Please Nursing, Stop Trying So Hard!
A discussion about my perspectives (as a male student nurse) of nursing. I feel like nursing tries to hard to be a separate, autonomous profession that it loses track of what's important. The validity of nursing research is even drawn into question because of the need nurses have to be so different and independent of all other professions. Nursing is on a read that is very counter productive to its survival and I feel like a paradigm shift is in order.As I come to being 3 months away from graduating my BScN, I have reflected on the evolution of my perspective of nursing over these 4 years. Initially, it started off quite negatively. I even posted a quite hateful article about how "stupid" I thought nurses were and somehow managed to win second place for best article. In hindsight, I don't really feel like I am that hateful towards nurses anymore and I do regret writing that article. Though, I feel I have every right to be hateful and resentful.
Let me first give you a quick synopsis of my experience with "nurses" these so called "caring" individuals. First of all, the professors. These women and men are among some of the most pretentious, self-involved and self-important people I have ever met. They think because they have their MN they are just the best things to be alive since Obama (I'm Canadian so maybe I didn't use a impactful analogy?). Every word that oozes from their mouth is filled with self-involvement and self-importance. One professor even stated that one of their graduate professors wanted them to publish this essay (which reputedly referenced Wikipedia), which was an atrocity with no clear purpose. Evidently, not worth publishing and for that reason was not published; though this professor managed to come up with some ridiculous excuse as to why it hadn't been published. This same professor went on to explain why this essay was so advanced and probably too advanced for us, na´ve students to understand.
And let's move on to another professor who teaches a course she knows nothing about. Namely research. How can someone teach an advance research course that covers statistics and not understand what variance and standard deviation is? This professor consistently asked me to respond to the classes' questions (as I took statistics, advance statistics and calculus as electives). This same professor also called me "heartless" in front of the entire class because I left my group for 4 minutes just to go and explain to another group (who arrived to class late) the purpose of the assignment. In any case, back to the main issue, I guess nurses don't need to know anything about statistics anyway seeing as the only suitable research method for nursing is "qualitative" research. Maybe that is why nursing doesn't have the prestige that medicine has; because nurses are so obsessed with conducting second-rate research that is not respected by any other profession! Even psychology, one of the most subjective and 'qualitative' based disciplines does not rely on qualitative research! But I will talk about this later. Let me first continue to tell you about my experience with professors.
Then I had the professor who consistently harassed me. Singled me out, cornered me, made me feel useless and helpless and gave me no other option but to tell her I wanted to drop out of nursing (which isn't entirely false). This professor took me into her office only to belittle me and continually tell me that she knew me more than I knew myself and that I have major problems and shouldn't continue with nursing. Now keep in mind this same professor has numerous complaints filed against her and told my best friend who is from Honduras that she should not continue in nursing because she was Spanish (I am Spanish as well). After that little fiasco in her office comes a presentation I have to present about environmental hazards. After prompting a discussion about bullying and using the example of the atrocity that happened in Arizona where a nursing student murdered three of his professors who were suspected of "bullying" this tormented soul I end up in the deans office being accused of threatening to kill this woman! After meeting with the schools psychologist, head of security and head of human resources this wretched woman is finally removed from campus and is on "sick leave" pending return on the campus. Thank GOD!
So now that you have a little bit of my experiences with nursing, let me talk about how and why this is one of the most pretentious professions on the face of the earth. First of all, nurses feel like they have something to prove. These so called nurse "scholars" sit on their behinds, and think up theoretical, abstract B.S. that they think nurses should follow! For example, Parsi's theory of human becoming. This is just ridiculous, nursing does not need these so called "theories" to guide practice. Do you think physicians have these ridiculous theories that they try and follow while they practice? Nope. What about psychologists? Nope. There are theories that are useful, like theories of development and theories of diseases; but these random theories of nursing practice, no. Come on. Get over yourself nurses! Even Florence Nightingale herself doesn't deserve to call herself a true nurse. She had no actual practical experience in nursing except she went to nursing school; after which she didn't practice nursing. After her endeavors in Crimean war (which she apparently did fantastic in) she wrote that she felt she had failed and let her fellow men down. She did nothing, she was a glorified manager; making the other women do the work and report back to her. She also wasn't loyal to nursing either; when she donated her life fortune to a university that she wanted to go to the department of statistics, the university decided to put it to the faculty of nursing when she then decided to revoke her will to give this fortune to the university. This woman was a statistician, not a nurse.
