Are Nursing schools hurting Nursing? - page 2

First, please consider the attributes of your personal prototype of The Perfect Nurse. What adjectives would you use? Sensitive, caring, compassionate, patient, intelligent? Now consider the... Read More

  1. by   is5512
    Oh. Ok. The point was to float the idea that perhaps I was making too big a deal out of nothing, and that the system would work to correct the balance once the students got out of school.
  2. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from is5512
    Oh. Ok. The point was to float the idea that perhaps I was making too big a deal out of nothing, and that the system would work to correct the balance once the students got out of school.
    Thanks, that clarifies. I'm curious as to what makes you think there's a balance that needs to be corrected?
  3. by   VenaKavaRN
    I think that, to a point, compassion and empathy are things that can also be learned along with the theory. I think that an important part of the clinical experience we get in nursing school is that we get to put faces with all these disorders that we're learning and see the effects they have on the patients. It's not just COPD anymore, it's 'Ms. Soandso that I taught pursed-lip breathing to because she was having a hard time'.

    I'll admit, I started out as a CNA 4 years ago as one of those '4.0 in school but totally retarded in social situations' people. Going into a patient's room would make me break out in a cold sweat because I had no idea what to say to them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not any kind of 'supernurse' now, but I like to think I've gotten better at just talking with patients and interacting better with them. I know if I ask them about kids or grandkids, we can get a good conversation going. I know when I can banter and play with them a little and when I need to be more serious. I also feel a lot more comfortable now. This has all come with hands-on experience and I have learned it, I certainly wasn't born with it.

    I think that nursing schools, like others have said, can't measure objectively the more qualitative qualities about what makes a 'good' nurse, so they have to go with numbers. I also think that if a person has worked hard enough to maintain good grades in the prerequisities, they at least have some inkling that nursing is competitive and have worked hard to secure themselves a spot. They may not be compassionate and empathetic when they start that first semester, but they can learn to be through the guidance of peers and instructors.
  4. by   AugustRain
    I guess I'm not understanding the assumption that intelligence equals competition and excludes compassion.
  5. by   sweetiepeas
    I like to think that I am competitive. I want to do the best that I can and being competitive is a good challenge. I went through a lot to get accepted into Nursing School and it rewarding for all my hard work. I would be a bit miffed if I worked this hard and someone who didn't got in.

    But I am a very compassionate person as well as competitive. I am so very much looking forward to helping people. I think if I had done this when I was younger I might not have been as good of a nurse as I could be now.

    So, I think it is definately possible to be competitive and compassionate.
  6. by   sweetiepeas
    I just went through and read everyones post.

    At my school we have a point system based on your your grades, we also get points for having our CNA license and being a resident of the state our school is in. I am happy with the selection process here. Other schools in the area have a Lottery, so anyone with the passing grades gets pooled and the basically draw names. I DO NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL. I like that my hard work earns me a spot not that I got lucky enough to be drawn.

    I mean someone can have a great bedside manner and be dumb as a box of rocks, not someone I want figuring out my dosage.
  7. by   is5512
    Quote from CuriousMe
    Thanks, that clarifies. I'm curious as to what makes you think there's a balance that needs to be corrected?
    Once again: I have no credentials in the field. I'm a freshman who noted something in psych class, and thought it smelled funny. I stand by my initial observation. Competitiveness and compassion may exist in the same person, but I suspect those two traits are more antagonistic than similar. And my hunch is that by focusing on GPA alone - as opposed to coming up with some plan to evaluate the other qualities of the candidate - is weeding out potentially valuable people and giving us a colder less human kind of health care provider.

    And lest there be any sneers: I'm carrying 16-hours this semester, currently running at 4.0 (by the grace of God alone!), and transferring this fall to a "whole person" school.
  8. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from is5512
    Once again: I have no credentials in the field. I'm a freshman who noted something in psych class, and thought it smelled funny. I stand by my initial observation. Competitiveness and compassion may exist in the same person, but I suspect those two traits are more antagonistic than similar. And my hunch is that by focusing on GPA alone - as opposed to coming up with some plan to evaluate the other qualities of the candidate - is weeding out potentially valuable people and giving us a colder less human kind of health care provider.

