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ProfRN4, MSN 15,105 Views

Joined Apr 5, '03. ProfRN4 is a Staff Educator. She has '22' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Pediatrics'. Posts: 2,267 (22% Liked) Likes: 1,356

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  • Dec 4

    The world of education has changed. Undergrads (nursing or otherwise) are being heavily encouraged to continue their studies sooner rather than later. There are many reasons behind this: young adults who may still be able to live with parents (if they continue to grad grad school), staying on their parents insurance, deferring undergrad loans, or just wanting to get it over with. From a financial/practical perspective, its not our place to judge what works for them and their families. The problem with this, as I see it, is that these brand new advanced practice nurses (or administrators, educators) are not ready to work in these capacities, because they don't even know how to be a nurse! I was just talking to a new grad at my job, who said all her other college friends went right on to grad school- most of which are in a medical related profession (ST, PT, etc). These kids have no choice. She said she wasn't ready for that and WANTED to go out and get experience before she went back. She also admitted to wanting to make some $.

    On the other hand, what's wrong with wanting to move up the ranks in a profession? Sure, there is nothing wrong with good old fashion bedside care. But I think to put someone down for wanting to advance is not fair. Think of any profession/business: there are the front line workers, middle management, then upper management. When a potential employer asks you "where do you see yourself in 5 years from now" they don't want to hear "doing the same thing you are hiring me for now". That answer doesn't show determination or motivation. In theory, there is nothing wrong with doing the same thing in 5 years from now, but employers want people who strive to be better (whether you are a nurse, a bank teller or a barista at Starbucks). Of course, when you ask for days off to go back to school or hand in your resignation, they give you a hard time (but that's a whole other topic!)

    Speaking of money, seriously, whats wrong with that? Why do we look down on people who want to make a good living? For those who are in it strictly for the money, many of which don't make it out of school, the rest don't last very long. Many of these will not be the ones making six figures in the field, as they will not advance.

    As for me, I do miss the bedside. But there comes a time in our life where you need to do what suits you, your body, you family and your mental health. Everyone's journey and time line is different.

  • Dec 4

    The world of education has changed. Undergrads (nursing or otherwise) are being heavily encouraged to continue their studies sooner rather than later. There are many reasons behind this: young adults who may still be able to live with parents (if they continue to grad grad school), staying on their parents insurance, deferring undergrad loans, or just wanting to get it over with. From a financial/practical perspective, its not our place to judge what works for them and their families. The problem with this, as I see it, is that these brand new advanced practice nurses (or administrators, educators) are not ready to work in these capacities, because they don't even know how to be a nurse! I was just talking to a new grad at my job, who said all her other college friends went right on to grad school- most of which are in a medical related profession (ST, PT, etc). These kids have no choice. She said she wasn't ready for that and WANTED to go out and get experience before she went back. She also admitted to wanting to make some $.

    On the other hand, what's wrong with wanting to move up the ranks in a profession? Sure, there is nothing wrong with good old fashion bedside care. But I think to put someone down for wanting to advance is not fair. Think of any profession/business: there are the front line workers, middle management, then upper management. When a potential employer asks you "where do you see yourself in 5 years from now" they don't want to hear "doing the same thing you are hiring me for now". That answer doesn't show determination or motivation. In theory, there is nothing wrong with doing the same thing in 5 years from now, but employers want people who strive to be better (whether you are a nurse, a bank teller or a barista at Starbucks). Of course, when you ask for days off to go back to school or hand in your resignation, they give you a hard time (but that's a whole other topic!)

    Speaking of money, seriously, whats wrong with that? Why do we look down on people who want to make a good living? For those who are in it strictly for the money, many of which don't make it out of school, the rest don't last very long. Many of these will not be the ones making six figures in the field, as they will not advance.

    As for me, I do miss the bedside. But there comes a time in our life where you need to do what suits you, your body, you family and your mental health. Everyone's journey and time line is different.

  • Nov 3

    Pick your battles, when it comes to parents and patients. You need to understand that most everything will be a battle for them, due to their level of stress. Even if you are not in a critical care setting, understand that for them, their sick kid (even if its a gastro or tonsillectomy) could be the worst thing in the world for them. I've worked in many different ped settings, and I've seen dying kids. But I'd never tell a parent that it could be worse.

