I just got my RN a couple of months ago and am now finishing up my BSN. I am getting so frustrated with my classes, as so far absolutely nothing has had anything to do with on the floor nursing. Perhaps my struggles come from the fact that I have no interest whatsoever in working in management or participating in research. I love working the floor and have no intention of leaving it, and was hoping to get more in depth information clinical specialties. Everything in the program is about pushing advocacy and trying to get us involved in the politics of healthcare. On top of that, our advocacy lessons are spread over multiple different classes that could easily be compressed into one and cover the same material with ease. All the stuff about advocacy and helping the underserved is all well and good in principle. In practice however, from what I've seen in the facilities where I have done clinicals and worked is that the nurses who try to push for changes get ignored, derided, and if they push to hard for a good idea, just get fired for pushing managements' buttons too much. Even the managers who would like to change things always get rejected by the suits in control, and I have even seen managers get fired for trying to push corporate to change things too much. Besides, in my experience, the nurses are too busy running like crazy to get all the meds and treatments done and the social worker is the one that takes care of all the advocacy and ensuring that underserved populations are connected to necessary resources. I don't have time to sit down with the patients and have in depth chats with them about their issues (much as I might like too), and I have always figured that is why we have social workers to take care of these issues for us anyway.
I am normally one who believes it is important to obtain more education, and I agree with those who say that having a bachelor's degree helps put us on a more professional level equal with our colleagues. I just feel that in the final year of my degree that at least some of it should be applicable to my job, especially given how unprepared I felt entering the clinical setting as an ADN grad. If I was in charge of the BSN programs, the first semester classes would be focused on advanced pathophysiology, in depth critical care, management of all the machines in the ICU, how to respond to emergency situations, and focus on so many other aspects of nursing that only got a day or two's worth of coverage in the first couple of years. This would be followed by a second semester that would be essentially a semester long-preceptorship where the nurse would work full time as a preceptor in the hospital, changing to a new wing every few weeks to ensure that there was exposure to various specialties. I feel like something like that would have made me so much more confident in my abilities as a beginning nurse. Thinking about it now, perhaps the frustration with how underprepared I felt entering the clinical setting is partly what is fueling my frustration with the current focus of my classes.
At this point however, I am understanding more and more why I have heard so many nurses say that BSN stands for "Bull-S*%# nursing degree. So far I feel like absolutely nothing I have learned will make me any better at my current or future job.
I'm still going to keep going. I live in an area where the BSN is required now for hospital employment (or at least, you have to have it within a year of hiring as an RN to keep your job), so I have just accepted at this point that I will have to bite the bullet and get through this. Am I crazy for feeling this way?