Nursing is like the military...rank has meaning

  1. As I read the various posts- the same theme seems to keep popping up over and over again...

    BScN vs. ADN vs. LPN etc etc....

    Lets all face it- education does matter- title means something... it does not make us better people- but in the world of nursing- it does mean something. It means you took 4, 3 or 2 years or maybe less.. to study, learn, make sacrifices... To my way of thinking, the more education you can get- the better... the world of nursing is a fast paced place..full of change. We must keep up with these changes.
    I understand not everyone can go back to school- but if you can...do it. It gives you choices. I became a RPN- (LVN) in 1985. And always wanted to be a RN. I kidded myself at times, thinking I was almost LIKE A RN. But I was not a RN. I went back for three years- and found out the hard way how much I did not know. Education is worth it.

    Now, opportunites and choices are everywhere. I love it.

    Do it. You won't regret it. It is worth it.

    JMP
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    JMP -

    I posted this previously in another thread but thought it applied here as well - rather than retyping it (whew) I cut and pasted:


    Hi NurseMark-
    I want to tell you I agree with you - just about everything you said. I also think nursing is a failing profession because of the inability to speak coherently, in one voice. It is evident in the various threads here. Hell, we can't even start a thread about a newscast in Pittsburg without SOMEONE getting sensitive about it and going way off topic.

    Maybe I am nieve, but I have YET to meet ANY nurse, regardless of education, who thinks that LPNs or NAs are useless. My floor did not have NAs until very recently, and most of us didn't even know how to delegate tasks to them! I currently work with an LPN at my clinic job who is unable to approve Rx refills, and needs ME to do it, simply because that is how our employer wants it. We both get irritated at it.

    The thing is, and I have always said, that education does not make one a better "person." It makes them simply, more educated. How they choose to use that education is up to them. You can be a snotty, lazy a**hole with or without a degree. The RN you mentioned above who gets annoyed at having to push an IV med for an LPN - let me assure you, that RN would be the same way at home, as a deli clerk, as a bank teller, as a UPS driver, as a housekeeper, as a secretary, as a mother. I firmly believe that is has NOTHING to do with her being an RN.

    I agree that all levels of nursing are needed to make the healthcare system run smoothly and safely. But I don't agree with lumping all of us together - in any regard. We are all different. We all have different educational levels and those need to be recognized. Education, for me, is an investment. I expect a high return for my investment. When I don't get it, I get upset. And I am not talking about prestige or power. If I wanted those things, I would not have become a nurse! I am talking about being compensated for my education, being afforded the distinction of going above and beyond a "standard" of nursing - one that right now doesn't exist, or at least, hasn't been defined.

    I am a huge proponent of higher education. I don't see the harm in it. A very good nurse coupled with higher learning only adds to his/her knowledgebase - not to mention, adds to him/her as a person. Education should compliment the person, should allow you to expand your horizons and open your mind. Did you know that in Greek times, a Bachelor's degree was so named because it signified the BEGINNING of your education? You weren't really considered "educated" until you reached the Master's level - hence, the name Masters. In Biblical times, Jesus was considered a teacher and promoted learning for all his followers.

    The point I am trying to make is, I really don't think that most people walk around thinking the are all that simply because of thier degree. I know I don't. Some do, yes, but rest assured, before they got that degree, they thought they were all that before. I think most of us get hurt feelings because alot of our education is referred to as merely letters, or pieces of paper. And truly, it is so much more than that. It is not to say that we are better - but rather, more educated. Life experience counts for alot yes -but like I said, couple experiences with formal education, and you will have one damn good person. And by "good" I mean someone who should be able to apply both to get the job done. I am not making judgements on their moral or personal beliefs.

    You're right - I am sure alot of RNs would be lost without aides or LPNs - thing is, I really wouldn't know - my experience with them has been so limited - so I have done it all. I have taken the unsafe assignment, I have done ADLs.....I am in no way above any role in the hospital. But what I am, is a person who went to college, worked my butt off and finished my degree. Am I a better person? No. Am I more educated? Yes. Am I paid more? No. Am I paid what I am worth? No. Do I have the same professional issues as an ADN, LPN? Yes. Are we both nurses? Yes.

    I think our society has gotten so used to putting everyone in a pot and saying "we are all the same" so as to not offend anyone, that we are actually not recognizing differences - which leads to poor pay and lower standards, or NO standards. We need a standard by which to judge other nurses. There are nurses who go above and beyond the minimum education and attain more knowledge, more certifications. What would be the incentive for others to do the same? Personal gain? Sure...but that only goes so far.

    NurseMark, I truly believe that in general, nurses function as a team. On my units, we do. We have wide range of educational levels, and truthfully, no one knows who is what. But I think that the insecurity on BOTH ends, those who belittle LPNs and those who dimiss BSNs as nothing more than letters or snobs, have more to do with the individual person and thier personal issues, rather than their skill level.


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    [ May 28, 2001: Message edited by: Susy K ]
  4. by   JMP
    Susy K- I could not (and did not) say it any better myself. I agree 100%.
    However, I know not everyone will.... but let us hope they will at least consider the message.