    With the kids, definitely learn to negotiate what is negotiable. Bed times, bath times, food times and choices (depending on the setting) may be negotiable. Meds may not be, and this is something the parents need to understand. The worst thing in the world is having a parent ask "does he really need to take that", and now the child thinks it is negotiable. Believe it or not, parents don't always agree with the plan of care. SO when there is room for negotiation, be flexible. Remember, anxiety (on the part of the patient and the parent) often stems from lack of control. They surrender a LOT of control when they are patients. You're basically telling them "I am in charge" so keep this in mind.

    If you can get past this, it will make your job more manageable. Good luck!!

  • Oct 27

    Quote from Lk1999
    My parents are pretty adamant about their decision and personally I dont think I could spend another year here either. I have a very deep dislike for my town and my local college doesn't have the best reputation. I think both me and my parents can agree that it's time to shove me out the nest and experience the world on my own. My only concern now Is that I have been left alone with the huge decision of choosing a school that is cost friendly and has a program I can get into. I trust my capabilities but besides the help Im receiving from my guidance counselor I'm pretty much jumping in this blind.
    I was going to ask the same question as above(why not community college?).I guess I get their reasoning for you wanting to get out of town/go away(I feel the same way about my HS junior).Are there any other community colleges, like in neigboring towns?

    What about State schools? Also, as others have mentioned, go in as 'undecided' and take the courses that are pre-requisites for nursing. And here's a little secret: even if you get in as a nursing major this year, you still need to pass the prerequisites, or you can get dropped form the program (at some schools).

  • Oct 27

    Quote from Lk1999
    My parents are pretty adamant about their decision and personally I dont think I could spend another year here either. I have a very deep dislike for my town and my local college doesn't have the best reputation. I think both me and my parents can agree that it's time to shove me out the nest and experience the world on my own. My only concern now Is that I have been left alone with the huge decision of choosing a school that is cost friendly and has a program I can get into. I trust my capabilities but besides the help Im receiving from my guidance counselor I'm pretty much jumping in this blind.
    I was going to ask the same question as above(why not community college?).I guess I get their reasoning for you wanting to get out of town/go away(I feel the same way about my HS junior).Are there any other community colleges, like in neigboring towns?

    What about State schools? Also, as others have mentioned, go in as 'undecided' and take the courses that are pre-requisites for nursing. And here's a little secret: even if you get in as a nursing major this year, you still need to pass the prerequisites, or you can get dropped form the program (at some schools).

  • Oct 26

    I will preface my reply with this: I am leaving my job in academia very shortly, so my answers may very well reflect this (note, it is a bittersweet transition for me, and I am nervous about it!)

    Salary: I cannot speak for Florida, but where I live and work, I make less than my new grads start out making Money is not everything, but it does make a huge impact on things (especially if you are taking a pay cut to do this). Before I started teaching, I was working a hybrid of per-diem and a part time job, making not quite what a full time nurse was making (while being a full time mommy and finishing up my masters), so it didn't hit me that hard in the beginning. Now, years later, I am realizing how much money I was sacrificing over the years.

    It is somewhat possible to work per diem, but it really depends on the demands of the program you teach in. Assuming you work in a college/university setting, you will have spring, summer and Chirstmas vacations, which should afford you the time to do so. But for me, it was hard to keep a per-diem commitment (because I couldn't balance any sort of work during the actual school year, and my per diem job had a minimum commitment).

    So yes, time off is a plus. I wouldn't say I was always home for my kids' drop offs and pick ups (early clinical hours did not allow for this). I've also had to roate to evening lectures (missing some evening school events). It's great to have Columbus day, labor day, and all those little (and Big- Christmas) holidays off. But the downside to teaching is, it is very hard to take a regular day off (your class/clinical needs to be covered, or made up if you have to cancel in an emergency). You can't ever go on vacation during a random week (it will always be when the rest of the world is on vaca). Obviously, flexibility is contingent upon your colleagues (if they can help you out in any way).

