To much time wasted on classes that have nothing to do with Nursing!!! - page 4

by Mschwab316 4,999 Views | 39 Comments

My personal opinion on taking classes that really do not have anything to do with nursing suck. If they focased on the nursing and passing boards maybe the pass rate for yhe nclex would be better. Are you going to be a... Read More


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    I was furious during my prereqs. Why on earth do I need to take this crud? Now that I'm almost done with my first year of nursing classes, I can't think of a single class that hasn't benefited me in some way. Math and sciences, obviously. But, ethics, social problems, english, heck even my running class helped me a little bit (not much I admit, but I had to do a race for cystic fibrosis and I now know what that's all about). I have learned how to think in ways that I never could before. I can write an amazing paper and that does help me when writing narrative notes, or therapeutic logs, not to mention the dreaded care plans. My spelling and grammar are much better for the stupid english classes. No, I don't need to know how to calculate logs, but I need math. Chemistry has been the most beneficial, especially with electrolyte imbalances. I'm truly grateful for every class I spent money on.
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    Liberal arts courses don't necessarily improve your critical thinking skills. Critical thinking can only be improved over time with conscious effort (e.g. constantly being critical when reading newspaper). Liberal arts courses often just throw in a lot of definitions and theories, and little time is spent on analyzing or dissecting them. Many colleges also set the bar pretty low, making it easy to pass or do well in those courses without actually improving any skills. If college education improves critical thinking, math, or verbal skills, you should see an upward trend in GRE scores among those graduated with a college degree with low-to-average SAT scores. Instead, most people perform on these tests at the same level they did pre-college.

    You can become more well-rounded by interacting with people from different cultures, reading a lot, having hobbies, and simply experiencing life. You'll probably become more well-rounded by doing that over a period of time rather than just taking a few "Intro" courses, then forget most of the content after a few years.

    If a person has no interest in the course, it becomes a waste of time when you are forced to take those courses. It's really OP's own opinion. There is not need to criticize OP for it. I side with OP. Some of the courses I take are a waste of time and money.
    phoenixnim and besaangel like this.
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    I agree with you in a way. Yes you need math but really, the math they have us going through WILL never apply to standard every day nursing...it is pointless and a waste of time..however I think they do it to weed out the dedicated from the undedicated. Also to those who say you have to have and be good in those classes to be a better nurse is so wrong....how many book smart people do you know but you wouldn't let them treat you or your family?! Just saying..it should be based on more than just classes. I think English classes are VERY important. I see so many people who do not know how to spell or even form sentences. I do not mean on here of course as most of us use slang and are on cell phones but in the working field. Obviously ANP is very important. IMO
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    Runsalot, I can think of dozens of ways the classes are a benefit - even the ones like sociology and human development for people in my situation.

    I learned quite a lot the first three times I took them (for high grades), and the dozens of times I've taken classes that overlapped the material covered (really, literally - I have a LOT of credits), and through life. I'm retaking them because nothing in my record quite fits the little box that has to be checked off.

    For example, I have a year of introductory level study of group behavior - but it is split into intro to anthropology, history, and social work. They covered the exact things in greater depth than I'm getting in my current class because they were specifically designed to be introductory level study of group behavior. However, none of their names/descriptions quite match exactly. My CLEP of Intro to Sociology at another school does match exactly but CLEPs show only pass/fail and I'm required to have a letter grade. It is irrelevent that I can show them that my score is much higher than the equivelent of a "C" and we need only a "C."

    I have several child development classes because I was going to be a teacher at one point. I do get that the various adult stages are important. However, my human development class is scheduled to spend sixteen weeks on child development and two class periods on the adult stages. We aren't to the last two classes yet, but based on the detailed criteria of the class, the textbook, and the syllabus I've certainly covered this material in greater detail in several other classes (CNA training, intro to the profession, and so on).

    Like I said, I can still find benefits to both classes - although the vast majority of these benefits could be better found in classes that covered material I haven't already had so many times before.

    Which is why I snorted about the "unbiased" part of the previous post but didn't address the value of the classes in general.
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    Hey brother,

    First and foremost THANK YOU for your service! Life can be difficult and learning to navigate the difficult portions can take experience(s), some of which are uncomfortable. I can understand the point in your original complaint. Regarding the waste of time for some gen-ed/prereq coursework what I've learned is that those academic requirements are more than purposeful. My original degree (B.S. Hydrology,minor Env. Toxicology U.C. Davis) required more of me academically than was ever needed to be successful in my original work. I did not need to know the vibrational energy of the bonds between hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms in a water molecule. Another thing that I now know is that because I was required to know/learn that information (or how to find it) I acquired a skill used to find the answers to arguably irrelevant questions encountered in everyday life both professional and private.

    The skill I learned, and you will too, by the apparently irrelevant course work is called problem solving. As an example, Math is much more than learning how to find a numerical solution to a (math) question; math is very specifically a methodology used to teach people how to solve problems. I could go on but I think you get the point. The constructs of an education may never become fully obvious to you; however, I will insist that following a prescribed series of academic coursework will make you a more rounded individual better able to address professional problems and also interactions between people the same as, and different than, either you or I.

