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Unrealistic nursing students

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Some of the statements in this thread make my blood boil. I am a second degree nurse (formerly a teacher), who had a very successful career prior to deciding to go back to nursing school. I repeat, some of us did not go to nursing school because we couldn't find work in our initial chosen fields-contrary to public opinion or what is being reported as truth on this thread.

Thinking back on my cohort, we had extremely successful professionals who decided because of personal reasons (sick children/parents) that they wanted to be nurses because of the stellar care their families received by nurses. I completed a ABSN degree and found a job shortly after graduating in a NICU. No,I wasn't disillusioned and thought I would get an ICU position immediately after nursing school, but I worked my tail off, earned good grades, became a nurse tech, was heavily involved in my school and landed a pretty good preceptorship.

What I choose to do with my money, is up to me! Suggesting that second degree students are taking out excessive amounts of loans to fund their education is false in many many cases.There is a cap on how much undergraduate student loans one can receive so people can't take out unlimited amounts of loans-- a concept I believe is fair.

People equating the influx of nurses to second degree graduates is completely absurd. So is suggesting that second degree students are the only ones that are looking at a staff RN position as a stepping stone. Most GNs use staff nursing positions as a stepping stone in one way or another, moving to another speciality, to management, leadership, NP roles, etc. This is not uncommon for any GN/RN. To the OP maybe the person who suggested that some day they would want to merge their degrees as a hospital attorney was simply suggesting that in the future that would be something of interest to them. Maybe they were not assuming that upon graduating with a BSN that a hospital would actually deem them qualified to be a hospital attorney. I know that I merge my two careers all the time-- I am constantly teaching at my job which fulfills me...maybe the lawyer turned nurse wants to do the same? Who are we to judge?

I AGREE 100% with you. If i could "like" your response a million times i would. I hate when people pass judgement and assume. I know many second degree students who were able to find work and connect previous degrees to further their career. Not everyone wants to be a floor nurse. Some people have the ambition to want more! Take medical school, not everyone is a Biology and Chem major and they still get accepted and are highly considered because they bring a new aspect to the field. One of the reasons i feel in love with nursing is because of the numerous specialties even ones that don't require bedside care. Great Response!

PMFB-RN specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response.

For me this is the bottom line. If you come to my work place and choose to spout off about unrealistic goals, express distain or a condescending attitude towards your coworkers/soon to be coworkers who take care of patients, or exhibit unprofessional behavior I will call you out on it. Worse for you, as an instructor of nurse residents in my hospital's nurse residency program, and preceptor to nursing students, I will recommend you not be offered a job. So far management has never chosen to disregard my recommendations.

Wanting to go to CRNA or NP school is not unrealistic. Spouting off about how you plan to accept some very high quality and expensive training and plan to leave the second you get accepted to grad school is rude and if I hear you I will not recommend you be offered a job. We have already had a problem with burning out our experienced nurse preceptors who don't want to precept people who have no intention of competing their contracts. Wanting to be in administration or management is not an unrealistic goal. Expecting to start off there in nursing is.

Acting better than your fellow nurses because of your degree/s will get you ridiculed. If you were that much better you would have been offered a position at a higher level of care already (happens sometimes). We thoroughly train and test our nurses. We know who actually is better by objective and subjective measurements.

New grads, regardless of their experience in other fields, or degrees held need to be professional and at least a little humble, at least they do if they want more experienced nurses to willingly share their knowledge with them.

meanmaryjean specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

Agreed- no one here is ridiculing people for having ambitions. No. One.

What has tripped a lot of triggers is exactly what is expressed above and so eloquently by PMFB-RN.

That describes her to a T. Her plan is to get her BSN, get a job in Spokane (Where the only CRNA program is in Washington), then work, get experience, save money, and work on advancing.

She interviewed a CRNA for her career project last year. She is currently trying to set up a shadowing with that same fellow. She is a senior in High School and a straight A student, very goal oriented.

