Is university better?

  1. Hi, I am entering my final year at University and would like to here from nurses from both uni and pre-uni days about the success (or lack thereof) of the university system. We seem to have spent very little time on practical nursing in the hospital and a lot of time on irrelevant subjects.
    It has made it difficult on pracs to feel confident and the older nurses especially seem to feel somewhat threatened by the uni students (if they only knew how little we really know). Uni seems very removed from the hospital arena has anyone felt the same way? cheers
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    About Lol

    Joined: Feb '03; Posts: 4


  3. by   Aussienurse2
    Older nurses aren't threatened by uni trained nurses, they're wary of them because you don't know what they know, and they know it! LOL!!

    Personaly I think there should be more on the floor training, it just gives you a little more useful knowlage and confidence. Good luck with your finals!
  4. by   zdatny
    I was in the second graduating class when NSW began University training. I have worked with many hospital trained nurses in the public system, as well as Residential Aged Care. Uni was a great experience, and the knowledge base it provides prepares most graduates for the cognitive part of the job. Having also worked intrerstate in a teaching hospital while they were still training nurses, I know that the hands on experience, as well as the social structure of a workplace, are both valuable for training nurses.
    You're right though, Uni just doesn't provide the right balance of Practice with the course work.
  5. by   Fallen Angel
    Hi there,

    I'm fortunate to have both. From "old school" hospital training to uni lecture rooms. Yep, am a golden oldie! However, am not so rare anymore. The me's of the profession will embrace your knowledge if you show a willingness to chip in and get hands dirty.

    Once you've managed to score enough hands on experience you'll romp it in. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and be ready to practice. Practice is the art of perfect.

    I personally believe they have it ass up. Being familiar with hands on practice is what gives confidence. Basically I am suggesting they should re-introduce hospital based training, with two uni study days per week. Or, uni study blocks. Whatever works best.

    After PTS, my training involved a mixture of study days plus rostered ward blocks in final years.

    Yes, there are some old school still out there but they are being outnumbered rather quickly. Don't be intimidated by the few. I believe that uni puts the icing on the cake and they don't have your grounding in theory. Except the converts like me!

    Get the right placement and go forth on your learner permit. Tread with care and don't get too cocky. You'll do just fine, and I wish you the very best ahead.

    Hmmm, I bet I knew that uni of NSW graduate above me. Remember that group well (70 or 71?). POW hey??
    Last edit by Fallen Angel on Mar 7, '03
  6. by   sehbear
    I know I am a bit slow at replying but here it is anyway...
    I am a University trained nurse.
    Whilst training I worked in a personal care environment so that the most basic of nursing skills i.e personal care would come easier to me when I did hit the acute setting.
    I believe that in Victoria the A.N.F. has attempted to alleviate the problem of "lack of clinical experience" by allowing second and third year trainee nurses to work within the acute setting in a supported environment. This project was only a trial and the results are still being collated so it will be interesting to see what they are.
    Thanks for listening
  7. by   hairbear73
    i know what you mean about prac experience.... my prob is slightly different though. i'm doing nursing through tafe and have my first placement coming up, we've only had 3 prac sessions in class which has made me a great bed maker and not much else. it scares me that in a few weeks i'll be working with clients doing hands on stuff we have not even talked about in class. we shouldn't have to use the clients as guinea pigs for everything........we should have some idea what we're doing before being sent on placement.
  8. by   Nanks
    I'm a first year uni student, and currently i am doing an assignment on this very topic. The title of my assignment is 'The Impact of University Education on Nursing in the Workplace'. I am focusing the assignment around the area of Horizontal Violence (i dont know if anyone actually knows what that is?!?) and how the hospital trained nurses react to the Uni trained nurses in the workplace. If anyone has any info about this kinda stuff i would love some info. My email is

  9. by   bewbew
    I know I certainly would have liked more clinical time, and longer blocks at that, when i did my uni training. I know it would not be financially viable for some, but it would have been good to do 6 months hands on, and 6 months study per year, or something along those lines. I am now doing my grad year, and only feel i am beginning to learn now!
  10. by   Rav_810
    I'm currently at uni second year. I wish we had more practical experience. I currently work as an AIN, with people who have Developmental Disabilities. The nursing experience has helped for sure, dealing with behaviours and dealing in basic nursing care. However general nursing is different, i'm a person who needs hands on experience to be more confident and to gain the experience. Now the course is three years, maybe the could have 1.5 years theory and 1.5 years practical to back up the theory. It's just a thought, i would like to hear some more opinions on what could be done. I would love to get more experience. My plan is to work where i'm working now, and work one day a week in a general hospital. I might not get to do the work the RN is doing, but at least by watching i will get to see how some things work. Anyway guys hit me with your thoughts.
    Take Care.
  11. by   m_lou
    Rav_810 I wouldn't think that you were alone out there in saying you are one to need hands on experience to gain confidence - I think most students and post-grads would feel very similar. I certainly did when I was going through uni and then for the first six months of this job - but don't worry 4 years down the track and I am still here and confidence does come with experience, successes and mistakes. I agree though that there is not enough prac in the uni courses but I think that once you are out there working independently experience comes a lot faster than when you are on prac (hopefully not to the detrement of too many people). I was a uni grad in 99 (makes me feel old) but I suppose I was a bit different because I come from a small rural area and NEVER wanted to be a hospital nurse (no offence to all you fantastic people). However I did score a job in my home town at the local Aged care facility (as the only RN) so I had a lot of PCA's (like AIN's) around me that new all the practical stuff and really just relied on my basic knowledge which was good because it gave me time to get the hands-on that I needed whilst still being able to use my knowledge to teach other people (which I still believe is the best way to learn). Fair enough I don't do a lot of practical things even today and I wouldn't make a very good hospital nurse but I am in charge of the place now and love the management side just as much as the practical (most days).

    The problem I had with the Uni based nursing was the lack of education we recieved on the aged care sector - I remember doing one unit in 3rd year in which 1 lesson was taken up talking about Quality Assurance - that most definitely does not prepare you for work in the aged sector. But I suppose they can't teach us everything.

    I think you just have to stick with what you want to do and make sure you achieve what you came here to achieve - each to their own!

    By the way - not everything comes with experience - some RN's at the local hospital have plenty of experience but not much pleasentness and vice-versa.
  12. by   Rav_810
    m_lou, thanks for the advice. I agree with you, once you start working in the field you should start to build, both confidence and skills. It will take time, but then again anything new in life takes time to get used to. It's good there are people like you to give this advice, makes us in uni feel better. Thanks once again.