Any nurses with an Anthropology background out there?

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    I am interested in pursuing a BA in Anthro, with a minor in biomedical science while on the LONG wait for my local nursing program (ADN only). I was wondering if this degree is something any of you have, I find both subjects vastly exciting. I would ultimately like to do something with forensics or research, maybe for the gov., while stil utilizing my ADN in someway. Eventually, I would like to obtain my masters, but I don't know in what yet.
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    You should study nursing as a culture via cultural anthropology. A lot of research on the nursing culture is needed especialy its disfunctional self defeating mores. Perhaps best as one scientific dicipline looking at another. I think we don't always get an objective view when nursing looks at itself. I have only heard of one person ever doing this course of study.
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    I have a BA and MA in Anthropology, and am currently in a bachelor's program in nursing. My master's was in physical anthropology, and the in depth study of human anatomy that I got through that program has really helped me in nursing school so far. I took a lot of cultural anthro as an undergrad, and in general, I think that provides you with a wonderful perspective for relating to your patients, and helping you to see things through their eyes. I really love anthropology as a field and as a paradigm, and I wouldn't trade what I learned for anything. Unfortunately, a degree in anthropology isn't necessarily as marketable, jobwise, as anthropology professors may lead you to believe! But if you're looking to take some classes to supplement a planned career in nursing, I would definitely say go for it.

    You should look into the work of Madeleine Leininger, the founder of Transcultural Nursing. Her background is in psychiatric nursing and anthropology, and she was the first nurse to be trained specifically in anthropology. I wrote a paper on her last semester, and found her ideas to be a very interesting blend of nursing and anthropology.

    This should start you off in the right direction:

    http://www.madeleine-leininger.com/

    http://www.tcns.org/

    Good Luck!

    Michelle
  7. 0
    I also have a BA in Anthropology and am going for my BSN now. I love Anthropology and at some point considered joining the Peace Corps for the perfect blend of the two fields but found that getting a BSN has more interesting opportunities and career choices, that's why I decided to make a shift in my education. I believe that nursing students should have a stronger background in anthopological/transcultural nursing in order to provide better care in the multicultural society that we live in today. Also, it helps gain a better tolerance and understanding of people's cultural and religious observances so it would help a lot in a care setting. I think schools should make it a requirement to take a class or two in that subject.
  8. 0
    I too have a BA in Anthro. I did my thesis on odontometrics in forensic anthropology and dreamed of one day working at the Smithsonian. Then I married a grad student in forensics and put my dream on the back burner (there is not a great demand for forensic anthropologists). While I don't draw from much of my anthro education I do think it gave me a much deeper understanding of cultural awareness and how it directly impacts health. I agree with Michelle05 that there is not much that one can do with an anthro degree (BA level). However, if it is a topic that you are passionate about then you should shoot for the PhD. I do know some masters level anthropologists but those jobs are scarce. Looking back, I am glad things worked out as they did as I love my job and the endless opportunities it affords (and it doesn't hurt that I make more than many of my old anthro profs).


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