Anybody else feel this way?

  1. I'm a new nurse working on a telemetry/med-surg unit at a hospital in southern New Jersey. Right now, I'm back in school for my BSN (required by the hospital as a condition of my hire), currently taking two classes: Conceptual Foundations and Wellness & Health Assessment. Most of what I'm learning was taught in my initial nursing program, with the exception of a bunch of APA writing content, nursing theory, different nursing degrees and their associated career paths and multiculturalism.

    APA writing is apparently to prep nurses of the future for doctorate degrees, which I have no intention of ever pursuing.

    Multiculturalism is great and I love learning about other walks of life...but on my own terms, face to face with actual people...not through textbook.

    Furthering my education is the furthest thing down on my list of concerns: I just want to come home from work, enjoy my days off with my girlfriend and our respective families, play with our dog and pursue my own interests as they episodically capture my interest.

    To give a background, I majored in Spanish at a liberal arts college. I've also done quite a bit of traveling and I speak German, so I think I've gotten my fair share of foreign culture exposure. While there is a lot I don't know and could stand to learn, there are better things I could be learning that would benefit ALL of my patients.

    They say care from BSNs is shown to have better outcomes, but I argue that it is not the BSN degree per se, it is the increased motivation of BSN students that leads to the better outcomes. In other words, just because you don't have a BSN doesn't mean you lack motivation to learn. If I weren't required to be in a BSN program I know for sure I would still be furthering my knowledge, but in ways that would be relevant. For one, I would take a medical Spanish class. I don't get a ton of patients who only speak Spanish but there are enough for me to feel motivated to want to take such a course. I would also use this time to enhance my EKG interpretation ability. This is a major happening on my floor and I feel like I'd be serving ALL of my patents better by studying this. I'd also pursue an ACLS class and, eventually, med-surge certification. The BSN courses of Patho and Pharma I would take, too, but only these because they focus on the patient care content which I find interesting.

    Having to come home from working a night shift and think about school is taxing on my other responsibilities, social life, family connections and consequently, morale. To do my job effectively I have to get a lot of sleep. I don't have time for leisure reading. I don't have time to stay in the loop with friends or relatives with the exception of parents, girlfriend and maybe two or three other individuals.

    Rant to be continued....
  2. Visit Rocketskates profile page

    About Rocketskates

    Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 14; Likes: 19
    from NJ , US

    20 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    Well, I agree with you. But since its a condition of your employment, ya gotta do it. Perhaps you don't need to do it at maximum speed, or effort. Write the papers with a spin on something you are interested in, do the research to satisfy your own interests, not the professors. You may sacrifice some on grades to get more out of the experience personally.

    I saw a good tip...you know you're going to be writing a lot of papers, pick a topic, like diabetics, or palliative care, and relate as much of your work as possible to that type of patient. You'll have a lot of your information and references ready after the first few papers, and sound wicked smart after about a year looking at the topic from different angles. You might even end up submitting the same paper to different classes, with just a few tweaks (but never admit it).
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    OP, can you just do one class at a time? That would probably leave you more time for family and leisure.
  5. by   Everline
    Yup, I get it.

    Since I have a BA in another field and didn't want the expense of another one, I applied to graduate school. To my suprise, I got accepted. Then just before class was about to start, I realized I have NO desire to basically ruin all my free time and peace of mind for a graduate degree right now. I like to pursue my own interests, nursing or otherwise, on my own time and direction. Plus, I like to come home and relax after a stressful day, not write papers and take exams. Not to mention going back to school is not a requirement at my place of employment.

    All that being said, since my employer pays my tuition, I did ultimately decide to go for my BSN. If I had to pay for it, I would not be doing it. I really dislike having to come home and worry about assignments, papers and etc. I know it's only temporary but it's not fun and I don't see yet how this will actually help my practice. I could be wrong though.