Next, we have the textbooks written for nurses about the nursing profession. I just finished reading a whole chapter about how the profession of nursing is so wonderful but needs to be better understood by the public and needs to be recognized more for its worth. What? What a waste of a book! Come on, nurses what are you guys trying to do?! No wonder physicians don't take you seriously, you feel you need to justify your profession by writing useless books about how your profession is worthwhile and wonderful! And this author had the audacity to say nurses are underpaid and under respected. Really? The experience I have had personally in my clinical rotations is not under respected. And I like to cruise Ontario's Salary Disclosure List (those who gross over 100,000 a year are on this list) and the majority of the people on this list are registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians; more than ANY OTHER PROFESSION!
On top of that, in Canada, being in nursing you are better off than being in medicine. Medicine in Ontario neither gives you benefits, paid sick leave NOR maternity. If you want to have a baby as a physician, you have to work your ass off, save up money in a savings account and then use that money to take your maternity leave as you are only paid based on the number of patients you see. Nurses in Ontario get paid sick leave, get maternity pay and get benefits (provided you are full time but even then that is more than a full time physician gets).
And lets go back to this qualitative research thing. How can you justify having an archaic research system like qualitative research as being the mainstay for research for your profession? Nurses try and segregate their profession so much from medicine; they are completely destroying their credibility. Nurses need to stop trying to be so different from medicine, stop being so self-absorbed and thinking their profession is just the greatest thing to hit the face of the earth and NURSE! Nursing started off as being under control by medicine and medical doctors. And in fact, it still is! Nurse practitioners are nurses who practice medicine. MEDICINE! There is no need to try and be separate from the profession of medicine because medicine is an umbrella term. It refers to health, well-being and individuals. Nursing does not need to try so hard to be separate from medicine.
So yeah, it seems like nursing is a profession that tries too hard. And it is not surprising that it is female dominated because since the feminist movements females have been trying to segregate themselves from the rest of the world and be all individual. Well that's great and I have nothing bad to say about women but it is really obvious that the whole feminist perspective dominates nursing because nursing is trying too hard to be an individual. Just stop. It's superfluous and unnecessary.
And I don't mean to offend anyone with this post (those of you who actually managed to read the whole thing!) and it is not my intent to be vicious or malicious towards the nursing profession. I do respect nurses and nursing and I know that the profession is so important. And it is because I respect nursing so much that I am writing this. I want nursing to stop being counter-productive to itself and live up to its reputation of being vital to society's survival. We are not going to gain respect by being a rebellious profession that doesn't follow what the standards of other professions are. So I say again, please nursing, stop trying so hard!Last edit by Joe V on Sep 13, '1220Sep 12, '12 by woohI'm having trouble figuring out exactly why you want to be a nurse when apparently all nurses (who you don't want to offend) who are mostly women (who God forbid might be crazed feminists who want silly things like the right to vote and equal pay for equal work) who are uncaring (to you, who isn't a patient, and it's patients that nurses are supposed to care for) and do too much qualitative research. I'm guessing it's because of the amazing pay and maternity benefits, as that seems to be the only thing positive you have to say about nurses, but it's thrown into the middle of a rant like it's a bad thing, so I'm a bit confused there.
Perhaps you should actually spend a day or two being a nurse before planning our revolution?
And you really might want to spend a day or two being a nurse before trying to get us back under the control of medical doctors. When physicians have too much power, we end up with incidents like the one in Texas where reporting a doctor for his bad practices gets you in big trouble. It's still an issue, and will be as long as doctors are considered moneymakers and nurses are considered leeches sucking the bottom line dry. But not nearly as much as if physicians had power over the boards of nursing.2Sep 12, '12 by steven007I want to be a nurse because I want to help people and society.
I don't like how nursing makes it seem like it's the best and only profession in the world.
This whole thing is MY PERSPECTIVE based on my nursing education.
And I am not against feminism and having equal rights, but you give a teenager his first credit card and he goes nuts. I feel like the scholars of nursing are letting letting the new found authority nurses have go to their heads and completely act counter-intuitively to the profession.
I really get annoyed why people question why I want to go into nursing. The truth is, I don't. And I am leaving, hence why I took calculus, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics as electives. I have been accepted to a masters in pharmaceutical chemistry which I plan on doing. But the fact is, I have nursed in my rotations and I have been a good nurse in my opinion. I have been praised by instructors and patients. Just because I have a view that isn't similar to yours of the nursing profession, doesn't make me less of a nurse. You just prove how arrogant and closed minded nurses can be by assuming that my opinion is clearly wrong and that I am a person who is arrogant themselves. Which, I am. I am confident in my abilities because I have worked so hard to do well in school and to prove to people that I am capable despite adversity. And you seem to ignore the fact that the nursing professors have acted less than professional and have sort of proved my point by acting in a self-indulging, superior manner.
