Published Jul 14, 2002
I have been considering going into nursing for the past couple of years. I am a 38-year-old married mother of three and work part-time at home as an Information Chemist. I love medical science, have a bachelor's degree in biology, and have passed all my nursing pre-requisite classes with "A's."
Last year, after signing up for my first "real" nursing class, I got cold feet. Naively, I thought that a starter Nursing 3-credit class shouldn't be too hard. After all, I got an "A" in 4-credit Anatomy and Physiology. But, I was wrong. The material itself wasn't difficult, but the obstacle-course style of the class was a problem for someone like me, who has to arrange for child-care and commutes an hour each way.
For this class, I would have to complete mini-assignments upon mini-assignments. I would have to find time to view film strips, and write papers on Florence Nightengale (in APA format--I saw your post, Sunshinest). I would have to go to computer labs. Look up this, e-mail that. What ever happened to 3 exams and a final? Are all nursing classes structured this way?
For anyone who has taken Life-Span Development, I am an adult learner, and I don't want to waste my time on material that I won' t need as a practicing nurse. A more stream-lined approach would work better for busy people like me.
Another reason that I got cold feet is the idea that I will have some pretty heavy "dues" to pay as a graduate nurse. Having "paid my dues" many times in life already--albeit not as a nurse--I don't know if I am ready to be "eaten" again. Will I be welcomed as a new nurse and forgiven my "green-ness?" Or, will I be resented because I have a BSN, but my clinical skills are lacking? It is surprising to me, that the climate is so unwelcoming to many graduate nurses. There is a shortage after all.
Just my opinion.
I understand totally about the nonsense they make us jump thru in nursing school. I think they have this attitude that if they don't totally crack us mentally by making us do totally stupid time consuming busy work in nursing scholl then we will be able to take all the crap that the suits and docs dish out. I know a bunch of people that I have convinced to go to nursing school who have given up due to long wait times to get into school or the bs once they got in! It is amazing.
As far as paying your dues, sure you would as you would and sounds like you have done, in any new job. Some nurses, I'd hazard a guess that it is most, are supportive of new nurses. If working conditions were better we'd have more time and possibly more patience to give to new grads. I am one of those people that goes out of my way to welcome new staff, I do wish everyone acted in the same manner. I find most people leave the profession due to low and flat wages and really poor working conditions, not so much due to colleagues attitudes. We use a lot of Agency nurses and they all say how nice all of us are to work with and how we make them feel right at home. Apparently at other area hospitals they are treated like dirt. So there are good places colleague wise, out there.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
ceecel.dee, MSN, RN
APA format...Oh My! I haven't thought of that in years! Ridiculous, indeed....but soon it's second nature (like asking your kids if they've brushed their teeth)... and you CAN do that very well I'll bet. Don't give up on something you think may be just the thing for you! You have lived awhile already and can really trust your intuition. Is it easy? No! And many universities/colleges have not ironed out the non-trad student edges yet. You may have to voice some complaints to the dean about issues the recruiters may have said are being worked for for the non-trads.....but are still really rough. When they talk to you like an 18yo, say "you are not listening to me!" in a high-spirited fashion...and they will listen (from personal experience). You can do this! One class is way to soon to decide! Yes, flexibility can suck, APA format REALLY sucks, and the fact that they are used to dealing with youngsters ( sorry you youngsters) will affect you too. But you will love the challenge, the brain work, and your affect on patient outcome, gaurenteed!
I am totally sympathetic to your plight as I feel I will be going through the same thing as I start my nursing journey when school starts for me in a month. I will be going part time and trying to juggle working full-time with studies and still trying to be a father to my two kids and husband to my wife. The run around of going to school was something that I feared about going back but I just figure that anything really worth having is not going to come easy. I hope you find what you're looking for.
You are right the obstacle-course style classes are a pain. I am working on a post-diploma BScN and would like to spend less time researching and writng APA papers myself. But then if I don't finish the BScN I will always wonder what doors would have opened if I had completed it? I have met many people who at the end of their lives had regrets about not doing something that they had always wanted to do. I think these people about, compelled me to try nursing and after fifteeen years I am glad I did, because it is a profession that gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction.
jschut, BSN, RN
But you know what? I have had to go through all the mini assignments and all the papers in APA format, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I have wanted to be a nurse for a long time, and am gladly "jumping through the hoops" in order to do so. It's just part of the classes. Not all of us start out with degrees all ready.
Maybe all the mini stresses are just to see how well we can handle the major stress of daily nursing.
Just my thought.....
I can appreciate what you are saying. I went into nursing school with a BA in Natural Sciences/Math, and was accustomed to the "3 exams and a final" (with the exception of a lab portion for a number of the science courses). Nursing school was a change because every nursing class taken has an accompanying clinical, which was for me often more time consuming and difficult than the classes/exams/papers. The truth was, though, once I got out and got my first nursing job, I was grateful for the clinical skills I was able to obtain in my program. It has been my experience that the the road is a lot rockier for the new grads who may have sailed through with A's, but never had enough time to hone their clinical skills.
Getting a nursing degree can be a time consuming process, but it's worth it if it's what you want to do. There were a number of parents in my classes who had to juggle many commitments. Most of them made it through just fine, and at the end of the journey they had some very proud children!
Good luck! We're all rooting for you!
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