A time to reform nursing education?

  1. 14
    After reading some very interesting posts around here lately in regards to "fluff" being taught in nursing school, I wonder if it is time to reform nursing education.

    I feel we could do without the nursing diagnosis. I understand they can help a student group and rank interventions for a disease process (dare I say that?), but there are better ways to help a student understand this concept. I am not against throwing out holistic nursing practices, but we really could do without the fluff. Why is it that many new grads can't "put it together" Maybe, because fluff doesn't cross over into real-world nursing practice?

    I realize that nursing schools are geared towards passing the NCLEX, and that will never change. People in the nursing adovacy groups want nursing to be a profession, no problem with that, but our hands-on skills are being "outsourced" by RTs, techs, therapists, etc. We are "losing" our skills. Nursing students are graduating and have never even put in a foley. What's happening?

    I'd like to know what experienced nurses, novices, instructors and new grads feel should be included, or tossed out of the nursing curriculum. Who knows, maybe reform will come?
    CeilingCat, 14togo, cherryames1949, and 11 others like this.
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  4. 115 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    You pose some good questions. Nursing practice is constantly changing and nursing education will probably never be able to truly keep up. It seems that the nurse is becoming manager of a care team more and more. It is disheartening to struggle to understand nursing diagnosis's when every nurse tells you that you won't need that knowledge once you graduate. Perhaps it is time to put that to bed. Hmmm...
    cherryames1949 and nyteshade like this.
  6. 15
    Nursing school needs to be more realistic about what to expect after graduation. It's a big slap on the head when you finally get there and it's not the way you learned about. That would help new grads cope with what they feel is failure when it's not failure but not knowing it would "be this way." Teach organizational skills... how do I organize my daily work. What is a priority and what could wait a while.... those are the things that would mean something along with why you do things etc. More Reality.
    not.done.yet, NeoNurseTX, roughmatch, and 12 others like this.
  7. 4
    There is a new book that addresses everything you've brought up and more: Educating Nurses; a Call for Radical Transformation by Patricia Benner. Unfortunately, the ANA is the most powerful force in Nursing curriculum, not Benner.
    Altra, nyteshade, scoochy, and 1 other like this.
  8. 2
    Quote from Ruthiegal
    Nursing school needs to be more realistic about what to expect after graduation. It's a big slap on the head when you finally get there and it's not the way you learned about. That would help new grads cope with what they feel is failure when it's not failure but not knowing it would "be this way." Teach organizational skills... how do I organize my daily work. What is a priority and what could wait a while.... those are the things that would mean something along with why you do things etc. More Reality.

    Educational degrees don't exactly prepare people for their JOBS. Medical majors definitely seem to get that more than others (with clinicals and such) but when you enter any work world after graduating you have the base of knowledge.. the education necessary. Learning what your job is and how it is expected that you do it is up to your employer.. figuring out how to organize a priorities your JOB is up to you after learning what your employer expects of you.
    scottrho and QuitoGal like this.
  9. 13
    I would agree, I'm a '72 grad and I had tons of clinical hours and was well prepaired when I graduated, I passed the national exam on my first try and my first job I had 2 weeks orientation to learn where stuff was, policies etc. and was off and running, now grant it they didn't give me the real sickies right off the bat, but I was pulling my weight with a full pt assignment and they added higher acuity patients PDQ as I demonstrated my skills.

    I look at the old diploma programs and boy those nurses hit the ground running right out of the box. They were hospital based and really worked the floor and I loved working with them.

    I see the need for a good theory base but not at the expense of good clinical hours.

    We had a skills check list that you HAD to complete before graduation and it wasn't just run in and insert a foley, we were assigned a patient who needed one and cared for them.
    jkaee, Despareux, 14togo, and 10 others like this.
  10. 8
    I wish there were more opportunities for externships for students. That was BY FAR the best preparation for real-world nursing and being on my own as an RN. I was ready to go out on my own 2 months after graduation, in a specialty unit that usually requires 3-6 months of training (even for experienced nurses). I credit my year of externship as a student, as well as an exemplary preceptor.
    jkaee, not.done.yet, CFitzRN, and 5 others like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from mjmoon
    Educational degrees don't exactly prepare people for their JOBS. Medical majors definitely seem to get that more than others (with clinicals and such) but when you enter any work world after graduating you have the base of knowledge.. the education necessary. Learning what your job is and how it is expected that you do it is up to your employer.. figuring out how to organize a priorities your JOB is up to you after learning what your employer expects of you.
    I think you are misunderstanding what Ruthiegal was trying to say. Nursing school is supposed to teach you how to prioritize patient care that is standard, however, many are not doing the job. That is part of graduating a safe, prudent nurse.
  12. 0
    Quote from nurse2033
    You pose some good questions. Nursing practice is constantly changing and nursing education will probably never be able to truly keep up. It seems that the nurse is becoming manager of a care team more and more. It is disheartening to struggle to understand nursing diagnosis's when every nurse tells you that you won't need that knowledge once you graduate. Perhaps it is time to put that to bed. Hmmm...
    I've noticed that nursing is shifting to care team manager in a lot of ways too...
  13. 2
    DogWmn bring up very good points. I was taught by nurses who started off as hospital diploma grads that later earned their degrees. They were the best instructors I've ever had.
    nursel56 and metal_m0nk like this.


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