I accept criticism, but when you can actually argue what I am saying based on facts. You basically just take what I said and add a sarcastic tone to it, to make it seem childish; which in fact makes you look childish as all you can do is restate what I said and be sarcastic about it.12Sep 12, '12 by iwantmoreWhy are you asking why nurses are trying to justify their existence? The negativity in your post makes it appear that you feel negative towards everyone you speak of, although you say you are not trying to offend. Maybe instead of telling nurses what not to do, you could provide positive feedback, or recommendations on how to reach the goal. The negativity is a turn off.
So, if you agree that nurses do not need to justify, show them how to advocate for the cause. Bring optimism, compassion and empathy into your case. Thats what a real nurse would do.7Sep 12, '12 by RiverNurseJust my own musings here after an amazing spin class...
I am glad to read your post. For change to happen, especially in nursing, conversations like this must be brought to the table. I've seen enough in nursing to know that change does need to happen. Here is why: Nurses have been bullied by physicians in the past (have you ever seen a surgeon throw a scalpel at a nurse? I have.), we have also been bullied by family members/friends (a friend of a patient once threatened to shoot me - as he went to pull something out of the bag he had with him... fortunately he was bluffing), I have been urinated on... kicked, and have had my hand nearly broken (now I have arthritis in two of my fingers due to the injury - and - I'm not even fifty years old yet! For the injuries and threats I sustained? If they were outside of the workplace, I could have easily pressed charges. However, because they happened at work, there were no repercussions. So, yes, change needs to happen.
As far as women in nursing - well - it has always been "seen" and presented as a "caring" profession. In this culture, and even biologically, more women tend toward "caring" more than men seem to. With the commercials and popular perception of nursing, it's no surprise to me that the majority of women are in nursing. What I do wonder is why aren't there more male nurses? Perhaps it's because they are in school to become physicians.
As far as research, I can relate. I had to read a qualitative study then try to synthesize it. I was completely baffled. It was like trying to scoop up soup with a fork. However, there are evidence based research studies conducted and published by nurses. For example, I participated in a clinical trial for two different wound care dressings. I had to collect data, the effectiveness of the dressings, the patient responses and if the treatments resulted in better healing times. Currently I'm taking a nursing research course. I'm wanting to eventually explore effect sizes of the magnitude of treatment effectiveness in wound care patients.
There was a time, not so long ago that I considered leaving. I'm glad I stayed.
RiverNurse1Sep 12, '12 by TheCommuter, ASN, RN Senior ModeratorThis is a friendly reminder to maintain civility while posting. Let's discuss the various topic(s) brought forth in the article without personally attacking the author. It is possible to disagree with one's point of view without being totally disagreeable.
Thank you all for your anticipated cooperation!25Sep 12, '12 by woohQuote from steven007Well, I'll just hit the most important point with this FACT.But the fact is, I have nursed in my rotations and I have been a good nurse in my opinion. I have been praised by instructors and patients. Just because I have a view that isn't similar to yours of the nursing profession, doesn't make me less of a nurse. ....
when you can actually argue what I am saying based on facts.
You are not a good nurse. You aren't "less of a nurse" than I am because your views aren't similar to mine. Your views have NOTHING to do with it. You aren't "less" of a nurse. Because you aren't a nurse. You are still a STUDENT. NOT A NURSE.
When you have a license of your own and your own patient load and are 100% responsible for those patients instead of working under the license of someone that actually is a nurse, then you can say you're a nurse. Until then, you aren't a nurse.0Sep 12, '12 by cacentralvalleySteven,
I applaud you for having the courage to post your views. I may not agree with your posting in its entirety but some points I can honestly agree with. I left a high paying job in education to go into nursing. After battling a life threatening illness. I have known people in the program ahead of me, actually in clinicals when I was first beginning that were bullied out. I've always though it is because of the town I live in and the school; the instructors at our junior college (not all of them and not only nursing instructors) boost themselves up more than they should. I have felt pain for people bullied but the reality is our school and town cannot attract many qualified instructors; no one wants to be here. Until these conversations come up, these things will continue to happen.
I saw it in teaching and still do. I live in a town that has double digit unemployment and when our union says we need an 8% pay increase to our already well above average paycheck and great health benefits it is hard to have community support. I read this in your opinion, I don't know if that is what you meant, but that is how I read it. Maybe its because of my background.