That's great. It's people like this, that I like seeing in nursing. Hey, bedside care is not for everyone. Just so a person understands that they may have to do at least their small share of it along the way to where they are headed. You want to be the type of nurse who can basically handle anything you come across - that's why you are made to do these things in the beginning.

I wonder what the OP would say about me. I'm a second career nurse, currently an LPN, working towards an ASN degree on top of my BFA in another field. I have been at my first job in an LTC facility for 14 months and expect to stay there until I graduate and possibly much longer. After graduation I plan to pursue a PhD in nursing research, jumping through any and all required "hoops" along the way. I have specific goals including an area of study. I'm passionate about wanting to add to the body of human knowledge, but I don't see myself ever moving away from patient care completely. I was successful in my first career. For years this little voice at the back of my head kept saying, "You would be more fulfilled as a nurse." For me, it's not about money. Would it be a waste of money for a hospital to train me to be a staff nurse?

Not_A_Hat_Person specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health.

Playing with a smartphone and not dressing professionally for a hospital tour are problems. That said, who are you to call someone else's expectations unrealistic? Why should anyone stay at the bedside longer than necessary if they really don't want to be there? What's wrong with wanting to become a medical writer or CRNA? When did ambition become a dirty word?

It really is a small world. You never know who you will encounter later on, or how they could help (or refuse to help) you.

JustKeepDriving specializes in Forensic Psychiatry.

The OP's post is geared at second degree BSN students acting unprofessional and having - according to her - unrealistic professional goals. However, one could just as much replace Second Degree BSN students with traditional BSN students, ASN students, LPN students and so on. Unprofessionalism is not limited to the DE MSN & Second degree BSN lot. I've seen a lot of texting, dressing down and poor presentation from various students, in various levels of both nursing education and other education programs.

I also see a lot of posts equating second degree BSN nurses and DE MSN nurses with poor work ethic and entitlement issues. Once again, one could just as much replace second degree BSN nurses and DE MSN nurses with ASN nurses, LPN nurses and CNA's. Just based on personal anecdotes - I've seen poor work ethic and entitlement issues across the spectrum.

There is also this idea that these more educated nurses seem to think they're somehow better than those with less education. I've also seen the reverse of this. As an attendee of a second degree BSN sprogram, we did a lot of clinicals at one of the local hospitals that was mostly staffed by ASN nurses from the community college. We went there happy to work with ANY nurses and learn. These nurses did not want to work with us, they would tell us how bad our school was (how their ASN program gave superior nursing education), how we would be terrible at patient care, that they never wanted us working on their family members and how they did not like graduates from our program working there. Some of our top students and those with hands on healthcare experience in another field (CNA, Paramedic, EMT) would come home in tears from these nurses.

However, even though my experience with some ASN nurses was not particularly awesome doesn't mean I'm going to let the negativity bias take over and paint all ASN nurses as rude, mean individuals. It means that I had a bad experience.

So what is my point? There is some bad behavior in nursing. There is bad behavior from nursing students. There is bad behavior from nurses. There is bad behavior across the spectrum of nursing. Just browsing this forum you'll see posts where CNA's bully RN's and won't help out. You'll see threads where RN's bully CNA's. You'll see threads where people complain about bad behavior from LPNS, ASN's, DE MSN's... and so on and so on. You'll see a lot of posts about the superiority of the certificate programs vs. the DE master's programs. How nurses are being turned out without skills at all levels. And it seems like everyone - from CNA to Physician would rather play on their smart phone than work.

There are also posts along the lines of "Why do nurses further their education?"... and so on. There is more than just "Those with high education are unprofessional and bully those with lower education and don't listen to their years of experience." There are also posts where those with high education state stuff like "Don't tell anyone you're a DE MSN graduate because the nurses will make your life hell".

Yes the field of nursing is experiencing growing pains as it tries to progress as a profession. I think just in general, as a lot we need to be a heck more tolerant of one another and realize that although we might all identify as "nurses", everyone's path through nursing- and through life - is different.

