Quote from HazelLPN
You said it very well again Lindarn. I too am very concerned with the quality of many of the nursing programs these days, especially the for profit schools that all seem to offer nursing degrees that are popping up everywhere. In my day, we all trained in the hospital. My LPN program was a full two year long (six weeks off in the summers) Catholic hospital based diploma school...with NUNS mind you. At 77 years old and 54 years in nursing, not much scares me these days, but I'm still afraid of nuns. We lived in a dorm at the hospital. We had class in the morning, clinical in the afternoon and had to work as student nurses in the evenings and even on the weekends where we were constantly asked to explain our thinking by the veteran nurses....critical reasoning long before the term was tossed around. We ate, breathed and slept nursing. I still wear my cap to this day to my volunteer job because I never forgot how hard I had to work to earn that cap.
These schools are no longer practical because we were, in a way, slave labor for the hospitals and we gave up our lives for 2-3 years (RNs trained for three years). There must be a way to incorporate the clinical excellence of the old diploma schools with the academic rigor and well rounded education that the BSN programs later brought into nursing in the 1970s.
Also in my day (and perhaps yours to a lesser extent) is the role of women in the workplace. In my day, women didn't have the career options that men did. I graduated from nursing school in 1955 and women doctors were very very rare. I was the only girl in my high school physics and calculus classes because women were not encouraged to take thoes courses. I remember my chemistry and physics teacher telling me "you will make a great nurse someday". These days, very bright young women are not encouraged to go into nursing like they used to be because there are so many more options for them. Definately good for women, but the quality of new nursing graduates had steadily declined since the 1970s as bright young women have so many more opportunities that we didn't have when I was young.
Now LPNs train only for one year, ADN for two years and the old diploma schools are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.
We must do more to attract quality young women and young men into nursing. How to do it? Higher pay, better working conditions, and higher standards for admission into nursing programs.
I am now retired from critical care nursing (the old gray mare just ain't want she used to be) and I work as a substitute assistant school nurse in the classrooms with special needs students and teachers. Teaching was a desired job for women in my day and it is still a desired job to this day. Why? Unions. Unions try to attract quality people to the profession and retain them. The NEA and AFT are very powerful and successfully fought attempts to detroy them in Ohio and they seem to be looking strong in Wisconsin.
The ANA has failed nurses. Maybe we need a new union to unite all nurses....and we can elect good old Lindarn as the first president.
Best to you,
THANK YOU for your accolades! I was also a Diploma Grad from NYC. I graduated in 1975 when the US was still fighting the Vietnam War! I was in pre conferance clinical, when our teacher announced that Richard Nixon resigned as President of the US!! I am dating myself.
In those days, we were given a patient assignment for the next clinical day, and we had to research the diagnosis/diagnoses, medications, treatments, labs, all related to the patient's diagnosis! We then had to present our patient in pre conference. Heavan help you if you did not do a thorough job of learing about your patient! Those were the days! That is why we learned so much physiology and pathophysiology! And why we were able to develop and use critical thinking skills when we entered into practice.
Nursing has a union that is worth joining and supporting- the NNOC!! If we all joined, and got one person to join, we would take over this country and the Nursing profession! I challenge everyone to do just that. Join NNOC and get another nurse to join as well.
I also challege each nurse to look into themselves, and find ways to be strong and change the wishy washy nursing philosophy, you know, the one that says, "it doesn't effect me so I don't care". Or, "I don't care if crossing the picket line is ultimately going to hurt the entire profession, I only care about how much money I am going to make. The hell with everyone else. Every man (nurse), for themselves!".
That mentality has hurt the profession terribly. Unity is not stressed in nursing school, like it is in other professions. While in medical school, and residencies, doctors discuss forming practices after they finish residencies, from practice groups, lawyers, while they are in law school, join study groups to understand the law. These early groups, etc, form the basis for the unity these professsions have after they get into the workforce. Nursing misses the boat by a mile. They are subjects that are never stressed in nursing school. Hospitals also go to great lengths to continue the status quo of divide and conquer.
We are suffering terribly because of it. We have no unity, no cohesion, it is every man for himself.
Again, I challenge every nurse to change the disunity that we have, join the NNOC, be active in it, and be the one to change nursing for the better.
JMHO and my NY $0.02.
Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
Somewhere in the PACNW