Why is education not valued within our profession? - page 2

why is education not highly valued within the nursing profession? think about the large scheme of other "professions". education is held in high regard. why is this not the case in nursing? ... Read More

  1. by   hoolahan
    Beach nurse, I have to agree, they make it hard to go back and obtain your BSN once you already have your RN. It is 100% money-making racket!! Though I admit I did learn things that I have been able to directly apply to community nursing, since I am a home health nurse, and it did make me a better nurse.

    Why did it make me a better nurse? because it was a great program? Hell no! It was self-taught. It made me a better nurse because I was motivated to make myself a better nurse!!

    Not all people think that the only way to education is a degree. When I was in my position in a CT ICU, I attended many inservices on my own to learn more. I subscribed to magazines, joined AACN, and studied for 6 months to obtain my CCRN. Please tel me, how is that not placing value on education? There are more ways to educate oneself than obtaining a BSN or higher degree.

    And I agree 100% that maturity and life experience has everything to do with the kind of nurse you are. Can I truly empathize with a mother who has lost her first child when I have never had the experience of pregnancy or childbirth myself? Yes, but not the same as I can now, after knowing how it feels to carry a life inside of me to prepare for that birth. I will spare you the grief I went thru having a 19 year-old nurse bring me to tears when I had difficulty nursing my first child, grief that was soothed when the mature nurse came on duty and reassured me. I was a 19 year-old nurse myself and I hate myself when I think back at the way I could have been there more for my pt's, but I had not had the life experience to truly understand their pain. I don't think having my BSN would help me respond any better to a 21 year-old handsome young man turning on a rotorest bed with a C2 facture, who I avoided eye contact with because every time I made eye contact he mouthed the words "Please kill me".

    I attended so many inservices and did so many things on my own dollar to improve myself as a nurse way before I ever went for my BSN. Thank God my former employer gave credit for experience or I would have never had my job in nursing ed for a few years, since I did not have a BSN at the time. So please Brandy, I know you are not trying to incite, I understand whatyou are trying to say, but education does not equal BSN, or MSN, or PhD.
  2. by   BrandyBSN
    Hoolahan,

    I agree with everything you just said. Yes, there are many ways to further education, including CE, inservices, etc. This debate got a lot more heat than I had intended, and went in directions that I did not anticipate. I just got frustrated when I started to get the feeling that the extra time, effort, and classes had no value, even if they are not directly relevant to nursing. Everything we learn in life, class, etc adds to what we can offer. Learning never stops. About the time I think I have something figured out there is always something else to learn, and I love it. I love learning, I love living life, and any knowledge we carry has value. I am 22 years old. I've never had a child, I've never lost someone who was close to me, and I have never had to worry about the roof over my head, or where my next meal would come from. I have been lucky. Yes, I am young, maybe naive in some aspects, but I have a lot to offer too. I have learned a great deal within the past 4 years of college, and it all just adds to what I can offer. I just wish there was more encouragement to continue. I am fairly self motivated, but others are not. They need to be shown that its never to late to go back, its not a waste, and they need to feel like the profession is behind them 100%. These are the people I am worried about. The ones that don't even consider nursing because of beliefs that we are just glorified handmaidens. Has anyone else every been asked "Your so smart, why didnt you become a doctor"? This aggrevates me to no end. Sure, I might have made a good doctor, but I will be a great nurse. Nurses are SMART, each and every nurse on here is SMART, but the public may not see us that way because, like it or not, formal education has become a synonym for intellect. How can we change the public opinion? How can we show them we are worth more money, options, benefits, and respect? In my opinion, if each and every one of us just starting out (not all nurses with years of experience, already nursing) has a 4-year college education, how can they possibly say that we are just handmaidens? It would be proof that we are just as educated as every other profession, and should be viewed as professionals, not maids. Does anyone else have another idea as to how we can prove that we are worth more than this? I didn't mean to start a huge arguement, although I knew it would happen. I just wish nurses were viewed differently, and the degree, even if it is "just a piece of paper" was my idea as to how to start changing this.

    Wishing I had an answer,
    BrandyBSN
  3. by   BeachNurse
    Brandy, I admire and can appreciate your motivation and pride in learning. I am the same way..I guess I have lost some of that naivete also since beginning my career as a nurse. I only went to nursing school as a result of my experience as the mother of a son with several life-threatening medical conditions.

