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Smart enough?

by patty321 patty321 (New) New

I am wondering how smart one needs to be to be successful in completing a R.N. programme? I never tried in high school but I took a emt-b course and finished with 98% avg. and my IQ is somewhere between 130-135, based on two separate IQ tests, one official and one non-official.

One of my worst attributes is doubting myself, I'm just curious to know how I stack up against current R.N.'s and R.N. students in terms of intellectual capacity and whether or not I could be successful in this field.

Have you ever taken an IQ test? what was your score?

What is the absolute hardest skill or body of knowledge an R.N. must learn?

thanks for your time :)

In my humble opinion, I don't think the question should be how smart you are or what is the hardest body of information you need to know. Yes, nurses need to be intelligent, critically thinking, quick paced individuals who can analyze and change plans of care at the drop of a hat, which comes from knowledge.

Instead, however, I think you need to ask yourself more is "Do I DESIRE to be a nurse?" From your post it looks like maybe you've maybe practiced as an EMT-b, do you enjoy that? Do you enjoy taking care of others? That, instead is what you should ponder upon to decide if you want to get into nursing. The smarts can follow.

rubato, ASN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/hematology.

I think having self doubt could be a lot worse for your potential than having a low IQ.

I have not actively practiced as an EMT but I have had some volunteer experiences, ranging from compound fractures to wasted teenage girls throwing up on me. The last time I volunteered there was a little fella who had fallen and hit his nose on the ground and had a bloody nose, after I had a look and cleaned it up, I told his mother that he was ok and she thanked me, she looked as if the world had just been lifted off of her shoulders. That is why I want to do this, I don't want the money, or expect anything in return, I just want to know in my head that I helped somebody and I did a good job. There is no greater reward than that, for me anyways.

I want to help people, that much is certain. I probably shouldn't doubt myself so much because any time in my life that I have put in the required effort, the results have been very good. I don't see any reason this can't be the same. I guess the words "university" and "degree" scare me a little bit because growing up I was under the impression only people with brains the size of basketballs went to university. These kinds of thoughts are just self defeating thoughts, I shouldn't pay attention to them because I had the exact same thought's before I did the EMT-b course, they just pushed me harder and I passed with flying colors. I believe there is no such thing as "good enough" when it comes to caring for the sick or injured.

Having asthma, I have been the patient of both paramedics and nurses (and doctors) on many occasions, there is no one else on this earth I am more grateful for. If it were not for them and their complete dedication to their jobs, I would be dead, no doubt about it.

For now I'll keep researching the field, and any other advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you :)

Edited by patty321


Specializes in Pediatrics, Cardiology, ER.

First, dump the silly IQ tests, they really don't measure true intelligence, just test taking skills. Sounds like your a good test taker, lol.

The EMT-B course you took is a good introduction to the field of medicine, but only an intro. If you did well and have good study habits, then you will be fine going into nursing or becoming a paramedic. I did the paramedic route for many years and will transition into nursing soon. Both fields require about the same amount of education, use critical thinking, and pull from the same body of information. Both require a level of dedication that is higher then most other professions.

You also need to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. That will come with time as you take increasingly difficult courses in school and gain experience. Each success you have will build upon itself boosting you even further along your path. Each setback is a challenge to be overcome and not an obstacle.

Hey, thanks for your response!

I agree IQ tests are not the best indicator of intelligence, and certainly not the only factor determining success, but I guess it's the best test they can come up with for measuring such a thing. It wouldn't be fair to compare two people based on specialized knowledge that only one of them possesses.

What made you decide to change from medic to nurse? just a change of scene?

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I think having self doubt could be a lot worse for your potential than having a low IQ.

YIKES! I realize that this is probably not the way that rubato meant it, but I WANT nurses to have some doubt - and always ask or seek assistance if they aren't sure. The most dangerous person in a patient care unit is the one that thinks s/he knows everything.

Agree with PPs on the IQ thing - cognitive psychology has pretty much refuted all of the 'absolutes' of IQ testing. There are many different types of "intelligence". Stephen Hawking is not a musical genius... does that make him less intelligent than Mozart? Strongly advise the OP to dismount from the IQ 'high horse' and learn humility before venturing into nursing school. Otherwise, when he hits that first clinical semester 'wall' (where GPA plummets), it could be completely ego-destroying.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

Most nurses have doubt that lasts all the way thru graduation and beyond, till they get comfortable being a nurse. That is not so bad, as long as you do not allow it to dominate your life. What you really need is focus and determination. Those are the keys to success. I don't think you need above average intelligence, just a willingness to make nursing a priority.

Hey, thanks for the comments guys!

I wasn't trying to ride a high horse, or assert that I was smarter than anyone else, I'm sorry.

Thanks classicdame, I agree that focus,determination, and effort are more crucial to success than intelligence.

Maybe you guys could tell me what your biggest struggle was in school, maybe a certain subject or something else like staying motivated?

Thanks in advance!