nursing student needs advice

  1. I am a sophomore in the nursing program at the University of Rhode Island. Right now I'm debating if I should do the honors program here. To do the honors program I have to take the colloquium, a class where you go to lectures from famous speakers on a specific topic then have discussions. The topic this year though is about ecology and the environment. I'm not really interested in this class and am thinking about dropping it. My question is if graduating with honors is going to help me get a job after I graduate. I have a really good gpa right now and don't want to go through with the program if its not going to help me. Any advice/opinions would be great! thanks
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   not-nancy-nurse
    I just graduated in May, so you can take this for what you think its worth....

    Graduating with honors is fabulous. You'll be proud of yourself for maintaining the GPA to have a cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude on your diploma. Secretly, you'll feel just the tiniest bit superior to all your classmates, but you'll have the good taste not to advertise the fact. I graduated cum laude from Spalding, and I show my diploma off to anyone who'll look at it. I'm proud of it. When I go to apply to a Master's program, that cum laude will be right there to back up my claims of worthiness. When I apply for scholarships or grant money, it's right there with the rest of my awards to let them know that I'm the girl with the plans for success...

    Real life....well, that's a whole different set of values. Employers don't really care about cum laudes. Employers care about your work history--i.e. are you going to show up? will you be on time? are you dependable? Employers are concerned about passing the NCLEX so that you can sign RN behind your name. Employers want to know that you are able to take on the responsibilities of the job--and honors look nice, but don't really enter into their decision. Right now, the nationwide nursing shortage is so bad that employers will take anyone with an RN (or LPN) license.

    Besides, you can't put the "BSN, cum laude" on your badge. They won't let you

    Best of luck,
    not-nancy
  4. by   Zee_RN
    I, too, was offered the opportunity to do the honors program. I maintained a 4.0 through nursing school and was very proud of the fact. I worked hard. I did not, however, participate in the honors program--I had three-year-old triplets during nursing school and didn't want to take any more time away from them than necessary. It was very hard for me to say no to it because that stuff really appeals to me. I'd have done it in a second if I didn't have family obligations.

    I graduated #1 in my class. It did not make a WHIT of difference in the job market. No interviewer has ever asked for my transcript or asked me how well I did in school. With the job market the way it is now, it won't make a difference for you either.

    What matters, though, is what YOU want. If you want to do it, go for it. If you don't really want to do it, don't feel compelled to. Nursing school is hard enough. And then you get to do Nursing. Heh. Be sure to take time to enjoy yourself!
  5. by   sharann
    I too graduated top of my class, with honors, deans list and all these wonderful awards etc...guess what? No employer ever asked for grades, just passing the N-CLEX. As for my patients...they don't care either. All they want is a competent, calm, caring and (at times) whimsical nurse. If taking this course will make you feel fulfilled as a person and as a nurse, then take it. Personally, I found school to be challenging enough. Catch up on sleep, reading, or find a relaxing hobby. Your mental health is essential to your success!
    Good luck,
    Shar
  6. by   canoehead
    The top testing nurse in my diploma class, and in the BSN class were both THE WORST during clinical time. I don't think high rank necessarily guarantees an excellent nurse on the floor.
  7. by   P_RN
    I didn't graduate Summa...sorry...only Magna.....but my diploma is right there in that same box with my other 2 degrees, hat, my pin and Deans' Lists and Honor certificates.

    Frankly the employer never asked and I don't think I ever listed anything but the RN. That's still all that will ever be on any ID badge I wear...if I'm ever able to put one on again.

    I don't even list my ONC and that test was a hel* of a lot more difficult than any university or state board (AKA NCLEX now) tests were.

    P
  8. by   mustangsheba
    The only things I have ever found my employers were interested in beyond my RN were additional certifications in specialties. Anything else is for your own edification and satisfaction, and it does make a difference in pursuing degrees. I happen to be interested in the subjects offered to you, but if you are not, spend the time in learning about things that pertain to where you may want to specialize.
  9. by   NYCRN2
    When I went on interviews here in NYC at large prestigeous teaching hospitals recruiters DID ASK about my GPA, awards, and honors, so I feel graduating with honors did help me in landing a great first job.

    It definitely makes you more competitive and a more attractive canidate. Even with the shortage the best hospitals with great opportunities can afford to be selective.
  10. by   CEN35
    well...........honors or not......you are going to get the job you want when you are done. I dont think it means squat...........and once your out for a while you'll see this.

    Just my 2 cents

    me
  11. by   MollyJ
    I think Zee said it, "What matters is what you want..."

    BTW, I would look at the point where nursing/health care and ecology "connect" and then I would make all of my work flow out of this if I did stay in the honor's program. See Laurie Garrett's book _The Coming Plague_ for her compelling (but lengthy) discussion on this very topic.

    If you even remotely think there might be a MSN in your future, the honor's programs could be helpful. It will be the rare employer that cares about this.

    But I am a "learning for learning's sake" person and I believe that knowledge can broaden your world and enhance your practice (not in the same way that being a CNA during school can but differently and in a way to your benefit).

    BTW, in the realm of public health, ecology and the environment just promises to be a bigger and bigger issue that will impact all of us, whether we are ICU nurses, PHN's or something else. Do not doubt that ecology and the environment is important to nursing and health care; whether this aspect of health care flips your switch is more to the point, which brings us back to what Zee said and the beginning of my post.

    Good luck.
  12. by   JJFROG
    I would stay in the Honors Program. Having that opprotunity is a great way to get out of the rut of APA papers, nursing diagnosis and care plans! Nursing school is so directed and regimented, I would have loved the opprotunity to expand my thought process! Plus to get with all the different majors and discuss the lectures will be a great way to obtain a well rounded education. Stick with it!!

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