    When I worked Peds, the parents appreciated my empathy and insight. I also had a "leg-up" on the other new nurses because I had literally lived on Pediatric units for the first 3 years of my child's life. You don't get that experience from any classroom.

    Unfortunately, you will find when you get "out there" it's a whole different ball game. Your employer may or may not respect your knowledge, ability, or values. I found that I was no more respected than the nurses who simply came to work and went home, while I was volunteering on hospital committees and taking as many CEU's as possible. People who barely slid by and kissed butt were the ones that got special favors and such.

    Keep your positive attitude...If you ever get disappointed in hospital nursing your BSN will open many other doors for you. You WILL find someone who values your education and motivation if you just look hard enough. Best wishes to you.
  4. by   BrandyBSN
    Thank you. I really appreciate your post.

    BrandyBSN
  5. by   P_RN
    May I add my humble opinion?

    In the vernacular there are: "schooling" "learning" and "knowledge."

    Schooling would be the actual attendance of a class....in whatever...
    I WENT TO SCHOOL AT......UNIVERSITY....eg I took up a slot in the classroom.

    eg:I took classes in piano for an entire year in college.
    _____
    Learning would be the reception into your mind of the information presented.

    I LEARNED HOW TO DO......WHATEVER. (But now I have forgotten already).....who hasn't heard this one.....

    eg: personally I learned how to play piano. I have not retained it though.
    _____
    Knowledge would be what you Keep of it and how you use it.

    I KNOW HOW TO......AND I CONTINUE TO KNOW......

    I KNOW I SHOULD HAVE KEPT IT UP. (I didn't)
    _____
    In other PROFESSIONS....eg: teaching, medicine, pharmacy.....I don't see the various members getting into a public debate over whose school was best, whose diploma or degree was best.....and I certainly don't see them arguing that what ever they have is superior (or inferior) to what the other guy has.

    Fortunately or not what we debate or defend here is not going to change the fact that ALL of us are Nurses. Let's appreciate the fact that we ARE.

    Have you noticed I always capitalize Nurse?

    Let us appreciate what we have obtained...and retained. Let us NOT diminish what the other has achieved. OK?

    P
  6. by   nurs4kids
    Brandy,
    I think you are confusing the attitudes of this BB with reality. Education IS valued in nursing. That is why to climb the ladder, more education is required. That is why we are REQUIRED to obtain a certain amount of CEU's to renew our license. That is why my institution is constantly mandating inservices. Nursing is a constantly changing field, because medicine is constantly changing. Education is and will always be a necessity in nursing. Those who give you the impression that education is not valued do this because THEY themselves have become stagnant and lack the desire/drive for education. This is not reflective of the entirity of nursing. I, like you, took many non-nursing related courses in college (I was in school 4 years BEFORE I decided on a major). Do I think Music and Art Appreciation makes me a better nurse? Not at all. Do I think more management courses and more business courses would have made me a better nurse? Probably so. I absolutely admire you and other BSN's for SACRIFICING the extra time and effort. I kick my butt everytime I think about it because with what I'd already taken, it would have taken me no more time to obtain my BSN than it did my ASN. I do feel you should be compensated for your education. The big debate on this issue comes from ASN's, like myself, who work along side BSN's. The higher education is not reflected in bedside nursing care. The better nurse is not determined by the degree held, but rather by the initiative of the individual. So, it's hard to understand that one should be paid more for offering the employer the same SKILL as another.

    This confusion is because nurses do not think like professionals. We do not think in terms of education. Because nursing is so hands-on, so skilled, we think in terms of manual labor. Manual labor is paid based on job classification, not education (the man digging ditches makes the same as the guy beside him, although he completed HS and the other guy didn't). Until nurses begin to think in terms of education and professionalism, we will continue to be seen as skilled labor; hence, treated and paid the same.

