Whatever happened to going to school to be a nurse?

  1. The other day as I sat at work listening to coworkers talking about career paths and what degrees they should pursue I couldn't help but think back to when I was a new nurse 32 years ago. I went to school to be a nurse, as everyone in my class did. The discussions were where do you want to work, not what is your career goal. It seems no one wants to just be a nurse anymore. This is all pushed with the magnet statuses, national push for more and more education and I wonder what is so bad about being a nurse caring for patients year after year. Most young nurses I hear talking are appalled at the thought of your entire nursing career caring for people. I am sure there are some new nurses who just want to take care of patients, but I haven't talked to many. I find this sad.
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  2. 184 Comments

  3. by   loriangel14
    I hear you. I am amazed at the number of new grads griping because they don't like patient care and want to immediately find a job that distances them from actually touching a patient. I work with an RN that has been on the floor 40+ years and still loves doing hands on care. She is my idol. It's only been 10 years for me but I still love working on the floor.You also hear a lot of nurses complaining about having to work hard. What did they expect?
  4. by   cleback
    I like hands on care... but the only way to get a decent increase in salary is to continue your education. It's no secret that employers don't pay for experience in nursing. Also, for better working conditions... RNs have been pushed out of clinics in favor of lower cost personnel. There aren't that many positions (in my opinion) for the regular nurse that do not include nights and holidays. Education opens more doors for getting out of that. Not that working nights and holidays are horrible, but I can't blame someone for not wanting that for his entire career.
  5. by   TruvyNurse
    It is sad. So many nurses stick their noses up at bedside nursing. Nursing almost feels like a business at times
  6. by   RNperdiem
    I once talked to a younger coworker, and she told me that a lot of this attitude starts in nursing school clinicals. Many of her nursing professors looked down on bedside nursing. Students were taught that they should be going on to get higher and higher degrees with the implication that nurses who worked bedside their whole careers were "lesser".
    There is also a social class issue mixed in.
  7. by   Rocknurse
    I've been nursing for 25 years and I've seen the changes over nearly 3 decades. What is different now is that medicine has become part of a corporation. It's not healthcare in the old sense of the word. It's now about staffing numbers and costs and heads in beds. All this translates into management squeezing every last drop they can out of every nurse, bed space and stock item. Nurses are pulled, floated, called off, given a bunch of different admits as patients are constantly moved to a cheaper level of care. Nursing has become extremely hard work. Not that it wasn't before, but it was honest hard work. These days it's just stressful. When I was a young nurse I would come in to work, get an assignment and leave with the same assignment, never floated, had lunch and tea breaks and if the unit was quiet I wouldn't be sent home without pay, I'd help the other nurses. That doesn't happen anymore and so nurses have gotten clued into this and want more autonomy, better working conditions and less stress. It's inevitable that this has happened actually. Administration have created this with their business practices. And me...after 25 years...am in school to be an NP because I have had enough.
  8. by   indish
    You make a good point that I had not considered. I spent 29 years at the bedside from med surg to ICU and now have been in the PACU the past year and a half and plan to retire from there. In line with your thoughts is also the fact that all the small community hospitals are bought up and closed down which adds to the loss of community caring. I guess I'm at the end of nursing at a good time.
  9. by   indish
    Not to mention every yearly review "what are your career goals" question or professional contributions. (RNperdiem)
  10. by   indish
    I don't meet too many that like it. All they do is complain about the pay. Very sad (truly nurse)
  11. by   Ryan59479
    I have the suspicion that a lot of newer people in the nursing field entered just for the money. Obviously there's nothing wrong with looking out for your economic interests, but I know a lot of people who got into nursing because they wanted a steady paycheck and job security; it had little or nothing to do with wanting to work bedside or lay hands on people.
  12. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    I'm going to school to be a nurse. I want to be a good nurse and provide quality care. I might go back to school, I might not - I'm really trying to enter this whole thing with an open heart and open mind and see what adventures await me.
  13. by   loriangel14
    The ones that drive me nuts are the ones that quail at having to take care of people. They want to be managers and tell people how to do their jobs when they haven't ever done the job.
  14. by   Cob94
    I'm proud to be a nurse, just a nurse. My career goal at this point is retirement! I love caring for people hands on. I'd go nuts if it were any other way!

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