looking back, are there courses that you thought were not necessary?

  1. At my nursing program, we have to take two semesters of Fundamental of Nursing. Now, i'm not saying this course is unnecessary, but two whole semesters of learning what "therapeutic communication" is , just sames like waste of time to me. And to cap it off, we had to have Intro to Nursing too, which was basically the same as fundamental. Oh and i can have two semesters of organic chemistry but not pharmacology? of these two, which one i'm i going to use most of?!!!!

    I mean there are other courses i wouldn't mind spending two semesters learning.
    Take for instance pathophysiology, i wouldn't mind two semester of this, in fact i would totally welcome it! i think it is particularly important for nurses to know disease processes and how they affect our patients. Another course i would love to have two semester of is Health Assessment. This is one of the core process of nursing and yet our school sort of breeze through it.

    Instead of nursing school bombarding us with unnecessary stuff, why not focus on things that are actually useful for when we graduate and enter the workforce.

    so what about you? any courses you wish had been cut off or ones you wish you had spent more time with?
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   PatMac10,RN
    I've just taken sociology found out how similar it was to psychology. This was kind of irritating because it seems as if I going through Psych again. Don't get me wrong a leraned a few new things and ther were some minor differnces, but in the end I could see why some schools in my area just require Psych instead of both Psych and Sociology. I feel it was a waste in some ways because only one of the schools that I'm applying to reuire it, but I saw a few BSN programs that required it (since I am hoping to get my ADN first) so it may be worth it in the end.
    It may take a while to realize the importance of a course or you may never se the importance, Like Advanced Functions and Modeling(an adavanced HS Math class right above Algebra II) for me. :/ Yuck!
  4. by   grandmawrinkle
    Willsoonbe --

    I see this is your first post. I am guessing you are a student nurse. Welcome to AN on behalf of all of us!

    You are not the first or the last to recognize that nurses tend to learn a lot of bulls#%( theory in their degree. It is what it is. We all did it. You're preaching to the choir on this one....probably going to find a lot of others that agree with you, too!

    Yeah, I could have used "IV starts 101", and "drip titration 101" (instead of them teaching me old school how to count the drops for running IVs! HELLO!!!!! We have IV pumps these days!!!!!) Or, how about "How to deal with cranky co-workers 101" or "How to get other departments to do their job 101"? ***sigh*** So much practical education, only left to be learned on the job for you.

    We like you already. Carry on....
  5. by   PetiteOpRN
    Quote from grandmawrinkle
    Willsoonbe --


    Yeah, I could have used "IV starts 101", and "drip titration 101" (instead of them teaching me old school how to count the drops for running IVs! HELLO!!!!! We have IV pumps these days!!!!!) Or, how about "How to deal with cranky co-workers 101" or "How to get other departments to do their job 101"? ***sigh*** So much practical education, only left to be learned on the job for you.

    We like you already. Carry on....
    In the OR (at least where I work), it is all drips, no pumps. The patient comes with one or more pumps (often with pressors or insulin drips), and we remove the pumps and set them in the corner until the case is over. So that is one area of nursing where we do use drips.

    But sociology, nursing as a profession, how to put a pillowcase on a pillow without creating air currents, could have done without.
  6. by   coast2coast
    Lifespan/developmental psych. What total garbage! I had to take it as a prereq- it had no business on a list that otherwise included A&P, micro, and nutrition.
  7. by   nowIamRN
    [QUOTE=grandmawrinkle;4480685]Willsoonbe --

    So much practical education, only left to be learned on the job for you.


    You are so right! i'm in my final year of nursing and would you know, i have Never started an IV, inserted a foley, suctioned a patient and all that "fun" stuff. Is it any wonder that we are like deers in a headlight when we first get on the floor as a GN?
  8. by   us2uk4u
    Psych, Sociology and Math are required because it's all about Fundamental Economics. The schools need to make money to offset the cost of their nursing programs. Sciences cost money to run but Freud, Comte, Descartes and friends always bring in profit.

    Most colleges lose money on nursing students (also on science majors). The amount of money being brought in via nursing student tuitions and federal and state aid does not equal the amount colleges spend on faculty, clinics, classrooms and other resources to teach us. The economics were presented when a state university in NY closed their BSN program recently.

    But in my opinion these pre-req's are helpful.
  9. by   K+MgSO4
    holy moly!! You have never done any of that??

    Actually I am not surprised but it still concerns me, Grad nurses in Oz are in the same boat of not experiencing these clinical skills

    Yikes! I done a 4 year honours degree in Ireland (BSc Hons General Nursing) and spent 2850 hr or 71 weeks on the wards. By 4th year I was setting up BiPAP, pulling central lines & drains and recovering major bowel surgery patients on the ward with PCA's and infusions and blood running on them.

    I am only out of uni since June 2006 and it amazes the grads I work with here how much I done as a registered student. I think that is what the difference was......I had my own registration to worry about so I knew what my scope of practice was and the RNs were more willing to let us do stuff as they knew we had out own rego to worry about.

    I remember moaning in first year how we only got 10 weeks Clinical placement students here get 2 TWO weeks of placement. Its nuts! Get the students on the wards more or have them work as student nurse assistants in the holidays.

