Mentorship in the Nursing Community

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    After spending alot of time on this forum reading vrious posts and speaking to RNs I know in real life, I am utterly AMAZED that there seems to be a general territorial nature in the nursing profession. Again, I'll emphasize the word "general" because there are no absolutes when dealing with the attributes of a population of people. However, although I am strongly considering pursuing RN/APN, in my current field (male-dominated) I have never seen as many negative attitudes, judgements or tearing down of folks as I have seen here and heard in the real world in the nursing field. I believe for any profession to thrive it needs mentorship. I mentor interns and fellows in my current field and I really enjoy it. I love watching them develop and grow into their own, regardless of where they came from and where they aspire to be. What are your personal experiences and thoughts? I'd like to hear non-politically correct but respectful responses. Quite a few of the people I have spoken to said they believed the problem stems from the fact that the field is primairily women and women = cattiness. I won't lie and say I completely disagree based on my own personal working experiences but still I have to feel there is more it. OR is the whole situation blown out of proportion and is a non-factor and real life?

    I have given alot of thought between RN to APN route or going direct-entry to APN and had settled on the first, but now I am concerned that I'll get in as a RN (one day) and if my leadership learns of my plans to further my career, I'll be sabotaged. I know that is the extreme but I have read stories of that, have seen it happen to one of my good friends, and am not sure that is the kind of environment I really want to work in even as much as I would love to use my skills and compassion to help others.

    Thoughts?
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    OK - just stop, really, just stop. You're not a nurse. You last paragraph reveals that you aren't even in enrolled in a nursing program yet. You are making comments based on a series of inaccurate perceptions. There are > 2 million nurses in the US. Do the math - AN and other forum memberships are only a teensie fraction of my profession. The whole "female dominated" bushwah is just that...

    Critical thinking is an essential attribute for nurses as well as other healthcare professionals. This involves reaching logical and rational conclusions based on accurate information from valid sources. Your comments are the polar opposite.

    I am absolutely gobsmacked at the absurdity of your comment - " if my leadership learns of my plans to further my career, I'll be sabotaged"
    I have no words.... will leave THIS rebuttal to my esteemed colleagues. (shaking head)


    Last edit by Esme12 on Feb 5, '13
    Luckyyou, llg, and GrnTea like this.
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    First of all, don't tell me to stop anything. You don't own the rights to my mind or my body, and you certainly lack authority to tell me what to do or how to think. Thirdly, it is an ignorant attitude to say that an individual's experiences are an inaccurate perception, reality check: life is all about perception. I will gladly have you talk to two of my aunts, my best friend, my neighbor, three of my good high school friends and my mother-in-law, so you can tell them that they are NOT credible sources of information and have inaccurate perceptions although I guarantee their cumulative years of experience surpass your years on this Earth. Do your own search just on this site and you will read many cases of new RNs talking about the "eat their young" mentality, you will read about experienced RNs discussing the politics that they deem to be unique to the nursing profession, you will even see post about nursing students having problems with RNs during clinicals. Don't pretend to know me, my situation or the experiences of my personal friends and families because you cannot admit that there MAY be a systemic problem in the RN community (another reality check: systemic issues in a field is NOT unique to any single career, go look at the PhD boards and read about the difficulty that women are having in academia). It's that type of "bury your head in the sand" attitude that is a roadblock to change. If you took the time to read my post you will see words such as "there seems" and "general" because AGAIN I WILL REPEAT "there are no absolutes". Here are some quotes from my original post that you conveniently ignored:

    "Quite a few of the people I have spoken to said they believed the problem stems from the fact that the field is primarily women and women = cattiness. I won't lie and say I completely disagree based on my own personal working experiences but still I have to feel there is more it. "

    "OR is the whole situation blown out of proportion and is a non-factor in real life?"

    Unless you have been working for a day, I fail to understand how you cannot see the concern one might have of a leadership chain not wanting to see their employee(s) progress for self-serving reasons. This is a reality ACROSS fields. My personal concern comes from the fact that most programs require recommendations from your direct supervisor or someone in your direct working environment as part of your application process. Certainly if you are working in an environment where growth is not cultivated and there is fear that an employee might "move on", they hold a level of power over you during that process.


    So maybe in the future instead of automatically going on the defense and trying to attack a person's integrity (i.e. asking someone if they are trolling), you should take the time to read and provide a collegiate response that directly addresses the question or concern identified.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Feb 5, '13 : Reason: strange formatting
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    Hahaha. Thanks for the laugh, OP. I needed that, this morning. Seriously, I am smiling from ear to ear. It's entertaining to me to know there are people with a bigger, more ignorant and pointless chip on their shoulder than me, and comforting to know they aren't anywhere near being involved in my profession.

    Switch to decaf, sweetheart. And please consider a different career path. You're making yourself sound mighty tasty to this young-eating, catty, colleague-sabotaging monster who will be a scary, crusty old bat by the time you're a new grad. *licks chops*

    But seriously, you're a funny. Thanks.
    llg, GrnTea, and elkpark like this.
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    I will see your "nurses eat their young" whiner count and raise you two "Oh, grow up, special snowflakes need to learn to take constructive criticism" and an "as IF nothing like this ever happens anywhere else." I expect in your extensive review of AN posts you have seen those too.

