EmmyBee, ASN, RN 4,442 Views
Joined: Mar 25, '08;
Posts: 177 (46% Liked)
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Registered Nurse; from
Lots of us commuted an hour or more to school. It's not that big a deal.
Just reading these posts made me way stressed out on the "are we a profession or not?!" opinions.
Quite frankly... I don't care, personally, what you call me, as long as you respect me as a person. Me demanding you respect me because I had four years of college and have a Bachelor's Degree is tantamount to a doctor demanding I respect him because he had six years of college and has MD behind his name. I respect people based on their behavior, not based on their titles, and I don't expect anyone to automatically respect me because I have RN behind my name.
Calling nursing a profession vs. a labor is like calling nursing a job vs. a career. For some people its a job, for others a career, just like for some its a profession and others its a labor. Nursing IS a service field. That's why I became a nurse, to SERVE people, not because I wanted to be a "professional". When someone mentions a professional I have the mental image of some dude in a suit or some chick in a two piece pant suit or something, and that's actually the exact opposite of what appeals to me about nursing (scrubs and tennis shoes are way more comfortable than skirts and stilettos).
Its entirely possible to be professional without being a profession, and thinking respect is going to automatically fall from the heavens if nursing is ever "officially" declared a profession is foolish. Superiority complexes within physician circles, for instance, is always going to exist. To some doctors we will ALWAYS be "just a nurse". Its kind of like we're fighting to fit in even as we're fighting to stand out. We're fighting to validate nursing with physicians even as we're demanding to be separate from medicine. Entirely too much wasted energy is being put into changing people's opinions, and a "profession" as a whole is never going to be able to do that.
Whatever you consider nursing, you must realize that it is diverse and necessary. And even if nobody else knows that, be content with the fact that you know who you are and what you're capable of, regardless of what anyone else calls you.
Right there is pretty much the jest of what I am trying to get at here. Eliminate all the walking in circles, creating labels for doing our job (nursing diagnosis, the nursing process, critical thinking........come on, trying way too hard to sound important is what I see it as) and focus on being better at our job. THEN, WE CAN TRULY HOLD OUR CHINS HIGH AS OUR FOCUS WILL ONCE AGAIN BE THE PATIENT.
I am not saying nursing is a useless trade to practice, nor am I saying we are less than anyone else. What I am saying is, the immature inferiority complex that often drives nursing theory is failing us. Refocus schools on teaching nurses to obtain the best outcome for their pt., not on passing some exam that, in theory separates the "concrete thinkers" from people able to "think critically" but in reality is nothing more than a hit and miss lottery. I'll say this much: If the NCLEX were any good, don't you think it would have eliminated someone like me who completely disposes of most "nursing theory" from the get go? I passed first time.
Interesting discussion, but really more like an academic exercise (that one might encounter in their eduction to enter or continue the profession of nursing). I understand most of your points that nursing might not be considered by some to be a profession. Where I disagree with you is that you are applying an ivory tower sociologist's definition of what it means to be a professional or to "join the (good ol' boys) club" (that the sociologists feel they belong to).
I hold three licenses/certifications: paramedic, RN, and FNP. For all three I can say without a doubt that I am a professional. I have no identity crisis. None. During the course of my professions I use various skills, some basic, some complex, some subtle, and some in your face. I have no doubt that many, if not all of these skills could be taught on the job. That does not mean per se I am not a professional.
You listed the criteria of a profession. Great. Now show me one using those requirements. MD? Lawyer? Psychologist? Sociologist? Surgeon? Pilot? Clergy? None of those have a "unique body of knowledge" that they own.
You quote Sartre but I am not sure where you were going based on what followed your quote. However, I do think it applies. I am defined by what I do, and what I do is professional nursing, just like I am a professional paramedic (talk about two professions with a significant amount of crossover in body of knowledge). You are right about the motivation component. I don't find myself as altruistically motivated as some do, but I do care, and I do make a difference...even if its only a small one.