    That is why we have no grad program in Ireland, you are expected to hit the ground running once you get registered as a RGN or RMHN or RNID
  10. by   vena cava
    in order to get my BScN i need to take a "humanities context credit" along with regular nursing classes. I ended up taking medieval and renaissance civilizations. other choices included spanish, greek mythology, and other world history classes. Useless for nursing students but we have no choice.
  11. by   GilaRRT
    Quote from Karenmaire
    holy moly!! You have never done any of that??

    Actually I am not surprised but it still concerns me, Grad nurses in Oz are in the same boat of not experiencing these clinical skills

    Yikes! I done a 4 year honours degree in Ireland (BSc Hons General Nursing) and spent 2850 hr or 71 weeks on the wards. By 4th year I was setting up BiPAP, pulling central lines & drains and recovering major bowel surgery patients on the ward with PCA's and infusions and blood running on them.

    I am only out of uni since June 2006 and it amazes the grads I work with here how much I done as a registered student. I think that is what the difference was......I had my own registration to worry about so I knew what my scope of practice was and the RNs were more willing to let us do stuff as they knew we had out own rego to worry about.

    I remember moaning in first year how we only got 10 weeks Clinical placement students here get 2 TWO weeks of placement. Its nuts! Get the students on the wards more or have them work as student nurse assistants in the holidays.

    That is why we have no grad program in Ireland, you are expected to hit the ground running once you get registered as a RGN or RMHN or RNID
    However, it is my personal bias that nurses outside of the United States commonly receive a superior education. In my area of the world, nursing students are down to a single clinical day a week. We are looking at less than 1,000 total clinical hours of experience before you are thrown out as a newly minted nurse (RN not LPN).

    It is also my personal bias that we would be better off focusing on clinical experience and "science" courses as opposed to some of the fluff that is thrown our way in school.
  12. by   TiffyRN
    I myself frequently think on the principles taught in developmental psych. Maybe because in my field I see several "stages of development"; from infant to various ages of children (visiting siblings of my patients that are part of my family care plan) to teen parents, young adults, older adults and in some cases significantly involved grandparents.

    Being that I went through an ADN course I think they abbreviated things as much as they could. Though I did not see the value of many of their courses for several years, I found myself later remembering and realizing the importance of those courses (sometimes 8-10 years later).

    If I had to pick a course to eliminate, it would probably be sociology. Maybe I didn't have the best sociology instructor, but what little I remember from that course was repeated in my psych courses.
  13. by   Neveranurseagain
    I never took chemistry, but didn't feel like it hurt me or made me not a "good" nurse.

    But what I could have used were a few classes on how to deal with coworkers and admin, a business management class and a true, interpersonal relationships, and counseling class. So much of my nursing involves counseling and education, yet was I taught effective ways of teaching and how people learn? Nope! Or how about a cross cultural class that discuss how people from different areas of the world view health and common courtesies. Include how the rest of the world pays for healthcare, and how their systems work and what is broken with their healthcare systems. A class in nursing politics or healthcare politics would have been nice.

    A class on how to use an otoscope/opthamascope and assessing an eardrum would have been great! How about learning how to do audiometry, 12 lead EKG and basic interpretation, running basic lab tests like an H/H, and phlebotomy. How about offering in nursing school a code class? How about teaching and doing PPD skin tests? How about a class in ethics, and how other countries view death? Not much practical was taught in nursing school, just a lot of theory that doesn't apply to the real world.
    Last edit by Neveranurseagain on Aug 16, '10
  14. by   K+MgSO4
    GilaRN I know, I recently attended a preceptorship and mentoring inservice (one day) course and I was the only Irish one there, I remarked to the presenter (during morning tea) how much of the day felt like a rehash of my personal and professional development lectures from uni. You the ones............Listening, communication, learning styles, diversity in healthcare (age/race/gender/beliefs, etc.), self awareness, reflection.

    She had been running these courses for about 2 years with 2 big hospitals and she said that the Irish nurses always said that to her but very rare for the Aussie or other internationally trained nurse to remarke on it.

    Mind you I HATED PPD lectures when I was at uni..........mainly cause they were on a Monday and Friday morning..........Monday cause I was back for a full 37hr week at uni after working about 25hr at the weekend and Friday morning cause well after Thursday night (AKA student night at the pub) .

    But I realise after doing the Honey & Mumford (1970) Learning Styles questionnaire (AGAIN!) that I am still an activist/pragmatist learner rather than a reflector or theorist!

    But we had very little fluff in our course - loads of Nursing theory and anatomy and patho-physiology, psych and sociology, law and ethics (only issue there was our lecturer was a disbarred barrister for turning up to court drunk and was off the wagon more than on it) research and health statistics and pharmacology which was kind of melted into A&P and nursing theory as well as a stand alone lecture . All pretty relevant I think.

    Mind you a class on how to deal with patients wandering hands would of been nice..........but working in a bar taught me that one...........I have a fantastic dirty look that stops most of them in their tracks or a sharp "Stop it!" with full on Irish accent does the trick.

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