    JMP
  5. by   chili2641
    In nursing titles seem to really matter. There is a definite rank and file and people work at all different levels. Susy K you talk alot about your education which I think is great. Usually people go to college to do a certain job or to work in a certain field most requiring at the minimum a four year degree. Some I am sure go because it is there goal or just their personal choice. In nursing you can be called a nurse after completing several months of education an RN after completing an associates degree. I realize that you have a BSN which is great. I for one am not sure that there should be so much debating over education especially in the nursing field.
  6. by   RNPD
    chili2641...In nursing titles seem to really matter. There is a definite rank and file and people work at all different levels.

    --------------------------------------------

    chili-titles matter EVERYWHERE in our society. President, Doctor, Nurse, Treasurer, Teacher-these are all titles and all specify a particular job. Within all jobs and job titles are ranks-either explicit or implicit. It has nothing to do with nursing per se-it is how our society is ordered, and rank has everything to do with it. "Nurse"-as I have stated previously, refers to an individual who has completed a nursing curiculum and passed the licensure boards. It has nothing to do with tasks, mindsets, teams, or anything but those 2 legal criteria.

    Why you continue to offer opinions on situations you know nothing about astounds me. You have a definite agenda and obviously greatly dislike nurses. It makes you sound like a jealous and bitter individual. And if this is the furthest thing from the truth as I'm sure you will say, then why not stop with the attitude?
  7. by   chili2641
    RNPD,

    I would rather chat with cna's in our own little corner but that is not available. I very rarely post on actual nursing issues. I claim no nursing knowledge about giving medicine or any other pertinent nursing issue. Why, because I am not a nurse. The hot topic on this B/B is always about education or lack there of. If I was an LPN I would feel as though I knew nothing. If I was an RN I would feel very pressured to become a BSN. If I were a BSN and I wanted to know it all I best be working on a Masters degree. There just seems to be a ton of emphasis being put on education.
  8. by   Janet Barclay
    I think that the increasing emphasis on education is a response to the change in our patient population. Since I started nursing 16 years ago, their has been a huge change. Patients that used to be inpatients post-op are now at home recovering, more and more multisystem organ failure patients are livinh, thus increasing both the acuity of and the complexity of our inpatient population. I cannot speak for home health ot LTC, but I am certain that the same things are true in these settings.
    While I think that most University programs do not adequately prepare nurses to work in acute care - wait a minute, I have a BScN, so hold your horses... I think that any and all extra education more adquatelt prepares us to deal with a changing health system and a changing patient population.
    I have been advocating for a change in the degree program here for many years. It's emphasis is largely on community care. I believe that there shoud be a "two track" degree program which allows students after their first two years to choose either a community or an acute care focus and thus deal with some of the issues that I've spoken about.
    There.. that's my soapbox... and that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    By the way, there will always be a need fo ancillary nursing staff and LPN's. They are the backbone of most institutions.
  9. by   Chuckie
    Sorry
    Last edit by Chuckie on Jan 17, '03
  10. by   Navy Nurse
    Civilian Nursing is nothing like the military....Rank and education are completely different. I can assure you there are nurses in the military whose boss doesn't have the same education but more rank. In Navy nursing the higher in rank you go the more you move out of patient care and into administration.
  11. by   Shunna
    OOOOOOOhhhhhhhhh PLEASE. Can we not find anything else to discuss than titles? 1. We all accept the fact that yes there is a difference between the different levels of nursing. 2. If you want to advance your nursing career go back to school. (Currently doing so) 3. We each add a dimension to "nursing" After 4 years as a LPN, I still learn something new all of the time. So we are all getting some type of cont. ed.
    Can we not find something else to discuss? How about the great shortage and the nurse to pt. ratio. Now that is something to get in a tither about.
  12. by   Q.
    Originally posted by chili2641:
    <STRONG>In nursing titles seem to really matter. There is a definite rank and file and people work at all different levels. Susy K you talk alot about your education which I think is great. Usually people go to college to do a certain job or to work in a certain field most requiring at the minimum a four year degree. Some I am sure go because it is there goal or just their personal choice. In nursing you can be called a nurse after completing several months of education an RN after completing an associates degree. I realize that you have a BSN which is great. I for one am not sure that there should be so much debating over education especially in the nursing field.</STRONG>
    Chili - I really don't think it's a matter of debating over education. What is the debate?

    You brought up the point very well -that there are various levels of RNs - and that is that. I couldn't agree with you more - that was the entirity of my post.

    Now I know you didn't say this, someone else did, but I needed to address it.
    The age-old argument of "I would trust a 30 year LPN over a new grad BSN" is so moot to me. That is not even worth saying. Like I said in my above post, if you take a very experienced nurse and COUPLE that with a formal education, you will have one damn good nurse.
  13. by   JMP
    well said Suzy K.
  14. by   moonshadeau
    Who cares how much education that you have or think that you have to have x number years of education to help properly treat patients. There is a shortage out there folks and it isn't going to go away anytime soon. We need all the nurses that we can get to help our patients. Yes, that is who we work for is our patients. As long as I know the nurses that are working next to me are competent in their abilities and skills that is all I need to know. I am busy enough trying to keep on top of my 6 patients that are unstable enough that they should be in CCU. But guess what CCU is capped due to shortage of nurses. I guess my point is instead of repeating these threads of I am better than you because I went to school for x number of years, always seems to increase the animosity among nurses. If you want to go back and get more education that is fine, that is your choice. But remember we are all nurses. LPN, ADN, BSN, PhD, even CNA if you are out there in the trenches you value that you have someone there with a license. This person makes your job easier. Treat them with respect as you would want them to treat you.

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