    So, don't get frustrated! Be proud of YOURSELF for your education, it's something no one can ever take from you. Don't look to others for approval and praise, most of the time you won't get it. You WILL be respected and compensated for your education because it will be reflected in YOU and the manner in which you conduct yourself. Also, Brandy, remember that all ASN/ADN's are not like me (as you said) and all BSN's are not like you (their education is not reflected). That is why you meet the resistance, it's not that education is not valued
  7. by   TracyB,RN
    A NUTRITION class of all things. . .which was incorporated into my AD program. A whole 16 week class on nutrition?! Please! Plus a lot of extra things I don't feel are necessary for nurses"
    Maybe this just jumped out at me b/c the 16 week nutrition class was a requirement for my AD program. Why don't you think Nutrition is important & what else do you think is not necessary?
    I am not trying to be an a**, about this. I am just curious.
  8. by   Level2Trauma
    If education is respected in nursing, why then, do a lot of places refuse to allow BSN prepared nurses to have BSN on their name tags??? Just curious!!!
  9. by   CarolineRn
    I had to take a sixteen week nutrition class as well. Huge waste of my time. Our instuctor read VERBATIM from the book. I could have stayed home and done that. Ridiculous. Teach me something I *don't* know. That's what I'm paying you for! The worse thing was, if you missed more than two of her classes, you were dropped from the class, and she took roll!! And if you asked her to clarify something, she would refer you back to the book. What a ditz she was! I retained nothing from that class, as evidenced by me missing two nutrition questions on my last nursing test.
  10. by   cargal
    Brandy,
    One of the words that keeps appearing in your post is "value". Everyone is different in their values. I believe most nurses value education but life circumstances sometimes dictate an educational path. Right now I value other things in my life more than getting my BSN, such as the time I want to spend with my daughters before they grow up and leave the house. I value my flowers and gardening which renews and rests me. I value music, which my 46 years on earth listening to has given me an insight to what kind of music residents would like, and how to and when to present it. I value education, for which I spend alot of time thinking about how to make the most of the next four years in my daughters' lives so that they will have more education than their father and I. I value good grammer and spelling, a great book, a cerulean sky---sorry, but you get the picture. I also agree with beachnurse, I have three years under my belt getting my ADN. Next February I will take a course to certify me in Validation Therapy to teach me communication techniques to help in dealing with the agitated memory impaired and dementia patients. None of this will put any different letters after my name, but most of us will pursue education at our own pace, probably when we find "value" in it. Alot of nurses value the paycheck an ADN puts food on the table. I myself feel happy for those of you that are blessed to get your BSN, especially when you are young and not tied down with complications like kids! Those fours years are not wasted-they broaden your horizons and give you a solid base for any career. It took my husband almost 20 years to complete his BSN, and it was worth it, but the time it took away from the kids while I took care of them, sacrificing any schooling for me until he was done!!
    The letters after my name are CLEP!...... clepped out of Advanced Literature in my community college- that's the way to go! I value the time and money I saved from the knowledge I learned in life. There's more than one way to skin a cat.
    Good Luck, Brandy, when do you graduate?
    Last edit by cargal on Nov 11, '01
  11. by   hoolahan
    Brandy, I never meant to diminish what you are doing, no way, you are smart, if for no other reason than your BSN will serve you better in the future. I just felt that to help me at the bedside, my time and money were better spent in pursuit of the other kinds of educational opportunities that were available to me. I do feel that I learned way more about culture in my religion classes than I ever did from my nursing courses, and I also love to learn. I also had to put myself thru school, it was way cheaper to attend comm college at $33/credit (can you believe it was so cheap back then??) I mean, a 4 year college was just not even an option.

    Also, not trying to say you are less of a nurse b/c you are younger, we all have to start somewhere, just was illustrating my point that life expereince may add more to a nurse than her BSN degree. I am confident you will be a way better nurse than I was when I graduated nursing school. I was so naive, it wasn't funny! You are going in with your eyes wide open, and your BSN program sounds like you got much more clinical than other BSN programs that I have heard of.

    The sad fact is your employers, if at bedside, won't carewhat degree you have, nor will most of your pt's, nor your co-workers. The good news is you did it for you, not for them. As long as your not expecting things that won't happen and you are happy with your own choice, that is all that matters!
  12. by   BeachNurse
    Because I do not think that 16 weeks needs to be spent on nutrition. It was incoporated into my fundamentals of nursing courses..we spent several weeks on it, plus I was required to take a Health and Fitness class where I got it AGAIN for 16 weeks.
    Last edit by BeachNurse on Nov 10, '01
  13. by   thisnurse
    around and around we go.
    this is never going to be settled. everyone says the same things in different words over and over and over.
    brandy, i certainly dont mean to offend you but could it be that you feel a little strange because when you start with your BSN you will be in the same place as the diploma, ADN nurse?
    it doesnt seem quite fair does it?

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