It has been suggested that I share an article I have composed about my nursing education and experience over the past 40 years. Due to its length, I am posting parts 1 & 2. If interest is demonstrated, I will post the remainder of the article in parts as well.
1. How and why did you decide to become a registered nurse anyway?
My decision to become a registered nurse was made at the tender age of 4 years.
Initially, I was impressed by the ¾ length sleeved, clean, crisp, starched white uniforms and attractive nursing caps worn by RNs. Later, I read all of the "Sue Barton" and "Cherry Ames" books I could acquire from the public library. For me, these books provided insight (although romanticized) into a variety of nursing specialties through the experiences of the characters.
At age 14, I volunteered as a "candy striper", progressing to employment as a "nurse aide" during summer vacations just 1 month after my 17th birthday. At that time, no type of certification was required in order to become a "nurse aide". The "nurse aide" training I received consisted of an 8am to 5pm OJT course (lasting 10 days) at my local hospital and then I hit the floor running (literally). I gave enemas, etc the whole works!
2. What was the reasoning behind your choice of a nursing educational program?
When I graduated high school in 1971, there were basically two educational routes by
which one could acquire "nurses' training". An individual whose ultimate desire was to perform bedside nursing care chose to attend a hospital-based Diploma RN program. However, one whose ultimate desire was to become a nursing administrator chose a university-based Bachelors Degree nursing program. During more recent years, it seems the fastest way to initiate an extremely heated discussion within nursing forums has been simply to intimate that one holds either of the aforementioned nursing education perceptions of a "by gone" era.
Although academically qualified for acceptance to a university Bachelors Degree
program, I opted to obtain nursing education via a hospital based Diploma RN program. My
personal desire was to care for patients. According to the information available to me at the
time, I felt the Diploma program was best way to effectively accomplish that goal. I will never forget the words of my (now long deceased) crusty, old family physician when I told him where I would be attending college. According to Dr. H.: "Either you'll be the best (double expletive) nurse who's ever been or you'll lose your mind." Over the years that followed there have been many occasions when I questioned which of the predictions of Dr. H. ultimately came to pass!
Hopefully this will help you rethink the reasons for your original choice of nursing as a career and the educational path you chose in order to achieve it. Since this article is a bit long, I will be happy to post the remainder of my nursing article in pieces for your insight, should interest be expressed.