Phrase "nurse wannabe" ??

  1. I find this an interesting phrase and even more interesting is the strong reaction some nurses have to people they perceive as "nurse wannabes". There are wannabes in a lot of professions, actor, model, police etc. I agree that people shouldn't give medical advice but neither should actual nurses unless it is while they are at their place of employment. You can find unqualified neighbors offering health suggestions over the backyard fence, are they nursewannabes?

    I understand how we've sacrificed and worked really hard to get whatever nurse title we have but would think its kind of unnecessary to be so worried about imposters. I really don't think its a huge deal if someone sort of wishes they were a nurse. As long as they aren't truly misrepresenting themselves as a nurse maybe we should just be flattered.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I never have used the phrase myself.

    And i've never seen someone say the phrase to someone and mean anything positive by it.
  4. by   TazziRN
    It is not a flattering term at all. I have never used that terms about nursing but I have used it in other ways. A nurse wannabe is someone who is not a nurse but tries to portray themselves as one. They may not out and out lie and say "I'm a nurse" but they will try to give the impression they know nursing. It's not even the person who gives simple advice over the back fence, it's someone who tries to be a know-it-all.
  5. by   sddlnscp
    Yikes! I guess I have always heard this term used as those of us who are pre or nursing students. I have never heard it in this fashion before. I will have to alert some people to not use this term if this is the reaction it gets. I always took it as a positive complement to nurses. I never took it as an "ok" to give Medical/Nursing advice (which I would NEVER do - I refer people who ask me questions to their health care provider), but more as this:

    "I am in such awe of nurses and all of their knowledge and skills. I can't wait until one day when I too can be called a nurse." I am a "nurse wannabe" by this standard.

    I guess I have always looked at it in a more positive light. :imbar:
  6. by   TazziRN
    No, Sarah, it's not nice at all. A "wannabe" is someone who cannot, for whatever reason, be what they desire. We have a cop wannabe in our area; because of various psych issues (mostly anxiety) there is no way he could be a cop, but he works for the police department in a neighborhood outreach role. He will never say "I'm a police officer" but he'll make it known that he has a connection to the police and tries to appear that he has power he really doesn't have.
  7. by   JaxiaKiley
    I use it with both positive and negative connotations. Before I got into the nursing program, I called myself a nurse wannabe -- because I wanted to be a nurse and was trying to get into school. I also use wannabe to reference someone who tries to be something that they don't have the skills to be.
  8. by   sddlnscp
    Quote from TazziRN
    No, Sarah, it's not nice at all. A "wannabe" is someone who cannot, for whatever reason, be what they desire. We have a cop wannabe in our area; because of various psych issues (mostly anxiety) there is no way he could be a cop, but he works for the police department in a neighborhood outreach role. He will never say "I'm a police officer" but he'll make it known that he has a connection to the police and tries to appear that he has power he really doesn't have.
    Yikes - well thanks for the clarification. I will have to drop the use of that phrase and warn some of my fellow students as well. Hopefully we haven't damaged ourselves too badly. Oops!
  9. by   styRN
    We use the phrase regularly, directed towards the multitude of non-nurse managers we have, who all, in one way or another, have their hand in directing patient care and making nursing-related descisions.
  10. by   sjt9721
    Quote from sddlnscp
    Yikes! I guess I have always heard this term used as those of us who are pre or nursing students. I have never heard it in this fashion before. I will have to alert some people to not use this term if this is the reaction it gets. I always took it as a positive complement to nurses. I never took it as an "ok" to give Medical/Nursing advice (which I would NEVER do - I refer people who ask me questions to their health care provider), but more as this:

    "I am in such awe of nurses and all of their knowledge and skills. I can't wait until one day when I too can be called a nurse." I am a "nurse wannabe" by this standard.

    I guess I have always looked at it in a more positive light. :imbar:
    Be confident! You're a "nursegonnabe"
  11. by   sddlnscp
    Quote from sjt9721
    Be confident! You're a "nursegonnabe"
    :kiss Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! (You made me smile today.)
  12. by   TazziRN
    Nursegonnabe......I like that!!! That fits the students who will make wonderful nurses someday!!!
  13. by   jennyfyre
    Tazzi... you're right.. it's not very nice. I am a unit coordinator and this phrase gets used alot on me. I know my job, do it very well... and never claim to be a nurse nor do I ever want to be one. I am usually one of the first people our patients meet... and I always say... "I'm not your nurse, I'm the unit coordinator, here to make sure things go as smoothly as possible." Alot of newer nurses don't know whats involved with being a good HUC so they consider me a nurse wannabe... always assume this is just a stopping place while I go to school, etc. Luckily, the good ones realize that a good HUC spots issues BEFORE they are problems and learn to work with me rather than "over" me.
  14. by   jill48
    I don't have a problem with neighbors giving eachother medical advice "over their fence". We're human. We just want to help eachother out. It's only natural. But I DO have a problem when someone says that they are a nurse but they are not. How would you feel if it was your mother talking to someone who claimed to be a nurse and they gave her harmful advice? You can't say you are a nurse if you are not one. I don't get to walk around saying I'm a doctor. And it's ILLEGAL!

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