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 about vital signs and passing pills, hanging IV's, etc. He wanted to learn "real" nursing.
I explained to the group that the responsibilities of the nursing include medication administration, patient assessment and documentation. He then stated that those were jobs of the aide or the LPN and that he wanted to make decisions about the patient care.
The students in the class are second degree BSN candidates. The saddest part is that when we had our introduction on the first class it was apparent that most of then were "failures to launch" i.e. they never got started in their respective first career choice and where now in nursing because they perceive it as an area with opportunity. I do not understand how or why they have the perception that nursing is a leadership or decision making profession.
In previous classes, the majority of the 2nd degree BSN students had been in other fields and wanted to make a change to nursing. Most entered nursing because their first career did not pan out or they did not have what it takes to succeed in their first career choice. A few wanted to really be a nurse but passed it up the first time around they went to college.
My concern is that these students do not understand the healthcare system or the role of the nurse in the system. Many times I wish I had the courage to be blunt with then. I am honest with then and try to deflect them by telling them about NP training but I feel that our schools admission department should have screened out some of these students for their own sake.
Adding to the irony of the situation, a significant percentage of them have serious academic difficulties including poor writing skills (and these are all college graduates!).
Any advice or ideas on how to address the students on the issue of unrealistic expectations about bedside nursing practice.
This is why I spend so much time on Allnurses---so I can get a realistic grasp of what I'll be doing and what kinds of things to expect when I start nursing school and then when I get into the "real world." I do think there are many folks out there who enter nursing school not really knowing what nursing is.
Edit: however, I must agree with everyone else that you sound burnt out on teaching. Might be time to do something else.
Last edit by chaos0058 on Apr 3, '11