"More" than Just a Nurse?

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caliotter3

38,333 Posts

My family rode my back because I chose nursing over medicine, but they had no suggestions or answers to the fact that I could not seem to hack premed chemistry. I guess they just thought that I should continue to be an A student in courses that I was struggling in at the university level because it was what "they" wanted for the family image. Do what you want to do. In the end, it is you that will be living with your decisions. They will eventually get over it.

RNsRWe, ASN, RN

4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Ah yes, the ol' "too smart to be just a nurse" party line. Why don't you go to medical school, you're smart enough! Yes....I am....but no I don't want to do that at this stage of my life. I want to be a nurse. You're only a nurse? You seem to know so much about medical stuff, I thought you'd be a doctor by now! No...I'm an educated nurse, and with experience comes knowledge ;)

ThatOneDude822

150 Posts

People think nurses just go around cleaning up messes and changing band-aids all day. They don't realize how many procedures nurses can perform, especially APRNs.

When I was applying to begin my prereqs year ago, I was told by nurses on here that nursing school is one of the hardest things you'll go through, but not to expect anyone to understand that and appreciate you for it. I'm beginning to feel that already and Im not even in nursing school yet. I was doing a group project in my Critical Thinking class and my group finished early, so we started talking about our majors.

"So what major are you?"

"Im an econ major.

"Oh wow, so you must be pretty good at math huh?"

"Yea, I do alright. It is tough though!"

"I bet! So what about you?"

"I'm a sociology major."

"Oh my gosh, no way! I almost majored in sociology!"

Then they got to me

"So what is your major?"

"I'm a nursing major! I'm applying to begin the program Fall 2015!"

"...Oh..........."

And then you turn to the media and there are people putting nurses down constantly. People blame nurses for ebola. People blame nurses for high healthcare costs. They get blamed for everything. I was on Facebook the other day and saw a man say something along the lines of "My hospital bill is ridiculous! These *** nurses don't deserve to be paid as much as the doctors!" I couldn't help but reply, "1) I don't know where you live that they're paying nurses the same as a doctor, but I'd like to know because I want to move there after I graduate from nursing school! 2) Nurses deserve every bit they get paid, and then some. They clean up your blood, vomit, sweat, urine, and feces without complaining, they start IVs so you can get your medications and/or so you don't dehydrate, they're the ones who treat you. The doctor is there to diagnose and prescribe treatment, but nurses are the ones who are there to actually treat and heal you."

I definitely understand where you're coming from. I'm not even in nursing school yet, and these things already bug me.

lisabethanne

16 Posts

I am really enjoying seeing everyone's input. Nursing is definitely an amazing career, but it sounds like you have to be much tougher to be a nurse than the general population thinks. If I was wanting an easy job, I'd find one. And if I wanted to be a doctor, I'd go work as a doctor.

I remember when I was first speaking to the advisor of the school where I am taking my last prerequisites, she tried to put me into every program besides nursing.

And just the other day, I was talking to my chemistry teacher who asked me, "Is it true you're going into nursing?"

Yes.

"You should think about at least becoming a PA."

At least a PA?

I guess we aren't the only ones that are viewed as bottom rung.

Specializes in Adult Cardiac ICU. Has 6 years experience.

I struggled with the same issue for a while. Although now my mind is completely set on nursing, it was difficult to let go of what 'could have been'. I think that a large part of this is society's perception of a nurse vs a doctor. I dreamt about big white lab coats and signing "M.D." after my name. In the end, I realized that those things don't matter. Nurses and doctors are much more similar than most people realize, but fear of others' judgment shouldn't fuel my decisions. Besides, tuition rates are much more practical. My family is entirely supportive of my dream to become a doctor but we're not a wealthy family. I won't keep my parents waiting 10+ years for any sort of income (that will probably end up going towards student loans). Nursing will allow me to become active in the field sooner and start learning through experience. I'll probably have more time to actually get to know my patients. There are so many different degrees and specialities and levels of education that I can explore later on. Logically, every part of this decision makes sense.

I struggled with the idea of answering to somebody else who may be less intelligent but simply was better equipped (financially and otherwise) to attend med school. I hated seeing air-headed girls proclaiming that they were going to become nurses- and identifying myself as part of that group. I think there is a huge portion of the nursing community that feels the same way. But we're probably looking at it the wrong way. We should feel blessed to be the group with more promise and talent. We're the ones that are making every nursing program more competitive each year. Maybe it's better to be the best nurse than an average doctor.

lisabethanne

16 Posts

Maybe it's better to be the best nurse than an average doctor.

Absolutely.

I don't have that much of a desire to be a doctor, but I want to be a really really good nurse. That is what is going to make all the difference to the patients that I see.