    Pro- no nights, weekends! You have more of a normal schedule.
    Con- you WILL bring work home. More than you think!

    Pro- You rarely stay late on the floor, because of work not getting done.
    Con- you have to ensure each student did what they were assigned to do (meds signed off, charting, signing off to RN, etc)

    Pro- many students are great! Eager to learn, excited when they make connections (you get as excited as they do), most are grateful of what you have to offer.
    Con- some are just not cut out to do this, and you know it, and it is difficult to quantify this on paper (without looking like you are 'out to get them'). It is heartbreaking sometimes, and you wish you can do more for them. But some just struggle, or cannot commit fully to their studies. Not so heartbreaking (more irritating/frustrating) are the ones who don't try, don't care, and are unprofessional. Late, unaccountable, poor paperwork, limited motivation. Some will test your limits. Cell phone usage, not respecting their classmates by listening to them in pre-post conferences, attempting to cut corners. These students represent a small percentage (depending on what program you teach in, and what course/level they are in), but there are enough to cause frustration.

    Pro-seeing their growth from week 1 to week 15
    Con- getting a brand new group and starting all over (it's like the movie Groundhog Day). In theory, I'd LOVE to follow a cohort from 1st nursing class to last, to see the true growth!

  • Oct 25

    I will preface my reply with this: I am leaving my job in academia very shortly, so my answers may very well reflect this (note, it is a bittersweet transition for me, and I am nervous about it!)

    Salary: I cannot speak for Florida, but where I live and work, I make less than my new grads start out making Money is not everything, but it does make a huge impact on things (especially if you are taking a pay cut to do this). Before I started teaching, I was working a hybrid of per-diem and a part time job, making not quite what a full time nurse was making (while being a full time mommy and finishing up my masters), so it didn't hit me that hard in the beginning. Now, years later, I am realizing how much money I was sacrificing over the years.

    It is somewhat possible to work per diem, but it really depends on the demands of the program you teach in. Assuming you work in a college/university setting, you will have spring, summer and Chirstmas vacations, which should afford you the time to do so. But for me, it was hard to keep a per-diem commitment (because I couldn't balance any sort of work during the actual school year, and my per diem job had a minimum commitment).

    So yes, time off is a plus. I wouldn't say I was always home for my kids' drop offs and pick ups (early clinical hours did not allow for this). I've also had to roate to evening lectures (missing some evening school events). It's great to have Columbus day, labor day, and all those little (and Big- Christmas) holidays off. But the downside to teaching is, it is very hard to take a regular day off (your class/clinical needs to be covered, or made up if you have to cancel in an emergency). You can't ever go on vacation during a random week (it will always be when the rest of the world is on vaca). Obviously, flexibility is contingent upon your colleagues (if they can help you out in any way).

    Pro- no nights, weekends! You have more of a normal schedule.
    Con- you WILL bring work home. More than you think!

    Pro- You rarely stay late on the floor, because of work not getting done.
    Con- you have to ensure each student did what they were assigned to do (meds signed off, charting, signing off to RN, etc)

    Pro- many students are great! Eager to learn, excited when they make connections (you get as excited as they do), most are grateful of what you have to offer.
    Con- some are just not cut out to do this, and you know it, and it is difficult to quantify this on paper (without looking like you are 'out to get them'). It is heartbreaking sometimes, and you wish you can do more for them. But some just struggle, or cannot commit fully to their studies. Not so heartbreaking (more irritating/frustrating) are the ones who don't try, don't care, and are unprofessional. Late, unaccountable, poor paperwork, limited motivation. Some will test your limits. Cell phone usage, not respecting their classmates by listening to them in pre-post conferences, attempting to cut corners. These students represent a small percentage (depending on what program you teach in, and what course/level they are in), but there are enough to cause frustration.

    Pro-seeing their growth from week 1 to week 15
    Con- getting a brand new group and starting all over (it's like the movie Groundhog Day). In theory, I'd LOVE to follow a cohort from 1st nursing class to last, to see the true growth!

  • Oct 23

    I will preface my reply with this: I am leaving my job in academia very shortly, so my answers may very well reflect this (note, it is a bittersweet transition for me, and I am nervous about it!)

