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Higher Calling

Posted

Has 10 years experience.

Why is it that nurses are informed from the beginning of their education and throughout their careers that nursing is a higher calling? Is this being taught to management and administrators as well? Rhetorical questions, as a male, in a female-dominated profession, and coming from the corporate world it is rather disingenuous and would never be tolerated in "male" dominated professions. I'm expected to take care of you or your family, and in return I get to work in sub-par environments with sub-par compensation. Why am I nothing more than a liability on the balance sheet?

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience.

I don't believe nursing schools have been teaching that nursing is a higher calling for a while now. I know my program didn't. Did yours?

I also don't consider compensation for nurses to be sub-par, compared to most professions. Nursing has a much higher financial return for your educational investment than many a job out there. Ask a liberal arts major.

Perhaps the reason why is because nursing did originate as a religious calling, although I agree with Brandon that I haven't heard any schools actually teaching that for a long time. Everyone's experience is different, of course, but, over my career, I have not found myself working in "sub-par" conditions or felt that my compensation was "sub-par."

anewsns

Specializes in Neurosciences, stepdown, acute rehab, LTC. Has 8 years experience.

I never heard that , it sounds like you don't like it much though

TransportJockey, EMT-P

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, C-NPT, FP-C. Has 10 years experience.

I keep hearing the ems volunteers spout the same line of BS that its a calling. Or the very low paid career emt basics. I honestly do think it's an excuse people find for themselves to justify why they still work in that field if it can't provide for them

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience.

No one called ME.

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience.

No one called ME.

My employer called me to offer me the job. Does that count?

Pitt2Philly, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

We may not be as forward thinking here in the Northeast as the Midwest and just clinging to outdated ways of thinking. Yes, it was implied that nurses are called to the profession and therefore that in of itself was part of your compensation. You are comparing apples to oranges and from your perspective, having 10 months of education, the compensation may seem fair. I'm guessing you haven't been exposed to other fields and I definitely think your outlook would be the minority in the Philadelphia area. Good for you.

We may not be as forward thinking here in the Northeast as the Midwest and just clinging to outdated ways of thinking. Yes, it was implied that nurses are called to the profession and therefore that in of itself was part of your compensation. You are comparing apples to oranges and from your perspective, having 10 months of education, the compensation may seem fair. I'm guessing you haven't been exposed to other fields and I definitely think your outlook would be the minority in the Philadelphia area. Good for you.

Putting aside your incredibly rude comments to Brandon for a moment, as he does quite well in speaking for himself....I'll address the rest.

I'm in the Northeast, and nowhere in my nursing education was "a higher calling" part of the expected compensation and reason for being there. My instructors were obviously more progressive than yours in that they focused on Nursing as a profession and the professional conduct and expectations that would go with it. They stressed continuing education, NOT 'higher calling' as important for success within this profession.

It's unfortunate yours didn't, but I think you're going out on a limb suggesting that it's a "Northeast" misconception.

As for the sub-par financial compensation, I'd have to ask you to do your own "apples to apples" comparison, and look to WHAT profession out there allows one to have an Associate's degree and still find decent, career employment? Or, perhaps more accurately, what Associate's degree program could you recommend as one in which the starting pay is more 'par' than what you're seeing in Nursing?

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 10 years experience.

Perhaps the reason why is because nursing did originate as a religious calling, although I agree with Brandon that I haven't heard any schools actually teaching that for a long time. Everyone's experience is different, of course, but, over my career, I have not found myself working in "sub-par" conditions or felt that my compensation was "sub-par."

Agreed, and I was about to post the same about nursing's origins in religious orders. In addition, many facilities are faith-based, and their vision and mission statements still contain overt religiosity (as to be expected).

ETA: As an atheist, I don't believe there is a higher calling to ANYTHING. I do believe, however, that you have to exhibit the characteristics of compassion and empathy to do the job well--if for no other reason than to be able to withstand the anger, denial, and outright contempt that some patients direct to their nurses. Some nurses may be able to withstand the onslaught with the judicious use of indifference, but I find it easier to use compassion and empathy (and occasional venting sessions).

Edited by dudette10

The only call I ever got was when I was a teenager, in 1988, and my best friend called me up and said, "Hey, Hygiene! I'm thinking about becoming a CNA. Ya wanna take the class with me?"

I was like, "What's that ?" and then said, "Oh, okaaaaaaaay... I guess... if you're gonna do it..."

:facepalm:

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

I can't say I have been hit too hard with the calling aspect of nursing but I have witnessed, as in other fields such as education, the mindset that "if I don't do it who will?" which I interpret as not only codependency with secondary self-esteem gain but also minimizing the fact they are overworked and underpaid.

