Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Old Nurses Never Die..They Just Go Back To School

At the age of...well old, I have gone back to school to get my degree. I went to nursing school when the choice for nursing education was a 2 year ADN program, a 4 year baccalaureate program or a three year hospital based diploma program. I chose the three year route. Good or bad, it was over 30 years ago. Now that I am old and creaky, I realize that I do not want to spend the waning years of my career pushing around stretchers containing farm animals. I believe I would have a lot to offer in terms of educating the next generation of nurses, so I am pursuing my BSN and then my masters in nursing. Unless I just decide to work at Chilli's.
To date, in addition to the 45 credits I was given for being an RN, I have taken five courses and received credit for two others that I took a few years ago. I get no credit for any of the lab science I took, and I have to take chemistry and two math courses. Not looking forward to that. At the rate I am going, it will take me 2 more years to get my degree, and who knows, 2 years for a masters. Why is this made so difficult?
With the looming nursing shortage and the paucity of masters-prepared nursing educators this country is going to be in big trouble in a couple of years when nurses my age retire. Or work at Chilli's. I realize that I need to get the necessary degrees, but sheesh.
There plenty of programs for individuals with a BA or BS in another field making it significantly more easy for someone who has never worked in the field to get into nursing as a second career. It is even possible, in 2 years, to become a nurse and get a masters degree. Does this make any sense, a brand new nurse with a masters degree? To do what? Certainly not teach! I interviewed one for a position in the ER at Utopia Hospital. She had literally no clinical experience and would have been a disaster; not to mention it would have been setting her up for failure in a fast-paced ER where, I'm sorry to say, my little friends were famous for Eating Their Young.