Nursing students who do not understand what nursing is about - page 3

by DNS on the go

8,097 Unique Views | 69 Comments

Yesterday, in post conference a students asked me when are they going to learn "real" nursing. Each student had done med pass on one or two patients that day. When I asked the student what he meant he stated that nursing is not... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from SweetOldWorld
    It's not?
    Stole the words right outta my mouth!

    I lead and make decisions that are crucial to the care my patients and residents receive every single shift. Some are life and death and some are not, but they are still important choices that I have to make.
    canoehead, VICEDRN, miss81, and 2 others like this.
  2. 6
    I honestly believe you cannot teach reality to people that are stubbornly unrealistic (and entitled) in any field. Folks have to have their own awakening experience. I will be a second degree student, and in pursuing my first degree my class was filled with unrealistic journalism students. Everyone was going to be rich. Everyone was going to be famous. Everyone was going to be splattered across every radio station and television screen. No one was going to need to know how to write well though. Further, those successes would imply that everyone would be immediately employed upon graduation at the very least, and that simply has not been the case. Pardon my shock.

    I would ask that you not get so frustrated with the clearly clueless that you are unable to spend some time and consideration teaching and nurturing the students who do want to learn everything there is to know about being a "real nurse." Those students are there and they need the information and experience you bring.
    Last edit by SugarNSass on Apr 3, '11
  3. 15
    I look at this situation the way I viewed childrearing when my kids were young:

    Either I could teach them the rules and realities of the world, or they could learn it from someone else in less-than-loving, much harsher manner.

    The students who feel that it is beneath them to do any type of routine nursing task, whatever it is, need to to have a Come To Jesus moment. They must understand (and the clinical context is perfect) what will certainly be expected of them. To do any less is to do them a disservice as their instructor. You are the perfect person to help them understand their unrealistic expectations of their chosen 2nd profession.

    You sound like a very realistic and concerned instructor. I'm having a little difficulty (OK, alot of difficulty) understanding some of the responses that you have received. I think that some folks hang around here simply to dream of negative ways to respond.
    Last edit by roser13 on Apr 3, '11
  4. 1
    I've seen the same kind of attitude in the second degree RN's I've come into contact with at the LTC and in acute care. They seem to consider any kind of direct care a "blue collar "skill. That includes anything from assistance with adl's to medication administration,treatments and all of the other fun stuff we do in ltc (routine tube changes) And it's all beneath them.
    Last edit by ktwlpn on Apr 3, '11 : Reason: oops
    bsnanat2 likes this.
  5. 2
    I can see the OP's frustration. I think that it is frustating in any field to have a student or trainee think they are above what they are really supose to be doing. On the other hand I do feel that this is a great oppurtunity for the OP to do thier job as an educator. Nursing instructors are hired to teach, to educate, to enlighten students as to what the world of nursing is all about. This is a great oppurtunity to change the enviroment of entitled students, let them know how to perform the basics and let them know that its not the just the job of a CNA or LVN. If the teachers and veteran nurses are unwilling to teach and just throw in the towell at these type of students and these attitudes then the nursing profession is in a sorry state of affairs. Fortunatley this is the minority because I work with a lot of great nurses and teachers that are willing to help change ignorant attitudes and to help student and new grad nurses be the best nurses they can be.
    JacobK and bsnanat2 like this.
  6. 0
    I have seen these type of "students" in the field and you are not doing anyone favors by passing them through.....
  7. 8
    The only point I want to emphasize is that any leader should know how to do the tasks of those they lead. So as an RN who delegates to LPN's or CNA's, that RN must know how to do their jobs in order to be a competent leader. That's my two cents.
  8. 1
    Quote from TheCareerStudent
    The only point I want to emphasize is that any leader should know how to do the tasks of those they lead. So as an RN who delegates to LPN's or CNA's, that RN must know how to do their jobs in order to be a competent leader. That's my two cents.
    I agree completely and they should be WILLING to do the tasks. When I work LTC and help my aides with something I always hear about how I'm the only nurse in the facility that helps with changing, bathing, toileting, etc. Pretty sad if you ask me.
    TheCareerStudent likes this.
  9. 2
    the solution to many of the problems noted by the OP and others would be to require licensure of a prospective nursing student as a CNA before allowing him/her into a nursing education program.
    And it works brilliantly. Not all the time, but well for the most part.

    The university that I teach at (ADN and BSN students - and yes it is a university with ADN students which is wonderful) requires a CNA license and 3 months of work experience before clinicals begin.

    I also think nursing is a leadership role and from what you describe, it doesn't sound as if the student feels entitled, I think he is just misled.

    Maybe you could point out that although CNA's very often do vitals and LPN's do meds, what if his place of employment championed primary care? Or even though these tasks may be delegated, he is still responsible to decipher and interpret all of results of the delegated tasks and he must be a master of the skill before he can delegate it or interpret it. He may even be a preceptor on his unit and he would be required to teach these tasks.

    But at the end of the day, if he is truly not "nursing material" then talk to him about it. I had a very blunt professor tell some of my classmates "This is how nursing works, if you don't like it, let me help you be successful in some other profession." She meant it too. She failed one of them, but helped him obtain a history degree. Although some students may not be nurses in the making, as an educator, I hope to have my professor's same outlook on people.
    bsnanat2 and nep1980 like this.
  10. 2
    OP you hold the power in this situation.

    In my clinical groups anyone with attitude or a sense of entitlement quickly finds themselves the next day with just the right clinical assignment to turn their head around! In fact, I really admire my instructors ability to maintain their cool with the really aggravating students but still find a way to teach them what they need to know.

    There have to be consequences for bad behavior - and the faculty have all the power to enforce consequences. Everyone, in every profession, is lamenting the loss of quality in human beings these days. People seem to be lost in the world, with no sense of morality, standards, tolerance, hard work etc. All I can do is be my best self, not put up with bad behavior, and look for the good in people and try to nurture it.
    MBARNBSN and bsnanat2 like this.


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