Monday, October 22, 2007

Graduate School

I realize today that my life has been and continues to be consumed with education. I knew that being a nurse would require that I keep pace with advancing technology and health care changes, but I guess I never realized that it would also take a life-time of education. Not that I am complaining - but it seems to me that the nursing education system really needs to do some work in order to retain my interest. After almost 11 years in school, it seems to me that I am caught in this maze of redundancy. What does this mean? It means that classes I have taken at lower educational levels seem to reappear over and over again as you progress through the educational system and earn advancing levels of education. How many times is it necessary to take Nursing and Families or health care populations? How many times does one have to take nursing research? Are these different courses than we have taken in our undergraduate degree? No - they are the same! Give me a nursing science course that has some meat and some NEW information to learn. Please don't give me the same old nursing jargon I have heard for years. Something new and exciting please. Perhaps that I why I am getting ready to earn my PhD - so I can develop some new theories and provide some meat and potatoe courses for nurses.

Has anyone else experienced this? Dose anyone really ever read these blogs? Perhaps I am writing this on an ever present cyber book that no one will ever see, read or care about. On the chance that someone really does read this or any other blog for that matter, I will continue my train of thought.

As I am investigating graduate schools for my doctorate in nursing research, I am challenged to find a system of higher learning that offers a unique and differing perspective for nurses. It seems like it is the same ole research question(s). Has anyone looked at the nursing educational system as a whole and developed a meta-analysis of how poorly organized nursing education is today? Do nurses themselves really care about how we are educating our future generation? Does it concern anyone that while nursing is a degreed profession - we are graduating nurses that are able to pass entrance licensing requirements, but fail to have the skills to function in the real world environment? Is anyone concerned that as these nurses enter the work force they are leaving as fast as they came in? Does it bother anyone that these men and women have invested time and money to earn their RN designation, only to discover that nursing is not unified and there is no real clear leadership or direction in our profession today? Does anyone really care about those that are caring for our citizens?

I care! I care a lot! I probably care more than I should. I care because I think that nurses are wonderful, intelligent and giving people. I have never run across a nurse who told me that he or she went into nursing because they could make good money. Nurses that I have worked, been in school with and have been in association with are those that have the heart and passion to care for those less fortunate. These are some real people!

Where am I going with this blog today? I guess I am trying to ask some hard questions. Do we properly prepare our nurses for practice? Do we give our new graduates the tools they need to be successful? Perhaps these are the questions I can use to develop my dissertation. Who knows - we will see!


  1. i voiced this same frustration with my "Physical Assessment" class for my BSN. It used the exact same book as my ADN course, had the exact same assignments (I still had my book and assignments from my ADN) and the final was THE EXACT SAME FINAL. Word for word, downloaded from the textbook site.

    Yet now I have a 300's level credit instead of a 100 level credit...

    As for entry level RN's, I think so much of that has to do with the desire to churn out more and more RN's. I know here in AZ, they have removed many of the pre-req classes and added them to the two-year curriculum, so more information is being covered in the same time, just with less depth...

  2. As I round the corner of finishing my Masters degree - and looking at PhD programs - I am wondering if I really want to go for a nursing PhD or some other PhD.