Ruby Vee specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

^Well said...I second THIS post.

And which post is that?

BostonFNP specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

Now DE MSN grads are no longer considered for employment as new grads.
You have mentioned this several times in several threads. What hospital system is this? I am writing an article currently about role socialization of non-traditional nursing students and I would love to speak with the DON about the experiences outlined above. You can send it privately if you'd rather not say publicly.

As for the OP, there are two sides to every coin. There are overconfident nursing students with unrealistic goals and their are extant nurses that are threatened by novice nurses with education and a different background then theirs. There are those that insist the only "real" nursing is at the bedside and those that think bedside nursing is not the future of the nursing profession, or the only future at least.

As for the OP, there are two sides to every coin. There are overconfident nursing students with unrealistic goals and their are extant nurses that are threatened by novice nurses with education and a different background then theirs. There are those that insist the only "real" nursing is at the bedside and those that think bedside nursing is not the future of the nursing profession, or the only future at least.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes these up and coming whippersnappers are threatening. They are smart, tech-savvy, and remind us old mares that our generation is going to soon pass the baton, whether we like it or not.

Yet, when we were entering the field, we complained about older, more experienced nurses doing us wrong! Ha ha, the circle of life. We'll soon be put out to pasture!

LadyFree28 specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma.

And which post is that?

Just Keep Driving's post...posting on my smartphone. :shy:

I second Boston's point of the attitudes of nursing being two sides to a coin as well-there are going to be different attitudinal issues in nursing...the human condition does not always change when the "nurse" steps on their unit, visits their patients, steps in the classroom, etc.

I also think the (reputable) programs in my area are doing an excellent job in informing students that they are going to have to rethink their path to their ultimate goal. I am sure 30% of the 2,000 grads/year want to be head honchos; the rest just simply want a job.

Edited by LadyFree28

I am not challenging the need for ABSN degrees. I am saying that some students of this programs have unrealistic expectations. The lawyer never once mentioned his desire to work as a nurse. He went out of his way to tell me and the group that he is a lawyer and had been admitted to the bar. He discussed his desire to be a hospital attorney. This occurred while we were touring the facility discussing the different clinical services provided. It is not my place to tell him that the position as the hospital attorney is a very competitive position that requires years of legal experience. Nursing experience will not provide him with the ability to litigate cases. To obtain the position as the hospital attorney requires extensive legal contacts which you will not obtain as a nurse. The sad part is that this man is engaged in an expensive folly. Someone should have guided this young man in a different direction. As for the others, I did not hear a desire to be a nurse but rather a desire to use their nursing knowledge to do something else. I do not believe they are being realistic.

You sign up for nursing school to be a nurse. Nursing education is time consuming and expensive. Please do not jump into nursing school as a way to achieve something else. If you want something else, go in that direction. If you want to be a hospital administrator, go in that direction. Nursing is not a short cut to these jobs/careers.

We need dedicated nurses who want to be nurses. Contrary to what is propagated the vast majority of jobs in nursing are bedside nurse or frontline positions (case manager, discharge planner, Infection Control, PI/QA/RM, NP, NM, etc.). Even in major medical centers there are only a few true management jobs for nurses (DON, VP of Nursing, Director of CM & QM). Adding to the competitive nature of the hospital environment, physicians are seeking the director jobs of CM and QM departments. The hospital would rather pay more and get a doctor department head as the physician will have more clout influencing other physicians.

Also please be aware that the front line jobs do not pay significantly above a staff nurse. You are not tied to shift work as a staff nurse and you don't have to wear scrubs but that is about as good as it gets as a front line worker. If you want money, please seek another career.

To sum it up, their are jobs in nursing but the prestige jobs available to nurses are few. Go into nursing because you want to be a nurse. You will earn every penny you make. I am a career nurse who has worked in many different facilities in many different roles. At every step I paid my dues many times over. I know the system and I understand what is available. Please do not delude your self into thinking that if you can dream it you can have it because you can't. Hospitals are businesses that are competing for patients. Nursing is an expense that has to be managed for the institution to be viable.