    I guess I can make a "collegiate" response since I went to college. "Bushwah" it is. You won't get "collegial" unless you are, well, a colleague. Which you manifestly are not, aunties, grandma, high school buddies, or no.

    Seriously, dear, reconsider. You enter a forum populated by nurses, many of whom have many decades of experience in practice, administration, education, and extensive mentoring in a variety of specialties, and, believe it or not, education that may, in fact, surpass your own. In two of your four total posts here, you make like you know all about us, you insult us, you make unfounded and inaccurate generalizations and assumptions ("where growth is not cultivated" fair leapt off the page, for one), and reference new grad comments that reflect immaturity in the profession as solid evidence of our incompetence. You decry negativity, judgements (sic), and tearing down, while deftly demonstrating your skill in all of them.

    You cannot do all that and then complain if you don't like what you hear and get if you get called on what deeply resembles the troll-like behavior that shows up here from time to time.

    Now then, why don't we all take a deep breath and start over.

    As I think I understand it, you are somewhat interested in using your skills of compassion and caring for others in joining our dysfunctional, women-dominated, catty, and cranky ranks. Why is that, exactly? Maybe we can take it from there.
    Last edit by GrnTea on Feb 5, '13
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  8. 0
    Honestly, I have no interest in providing further responses to people that do not take the time to comprehend what someone is saying. Talk about having a chip on the shoulder. I can see now why the opinons of others are what they are for a minority of people in this profession. I am thoroughly grateful to not have personally been exposed to the level toxicity shown in this post over trying to have a thought-provoking discussion. Have a great day!
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    So, you're not interested in telling us why you're thinking about nursing? Just so we're clear on that. We are actually interested.
  10. 2
    The single most entertaining post ever, made my day! I would also like to know why the op is not only considering nursing but apn, wow!
    elkpark and GrnTea like this.
  11. 2
    Quote from MBAWkg2bNP
    Honestly, I have no interest in providing further responses to people that do not take the time to comprehend what someone is saying. Talk about having a chip on the shoulder. I can see now why the opinons of others are what they are for a minority of people in this profession. I am thoroughly grateful to not have personally been exposed to the level toxicity shown in this post over trying to have a thought-provoking discussion. Have a great day!
    I think we all need to take a deep breath. Allnurses promotes the idea of lively debate. Which means you are free to disagree with anyone on any type of subject matter as long as your criticism is constructive and polite. We also ask that everyone to please refrain from name-calling. This is divisive, rude, and derails the thread.

    Our first priority is to the members that have come here because of the flame-free atmosphere we provide. There is a zero-tolerance policy here against personal attacks. We will not tolerate anyone insulting other's opinion nor name calling. Our call is to be supportive, not divisive.

    OP.....you came to an all nurses site and made some pretty strong negative statements about the profession we all hold very dear. We might fight amongst ourselves....but we will ban together when we feel we are under attack.

    There have been reports that "nurses eat their young" since the beginning of time.......and if you search this site you will find them. Police officers, Firefighters, Iron workers all have their own form of....hazing the newbies or the probies and it is considered a right of passage...a male bonding experience.......but in a female dominated profession we are considered mean spirited, old hags, and mean girls. I guess in some cases that is true.....but for the most part it is not true.

    Nursing is different from many other professions in that many graduate from school totally unprepared for the harsh reality of the actual job. These poor new grads enter their professional life totally unprepared for the harsh reality of life and life as a nurse. We are under paid, over worked and responsible for everything. We don't necessarily have the time to molly coddle and give positive feed back to the everybody wins generation.......the harsh reality that even small mistakes can cost someone their life and are unforgivable....something which many new nurses do not understand.

    We are continually told by those who have NO CLUE what it takes to be at the bedside how it is done and what is wrong but never how to fix it. Without actually being a nurse it is very difficult to comprehend the enormous task that we complete everyday. So yes....there are time we might be short tempered.

    There are many times we just don't have time to correct the same mistake for the 20th time. We don't have time for flowery, complementing conversations filled with glowing terms of endearments. We are highly educated and over whelmed and have learned to say what we mean and convey what we need in short precise crisp conversation and then it is time to move to the next task...for there is never enough time in the day.

    Personally.....after 35 years in this profession I too have run into my fair share of passive aggressive or just plain aggressive personalities....but I have found them to essentially to be insecure and feel threatened. To equate this as a female phenomenon I would like to add my experience with lateral violence were both male threatened by female authority and intelligence....go figure.

    I think lateral violence is something every profession is vulnerable to.....for there are boardroom executives that use less that scrupulous behavior to get ahead and others find that big part on the casting couch....men are considered ambitious and driven women are considered mean and catty.

    Nursing is a difficult profession. It is not rainbows and puppy dogs. Life is harsh. Humanity is messy. People are cruel and mean. That is life. IN nursing we get a daily overdose of reality and life every minute of everyday......it makes our overcompensation precise and direct.

    But I don't think we eat our young.
    BrisonL and llg like this.
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    I love you guys. This thread has put a smile on my face near the end of a frustrating work day. I wish I had something brilliant to add.
    GrnTea and Esme12 like this.


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