As a nurse and now NP I do not feel as if I have been compromised or under paid. I have however changed jobs when I felt the workload was shifting to unreasonable and also when I had the opportunity to make more money elsewhere. Some of it is what the individual is willing to tolerate and while I get there are reasons such as location, family obligations etc. that people cite as the motivation to being treated poorly by their employer I have attempted to resist putting myself in a position that would require me to compromise especially with regard to income. I do believe some of it has to do with the fact that nursing has more women than men. Overall I have truly loved my entire nursing career however not for one minute would I be willing to do it for less than I feel I am worth.

Original degree in nursing in New England mumblemumble years ago, graduate school on the West Coast seven years later, never heard such horsepucky in school (although I heard it from ancient aunties) and would be astonished to learn that any sort of majority of Philly schools espouse it either.

Pitt2Philly, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

Putting aside your incredibly rude comments to Brandon for a moment, as he does quite well in speaking for himself....I'll address the rest.

I'm in the Northeast, and nowhere in my nursing education was "a higher calling" part of the expected compensation and reason for being there. My instructors were obviously more progressive than yours in that they focused on Nursing as a profession and the professional conduct and expectations that would go with it. They stressed continuing education, NOT 'higher calling' as important for success within this profession.

It's unfortunate yours didn't, but I think you're going out on a limb suggesting that it's a "Northeast" misconception.

As for the sub-par financial compensation, I'd have to ask you to do your own "apples to apples" comparison, and look to WHAT profession out there allows one to have an Associate's degree and still find decent, career employment? Or, perhaps more accurately, what Associate's degree program could you recommend as one in which the starting pay is more 'par' than what you're seeing in Nursing?

You are missing the larger point, either intentionally, due to an agenda or you like being argumentative, or possibly due to a reading disability. I never equated a higher calling with being a successful nurse and my point is that nurses are unfairly treated and underpaid. This is justified by employers by manipulation, playing off of women's innate instinct to care and nurture over men's nature. Sorry, if that's stereotypical, but it's true, and yes, there are exceptions.

What about comparing a BSN with other bachelor degrees? An ASN will not even get you an interview at the vast majority of the hospitals in the Philadelphia area and certainly not any of the prestigious hospitals. There are plenty of professions that don't even require a degree that pay better and have much better working conditions, and guess what, they are all male dominated.

I was educated at one of the best nursing schools in the country and don't believe that they are any less progressive than the community college you received your education at.

When my husband gets off on a tear like this (on whatever subject, morphing from one to the next in a way that gives me whiplash, and no, I have no reading disability, thankyouverymuch), I usually put down what I'm doing and say something like, "Is there some reason you want to pick a fight with me?" He usually reconsiders his overall attitude and thinks about what's really bothering him. Root cause analysis, you know.

psu_213, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 6 years experience.

There are plenty of professions that don't even require a degree that pay better and have much better working conditions, and guess what, they are all male dominated.

Professional athletics?

For me, no, nursing is not a "higher calling," and I have never had a single professor, male or female, refer to it as such.

I could be totally wrong, but I sense that perhaps you have frustrations over not being able to find the job you want. Well, this it not exclusive to nursing. There are many people who graduated from some of the best law schools in the country who are now working as baristas. This issue is due to on this country's economy and the expectations of new graduates, and has very little to do with the given profession and the gender that predominates in said profession.

Also, the "reading disability" comment has no place in professional discourse. It may be that kind of attitude that is hurting you in the quest for the job you desire.

Madras

Specializes in Primary Care, OR. Has 4 years experience.

Well someone is unhappy about their career choice. Sorry to see that.

But I may just be reading between the lines......

We may not be as forward thinking here in the Northeast as the Midwest and just clinging to outdated ways of thinking. Yes, it was implied that nurses are called to the profession and therefore that in of itself was part of your compensation.

I was educated at one of the best nursing schools in the country and don't believe that they are any less progressive than the community college you received your education at.

Both are your quotes. You are arguing with yourself.

As for where I "received my education at", it's fundamentally clear that I have benefitted far more from my general education--including English language skills--than you, regardless of where you may have attended school.

While I do have an Associate degree in NURSING from a community college (is that supposed to be a put-down?) you have not a single clue as to what the rest of my formal education entails, and what degrees I hold. Although, at this point, I have a very good idea as to the extent--or perhaps limit--of yours.

You are missing the larger point, either intentionally, due to an agenda or you like being argumentative, or possibly due to a reading disability.

...and now we're done.

Edited by RNsRWe