Quote from Quickbeam
I hear you. This was very hard for me to get beyond.
On the other hand, I find the academic side of nursing unbeleivably cloistered. My experiences with Sigma Theta Tau left me feeling these people wouldn't know a nurse if they fell over one. I'm a member and presented at a biennial conference...and it was a brag fest about how many PhDs you could accumulate. Without, you know, ever touching a patient.
On topic, I think my prior education was never wasted...it made me a better critical thinker and gave me a terrific in when a niche community health job happened to require my prior career skills. However, right out of school? No one cared at all. I was just another GN.
Believe me I don't think prior education is wasted
I totally agree about Sigma! I maintain membership for my resume and grad school application. I completely agree about nursing PhDs and faculty -- this is another thread, not the OP's topic. And let's not get started on nursing theory. Go study philosophy if you are interested in theory. There are other threads on this, too.
Nursing, IMHO, is a practice profession, not theoretical. Get a PhD in a real academic field: sociology, anthropology, scientific research, whatever, and apply it to nursing/health care, participate in the larger academic community, become a writer (my dream), forget Sigma. Nursing schools are ghettoized away from other academic disciplines.
To the OP: Technically, only your nursing degree (ADN, BSN, diploma, MSN) count towards pay, employment, &c. Value and cherish your nonnursing degrees; they educated you and helped shape your soul and intellect. Your nursing degree will pay your bills, and you may get to do some good in the world with it, help others, it may give you the means to put into practice (praxis) what you learned with your other education, especially if you were in the liberal arts. Don't look for mentorship from nursing or nurses. It might be best to not talk about having other degrees or education with your manager or coworkers, unless you also happen to work with other RNs with other degrees. As the nursing workforce diversifies with second career people, this hopefully is increasingly the case. That said, there are exceptions: I also worked at a hospital in Cali in which many of the RNs had degrees in other fields, even graduate degrees, and none of us were stigmatized. I am a cynic on this topic at this point in my life, so take what I say with a grain of salt.