Do you feel you were adequately prepared to practice nursing when you graduated?

Posted
by Brian Brian, ASN, RN Member Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele. Has 28 years experience.

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capjerry

capjerry

4 Posts

I graduated in '83 from an ADN program: Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO. I feel the program did the absolute best possible in the time allotted. However, I had been an Army Combat Medic (Vietnam), EMT, Paramdedic before entering nursing school. I'm sure my feelings would be different if I hadn't entered school with that experience. But I think that would be the same no matter where you went. I still clearly remember the fine teachers I had there. They truly cared about their craft. PS: I have since become disabled due to mandatory overtime (foot injury) and can no longer practice clinical nursing. Nursing schools now need to educate students in avoiding the dangers of toxic work environments! Yes, times have changed!

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CVSDnurse

CVSDnurse

24 Posts

The most important thing I learned in nursing school was to "ask if you don't know" and that noone can know everything. They stressed the importance of experienced staff members and looking for a job that offers an adequate orientation.

I graduated two years ago from Edgewood College, a small private college in WI with a BSN. My experience as a CNA before and during school gave me the advantage of being comfortable in relating to my patients as people during clinicals. I felt that many of my classmates who were expeirencing direct care for the first time were at a great disadvantage by not being able to focus on the skills of nursing because they were too overwhelmed by trying to be comfortable with such personal contact.

When I entered a BSN program I worried about a lack of clinical time due to all the stories of how 4 year programs are all book work but found out that that was most definately not true. We averaged 14 hours a week on the floor.

I felt very prepared for nursing with my education but the experience I sought out on my own made the transition much easier. My instructors all stressed that they were teaching us the basics but it was up to us to be honest about our limitations and to know that you will learn the most from your experienced coworkers by asking when you don't know or are unfamiliar with something.

Reaizing your responsibility as a nurse to never endanger your patients by trying to "fake it" when unsure is the most important thing to learn. Having recently changed specialty areas, this point has again taken the forefront. You will earn more respect by asking and being safe than by trying to look good and making potentially fatal mistakes.

rndarr

rndarr

1 Post

As a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Nursing I feel I received an excellent education. However, I do not feel I was adequately prepared to enter "real world" nursing.

I think it would be good to add an internship to the curriculum during which students could focus on getting real-time experience caring for patients and also working with the unique personalities and attitudes encountered in nursing and related healthcare fields.

I was shocked at the number of people who were biased negatively toward BSN grads. Then there were those who just felt all recent grads should be treated without human respect for a certain time period. I've heard it said that nursing is the only profession that eats its young. It was my experience that this is true.

I suggest that the nursing profession use mentors as the teaching profession does. I don't mean preceptors who give their precious time in spite of being overworked themselves, but mentors with whom the new nurse would regularly meet to discuss, debrief, and be exhorted. I believe such an approach would result in less on the job stress and better equipped, more confident nursing professionals within a shorter time period.

Perhaps nursing educators could find a way to incorporate the great clinical experience received in many diploma programs into our bachelors level programs. I would certainly have been willing to have an extra semester added to my program to provide such an experience--because the "ideal world" we are taught as students hardly bears resemblence to the "real world" in which we must practice our profession. MKD,BSN RN

shee1a

shee1a

20 Posts

I felt that I was adequately prepared for practice when I graduated. As my instructors said "all the knowledge is in your head now transfere it to your hands" so i did.

I found my biggest transission problem was organizational skills. Who to see first, etc. That they cant teach you in school. One is either organized or not. Those who cant learn to prioritize quickly drown.

iamme8557

iamme8557

26 Posts

I dont feel that I was really prepared to care for patient needs with the ADN I received from a local community college. I had a background of working as an AID back when you were just oriented for a week, if you were lucky, by another aid. I also worked as a paramedic and dispatcher for a number of ambulance services and before that as Unit clerk for an ED on Friday and Saturday nights. I learned how to talk to people and evaluate their perceived needs and their immediate medical needs in a minute or less. Those assessment skills along with aquired crowd control skills,gave me the background to deal with emotionally grieved patients and family members and gave me a well rounded preparation to care for the emotional and physical needs of people in medical and psychological distress. The nursing school training was a further education for me as far as meeting the medical needs. I now work as an ICU nurse, have worked in Neuro, Trauma, ED and as a flight nurse. I hope I never quit learning........

Deanna

julie foster

julie foster

6 Posts

I graduated in 1989 from an ADN program from Meridian, Mississippi. I have since worked with nurses from all over, including many new grads. I truly feel that I was much better prepared as a new grad than most of the ones I've worked with. I worked with one recently who was told to convert an IV to a hep-loc and she had no idea what a hep-loc even was, much less how to do it. And this hospital was the very one where she had done most of her clinicals! I had some terrific teachers. It was a great school. For the record, it was the nursing dept. of Meridian Community College, Meridian, MS.

cheldt

cheldt

4 Posts

I just graduated in July 99 from LPN school. I did not feel ready to go be the nurse. I went on a 1 year program and it was way to fast and we skimmed the surface. We just got the basics. I am learning more everyday but is this the place to learn it??

