Nursing students who do not understand what nursing is about

  1. 0
    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.
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  4. 0
    Quote from DNS on the go
    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.


    These are the words of no self-esteem, and inability to teach clearly intimidated by those who have self-esteem and expectations of their educators.
  5. 25
    Quote from DNS on the go
    I do not understand how or why they have the perception that nursing is a leadership or decision making profession.
    It's not?
    ChristaRN, GHGoonette, ugoumeh, and 22 others like this.
  6. 15
    I think, that IMHO it's time for you to find a new job. From reading not only this but doing a search of your other posts you seem to be bitter about your students. You make statements that you feel as if the type of students whom chose nursing as a profession are not able to understand information and can only be "taught to a test." To this I must ask is this a self reflection of your self? To be a nursing instructor you yourself must be a nurse, so you need to do some soul searching and stop putting others down. This kind of attitude is not needed in nursing. Maybe the student is talking about making a care plan I don't know. Take the time to use these moments as teaching moments, instead of time to put people down and call people failures to launch and help them launch- because that is what great teachers do! I am so happy that you were never my teacher! Seriously, consider taking some time to rethink being an instructor because you seem unhappy and it can't be good for the profession of nursing.
  7. 14
    I am a second career nursing student and I really hope my instructors don't feel about me the way you do about these students. Some of us WERE quite successful in our initial careers, but have decided we want to do more with our lives. Nursing provides me a wonderful outlet to be the change I want to see in the world, and I have already had more opportunities for leadership even as a student than I ever did in my former profession. Rather than trying to preach "reality" to these students, perhaps you might consider letting them preach their version of "reality" to you?
    Tuppins, GHGoonette, DizzyLizzyNurse, and 11 others like this.
  8. 16
    Quote from DNS on the go
    Yesterday, in post conference a student asked me is he 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.
    Well, I will buck the trend and say that I empathize with you. I hear what you're saying!! My last teaching job was in a traditional, pre-licensure BSN program, and I found the students to have v. unrealistic, lofty ambitions and expectations of what becoming an RN would mean. They could hardly be bothered to learn the stuff they would need to know as an entry level RN, because they seemed to feel those tasks and that knowledge were beneath them and should be someone else's job. But it wasn't clear to me what they thought they should be doing as an RN. And many of them seemed to have v. little in the way of basic nursing knowledge or even common sense to "back up" their pretty entitled attitudes (these were senior year students, about to graduate). This was v. frustrating to me as an enthusiastic, experienced nursing educator. And I don't know where these ideas and attitudes are coming from. But I know that many of the instructors in that program (not just me!) were sincerely puzzled and worried about how these people were going to manage to function in an entry level RN position. But our concerns were not shared by the doctorally-prepared professors who ran the program (but didn't teach or interact directly with the undergrad students).

    I'm afraid I don't have any good answers for you. My answer was that I left that job. I must say I've had better experiences teaching ADN students than I have BSN students. Maybe that is something for you to consider. However, for myself, I will probably never consider taking a teaching job in nursing again -- I'm much too unhappy about the current state of nursing education (and nursing students). I'm not saying that I'm necessarily right about that -- just that I'm not willing to engage in the system any more.
    Fiona59, not.done.yet, GHGoonette, and 13 others like this.
  9. 7
    Quote from elkpark
    Well, I will buck the trend and say that I empathize with you. I hear what you're saying!! My last teaching job was in a traditional, pre-licensure BSN program, and I found the students to have v. unrealistic, lofty ambitions and expectations of what becoming an RN would mean. They could hardly be bothered to learn the stuff they would need to know as an entry level RN, because they seemed to feel those tasks and that knowledge were beneath them and should be someone else's job. But it wasn't clear to me what they thought they should be doing as an RN. And many of them seemed to have v. little in the way of basic nursing knowledge or even common sense to "back up" their pretty entitled attitudes (these were senior year students, about to graduate). This was v. frustrating to me as an enthusiastic, experienced nursing educator. And I don't know where these ideas and attitudes are coming from. But I know that many of the instructors in that program (not just me!) were sincerely puzzled and worried about how these people were going to manage to function in an entry level RN position. But our concerns were not shared by the doctorally-prepared professors who ran the program (but didn't teach or interact directly with the undergrad students).

    I'm afraid I don't have any good answers for you. My answer was that I left that job. I must say I've had better experiences teaching ADN students than I have BSN students. Maybe that is something for you to consider. However, for myself, I will probably never consider taking a teaching job in nursing again -- I'm much too unhappy about the current state of nursing education (and nursing students). I'm not saying that I'm necessarily right about that -- just that I'm not willing to engage in the system any more.
    I completely agree. What did he think he was going to do as a nurse? Write the orders?

    I honestly believe some of this is coming from the direct-entry pathways people can take to go straight to NP, or the trend to get as little hands on experience as possible before going on to becoming an advanced practitioner. It used to be you saw nurses with significant experience going into these advanced roles; now it seems like the ink barely needs to be dry before you can get into these programs.
    Fiona59, nursel56, imintrouble, and 4 others like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from elkpark
    Well, I will buck the trend and say that I empathize with you. I hear what you're saying!! My last teaching job was in a traditional, pre-licensure BSN program, and I found the students to have v. unrealistic, lofty ambitions and expectations of what becoming an RN would mean. They could hardly be bothered to learn the stuff they would need to know as an entry level RN, because they seemed to feel those tasks and that knowledge were beneath them and should be someone else's job. But it wasn't clear to me what they thought they should be doing as an RN. And many of them seemed to have v. little in the way of basic nursing knowledge or even common sense to "back up" their pretty entitled attitudes (these were senior year students, about to graduate). This was v. frustrating to me as an enthusiastic, experienced nursing educator. And I don't know where these ideas and attitudes are coming from. But I know that many of the instructors in that program (not just me!) were sincerely puzzled and worried about how these people were going to manage to function in an entry level RN position. But our concerns were not shared by the doctorally-prepared professors who ran the program (but didn't teach or interact directly with the undergrad students).

    I'm afraid I don't have any good answers for you. My answer was that I left that job. I must say I've had better experiences teaching ADN students than I have BSN students. Maybe that is something for you to consider. However, for myself, I will probably never consider taking a teaching job in nursing again -- I'm much too unhappy about the current state of nursing education (and nursing students). I'm not saying that I'm necessarily right about that -- just that I'm not willing to engage in the system any more.
    I wish you would read some of the OP's post and see what they OP really is repeatedly saying about nursing students in general its just not nice. If this was an isolated thing blame the students. However the OP states those who want to become nurses chose to do so because they are not smart enough to do anything else but be taught to a test and feel that it is the only place they can succeed......The OP needs to do some soul searching. I think the posts, not just this one but as I said I looked up all the posts by the OP seem to be a call for self help on the OP's part! Since these are NURSING BOARDS its just disrespectful to everyone on these boards!
    melmarie23 likes this.
  11. 1
    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
    laurah4k likes this.
  12. 12
    OP, if you cannot bring it, you better get out. As a second career nurse with over 20+ years of total success in my previous career, I challenge those who teach me to be more knowledgeable than I, on every single medical topic covered in my nursing edu. I have no problem with a simple, "let me get back to ya on that one point". Making excuses for your lack of ability is not acceptable. Most people paying for a second degree don't intend to waste one single buck. We are not doe-eyed babies. We mean business. We also follow up on evaluations and recs to administration/state naturally as that level of business is where our comfort level is... so, advice to you OP, is to step it up. I am flexible to a point. Then it's over.
    joanna73, GHGoonette, jmiraRN, and 9 others like this.


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