Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I wish it was 2006

If it were 2006, I would be preparing for graduation. I would be done with all of my clinicals. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE nursing. I HATE being a student sometimes. I am so tired of the bureaucracy of school, I would QUIT if I didn't owe thousands of dollars in loans and could find a job where I could make enough money to pay back the money I borrowed.

Many people wonder why students decide to go to a community college to get their RN. I can tell you why. First of all, community colleges respect non-traditional students. Really, they do. They respect the fact that we are serious about our educational endeavors. They help us when we need help and encourage us to ask questions. They do whatever they can to be sure that we make it. Colleges and universities are so quick to say that they want the non traditional students. (I will be fair, not all colleges and universities are this way.)

But when we (the non-traditionals) come there do they make their programs accomodate us? No. There are no evening or weekend programs for those of us who need to work. I have even heard that certain directors of nursing say do you want to be a nurse, or mother? If you want to be a mother, best of luck, but if you want to be a nurse you better do those hours. But we are not here to help you with your kids. Be late paying tuition. We know how to find you then.

Money is the root of all evil. But you know what the saddest thing is about all of this? Most of these administrators that I speak of....ARE NURSES! Registered, BSN, MSN, PhD nurses! What the hell kind of example are you setting here? They have degrees in psychology, pediatrics, etc. and they could care less what toll this experience has on us emotionally or psychologically.

Advice for those who are shopping nursing schools? Know what you are getting yourself into. Check out the curriculum. Find out what is required of you in advance. Don't let the niceness of the people fool you. They will be nice because they want the school to look inticing. They will be VERY nice in order to lure you in. Find someone who is currently in the program. Talk to them when there is no one else around (faculty/or recruiter). Meet them for coffee. Ask them how stressful it was and if they felt that they received good support.


cgg702 said...

Nurse Diva Dee -

I really enjoy reading your blog, as right now I am considering taking up a career in nursing. It've very tempting right now with such a nursing shortage in the country and scholarships abounding. I am 27 and graduated from college 5 years ago with a degree in wildlife biology, so I have already taken many of the nursing prerequisites for an accelerated BSN (granted, I am rusty since I've been away from school for so long). Is your program an accelerated one, or is the regular 4 degree program? What advice do u have for someone considering nursing as a career? I love that the profession is so meaningful, that u get to help people every single day. I also love the diversity of specialties that are available - you would never get bored, or run out of career advancement opportunities. I'm just not 100% sure it's what I want to commit the rest of my life too.....

Nurse Diva Extraordinaire said...

Thank you! I thought that I might have scared any potential readers away with my venting. The school that I attend is a traditional 4 year nursing school with various options available for the non-traditional student.

There is what they call a summer transfer program. With that program, a student can take the freshman nursing courses over the summer and technically complete a 4 year degree in 3 years provided that most of the science prerequisites are completed. This is the type of program that I am taking, only because I didn't already have a bachelors and I didn't want to wait for the two year program because they had a very LONG waiting list.

Then, there is an accelerated BSN program that takes 18 months for students who already have a bachelor's degree. The accelerated program is INTENSIVE. This is the option that I would have chosen if I had a bachelors because I prefer to learn information intensively. Additionally, you can finish your master's degree in nursing more expeditiously after having taken the accelerated program.

As far as advice, one of the nurses that I worked with on the floor recommended that a person who is interested in nursing should work as a nurse's assistant or PCA for a while because it gives you a good taste of what to expect once you're on the floor. Another idea is to see if there are any opportunities to shadow a nurse. I don't think that this would have made much difference in my decision because I am older, and have a pretty good idea of what nursing is all about.

Personally, I think that the fact that you want to do meaningful work is a great indication that nursing may be right for you. The is an opportunity EVERYDAY to do something meaningful, even if it is holding someone's hand or giving them a cool drink of water. I've heard people say that my smiling and pleasant disposition them makes them feel better...but I don't know about all that! : )

There is a lot of diversity in experiences, and if you are passionate about the nursing profession, it will be that same passion that gets you through the tough times while you are in school. At least that is what keeps me motivated, and I hope that passion will keep my satisfied throughout my career.

Despite my never-ending complaints, I do love nursing. It's who I am, and what I do. I wouldn't change my mind for anything in this world. Doing my regular 9-5 job was mudane and meaningless to me. I felt like I never made a difference. But I bet, if you check back with me 2 years from now, I will probably still feel pretty good about my choice of career. I hope that was helpful. Give it a try.