    Salary: I cannot speak for Florida, but where I live and work, I make less than my new grads start out making Money is not everything, but it does make a huge impact on things (especially if you are taking a pay cut to do this). Before I started teaching, I was working a hybrid of per-diem and a part time job, making not quite what a full time nurse was making (while being a full time mommy and finishing up my masters), so it didn't hit me that hard in the beginning. Now, years later, I am realizing how much money I was sacrificing over the years.

    It is somewhat possible to work per diem, but it really depends on the demands of the program you teach in. Assuming you work in a college/university setting, you will have spring, summer and Chirstmas vacations, which should afford you the time to do so. But for me, it was hard to keep a per-diem commitment (because I couldn't balance any sort of work during the actual school year, and my per diem job had a minimum commitment).

    So yes, time off is a plus. I wouldn't say I was always home for my kids' drop offs and pick ups (early clinical hours did not allow for this). I've also had to roate to evening lectures (missing some evening school events). It's great to have Columbus day, labor day, and all those little (and Big- Christmas) holidays off. But the downside to teaching is, it is very hard to take a regular day off (your class/clinical needs to be covered, or made up if you have to cancel in an emergency). You can't ever go on vacation during a random week (it will always be when the rest of the world is on vaca). Obviously, flexibility is contingent upon your colleagues (if they can help you out in any way).

    Pro- no nights, weekends! You have more of a normal schedule.
    Con- you WILL bring work home. More than you think!

    Pro- You rarely stay late on the floor, because of work not getting done.
    Con- you have to ensure each student did what they were assigned to do (meds signed off, charting, signing off to RN, etc)

    Pro- many students are great! Eager to learn, excited when they make connections (you get as excited as they do), most are grateful of what you have to offer.
    Con- some are just not cut out to do this, and you know it, and it is difficult to quantify this on paper (without looking like you are 'out to get them'). It is heartbreaking sometimes, and you wish you can do more for them. But some just struggle, or cannot commit fully to their studies. Not so heartbreaking (more irritating/frustrating) are the ones who don't try, don't care, and are unprofessional. Late, unaccountable, poor paperwork, limited motivation. Some will test your limits. Cell phone usage, not respecting their classmates by listening to them in pre-post conferences, attempting to cut corners. These students represent a small percentage (depending on what program you teach in, and what course/level they are in), but there are enough to cause frustration.

    Pro-seeing their growth from week 1 to week 15
    Con- getting a brand new group and starting all over (it's like the movie Groundhog Day). In theory, I'd LOVE to follow a cohort from 1st nursing class to last, to see the true growth!

  • Oct 23

    Hi. Not sure if I am talking to a student or a current faculty member (but my answer really shouldn't change), so here goes!

    I have seen it done three ways: No review at all, a group review immediately after the exam (under the same strict testing conditions- no writing, no getting up to get your phone/notes, not even a bathroom break before the review begins) and a one-on-one review by appointment (again, no pencils, phones, notes).

    The common denominator in all situations is security. Schools and faculty are paranoid about the exams leaking. When the school I taught in did not review at all, students complained that they didn't really know what the answer was (and no rationale for their wrong answers). So we went back to a very strict review. Bottom line; no difference in overall outcomes (statistics of how man passed/failed, did better on the final, etc).

    As an educator, I will say this: I hate reviews. They are incredibly stressful, emotional, students are scared, stressed, angry and some are downright nasty. While I understand the importance of the review (for the sake of the students' understanding of the questions/answers), I wish there was a way to make it for that, and not a fight for points.

  • Oct 9

    Quote from CaptC
    If someone said that to me and I was a new nurse I would be very upset. People spend many years and give up many things to become a nurse. It's not as trivial as your last paragraph makes it seem. If an individual starts working and is not given the proper time to take things slow and learn from more experienced nurses, but is instead bullied and yelled at that can often make improvement significantly harder or next to impossible.
    I agree, not as trivial as my brief statement on a message board. I am the absolute last person to minimize anyone's depression.

    Reread my post- I have first hand experience with this. And as many trivialized with said person, it goes way beyond your profession.

