What are you learning in nursing school? - page 2

Ok. Easy question. I've read course descriptions, and I've definitely worked around nurses. However, I can't really get a feel for what nursing school is teaching. I read course descriptions for... Read More

  1. by   ArkansasFan
    Quote from jjjoy
    If you don't want to take o-chem or physics or any other such "useless pre-reqs" then it seems to me that you're going to have to accept that you're *not* going to get the same level of education as a doctor, nor the same job roles. It may be true that someone could be a great physician without having taken the full-series of o-chem or a year of physics, but there's no way around that requirement in the US. If you're not willing or able to do whatever it takes to get into med school, then there are more than enough willing applicants out there who ARE willing and able. You may be able to find some PA programs that don't require the full-slew of pre-med coursework, and that may be where you want to look.

    And if you choose to become a nurse with the plan of eventually going into advanced practice, you'll have to get in to RN school (other pre-reqs), put up with RN school (and NOT learning to diagnose), and get a BSN (more "useless" courses) somewhere along the line. Most NP programs require (understandably) at least some RN work experience as well and will certainly continue to include nursing theory and such along the way, so if you're *not at all* into nursing, NP doesn't sound like a very good route for you.

    I've got to say, though, that the attitude that comes across in some of your posts is one of condescension and dismissiveness towards those with more knowledge and experience. You have some valid points and certainly people may be wrong regardless of how much they know or how much experience they have. However, the attitude that comes across here would be a real hindrance in your pursuit for more professional responsibility.

    Thank you for your response. When referring to uselessness of o-chem and physics I think you'll have to agree that those courses are useless in the everyday job setting. If I took them and something came up that prevented me from matriculating then I'd have wasted money and time. Obviously, I'll only take them, as countless others do, because it's a requirement. Sure you can study it, learn it, and deal with it, but that doesn't mean you want to.

    I'm familiar with the prereqs needed for an RN program, and I have those already with the exception of the typical nutrition course that is required. Most people don't happen upon taking those. Well, the alarm company is calling. I've got to go.
  2. by   jjjoy
    I'm sure part of the function of the pre-reqs for med school is to winnow down the number of applicants as well as being an imprecise measure of dedication to pursuing med school and ability to keep up with a heavy learning load. That is, it keeps most folks from deciding on a whim to apply to med school who might not really be very strong academically or who aren't really dedicated to becoming a doctor.

    If a person has little of the core science pre-reqs for med school and most of the common pre-reqs for nursing school, it's easy to see why nursing would be appealing. You could get started in school working with real people and digging into patient care issues within a year or two, maybe having to take one or two 3 credit intro-level pre-reqs that are much less time-consuming than a full year of physics w/lab and a full year of o-chem w/lab... not the mention the calculus class that's likely required for those courses.

    While nursing may not be one's ultimate goal, it can seem like a logical path on the way to med school. Wouldn't a degree in nursing be at least as useful to a pre-med student as a degree in molecular biology or, even seemingly even less relevant, a degree in medieval English literature? But that's just not the way the educational ladder is set up here.

    I think it's partly due to the fact that most nursing schools these days are a hybrid program... they are part vocational program (focused on specific skills and job roles), part professional program (focused on independent practice in a one's field such as law or medicine), part academic program (including gen ed and a heavy dose of theory and research). So it's not just a matter of "majoring in nursing" and then applying to med school. It's a matter of applying to and completing one professional training program prior to applying for and completing a different professional training program. Doesn't make as much as sense in that light.

    I think there is much room for improvement in nursing education but there's much disagreement in the field about what "improvement" means. So change isn't going to be quick or easy.

    It sounds like, though, you may some opportunity that you didn't expect. Best of luck to you!
  3. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from ArkansasFan
    Ok. Easy question. I've read course descriptions, and I've definitely worked around nurses. However, I can't really get a feel for what nursing school is teaching. I read course descriptions for classes and see things like "care for, empathize, nursing theory," etc, but I'm not actually seeing what that is.

