiratory therapist as someone else posted.
  14. by   Flo1216
    However, I do agree that in the future there should be a BSN requirement to eliminate the confusion. However, with a nursing shortage going on, now is not the time to do that. And not for nothing, some of the best nurses I know are diploma/ADN trained. In the meantime, all nurses should be encouraged to go on to obtain their BSN after they get their license. Most hospitals offer tuition reimbursement and you can do a lot of stuf online nowadays.
    Last edit by Flo1216 on Dec 26, '02

close