How Can You Be A Nurse With No Clinical Background?

  1. 2
    I find that odd. The foundation of nursing skill and ''critical thinking'' is having some experience with bedside care.

    I understand alot of new grads are running away from the bedside faster than ever, and alot of nurses are moving up and branching out into other areas of nursing with less than 5 years of clinical experience.

    I know it maybe insulting to nurses who choose to do this but I just don't think it's wise.

    I previously worked with a nurse who had been a nurse for 5 years and never worked in a hospital, only clinics and the operating room very briefly but had went to school for his masters of nursing in management and education. How are you going to teach or manage anything or anyone if you barely have any experience yourself. No offense but working in a clinic is a joke compared to the other areas of nursing, and you also limit and lock yourself out of alot of areas of nursing and branches of nursing (advance practice nursing for example)

    He said that med-surg just wasn't his thing. I've never met a nurse who didn't atleast have some clinical experience.

    Even as I was working in a clinic with him, He didn't even seem interested in learning certain things (for example using heart monitor or getting good at drawing blood) He frequently asked other to take care of it. Even the Assistant Director expressed concern about his lack of clinical experience even though it was a clinic (because of some of the daily procedures done in the clinic)

    Being someone who loves all that nursing is, invested alot into nursing school, and wants to go everywhere that nursing can take me it just seems a bit odd to how removed some nurses are to the thought of being at the bedside. Sure bedside nursing isn't everyone's thing and no it's not really something you want to do for a long time, I understand. Trust me I'm burned out of it right now but to not even try?

    I even dislike to see RN's who stay at the bedside for a year and think they're good to become NP's.
  2. 42 Comments so far...

  3. 30
    "How can you be a nurse" ...........

    A. Attend an accredited school of nursing
    B. Pass the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN
    C. Hold current licensure

    Just throwing that out there.
    Z28RN, poppycat, IloveNursing2214, and 27 others like this.
  4. 0
    Obviously, sorry perhaps I should clarify my title.

    Quote from rockstar11
    "How can you be a nurse" ...........

    A. Attend an accredited school of nursing
    B. Pass the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN
    C. Hold current licensure

    Just throwing that out there.
  5. 4
    I'm applying to an NP program with 1.5 years bedside experience.... Sorry I'm not in my mid 40s on my second career with 1.5 years experience and applying to NP school.

    You'd probably approve of it then
    BCgradnurse, SwansonRN, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    There are several thoughts on this subject. You'll get a wide array of answers.
    GrnTea and Meriwhen like this.
  7. 9
    After having a manager w/ 20+ years of bedside experience go into management--and do a really bad job of it from the floor nurses' perspective--I have changed my mind about what experience is necessary for a good manager. I now have a new manager who hasn't been bedside in two decades and who told me she would be nervous working the floor after all this time, but who is a very good NM. Managers don't teach nursing skills or proper usage of new supplies; that's what nurse educators are for.

    I think there are qualities that a good NM has that isn't dependent on bedside experience. Does she know policies/procedures/workflow? Does she back up her nurses? Does she listen to her nurses and get their input before implementing unit-wide changes?

    Like everything, it depends on the person. As a general statement, I know that I couldn't say that the best managers have a lot of bedside experience. There's more that goes into the role than that.
    LDrounette, poppycat, rnfostermom, and 6 others like this.
  8. 7
    Are you sure you "lock yourself out of APN" if your only experience is in clinic nursing? On another thread people are insisting clinic nursing is all that is necessary before going to NP school, lol. Just had to chuckle at the irony of the dichotomy.

    FWIW, I think that there are many kinds of nursing, and that some time in med-surg is valuable, but not really necessary for everyone. Leadership skills are much harder to come by than routine nursing skills, and if someone is naturally in possession of innate hegemony that predisposes them to success in administrative roles, that should be celebrated and embraced, and obviously promoted. Knowing how to smoothly sink an NG tube isn't really a necessary skill in a Nurse Leader, lol.
    poppycat, BCgradnurse, GrnTea, and 4 others like this.
  9. 8
    Working in an OR and clinic doesn't count as "clinical" experience?? Just exactly what definition of clinical are you using?
    db2xs, poppycat, SwansonRN, and 5 others like this.
  10. 4
    Quote from dudette10
    After having a manager w/ 20+ years of bedside experience go into management--and do a really bad job of it from the floor nurses' perspective--I have changed my mind about what experience is necessary for a good manager. I now have a new manager who hasn't been bedside in two decades and who told me she would be nervous working the floor after all this time, but who is a very good NM. Managers don't teach nursing skills or proper usage of new supplies; that's what nurse educators are for.

    I think there are qualities that a good NM has that isn't dependent on bedside experience. Does she know policies/procedures/workflow? Does she back up her nurses? Does she listen to her nurses and get their input before implementing unit-wide changes?

    Like everything, it depends on the person. As a general statement, I know that I couldn't say that the best managers have a lot of bedside experience. There's more that goes into the role than that.
    In the old days head nurses, supervisors and DONs came up from the ranks and were prized often for their bedside skills/clinical knowledge, management and admininstration of the nursing service can and could be taught later.

    Today however management of nursing service requires a vast skill base that often comes from formal education on the master's level. Nurse Administrator Careers & Jobs Profile | Salary, Description & Degree
    poppycat, BCgradnurse, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  11. 10
    As a manager with years of bedside experience, I have to say that apart from understanding what my staff are going through on a day to day basis, and being able to do their job.
    It did not help one bit with the skills required to do management.
    poppycat, BCgradnurse, noyesno, and 7 others like this.


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