BJA

BJA

28 Posts

I graduated in 1996 at age 37 from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. I am sure that I received an excellent education. A good liberal arts curriculum to go with the heavy sciences. Knowledgable and caring instructors, lots of clinical time, etc. etc.

When I started my first job, I felt like someone impersonating a nurse. When I put RN after my name, it seemed like forgery.

Now I realize that my education helped me learn how to learn to be a nurse. It made me acutely aware that learning is a constant process, and that there will always be things that I don't know.

The very nature of nursing eliminates the possibility of being truly prepared and fully competent when you exit the halls of learning. It is truly a case of TMI (too much information).

A large part of nursing consists of working with people. Until you become comfortable with that aspect, it is hard to concentrate on providing appropriate nursing care to your patients. So much of nursing school is working with theory, skills, and paper. Not until you are out in the real world of nursing do you find out what you are made of.

Well, I'm rambling on. The gist of this is that it all takes time, being comfortable with your skills, yourself, and others.

BJA

ecb

ecb

67 Posts

When I graduated an ADN program in 1990 from Comunity College of Philadelphia, I was also an Exter nurse in a SMALL hospital, and my boyfriend/fiance was working a=i another hospital as a tech and had nurses calling me all hours of the day and night with drug math quetions and problem solving vignetts {sp?}. The Head nurse on the floor I was on addored me UNTIL I GRADUATED then I could do NOTHING right, I was transfered to another shift and I was the head nurse for eveing shift, and WOW was I scared, i had an EXCELENT team of Philipino nursing assistants who were related to each other or neighbors, so THEY were a team, and instead of saying "I am the RN" I asked, "how can I make this floor work best" One of them (her name was Lucy) used to be an EKG RN in the philipines, I learned more from her about getting the equiptment to work, and she always told me if a non stat EKG needed to be called in NOW rather than later.

If I had not had these benefits i would probably have quit and gone into computers like my mother wanted me to (stupid me) ;-)

In a nutshell, it was NOT the nursing program that had me ready for the real world of nursing, it was the support network I had to help me get through the initial "there is NO WAY I can do this" phase.

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*** May we all have the serenity to accept what we cannot change, and the determination to change what we cannot accept. ***

sparrow

sparrow

57 Posts

Yes. I graduated in 1973 from a hospital based diploma program and there was very little I could not do. I also had many college courses as well to prepare for an advanced degree. Of course, we didn't just go during the winter: we only had the month of August off and 2 weeks at Christmas. We also lived in the dorm and classes were held right there and we were bused to the local college for many courses.

But day of graduation I felt confident enought to walk into a ward of 20-30 patients and care for them in an organized, professional manner.

Guest Mary Beth Rosenstiel

Guest Mary Beth Rosenstiel

Add your Credentials, Experience, etc. 0 Posts

Yes, I was well prepared to be an RN. I got the best training in the world at a 3 year school 27 years ago - Emanuel Hospital! I chose it for very specific reasons over a 4 year program. We had hands on patient care from day one and it continued for the next 36 months- no summers off. It appalls me to see the quality of nurses that are being granduated today - why should anyone who has gone to 4 years of school have to get out and do a 12 month preceptorship in order to be able to adequately care for patients. I have recently gone back to school to complete my BSN and then plan on an MSN. Neither will make a better nurse, but I will be more equipped to make changes in the education of our future nurse and fight for the inclusion of needed hands on experiences. I get so tired of reading how the only "professional" nurse is a BSN or higher- I don't know of a 3year Dipoloma RN who had to get additional training to practice her profession!

Dabrown

Dabrown

2 Posts

The first few weeks after I graduated a diploma program with the reputation of producing "outstanding nurses", I felt as though I could conquer the world. And then reality set in. I worked all through nursing school in a large family practice, having the opportunity to have progressive, intelligent mentors in the form of nurse practitioners, and even, dare I say it, physicians. I do feel as though my work experience was a great adjunct to my education. But as each day passes, I continue to realize how much I have to learn. I don't think I could have really ever been truly prepared to practice nursing, as in knowing all there is to know, however, I do think I had the benefit of having instructors who did their best to allow students to practice "real world" nursing and who are truly committed to "growing" new nurses, and even today, remain a source of professional "wise counsel" as difficult situations arise. When I compare my education, experience, and practice to other RNs I have worked along side, yes, I think I was as prepared as I could have been.

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dab

Guest
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