    Also, I have experienced terrible preceptors and orientations in this profession (subsequently asked to resign in lieu of being let go). I reiterate, How you recover has a lot to do with coping skills. I felt absolutely worthless for a little while, until I brushed myself off and started a jos in my favorite specialty. I know, not everyone is capable of that, and my heart goes out to those people.

  • Oct 8

    Quote from CaptC
    If someone said that to me and I was a new nurse I would be very upset. People spend many years and give up many things to become a nurse. It's not as trivial as your last paragraph makes it seem. If an individual starts working and is not given the proper time to take things slow and learn from more experienced nurses, but is instead bullied and yelled at that can often make improvement significantly harder or next to impossible.
    I agree, not as trivial as my brief statement on a message board. I am the absolute last person to minimize anyone's depression.

    Reread my post- I have first hand experience with this. And as many trivialized with said person, it goes way beyond your profession.

    Also, I have experienced terrible preceptors and orientations in this profession (subsequently asked to resign in lieu of being let go). I reiterate, How you recover has a lot to do with coping skills. I felt absolutely worthless for a little while, until I brushed myself off and started a jos in my favorite specialty. I know, not everyone is capable of that, and my heart goes out to those people.

  • Oct 7

    Quote from Aliens05
    Guess i dont remember asking for any opinions on an easy job...low stress doesnt mean easy....
    Essentially, these terms are interchangeable for many of us seasoned nurses. I imagine they may not always be, but if a job is low stress, it is easier for one to get up every day and do it. However, some people just don't stress as easy as others; their job/specialty may be difficult, but they do not stress over it. When I worked in Peds Oncology, it was a difficult job; I did not find it stressful. I am a Professor now, and I find it incredibly stressful (while many would not consider what I do hard, because many think we do nothing ). But the stress surrounding my workplace has made me really dislike what I do.

    I know you are a student, but how far along are you? Have you observed the nurses you encounter in clinicals? What is your perception of what they do, and do you find it to be stressful?

    Also, I wonder how old you might be (roughly). Are you beginning your adulthood, and is nursing your first career? I am well into my nursing career (20+ years) and I feel the way the Commuter does (as per your paraphrasing). But again, I've been at this for more than half my life now. I'm tired. When was a new, young nurse, I was up for the challenge, wanting to work where the action was. I hate generalizing about generations (because not all fall into that category), but if you are at the beginning of your professional life, you are not going to realistically achieve that balance, while making a ton of money. You need to put in your dues (this is true in any profession you choose). While no one wants stress, you should want to get out there and be the best nurse you could be. With almost every promotion, raise up the clinical ladder an increase in salary, comes and increase in responsibility. If a Master's or Doctoral degree is required, more is required of the position (and in some cases, there is no significant increase in salary). There are many nurses out there who have given up higher paying jobs as a trade off to a more manageable lifestyle (either for their own mental being, or to balance working and having a family). Then, there are others who do not, because they cannot afford the pay cut (many a night nurse would love to work days, but cannot afford to lose that differential).

    And, as many have already said, the 'cushy' jobs are cushy because the nurses are seasoned enough to know how to do the job. Jobs that a new nurse could never handle, nor would be hired to without significant experience.

  • Oct 7

    I'm being a bit repetitive, but I have real life experience with this topic (and it was not at all related to anyone in nursing). Someone very close to me committed suicide, many years ago. This person was in a profession where it was considered a trend (there were statistics at the time, I actually knew what # he was within his profession and region that year). Maybe it wasn't nationwide news, but when it hits home, it feels like it is a trend (which may be the case with the OP). It was another stressful profession, my loved one was in.

    But not all people in stressful professions succumb to suicide. I know people who have no held down any meaningful jobs and are depressed/suicidal. It's not about your job, your spouse (or lack thereof), your kids (or lack thereof) or your money (or lack thereof). Yes, these can all be stressors that contribute to feelings of hopelessness. But the thing I can't stand is when people say "I don't understand why she did it, was her life soooo bad?". Obviously to that person, it was (at least for those moments prior to the act, it felt like it).

