"You're so smart, you should've gone to medical school"


Okay, we've all heard it before (and it never fails to piss me off, BTW), but I was profoundly disturbed to read in this thread that at least 2 different nurses have been told by their nursing instructors that they were, essentially, "too smart to be a nurse."

I mean--what the hell? Seriously. It's bad enough, uninformed enough, ignorant enough, insulting enough, when a physician, a family member, or a member of the general public says this to us... but a nursing instructor? If they don't respect their own profession, then what business do they have teaching it? Have any of the rest of you heard this from another nurse or a nursing instructor before? What did you say?

Gaaah. In case you couldn't tell, I am practically incandescent with rage. I need to go home early and have a BIG glass of wine and calm down. Grrr. :(


738 Posts

If they don't respect their own profession, then what business do they have teaching it?

I have to agree with this statement!

I have never met a nurse yet who actually believes a doctor is smarter than her/him........it is simply not true~!:nurse:


13 Posts

All this says to me is that people are still stuck in the old role mind set that nurses,clean bed pans, give bedbaths, and pass meds with no thought to it at all. The public and the health profession need more educaiton on what nurses do and can do. This lack of understanding by even some nurses is one reason nursing is struggling to be considered a profession.


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education. Has 7 years experience.

Oh Stargazer, I feel your fury. I think that is the most ignorant statement I have heard, but yes, what stings the most is that it came from a nursing instructor.

If that student was so bright, why not encourage her even further to advance in the profession? We need bright, strong leaders!

Personally, I'd like to take that instructor and tell her she was to STOOOPID to be a nurse anyway.:(

adrienurse, LPN

1,275 Posts

Yes, I have also been told that I was wasting my talents by working in geriatrics.

You take these comments with a grain of salt. Who are these people who say these things? They are usually burnt out (or close to it), are speaking for themselves because they no longer want to be in the profession (or never did to begin with), and are projecting their feelings onto you. I once challenged an LPN I was working with after she demanded (yet again) to know what I was doing in geriatrics (must be something wrong with me -- can't cut it elsewhere etc) I said "No, geriatrics is not wrong for me, it is wrong for you, you and I are not the same person". Never got asked that again!


1 Article; 2,334 Posts

Personally, I've alway been of the opinion that I became a Nurse because I was to da*n smart to be a Doctor.


1,173 Posts

God forbid we should have highly intelligent, articulate people in our profession!:rolleyes:

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 17,861 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.


agree w you 100%

My patient's always wanted "Dr O'Hara" to care for them. Still need to correct them even today.

I keep sending my lone CHF patient I co-manage (always available to do OASIS Resumption on SAt.)

Husband swears I've saved her life twice now " your better than the docs".........just have seen alot in 28 years.


66 Posts

How disturbing! We should all definatly do our part to help educate people on what nurses really do. I think Joan_RN_CO's impression of what the general public thinks was dead on. I hate to say this, but I even thought of nurses that way until I become better educated, and once I saw what a challenging and interesting career nursing really is, I decided it would be ideal for me. If you had asked me 3 years ago what came to mind when I heard "nurse", I would have said sponge baths and bed pans. We need more websites and media promtion like Johnson & Johnson's "Discover Nursing" thing to get the word out. And patients and doctors need to treat nurses with a tad more respect also.


6,620 Posts

I had a nurse tell me that before I entered nursing school. Low self esteem is common in oppressed groups isn't it?

EEEE Gad!!! Why would any intelligent person whe really wants to care for the masses want to waste time going thru 8-12 years of schooling before they get to call a patient theirs. We can do it in 1,2,and 4 year increments-call the pt ours and save those SUPER edemacated docs asses time and time again by catching things before its too late because WE ARE THERE! I'm with Stargazer in her rage!

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

I had nursing instructors tell me the same thing while I was going through nursing school. Not only did they tell me that, they put me in for a "six week farm" for potential med students. The "farm" buddied those students with med students so they could get a feel for what med school was like, etc. I had to sit before a Board of about 12 college heads...the dean of the college included...for an interview. I received a letter that I had been selected to attend Ohio University for six weeks that particular summer, and it was my nursing instructors who nominated me.

I grew up with dreams of wanting to be a doctor, so of course I was thrilled that I was selected! However....that dream came crashing down when my THEN hubby told me NO WAY would he ever support my going, and he was NOT about to "babysit" OUR children while I went. Our kids were NOT babies...but elementary age kids at that time. I was sooooo crushed....but his opposition and jealousy only made me strive that much harder to graduate with honors....which I did. He was jealous of that....didn't want me to be "educated".......well...it's TOO late at night for me to even go down that path again...it will only make me want to commit a murder. :chair: :chuckle

Okay....anyway...obviously my bubble was bursted, and I didn't go, but graduated and became a darn good nurse! Guess I read the book titled "Elizabeth Blackwell...First Woman Doctor" too many times as a little girl growing up because NOBODY supported my dream of becoming a doctor just like "Elizabeth Blackwell". Still brings tears to my eyes today...yep...still does. :scrying: :sniff: :kiss

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