Is becoming a nurse harder now? - page 2

I entered my RN program in 1978, when I was 17. It was a three-year college program with clinical rotations in each semester. While I can't say it was easy, I don't remember it being particularly... Read More

  1. by   oramar
    I can't say if it harder to become a nurse, but I will say it is much harder to stay a nurse.
  2. by   LisaRRT
    Speaking of being admitted for just tests; I myself was admitted for two full days as recently as 1986 for testing purposes only.

    As for the OP: Harder in some ways, easier in others
  3. by   sunnyjohn
    interesting thread.
  4. by   puggymae
    I think school is harder because nursing is more difficult.
  5. by   llg
    If you think nursing was easy "in the olden days," I suggest you read up on your history. I can't imagine being a nurse during the 1918 flu epidemic ... or in the yellow fever epidemics ... or any of those other community disasters we don't see anymore. I can't imagine having to sterilize my own equipment or wash the laundry myelf or do a lot of jobs nurses of previous generous had to do.

    Nursing has be a tough career throughout its history -- though there have always been some particular jobs that are harder/easier than others. It is the same today. Some nurses today have easy, cushy jobs. Some have jobs that are extraordinarily difficult. The same was true in the past.

    Going to school was also hard in the past. Nursing students did not have days off. They worked 6 or 7 days per week. They were not allowed to be married, have children, have a social life, etc. They were rarely able to even see their own families. Many had to make enormous sacrifices to become a nurse -- and once they became nurses, they dealt with ignorance, disease, filth, prejudice, etc. that we do not have to deal with today. They did not have all of our problems of today .... but they had more than enough problems of their own.

    To think that we are the only people in history who have worked this hard is waaaay to self-centered.
  6. by   maryloufu
    In school- last year (new grad here) - our instructor told us that the NCLEX that we take is harder than the one she took because 'patients are sicker and new grads are expected to know more'. That statement by her scared the crap out of me!
    My thinking is this- yes we have mega germs and sicker patients- but we have computers and PDAs at our disposal to look something up quickly- and there are programs in place to make our jobs safer - like the pyxis and scanning the patient armband before we give meds. And those poor nurses from way back didnt have Starbucks!
  7. by   StrwbryblndRN
    I agree with previous posts that it is easier and harder depending on what you are looking at. I am still a student but base my opinion on what I have read on all nurses and other places.

    In the past nurses were taught etiquette of how to act and dress "appropriately". This was part of the curriculum. Today's most nurses do not even utilize this because it is just not important. Yet there seems to be alot more information for students to learn. Technology has increased with many differents tests, etc, etc.

    Alot of nursing students that I go to class with are mothers/wives and most need to work a full time job during school. My aunt became a nurse in a time when she had to stay in the dormitory and rules were strict. She may have not been married or worked but most of her time was devoted to nursing school.

    There are many factors that come into play. For me I can imagine that the past would be much harder.
  8. by   StrwbryblndRN
    And those poor nurses from way back didnt have Starbucks!

  9. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Would it be fair to say that the level of knowledge expected from today's students is higher than years ago, but that the clinical opportunities, educational tools, and learning methods now available make learning far easier than it used to be?
  10. by   KellieNurse06
    I don't know about that.....I do now that alot of the old school nurses from way back when say we have it alot easier now as far as testing & that sort of thing....I was told that they had paper & pencil testing for each area of nursing and it was a 2 day test for RN & 1 day for LPN to get a license. And it took months to get your results plus they only offered the test 2x a year (I think that's what I was told) and as far as getting into a program way back when you could only be a single woman with no kids or husband, and you had to live at school and even at the places you did your rotations at for a few months at a time. Also you were charge nurse under the head nurse and even passed meds, mixed meds, did certain lab testing on the spot and all the stuff we aren't allowed to do now unless our instructor was right with us........I said to one nurse who told me..." so basically we are spoiled now" as far as what was done back then & for our license testing on boards due to computerized testing & for even getting into a program........and I was told pretty much..... Not that todays programs are easy....just that maybe it was more work back then???? (sorry for the phrasing)
    I was pretty much in shock/ disbelief about having to live at school & having to be single w/ no kids & living on clinical site.....
    One nurse who works at my house told me she had to go with her entire class to a dance at a mental hospital & they had to dance with the patients and even stayed in dorm rooms in the same area as the patients ........I guess it's strange how times have changed since way back! So I guess todays nursing students are sort of lucky if you think about it......lots of us wouldn't of been given a chance if it was back then..........:uhoh21:
  11. by   ginger58
    My RN program was harder in the 70s then what I see now.
    Patients are also sicker and living longer. We didn't have all the technology, people weren't on 20 meds at a crack.
    So, I think nursing in general is harder now.

    The reason I say this is we were followed more closely by our instructors, we had to present ourselves more professionally, I feel like I knew more coming out of school than what I see now. An LPN school in MI was more difficult than what I see coming out of RN school here.
    Last edit by ginger58 on Dec 30, '06 : Reason: correction of "weren't" and clearer reasoning for my first sentence
  12. by   ginger58
    Quote from Strwbryblnd
    And those poor nurses from way back didnt have Starbucks!

    Thank god because I can't even stand it now!
  13. by   P_RN
    My BSN 2 1/2 years were awful. Instead of the large fish in the small high school pond all of a sudden I was with a tank of big fish and sharks. When DH proposed between soph and jr years I said yes and quit. But you know I never really gave up on my goal. I worked a variety of jobs health and otherwise. Finally DH was finishing college on the GI Bill (govt money for being in the VN war) and there was about $1000 left over.

    When I restarted nursing school I wondered when it would be getting hard. It never did. Maybe the 8 years of growing up made the difference. I worked for my As but I could have just coasted and gotten Bs. The exit NLN I made 99%.The state board tests were easy for me. I made in the 600s.

    So yes it is harder now We didn't know about hemodynamic monitoring, about open heart, about insulin coverage for blood sugar, or pick your system, it just wasn't taught. I honestly (and don't bark at me for this) think my Nursing school was more equivalent to a CNA school now days.

    This is not to say I haven't bettered myself. On my own I have taken dozens of courses, gotten my Bachelors, been certified in 2 areas and am a pretty good nurse.

    And you new people I so admire you.