does the profession of nursing eat their young?

  1. Nursing as a profession is characterized as "eating their young." In other words, we do not take new graduates under our wings and guide them to becoming successful nurses as do other professions. What is your opinion of this characterization of nursing?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   3651bht
    Yes, unfortunately we do sometimes..And other times when we try to be helpful we get a know-it-all attitude. The new grads think they have all the lastest info and new ways of doing things and sometimes they do.. But remember OJT is a good teacher too.. I hate to say this but I think some of this helps to make a tougher nurse,, not an unsympathic one but actually a more sympathic one...Nursing is not an easy job and criticism will come at you from many places..When you deal with life and death you have to be ready... Some of the worst offenders are some of my best friends now.. Hang in there and show them what you are made of... bobbi
    May the sun shine brightly on you and may the wind be always at your back
  4. by   VSRN
    When I was in nursing school over 15 years ago, I read an article on exactly the same subject. I have found many loving nurses who have taken me under their wings and I have found some that are driven and react in a condenscending way. We see this all the time - between floors in hospitals, day vs nights. Knowing nurses, I have come to realize that it is our competitive spirit, and our drive to know as much as we can that makes us react these ways. We are definately a competitive, intelligent lot! We can choose however to use our knowledge to educate each other in a nurturing way, non threatening.
  5. by   KC CHICK
    I don't think new nurses are at risk of being 'eaten' when they show effort and apply themselves. I have been treated very well by the RNs in my dept since I started as a new grad in June. These same RNs will gripe about other new nurses who just don't seem to 'get it'. Attitudes change when they see that a new co-worker can't, or won't, contribute to the team.

    My observation,
    Anne
  6. by   Brownms46
    Very insightful post.
  7. by   Alley Cat
    After 20 years in the profession, I have seen quite a few scenarios that would curl students' hair if they heard them. As stated above, it's the person's response that can make or break the situation. I switched hospitals entirely after my first GN position, had a rough start in the second one but I made up my mind I was GOING to win these people over, come heck or high water. When I left the other facility, I was told to consider another profession, not just another area of nursing. I had worked too hard for too long to give up. It just takes a long time to win people's respect; it usually helps to mature in the process, too--I found that out the hard way.

    Remembering how I was treated makes me think twice when I see students, CNA's, new grads, etc., and I try to deal with them accordingly. In light of the future of nursing, we can't afford to continue the cycle of eat or be eaten!
  8. by   RNConnieF
    As both a new grad (RN 5/2002) and a working LPN for 6 years this is what I see: most nurses LOVE to teach and support new nurses, they take great pride in the profession of nursing and want new nurses to join them. These nurses are the ones who ask you if you need help every half hour when you are a new staff nurse, never get tired of answering your questions, and "tell" you what you need to do in such a way that you are never hurt, i.e. "Connie, I already paged the CSU fellow and I already requested a bed on the unit for Mrs. X (your patient), do you need any thing else?" Then there are the "my way or the highway" nurses: avoid them at all costs. In the middle are the nurses who seem helpful but really undermind your efforts. These are the most dangerous type, you think you have a friend and you really have someone stabbing you in the back. These are the "eat your young" nurses. They lack the skills to advance, they hate their current job, and they hate you because you know all the things they are supposed to know but never took the time to learn. They HAVE to shoot you down so no one sees how under siklled they are. DO NOT listen to them, you have the skills you need, you just need to refine them and you will.
  9. by   eltrip
    Why is this post in nursing informatics? Hans't this already been discussed ad nauseum in another thread?
  10. by   cwazycwissyRN
    probably has been in another thead, possible this is a horse that is not dead to some. Nurses continue to eat their young. It is one area of the nursing shortage that we can take an action in daily, on whether we contribute to the shortage.
    I'm not talking about being tough on someone in order for them to learn, not talking about doing things for them .
    I'm talking about the down right rude, crude rediculing ways some nurses behave. Seems alot more fun to make fun of a new person, than to teach them the appropriate ways.
    I've noticed however the ones that are to the severe extreme of this behavior, also treat experienced nurses the same way, if given the opportunity. Opportunity just doesn't present itself as often .
    I would expect there are the same types of personalities in any profession. Some how it's harder to understand, when we are dealing with human lives, how we allow these behaviors to waste our time.(not to mention what they do to us emotionally)
    There are many nurses, eager to learn, eager to teach, and can do both in effective positive ways.... cheers to those nurses
    Surrounding ouselves with positive, professional, knowledgable nurses, presents a positive, professional, knowledgable profession.

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