As for the rest:
A profession has controlled entry to the group eg registration
A profession has its own disciplinary system.
These two are really easy: state boards of nursing. I am pretty sure every state has one. They control who can be a nurse (licensure) and they discipline their licensed membership if need be. Your counter to controlled entry involves employment. Employment is not the first step. Licensure is. I don't understand your counter to the discipline issue. Are you suggesting that nurses aren't disciplined by bodies outside of their employment? Please clarify.
A profession demonstrates a high degree of autonomous practice.
I hear the term autonomous used often. First, what do you mean by autonomous? For some the definition falls along the lines of varying degrees of "being told what to do"-ness. This is patently ridiculous. Name a profession where there is no guidance from above. Everybody has rules and protocols. Everybody. Every profession. Nurses often use critical thinking (yes, nurses do use critical thinking...maybe not all nurses all the time, but very silly to suggest otherwise) and autonomous decision making during the course of even a protocol driven day.
A profession enjoys the Recognition and Respect of the wider community.
Most easy one of all. Just google "most trusted profession". Having said that, you will also get other professions listed in your search results as well. So again, I get it that you don't feel that nursing is a profession. And since my definition of profession is one of those cheesy "comes from within" kind of things then by (my) definition, you are correct: you are not a professional i.e. you are not doing professional nursing (and you are not alone). But that is you. Not me, and not many here. Using your classic sociology based definition of profession I do hope you can give an example of some (or any) professions.
Just my .02
I don't think it would make any difference in a lawsuit.
Mainly because the scope of practice for a BSN is the same as an ADN because we both pass the same NCLEX.
In a lawsuit, scope of practice and holding to the minimum standards, is what matters.
We have NP's that have let their license expire that work in our unit...believe it or not. To me, if I was an attorney, that would be FAR more relevant in a lawsuit because you can prove that the knowledge was higher because of previous training.
OP, you remind me of myself (except no ex-husband LOL)! Yes, I left a very high paying career for nursing. I remember surfing these boards and seeing nothing but negative thread after another. I remember the fear I had of leaving my stable job I had been at over 14 years to take a leap into the unknown (nursing school).
But I'm so glad I did!
And on MOST days, I do love my job. I went into nursing for the flexible shifts and hours (I only work Sat and Sun nights, get paid for 3, with full bennies). I went into nursing to be fulfilled and knowing I'm making a difference in somoene's life. And oh yeah, the pay!
Well, I started off working in the ICU straight out of nursing school, then transferred to the ER one week before my orientation was up in ICU. I had this patient in the ICU that was there for ETOH abuse, respitatory failure, liver diesase, GI bleed, and the list goes on. She was so out of control, after being sedated with Fent and Versed drips, she was very combative. Not only was she on the vent with sedation, she was in 4 point restraints. At one point, she almost pulled out her ET tube while being in restraints while my back was turned. Good thing I turned around just in time.
Well, she was bleeding out somewhere, glowing like a lightening bug, and her organs were starting to fail. The docs called a family meeting and the husband decided to make her a DNR/DNI. That patient spent her 50 birthday in the ICU totally out of it and her family brought up cake and icecream and ballons for the staff.
Well, I was off the next 3 days. When I came back, they said the patient made a good turnaround. I finally left the ICU and was working in the ER. Months later, I was helping a patient in the ER and here comes my patient from the ICU and her husband walking into the room next to my pt's room. The pt looked at me and said "you look like the nurse I had in the ICU". I said her name and she said "yes it's me". And all I did was run up to her and gave her a big hug. She looked so good! She had tears in her eyes and told me "thank you for saving my life". I had tears in my eyes. Alot of my co-workers witnessed this in the ER. They were amazed. I felt really good that day.
It's days like this that makes it all worth it.
In my opinion there is more to this than you are stating. I don't know if you're intentionally omitting some POSITIVE information about these students, or negative information about yourself.