    Are you actually learning to recognize, understand, diagnose, and treat disease? I see a lot of information about "nursing theory" and that "nurses don't practice medicine," but I'm not concerned with verbage. It seems most RNs come out of school unable to interpret ECGs, labs, and simple stuff like that so what does the education really consist of if nurses have to continuously go and pickup random certifications to be able to know or do anything? I just want to know what you're really learning out there, i.e. what knowledge you've gained and what you can do now as a result of it.

    Note: nothing here was intended to be a stab, but I seriously am not getting what nursing school is teaching. Thanks for any replies.
    Thank you for your questions(s) before entering the nursing field! :-)

    I view nursing as a patient advocate profession. Most of the time it is the nurse that is there when something goes wrong with the patient, and it is up to the nurse to report developments immediately. In many ways, your role is somewhat more vital to the patient than the doctor's is. I say this only because most doctor's are scrambling with 30 or more patients and cannot devote REAL time to the patient. The nurse, however, is there by the bedside and the very life of the patient depends on whether the nurse takes appropriate action.

    That said, you mentioned most students do not come out knowing "basic" skills. I disagree - take a new nursing student in their first week of classes, give them a comprehensive NCLEX style test, and watch how poorly the student will probably do. Nurses learn a lot more than given credit. To sum up the profession, "nurses are masters of generalities."

    My instructor has a mug that says things to this effect: "A teacher, a consultant, a physical therapist, a marriage counselor, a teacher, a firefighter, an interpreter, a social worker (etc., you get the point). What profession is this? Nursing - a group of people expected to be all or none of the above."

    That's pretty broad, but you get the point. What you come out of school knowing is mostly up to you. The instructors do go over the things you mentioned, but there are times the workload becomes so hectic you have no choice but to sacrifice one piece of knowledge for another to pass the test. If you do go into nursing, do what I do - constantly learn outside the classroom. Take more interest in the EKG readings, for instance, since that particular area is not hit hard in some programs (LVN/LPN).

    Good luck to you!
    Last edit by ZanatuBelmont on May 13, '09
  4. by   TheSquire
    Quote from cjcsoon2brn
    If you "just wanted to practice giving shots" then you should have drawn up some saline and practiced giving it in a rubber arm.
    EMT-Is/Medics don't do rubber arms. They practice vascular access on real people. I think it's a cultural thing.

    /tangent
  5. by   ArkansasFan
    Quote from TheSquire
    EMT-Is/Medics don't do rubber arms. They practice vascular access on real people. I think it's a cultural thing.

    /tangent

    Oh yes.

  6. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    Quote from TheSquire
    EMT-Is/Medics don't do rubber arms. They practice vascular access on real people. I think it's a cultural thing.

    /tangent
    That's fine, I understand that its important to practice on real people but you really should understand some basic information about the drug your going to give a patient before you give it. I don't care if its for practice or not.

    !Chris
  7. by   ArkansasFan
    Quote from cjcsoon2brn
    That's fine, I understand that its important to practice on real people but you really should understand some basic information about the drug your going to give a patient before you give it. I don't care if its for practice or not.

    !Chris
    I wholeheartedly agree in a real world setting. After the scenario in question the nurse went back to her nursing and I went on to the next procedure most likely.
  8. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from ArkansasFan
    I wholeheartedly agree in a real world setting. After the scenario in question the nurse went back to her nursing and I went on to the next procedure most likely.
    When you give a drug, period, it is a "real world setting."
  9. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    Quote from ZanatuBelmont
    When you give a drug, period, it is a "real world setting."
    I was going to say the same exact thing.

    !Chris
  10. by   ArkansasFan
    Quote from ZanatuBelmont
    When you give a drug, period, it is a "real world setting."

    Yes, but I wasn't there to deal with whatever would manifest after pushing the drug so I hereby declare this point moot.
  11. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    Quote from ArkansasFan
    Yes, but I wasn't there to deal with whatever would manifest after pushing the drug so I hereby declare this point moot.
    You hereby declare this point moot? You sound like your a trial judge or something, this isn't a court case. lol

    !Chris
  12. by   Bicster
    i forgot what this thread was even about....
  13. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from ArkansasFan
    Yes, but I wasn't there to deal with whatever would manifest after pushing the drug so I hereby declare this point moot.
    The person who administered the drug is responsible for the reactions, even if the effects were not immediate.

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