Yes, I’m sarcastic and snarky, but when it comes to my nursing education and career, I’m taking it seriously. What tires me and annoys me to high heaven is how everyone, and I mean everyone, must weigh in their opinion on nursing.

One comment I hear often is, “Oh, nursing is great. You’ll always have a job.” First of all, I know that nursing will always have job options; people will always be sick. Guess what? I was a teacher before a nurse. I didn’t need a nursing career in order to have a job. Also, I’ve always been able to find employment, whether or not it is work that I want to do long-term and actually have a career in is another thing. But if we are talking about being paid for my time and work – I have little difficulty in finding something. Here’s the deal: I don’t want a job! I want to have gainful employment in my vocation, my calling. (Read the book 48 Days to the Work You Love for a better explanation of the difference between a job, career, and vocation.)

The next thing I hear is usually something about the pay or flexibility. YET AGAIN, I KNOW!!!!!! Those are side benefits to doing something that I love. More than a job; a calling. I wasn’t unhappy in my previous careers solely due to the pay or schedule. When I evaluated who I was, what I valued, and the life I wanted to have – nursing fit more than anything else. One of the neat things I discovered in my reading this semester is that Florence Nightingale (nurse pioneer extraordinaire) believed that nurse training should center around a person’s calling to the profession.

After some combination of the above, those with a medical horror story have to weigh-in. Dr. So-and-so almost killed my loved one. If it hadn’t been for the nurse, life would end as we know it. Or, the nurses and medical staff screwed up because I refuse to let them be human. I do fear the mistakes I will make in the future. I pray that they will not be life endangering nor get me in trouble. But for heaven’s sake, remember that medical staff are human. If you want to be cared for by a computer, then get all your advice from WebMD.

What is beginning to really frustrate me, though, is the negativity from some of my classmates and other nursing students I encounter. Currently, one debate in the nursing profession is whether or not the BSN should be the entry level degree. What shocks me is not that people are spouting their opinions on a 2-year vs. 4-year option, but rather, that several of my classmates have a negative view of the BSN program. Stop spreading the negative attitude towards a program to which you applied and accepted admission because the teaching methods are different than you expected!!!

I don’t think that IUPUI is the zenith of nursing programs, nor is it the only place in Indiana to received quality nurse training.  Yet, I’m surprised at the number of my classmates who I see rolling eyes at learning how to change an occupied bed or other CNA skill. Then our first written test came and we had to select the best answer even though one or more of our options could be correct. Others have decided that their friends or relatives with ASN degrees have it better off and why do we have to go through more expensive training when a BSN won’t be paid more by a hospital … it’s only the bureaucracy of nursing organizations that is making a BSN more desirable… Blah, blah, blah.  There are other aspects that come up in the hallways and lounges, and I just get frustrated when I hear them.

Maybe my previous career experience taught me that going into something with eyes wide open is always the best way. At the end of a bad day of teaching, I could easily think of three to ten things I would rather do with my life. At the end of a bad day of nursing, I can say, “Well, it was a bad day. Start fresh tomorrow.” I’ve found a few like-minded classmates; thankfully, my list of those to avoid is short – I just wish they’d keep their mouths shut.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Peggy
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 18:31:58

    AMEN Laura!
    You have proven to us how good you will be at your professional calling before your acceptance to The School. You’ve had lots of practice here with us and were absolutely excellent in your performance, going above and beyond any regular nursing “duties”, to make your patient comfortable in so many ways – physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. Your core person is all about helping and teaching others. It is obvious. I believe you will be successful and happy in your chosen vocation. You keep your chin up and head held high. Your mind is in the right place. Just keep asking yourself why others are there? What are their stories? And yours will shine!



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