The end of my first semester of an ABSN is approaching and I am seriously reconsidering this program and perhaps even the entire profession. I am finding the nursing instructors and a lot of the material to be totally useless. It is Concepts of Professional Practice that is so troublesome.
I have a Master of Science in Physiology and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Medical Care. I have been in rigorous academic programs before. I am not stupid and I believe I have a pretty good knowledge of the human body/disease process. I have been a paramedic for eight years and a community college adjunct instructor for five. I am hoping to become a nurse practitioner because as a paramedic there is very little opportunity for any career advancement.
In this Concepts of Professional Practice, which basically a fundamentals of nursing class, it seems that none of what I study is on the exams. I have tried the textbook, the lectures, study groups and everything. But without exception the test comes around and it seems like the test was taken from another class or another school. I am doing ok in pathophysiology and health assessment. It is not easy, but it is simpler in terms of, if I pay attention in class, take notes, read the chapters, and study the material I can do well. But in this class I don't know what else to do. There also seems to be complete and total lack of consistency in practical skills evaluations. Clinical skills evaluations are something I have done as an instructor for many years, and I find it very disturbing to see one student pass a station and the next student failed for doing the exact same thing.
I have tried talking to my professor and she frankly was nothing but condescending. She refers to everything as "just a guideline." In many cases she doesn't seem to know the answer herself. She makes outlandish errors in presenting clinical information which could be harmful for my classmates because they don't know any better. We never even had a lecture on careplans. We were basically given a case told to figure it out ourselves. The professor graded it extremely harshy despite the fact we had absolutely no instruction. It seems like something that unique and complex would warrant some instruction. We also didn't get a single lecture on drug dosage and drug calculations, but we had to pass a 25 question exam on the subject to pass the class.
It seems like so much of this program is unnecessarily esoteric. The instructors, some more than others, seem to pride themselves on complicating even the simplest information as much as possible. Frankly, the concept of this nursing diagnosis seems insulting to my intelligence as student. So many of the faculty seem to be catty for no apparent reason and have a chip on their shoulders the size of Texas. Is this typical? Did I pick a bad program? What should I do?
Nov 26, '12
I can completely relate to your situation. I just graduated from an ABSN this past May and felt exactly the same way. I found nursing "theory" along with nursing "diagnoses" absurd and bizarre concepts, which are not based in reality. Esoteric is a perfect word for it. They use 15 words to describe something that could be described in five. They create their own nursing terminology and phrasing, which to me, just sounds like bad English. By the end of the second semester, I realized that it wasn't me - I just think logically and much of nursing education seems to ignore logic. I think it stems from an inferiority complex that nurses have. For years, our culture has seen them as inferior to physicians and in response they have created a world for themselves in academia where they can demand respect. The problem is that they're over-thinking it. They are trying to create philosophies and theories when they aren't needed. They make simple concepts confusing and convoluted. It took me months to understand what the hell a nursing diagnosis even was..Why make it so complicated?
Don't get me wrong, nursing itself is important and difficult work and requires great intelligence to do well. I mean no disrespect to nurses, and technically, I am one too. But, I encountered a lot of nursing instructors who I did not feel had the right to be teaching because of their absolute inability to be articulate or to write a clear/fair exam. I argued dozens of test questions and wrote way too many letters in protest. I barely made it through my program because it was so emotionally exhausting. Not because I couldn't do the academic work (I graduated w/ a 3.84, magna cum laude) and not because I couldn't do the clinical work (I worked hard and passed all my clinicals without a problem). The worst part was dealing with the incompetence. I did have a few good teachers, and a couple great ones, but most of them were terrible lecturers and wrote exams which did NOT reflect the material. I would re-listen to lectures, read all the textbooks and handouts and still see material on the test that was completely foreign, badly worded, or worse, totally wrong!!
I made it through it because I want to be a nurse midwife. I knew becoming an RN first was the only way to reach my dream. I worked really hard, fought my battles when I had the energy and tried to let the injustice slide when I could - just to save my energy. It's BS, but I think this is just how it is. I went to a program which is highly regarded in NYS - I've had many nurses say how impressed they were that I attended that program…which always baffled me because I thought they were a pretty big mess. I'm planning on starting midwifery school soon and do not plan to ever work as a nurse. If you really want to become an NP and know that it's work you'll enjoy and could tolerate a year of working as a nurse (or find a masters program that does not require nursing experience first), then I'd encourage you to grin and bear it. It's rough, but it does go by quickly. If however, you're not 100% sure about being an NP, I'd warn you that nursing school does not necessarily get better, and floor nursing can be really rough. Most of my classmates are miserable in their nursing jobs. Either way, you're not alone in your experience. The most important thing is to look at your overall goal. If becoming an NP is important to you, than don't let the bs of nursing school discourage you. It was one of the hardest years of my life, but I made it, passed the NCLEX and am now applying to midwifery school. I'm glad I didn't let their bad teaching scare me away. Good luck!
Last edit by midwifetobe85 on Nov 26, '12
Nov 27, '12
by BostonFNP, NP
Quote from Szasz_is_Right
Guess who is doing the research?
If its a well-designed study does it matter?
I don't see any evidence to suggest that the RWJF or the IOM is disreputably biased, let alone any of the independent research. Do you have a specific example of flawed research studies?
Last edit by BostonFNP on Nov 27, '12