Help Me Understand! UCD Grad Student Reflections - page 3

by babaloo8 7,783 Views | 29 Comments

I need the help of my fellow nurses to unravel a problem that I am struggling with in our profession. This may be unique to my working world, but I suspect itís not. After 20 years as a nurse, I have decided to take advantage... Read More


  1. 3
    Quote from babaloo8
    Altra-I appreciate your comments. I agree that inquiring about motives to further my education is part of common conversations and I am not needing validation from my peers nor kudos for my efforts. But, here is the interesting thing. This grant-funded program is available to 25 students each year.Any of my nurse collegues with a BSN, minimum 3.0. gpa, 3 letters of rec and a few short essays are eligible for this grant covering the entire cost of a UC education. One would think that after a year of 'talking it up' I might have convinced even one to consider it. So..money is a factor, but apparently not the only.
    I certainly didn't need kudo's for my efforts, however, everyone knew I was going to school and they knew when I finished. I thought it was odd, that nobody said anything. I do believe it shows that education isn't highly coveted in my co-workers and some think there is no difference in the ADN vs BSN, so what is the big deal (?).
    I work with folks that can have a certification course paid for, but only a handful of us took advantage of the offer. Many don't want the commitment that it takes to further their education either through obtaining a cert, BSN or MSN. I gave my life away for 16 months, whilst going to school, spending close to 20 hours a week on homework, easily. For some, that is too much of a sacrifice.
    athena55, babaloo8, and mycall2nsg like this.
  2. 4
    I have a 'friend' whom I've known for 12 years. We were agency LPNs together. She went on into an ASN program. At the time, I had no desire to go any further. But I later graduated from the same ASN program as she did, exactly 4 months after she did. However, I managed to pass boards before she did because she failed her first attempt. She was licensed one month after I was. But as soon as I began my BSN pursuit, very casually mind you, she stopped speaking to me. When life threw up its hurdles and caused me to pull out, she became my 'best friend' for the entire year that I was 'out'. We have conversations occasionally now, but only if it's not pertaining to advanced degrees. Being that I'm a little more than 5 weeks out from completing my degree, she is going to be SICK when I'm done.

    I personally find her behavior to be very immature (given that she is 55 years old!!!) and insulting to the profession. But, my decision to continue on was what I needed to do because this BSN is the only role in nursing that was MY choice. The LPN was my dad's decision when I was just coming of age with NO MONEY (he paid for it), and the ASN was the decision of a failing economy, as it forced many changes in how my hospital viewed LPNs in regards to getting the most bang for the buck.

    As as one poster said, it may be sour grapes or perhaps it's a severe case of being green with envy. Whatever the case, you know the desire for challenge that is burning within. There are a lot of us who do not settle for complacency and eventually move into other areas of nursing. This is why I've been a Float Nurse for many years even during my LPN days. So keep going until YOU want to stop. Those who are worth your while will be happy for and supportive of your efforts.
    athena55, icuRNmaggie, tokmom, and 1 other like this.
  3. 2
    There is no definitive answer as to why some individuals respond negatively to advanced education. Education should empower nurses, the more you know the better off the patient. Unfortunately in this instance education appears to be divisive. I'm almost certain if there was a medical school program that took half the time to train an individual to become a physician, and demonstrated favorable results that physicians would have this same dialogue. The best thing to do is not over-think the why. As many other colleagues posted, surround yourself with positive like-minded individuals.

    The wonderful thing about nursing are the multiple pathways an individual can choose once their career has started. While 90% of nursing occurs at the bedside, there are opportunities beyond bedside care, if an individual is interested. To attain such positions, advanced education beyond basic nursing school is usually needed. For example, a nurse I know was offered a job as director of research and development for a pharmaceutical company because she was pursing a PhD in nursing research, she has to fly to France 10 times a year as a job requirement.

    The point is that nurses can have a much greater impact beyond the bedside, not just one patient at a time. Nurses have the ability to have more influence, if they choose to take advantage of those opportunities.
    athena55 and eagle78 like this.
  4. 1
    BSNINTHEWORKS-congrats on the near completion of your professional goal! You beautifully illustrate the type of behavior or attitude that I was drawing attention to in my article. We need to support one another and see each nurses advancements as enhancing the professional as a whole.
    Thanks for sharing!
    BSNbeDONE likes this.
  5. 0
    Yes JPCummings! Many possibilities. Nurses have an important skill set beyond the technical/clinical aspects of the job that are desperately needed in other arenas, such as public health policy. Take an experienced nurse, add the tools and leadership skills a good graduate or PhD program provides him/her and you will have a VERY marketable individual with great potential.
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments
  6. 1
    One of my co-workers always says it's not worth it to get an advanced degree. Every time (without fail) I mention interest in advancing my education, she puts it down citing the immense debt not worth it or the remuneration afterwards not worth it. She does it, not minding the fact that she is in a masters' program herself so I fail to understand her 'putdownism' and displeasure with someone else aspiring for higher things. I said the above just to say that you can't explain why some people can't be happy for others. All the best to you...
    babaloo8 likes this.
  7. 0
    I don't know whether you've ever run across Josephine Ensign's blogs, but I've always found nurse's to be anti-intellectual. I'm very interested in research, which my floor mates have never understood. Following is an article by Ensign: https://josephineensign.wordpress.co...ters/#comments
  8. 2
    I think there's an element of inferiority-complex that plays into this, as well. If you dig deep with many nurses who say they're not interested in higher education or don't plan to go back or even ask why you would, you'll find that they're hiding fear that they're not good enough to go back to school or get an advanced degree. Someone mentioned certification--I think there are any number of nurses who are afraid to try for certification because they think they might not pass the test.

    I think there are multiple reasons for this (in my experience) common attitude. Women (of course most nurses are women, and I hear this attitude more often from women) tend to be more likely to struggle with inferiority feelings than men in the first place. And then, working with doctors and sometimes even patient families, we are continually challenged on our knowledge--it doesn't do a lot to build confidence. But also, I don't think it's surprising that many nurses are "anti-intellectual". Many of the people who are attracted to nursing like it because it's a hands-on job. It's only recently been considered anything other than a blue-collar job, and after living in several different regions, I would say that in some places in the US it is still basically a blue-collar job. Because of that stigma or because of a lack of knowledge about what nurses really do, many "intellectual" types turn away to other professions... or become nurses who never really do bedside work at all.
    icuRNmaggie and imenid37 like this.
  9. 1
    I think you are absolutely onto something here BonnieSc and I truly appreciate your thoughtful response.
    imenid37 likes this.
  10. 1
    I worked in a non-nursing field for 20+ years, when I got the inspiration to pursue nursing alot of my then peers thought I was remarkable. To them I was making a complete 360 degree turn, yes but it was a dream. This is unique for me, as I had always felt I was comfortable with what I was doing and the pay was good. Sometimes we get this urge to do more, as the OP has, and it just will not leave us alone until we pursue it.

    Well, that did not work out. But, despite not being able to pursue nursing I was able to get a BS in biology and am now in graduate school pursuing my MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Now my hope is to pursue research, with an approach of hopefully providing you nurses and other HCP's with the tools they need to tend to the patients. My point in this is that sometimes we are content in what we are doing. I was always fascinated with people who pursued higher education but just never saw it as something for me. I am amazed that I am in graduate school, something I looked at other people doing but never saw for myself. Good luck to you in your goals and always keep your dreams in focus. Peace
    babaloo8 likes this.


Top