    Hang in there. We'll both likely be glad we did it when all is said and done. But yeah, it's a drag, for sure.
  6. by   Rocketskates
    At this point, I have 21 credits to go, which works out to 7 classes. I don't think I can take one class at time without doing [accelerated] Winter & Summer courses and still be done by end of 2020. Unfortunately, I got a later start on things than I should have.
  7. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from Rocketskates
    At this point, I have 21 credits to go, which works out to 7 classes. I don't think I can take one class at time without doing [accelerated] Winter & Summer courses and still be done by end of 2020. Unfortunately, I got a later start on things than I should have.
    Aha, I see. I didn't realize that was your deadline. I understand mourning the lost time, I have become more selfish with my time after my daughter was born. I am three courses into a DNP, and I am on a break due to a move and changing jobs that is going to require more of my brain power. I have been in school more often than not in the last 12 years (ASN, BSN, MSN x 2, then DNP), and it's exhausting! I have to remember that my GI Bill is good until 2025.
  8. by   Nature_walker
    I'm right there with you! I have two terms to go and I'm done with my BSN. While it was not a condition of my hire, I am pursuing it due to my hospital's reimbursement program. I really can't stand my class and my husband will be more excited to not hear me whining anymore when I'm done. Since work is paying for most of it, I'm doing it for job security and if I even had some crazy desire to move up to a management position. I'm at a magnet hospital, so all management jobs are BSN or higher. Currently, I have no desire to do that, however I don't know what the future holds for me, so I might as well be prepared.

    I have a master's in English, so when I get praised on my "excellent APA skills" I just laugh. Not sure how having excellent APA skills makes me a better nurse, but I'm almost done!

    I take only two classes at a time so that I do have time for family and friends. I despise giving all of my free time to schooling, so that is why I'm going at the pace of a snail. Plus work will only pay for two classes at a time, so that keeps my work load for school in check.

    Good luck! Keppy plugging along!
  9. by   Chrispy11
    New rules require veteran nurses to go back to college as RN-BSN programs flourish | NJ.com

    I can't say I disagree with you. I have a Graduate degree in another discipline so I don't need to take many classes, but have to go for a BSN myself. Put in place by our former governor. Maybe you saw his beach photos?
  10. by   Orion81RN
    I hear you and agree. But, I simply accept it at this point. My ADN DID focus heavily on APA research papers, multiculturalism, had a semester long pharmacology class... I can't stand the thought of all the paper writing again, especially being out of school 6 years now. I'd have to learn APA all over again. But....I accept it. I don't say this phrase often, bc I'm kind of a spit fire, but, it is what it is.
  11. by   Accolay
    Yeah, that's the way it goes.

    Because what's the alternative? You can always quit if it would make you happier. Find another job that doesn't require the BSN and go on with your life as you'd like without having to jump through hoops for The Man.

    Or continue to tough it out, enjoy the classes you like, get through the classes you don't remembering everybody has to do things they don't always like to do.

    (Don't mind me, I'm grumpy studying for my ACLS renew in the AM.)
  12. by   sallyrnrrt
    Sorry, my diploma program affoedvme many opportunity, Assst.HN,HN, in critical care environment, Supv. eR....at major teaching Hospitals, but that was in the 70-80s.."

    If I i was younger....I would pursue advanced degrees, but at 69.74 years of age, and 46.5 years of nursing..... " the business plan just does not add up....

    Best wishes....go for it while you can
  13. by   NuGuyNurse2b
    I have to get my BSN, too. I take 1 class a semester, including summer and winter sessions, it's annoying but nothing that seriously invades my social life.
  14. by   staple1027
    I went into nursing as a second career, after having achieved a BS and an MA in other fields. I am ADN prepared, and not so happy that this degree is being locked out of hospital nursing in place of the required BSN. There is something demoralizing about being told, if I want to eat, I have to go back to school, with all the schooling I already have. Not me. No way. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Its a higher education scam brought to you by left wing think tanks in Washington , DC. A way for schools to enrich themselves while putting more than half the nursing workforce out of work, or in a position of limited employment options. A BSN does not make for a better nurse, because 99% of what you gain in nursing comes from learning hands on, at the bedside, not from classrooms. Therefore, until I can retire, I just have to grin and bear the thought that homecare, LTC or corrections/ psych are what is available.

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