I will end this response with the statement: Go into nursing because you want to be a nurse. If you want to do something else, go do it. Nursing will not offer you any shortcuts.

Nothing new. Loads of meds students go into med school just to get into research without having to touch patients or land a sweet surgery job. Everyone guns for surgery. The CRNA/Manager/NP issue is no different. Everyone in my cohort SAID they were going to do this and that after they graduated and EVERY one of them is still a staff nurse. My state has 1-2 CRNA schools that accept 10 a year. How many people apply? A ton. How many managers slots are there at a hospital? Not many. How many apply? A ton. Reality isn't fun but delusions are.

People who have been there, done that.

Great! Welcome! I love to see second career people come to nursing. I am one myself and feel they bring a wonderful diversity to nursing sorely lacking in most other health professions.

Now imagine that you were speaking to a group of young people who had just joined the military and were waiting to ship off to their initial training. Imagine if these people were excitedly telling you that as initial trainees they were going to get to stay in a nice hotel rather than barrack or dorms. That rather than eating in a mess hall they were going to have their meals delivered by room service. Imagine they tell you that since they already have college degrees they will never be required to deploy to a war zone. Imagine that they told you about their assumption that since they have a college education, and experience in a previous career they fully expected to all make general or admiral within 10 to 15 years.

Think of what you would be thinking in that situation and you can then understand what the OP and some of us were feeling.

As to the first point, just because someone's been there and done that, doesn't mean your experience will be the same as theirs. These are their journeys, no one else's.

As to the second point, I'd rather just let them find out that isn't reality in their own time. That's how I and a lot of other people managed to get to adulthood. It doesn't bother me as much as it seems to bother you. Let them have their dreams, and then let them be appropriately crushed without your input.

applesxoranges specializes in ER.

I worked hard to get at where I am and I am getting the rewards. However, mine were more vague like at this point I want to be an ER or an ICU nurse and I've gotten job offers in both. Not full-time but part-time.

Next I have a few mays. I may go for flight nursing in a few years. I may go for a nurse family practitioner degree. I may go for CNM. I may go back and become a firefighter full-time instead.

Hi everyone! This has very quickly become a heated topic;) Reminds me of an incident of a PD case where the client had a serious disability and a great career and pretty good outlook on life and his dream was to have a girlfriend one day. Well I had a fellow nurse on this same case say to me(when she realized the client had a crush on her),"He needs to be realistic, no NORMAL girl is ever going to want him" basically saying I encouraged him and I need to stop. Ah WOW!

I guess what I am trying to say is, who is anyone to tell someone "how it really is" and for whom is it that way anyway? There are always going to gloom and doom statistics and there are always going to be people who make it and people who don't. I say, let people be. Unless I know someone is in immediate bodily physical harm, or if they ask "what I think" I really try to keep my mouth shut. And I just try to be a positive person.

Do I make sense?LOL I tend to ramble and what is in my head sometimes doesn't translate to print very well;) I would like to say also I have been lurking on these boards for sometime and there are many good discussions on here and many wise posters to learn from.

And isn't there room for all of us? 1st or 2nd even 4th career nurses?, room for all HCP? As far as the texting and such, well that is just a case of poor manners.

Its understanable why people are so heated over this subject. II honestly believe the truth is that we no matter which side of the coin we are on all have valid points.

To the OPs defense she is an experienced nurse who like a lot of us who knows the ins and outs of the business and yes nursing is pretty much a business nowadays and knows the realities that awaits these novices which in reality they are second career or not. The op is not trying to squash anyone's dream. On the other hand I consider myself much like these students as that I was that ambitious big dreaming new grad a few years ago too and had doubters as well.

The unfortunate reality is MOST of these students will be sorely disappointed if their attitude truly is to breach the career ladder and land a top job in 1-2 years post graduation and we all know that's the truth.

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