And to those who keep raging on about how it is all about GPA, test scores, and volunteer experience, what if an older student and a younger student are neck to neck in terms for a spot? Should that older student get a spot because he/she is older and supposedly "wiser" and "more mature" than the younger student?
Also, should I, an 18/19 year old with a 3.96 gpa, extensive volunteer experience and a newspaper columnist, be refused a spot in a program for my classmate, a pregnant 27 year old who only pushes for C's, has a 3.0, two kids, and NO volunteer experience soley because she is older?
I have a feeling that some older students will say "yes"....ageism in reverse at its finest.
Erik, Your post was interesting and thought provoking, but I can't say I'm ready to jump on your bandwagon. While I admit that I hold nursing diagnoses with the same respect as I hold pig-latin as a foreign language, I find nursing theory utterly relevent to practice (particularly Benner). Additionally, while I agree that the field of nursing is not where it needs to be as a profession, I do feel that there has been a marked advancement. IMHO, just because we are not yet where we need to be should not mean we retreat --- or maybe this is just my stubborn nature.
What is the census like for the 2 aides? What do you considered "strapped?"
I might be going out on a limb, but I've been a CNA 9 years, and I've never expected the nurse to help with bed checks. Obviously the nurse is qualified and able to help as needed, but I in turn can not help with the nursing duties which need done. Now, if the census is high and/or the 2nd aide called in, I would understand the need for help, but the two aides should be asking each other for help before pulling a nurse from med pass. If the two aides can't finish in 1 1/2 hr, then start 2 hours before shift change. At shift change, the day shift aides should be doing a walk though with nights anyways for the next scheduled bed change.
Obviously they can get it all done in two hours, as you say all night long they have time to sit and talk b/t q2h checks... I never had time to sit and talk when I worked nights.
My opinion is that the aides are trying to run the unit and the manager is assisting them. Surely you have the judgement to be able to tell when you should and can help and when you shouldn't and can't. The aides can start half an hour earlier if they are incapble of getting their work done or they can put more effort into speeding it up. Often all it takes is for them to work in pairs like we used to do. When aides work in pairs they free up all sorts of time.
That is a different matter entirely. LPN/RN are licenses, not degrees. The respective scopes of practice for each are different. With ADN/BSN, the license is the same (RN), and there is no difference in scope of practice.
I'm sorry but this will be a vent. After working 13+ busy shift in the ER, I come home to log on to here and it simply kills me that NON-nurses (including those in nursing school, or taking pre-reqs, or those who have not even graduated from high school yet!) comes on here and think they know what it's like to really be a nurse.
All the "I will never be that kind of nurse" threads, but never spent one HOUR in our Dansko's......
And the kicker? Telling how you will "handle a doctor when calling one", when yet, you have not had to actually deal with a doctor regarding direct PATIENT CARE!
The superior-know-it-all-attitude simply kills me!
All I can say is when SOME of you actually get into a nursing program, get through the nursing program, pass boards, be lucky enough to actually land a RN job, and then start WORKING as a licensed RN, I sure hope you are TEACHABLE! Because I can only imagine how your orientation will go, because it's simply not easy to teach people who already know it all or got all the answers, without really knowing what they don't know! And then we'll get flooded with threads about how nurses eat their young!
maybe saying "it's not my job" isn't professional, but when i become an rn, i do not want to be doing a cna's job. nope, sorry. that is like asking a high school teacher to mop up the hall way floors, something a janitor should be doing.
Whenever I call a doctor at night I always start out by saying "Sorry to call you this late but Mr. XYZ is tachy as all get out." I don't consider this to be an apology. To me it's just simply a part of being courteous. I'm really not a bit sorry I called. "Sorry to disturb you" is simply a quick, easy, and POLITE way of saying that I have a situation here that I wouldn't be bothering you about if I had a choice. "I sorry" takes less than a second to say and believe it or not, causes the speaker no pain. Call it being politically correct but years of experience in the corporate world taught me a whole lot about dealing with difficult personalities. I think we can all agree that many doctors fit that description.
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