    I will agree with those who have stated it is a more common occurrence in our youth (middle, high school and college aged kids). I am a mom to a high school kid. The pressure to succeed it ridiculous, and it is not always brought on by the parents. Kids are competitive with each other and this may come from other kids parents putting pressure on them. I see what my child is capable of, and she beats herself up when she does not do as well as her peers. Not everyone can be excellent at everything. I certainly don't believe in her getting a trophy for everything she does (and she has not; she has had her fair share of rejection, but has also been rewarded for her accomplishments when others have not). There needs to be a happy medium. I am pleased that her experiences have taught her this. But sadly (as a college professor) I see many who have never failed at anything in their lives, and this often leads to a very immature response (you failed me, because I have never failed, so it must be your fault), or extreme feelings of self doubt, failure and fear of disappointing their parents. I can't tell you how many students have told me they cannot go home and tell their parents they failed. It breaks my heart to even think that my child may feel this way.

    The bottom line is, being a bad nurse should not make someone feel like they are worthless. But sometimes it does. Just like a teenager who is bullied because they are gay, overweight or unattractive (subjectively) should not cause them to take their own life, but sometimes it does. It is an illness, and if the treatment plan is not optimal, there will be relapses, exacerbations and consequences.

  • Oct 4

    Quote from CaptC
    If someone said that to me and I was a new nurse I would be very upset. People spend many years and give up many things to become a nurse. It's not as trivial as your last paragraph makes it seem. If an individual starts working and is not given the proper time to take things slow and learn from more experienced nurses, but is instead bullied and yelled at that can often make improvement significantly harder or next to impossible.
    I agree, not as trivial as my brief statement on a message board. I am the absolute last person to minimize anyone's depression.

    Reread my post- I have first hand experience with this. And as many trivialized with said person, it goes way beyond your profession.

    Also, I have experienced terrible preceptors and orientations in this profession (subsequently asked to resign in lieu of being let go). I reiterate, How you recover has a lot to do with coping skills. I felt absolutely worthless for a little while, until I brushed myself off and started a jos in my favorite specialty. I know, not everyone is capable of that, and my heart goes out to those people.

  • Oct 4

    I'm being a bit repetitive, but I have real life experience with this topic (and it was not at all related to anyone in nursing). Someone very close to me committed suicide, many years ago. This person was in a profession where it was considered a trend (there were statistics at the time, I actually knew what # he was within his profession and region that year). Maybe it wasn't nationwide news, but when it hits home, it feels like it is a trend (which may be the case with the OP). It was another stressful profession, my loved one was in.

    But not all people in stressful professions succumb to suicide. I know people who have no held down any meaningful jobs and are depressed/suicidal. It's not about your job, your spouse (or lack thereof), your kids (or lack thereof) or your money (or lack thereof). Yes, these can all be stressors that contribute to feelings of hopelessness. But the thing I can't stand is when people say "I don't understand why she did it, was her life soooo bad?". Obviously to that person, it was (at least for those moments prior to the act, it felt like it).

    I will agree with those who have stated it is a more common occurrence in our youth (middle, high school and college aged kids). I am a mom to a high school kid. The pressure to succeed it ridiculous, and it is not always brought on by the parents. Kids are competitive with each other and this may come from other kids parents putting pressure on them. I see what my child is capable of, and she beats herself up when she does not do as well as her peers. Not everyone can be excellent at everything. I certainly don't believe in her getting a trophy for everything she does (and she has not; she has had her fair share of rejection, but has also been rewarded for her accomplishments when others have not). There needs to be a happy medium. I am pleased that her experiences have taught her this. But sadly (as a college professor) I see many who have never failed at anything in their lives, and this often leads to a very immature response (you failed me, because I have never failed, so it must be your fault), or extreme feelings of self doubt, failure and fear of disappointing their parents. I can't tell you how many students have told me they cannot go home and tell their parents they failed. It breaks my heart to even think that my child may feel this way.

    The bottom line is, being a bad nurse should not make someone feel like they are worthless. But sometimes it does. Just like a teenager who is bullied because they are gay, overweight or unattractive (subjectively) should not cause them to take their own life, but sometimes it does. It is an illness, and if the treatment plan is not optimal, there will be relapses, exacerbations and consequences.


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