    If you are considering becoming a registered nurse know that you will be required to follow an academic path that may not always provide the obvious answer to your immediate questions, but the options available to you on this rewarding career path are few and strict follow them or don't. It is your choice.
    Thank you brother for your service!
    Last edit by Watermaster on Apr 1, '13 : Reason: spacing between lines
  6. 1
    Quote from umbdude
    Liberal arts courses don't necessarily improve your critical thinking skills. Critical thinking can only be improved over time with conscious effort (e.g. constantly being critical when reading newspaper). Liberal arts courses often just throw in a lot of definitions and theories, and little time is spent on analyzing or dissecting them. Many colleges also set the bar pretty low, making it easy to pass or do well in those courses without actually improving any skills. If college education improves critical thinking, math, or verbal skills, you should see an upward trend in GRE scores among those graduated with a college degree with low-to-average SAT scores. Instead, most people perform on these tests at the same level they did pre-college.

    You can become more well-rounded by interacting with people from different cultures, reading a lot, having hobbies, and simply experiencing life. You'll probably become more well-rounded by doing that over a period of time rather than just taking a few "Intro" courses, then forget most of the content after a few years.

    If a person has no interest in the course, it becomes a waste of time when you are forced to take those courses. It's really OP's own opinion. There is not need to criticize OP for it. I side with OP. Some of the courses I take are a waste of time and money.

    I completely agree with this. I also think age/life experience factors in. As a 30-something adult student, I really find the "well-rounded/lib art" requirements a waste of time and money. For example, I have to take papermaking next semester to fulfill my arts requirement. I have two young kids, and am an active community member, belonging to two non-profit organizations and regularly doing charity fundraisers. I would say I'm a LOT more well rounded from life than from some stupid papermaking class. But, I want that degree, so will suffer through it.

    Most of these classes are even harder for me to agree with relevance because my end goal is a Midwife. In other countries they have specific degrees just for a midwife, but in most states here in the US, they only recognize Nurse-Midwives, where you actually have to earn your RN first in order to get your midwife studies and eventual certification.

    I don't see how taking nursing classes in all specialties will really help me in the end when I already know the only thing that really interests me is birth phisiology. I see the relevance in pharmacology, and administering IV's etc, but all of this could be accomplished with a specialized degree, not studying in a whole other field first. But it is what it is. Doesn't mean I have to love every bit of it. My eye is on the end goal.
    malamud69 likes this.
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    OP, is your point that nobody should have to take classes that don't directly pertain to their majors?

    If that is, indeed, what you're suggesting then I could not disagree more.

    The point of a college education at any level is to create people educated at a basic level in the various subjects that our society deems valuable: history, humanities, science, math, language arts, etc.

    If you want to be trained in only those topics which directly apply to your work then you should be a technician of some sort.

    Nurses, however, are expected to be able to think logically, communicate succinctly, and interact respectfully with perhaps the broadest range of people of any profession - from the uneducated and illiterate to those holding multiple doctorates, from nearly any culture on Earth, from neonates to centenarians. Nurses are expected to be able to quickly master new technologies and to understand the functions and dysfunctions of the human body.

    Everybody with a university degree has a certain level of minimal education. For example, during my engineering studies, I also took anthropology, speech, writing, history, philosophy, and music appreciation... all foundational topics for a well-rounded individual and not simply a techno whiz kid.
    OnAQuest2009, llg, and i♥words like this.
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    Quote from Stephalump
    Until you've been through nursing school, I'm not sure how you can make the claim that those other classes have nothing to do with nursing. I think you'll be surprised
    Well I will totally beg to differ! For instance I am doing a bridge program and even with years of college and humanities classes etc...etc...I must still take a required intro communication class. This may be fine for somebody just getting out of high school etc...but for an adult who has lived and worked in the world of humans what is the point? Money for the school bureaucracy is the point! Further scrutiny of many of the core courses also reveal the same truth...seems to me the best practice for "learning" nursing is hands-on-clinical-at the bedside! Same for most all disciplines...cannot learn to do something by reading/writing about it...yes you can gain a broader understanding perhaps but lets get real here!
    morte likes this.
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    I am working on my second BS, so I'm not having to take many "useless" classes this time around.

    However, I will say that the ones I took the first time around have turned out to be surprisingly useful.

    I hated my women's studies course at the time. But now I find myself frequently thinking back to it and what I learned about gender (the course covered a lot of trans and minority issues in general, not just feminist stuff), and the things that women still have to keep in mind in a career setting. It taught me to recognize when I may be being discriminated against, when someone else is, or when I may be doing something that could cause someone to sort of subconsciously discriminate against me.

    Public speaking is really something that everyone should have to take! I was already pretty good at it but it made me better. You might not get up and do a speech at some point in your career but you do need to be a good communicator, often delivering difficult or bad news or dealing with someone difficult without escalating the situation.

    Writing... I took a basic class freshman year and then a senior contentious issues class. It was truly amazing how many people in the senior class still couldn't write to save their lives. It's important. It will help you communicate and you will appear more professional and intelligent if you can write well.

    Chem will come into play in later classes. My business writing course was very helpful for things like resumes and cover letters. My investment management course was helpful for personal finances. I could go on and on...

    A BS is meant to be a well rounded, advanced degree. If you don't want that and only want practical classes, go for a different degree.
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    Do you want to be a trained monkey, or an educated individual? Anyone can be taught to start an IV, insert an NG tube, and take a temperature.

    You need to know how to write properly, so yes, those comp classes are necessary... math? Absolutely necessary. Can you do your job without history and government? Sure, but you would like to be able to hold an intelligent conversation with other educated individuals, wouldn't you? The more rounded your education, the more open your mind is. An open mind see things others might not.
    Surprised1, Rose_Queen, and rubato like this.


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