Is nursing a science? The second letter in the degree on my wall seems to think so.
However, I have been expanding my horizons and have found those that don't seem to believe the same. I am currently applying to higher degree programs, including a few osteopathy schools.
For those of you that don't know, both allopathic and osteopathic doctorate schools use their own centralized application process for almost all schools in the US. During the application, a potential student has to enter every course taken at an accredited college or university. This can take hours, depending on the number of degrees earned. Each class requires a school, year, term, credit hours, catalog code, course name, and grade.
This is where I found out something I didn't know about our profession. AACOMAS (the centralized application for osteopathic schools) also requires a classification of the class. They have a limited number of choices, but a handy guide to know which class goes into which general category. For example, psychology goes under "Behavioral Science", organic chemistry goes under "Organic Chemistry", oceanography goes under "Bio/Zoology", and physical education goes under "Other Non-Science".
I can't hyperlink the list because you have to login to their website and begin an application to view the entire boring instructions on placing each class in each general category.
Imagine my surprise when I was entering my classes from my BSN program to find "Nursing" under the listing for "Other Non-Science"!
Apparently, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine doesn't consider our classes to be as scientific as "Chiropractic", "Electronics", "Nutrition", and "Geology". I don't want to imply that those studies aren't scientific, but nursing is at least as scientific, if not more than, many on that list (c'mon... "Geology"?).
Since approximately 20% of physicians have a DO instead of a MD, this means that 1 in 5 of the people giving us orders are being taught that nursing is as scientific as "Theater", "Religion", "Public Speaking", and "Cultural Geography". In their eyes, I guess the nurse practitioners they are trusting haven't really taken any science classes either (although, physician assistant classes are counted as a science...).
Since the weighting system on the AACOMAS application applies different calculations for GPA based on whether or not it is a science class, it appears that I will be at a disadvantage when submitting my application. Is it as possible that practicing our "art" has led others to view us as lacking a practice in "science"? How do we assert ourselves better and is there anything I can really do to solve this immediate bias?