    And lest there be any sneers: I'm carrying 16-hours this semester, currently running at 4.0 (by the grace of God alone!), and transferring this fall to a "whole person" school.
    I'm a rising junior in my BSN program...so it's not like I have "credentials" in this either. I just haven't seen a correlation between those two qualities. It'd be like correlating compassion and brown eyes. There are folks who get high grades (who may or may not be competitive folks) who are compassionate, and folks who get lower grades (who may or may not be competitive folks) who don't naturally demonstration compassion.

    I will say that my program does accept by merit and that pretty much you need to have close to a 4.0 to get in. I don't believe that I've seen a lack of compassion in any of my classmates. We're not overly competitive, if someone needs help with something, folks are very willing to help out. Folks aren't "duking it out" with grades. The attititude is very much "we're all in this together, and will be stronger together than apart."

    Even in my time in the corporate world...intelligence, competitveness and compassion were not qualities that had correlations with each other. Folks were a mix of all of them.

    I wish you the best as you finish your pre-reqs.

    Peace,
    CuriousMe
  9. by   AugustRain
    I'd have to agree with CuriousMe on this one. Competition doesn't necessarily imply knocking others down, it also means striving to do your best. Nurses should strive to meet high standards - these are people's lives we're dealing with. There is plenty of room within nursing for smart, compassionate people be successful, and to support each other in doing so.
  10. by   is5512
    Quote from CuriousMe
    ...I just haven't seen a correlation between those two qualities. It'd be like correlating compassion and brown eyes. There are folks who get high grades (who may or may not be competitive folks) who are compassionate, and folks who get lower grades (who may or may not be competitive folks) who don't naturally demonstration compassion.

    I will say that my program does accept by merit and that pretty much you need to have close to a 4.0 to get in.
    ...which in a way brings us a bit closer to the original point. If brown eyes and compassion are both necessary in Nursing, it it good to only screen for brown eyes on the assumption the other needful thing will be represented. And the program accepts by merit? What might "merit" mean?

    Getting only slightly off thread (and not getting much sleep either): I read once that the SR-71 Blackbird was a nasty beast on the ground. Loud. Leaked all over the place. Hard to steer. The problem was: Blackbird wasn't designed to do her work on the ground, but at 80,000 feet and Mach 3. Are we weeding out (or not promoting enough people) based on "ground" standards.
  11. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from is5512
    ...which in a way brings us a bit closer to the original point. If brown eyes and compassion are both necessary in Nursing, it it good to only screen for brown eyes on the assumption the other needful thing will be represented. And the program accepts by merit? What might "merit" mean?

    Getting only slightly off thread (and not getting much sleep either): I read once that the SR-71 Blackbird was a nasty beast on the ground. Loud. Leaked all over the place. Hard to steer. The problem was: Blackbird wasn't designed to do her work on the ground, but at 80,000 feet and Mach 3. Are we weeding out (or not promoting enough people) based on "ground" standards.
    I think they screen for grades and not compassion, because how do you screen for compassion?
  12. by   guiltysins
    Quote from CuriousMe
    I think they screen for grades and not compassion, because how do you screen for compassion?
    I agree, you can't really screen for compassion because anyone can fake that in a situation of being interviewed. There's no true way to tell if someone is compassionate. There are people who don't have to get 4.0 for their programs but they simply do because they are in general just perfectionists (not competitive) or they just understand all of their classes really well.
  13. by   tfleuter
    Once again: I have no credentials in the field. I'm a freshman who noted something in psych class, and thought it smelled funny. I stand by my initial observation. Competitiveness and compassion may exist in the same person, but I suspect those two traits are more antagonistic than similar. And my hunch is that by focusing on GPA alone - as opposed to coming up with some plan to evaluate the other qualities of the candidate - is weeding out potentially valuable people and giving us a colder less human kind of health care provider.

    And lest there be any sneers: I'm carrying 16-hours this semester, currently running at 4.0 (by the grace of God alone!), and transferring this fall to a "whole person" school.
    So, are you suggesting that you are not a compassionate person (since you recieve high grades) OR are you assuming that you are unique and few others could possibly be academically strong AND compassionate?

    Believe it or not, but compassion can be taught to an extent. And people are not straight black and white; so many shades of gray. I think it comes from our "everyone is special" upbringing that makes us think that a competitive, high achiever personality is antagonistic to the compasionate, nurturing individual. We all equal out b/c for every weakness one has, s/he must be strong at the other end of the spectrum, right? Not always, lol!

    Many people can be intelligent, competitive and compassionate, just like many people can be unintelligent, noncompetitive and lack any compassion towards another living thing. Most of us fall somewhere in between those two extremes.

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