Which Nurse Would You Choose
When it comes to your loved one's health, you probably want the absolute best. Today, to become a Registered Nurse, one is required to have 61 college credits of General Education classes before even starting Nursing School. According to Missouri Western State University, After Nursing School is completed the students will have completed 124 hours of coursework. (MWSU Major Declaration Form pictured below) When it comes to classes and passing most students will study hard to memorize terms, functions, etc just to pass the test and forget it within the next test. It is said, Nurses learn more in the first couple of months after graduation than they the entire four years of school. Missouri should provide a more hands-on form of schooling to become earn a Bachelors of Science in Nursing.
Most would argue that the book studies are just as important as the simulation labs and clinical experiences. I agree, when myself or a loved one is hospitalized I want the absolute best nurses working with them. The smartest as well as the most caring nurses treating my loved ones as if they were their own. However, most nurses learn more within the first year of working than they did throughout their entire schooling. If Missouri were to offer more of a "Hands-On" learning environment maybe nurses would enter the work force with more confidence as well as practice with the emotional side of the job to be better prepared to be the best nurse they possibly can be.
One major pro to hands on learning would be to master the tasks needed performed in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Such tasks could include: starting and IV, taking a urinalysis, administering shots, inserting a catheter, etc. This would help immensely because when it was time for the first simulation lab or clinical, the nursing student could work on mastering the emotional side of things.
The Article, Emotional Work and Diversity in Clinical Placements of Nursing Students, Daniella Arieli, notes how much emotion is involved in the Nursing profession and not just the nurse to patient emotions, but the inner emotions of the nurse themselves. The amount a nurse will see on a day-to-day basis is a lot to handle, especially for a young nurse right out of nursing school. Arieli proclaims,
"The students’ accounts of encounters with patients re- vealed another emotional challenge—the need to over- come disgust and resentment. Clinical placements ex- posed the students to unpleasant sights and smells that most of them had never experienced before. This made them realize that nursing means also doing various “dirty” tasks. So, in addition to feelings of disgust and resentment, many students also faced a crisis regarding their choice of career, as they started to question their ability and motivation to become a nurse" (196).
With the option for more of a "Hands-on" approach with nursing school, the students would gain the ability to practice with needles and other tools used in medical situations as well as become exposed to the sights of blood and other bodily fluids and have more time to master the emotional side of things when entering a clinical.
Jamie Brinnen, Nursing Student at Missouri Western State University, is approaching her final semester as a nursing student and is preparing to enter the work force as a Registered Nurse. I interviewed Jamie to find out more information about nursing school, clinical experience, and stimulation labs.
Question 1: When you approached your first clinical, did you feel prepared from the class work you had previously completed? Why or Why not?
Jamie's Answer: "When I approached my first clinical day, I was scared to death! I think that the classwork we did helped us, but I felt like there was no real experience like caring for that first patient. I think that the things teachers emphasize during lecture are great, but when you're out there in the healthcare setting, you have to really think about how to apply all the things that you have been taught.
Question 2: How do simulation labs prepare you for entering the work force as a nurse?
Jamie's Answer: Simulation labs are so awesome. Our nursing department has amazing technology for us to use. These labs really help you think on your feet, and rely on everything you know to help care for the simulation patient. The best part about simulation is that you can make mistakes and learn quickly from them, with the consequences of patient injury.
Question 3: Would you feel more prepared to enter the work force with more clinical experience or do you feel you have the adequate amount?
Jamie's Answer: I would feel more prepared with focused one-on-one patient care given completely by the student nurse. I think that one day of just caring for an ICU patient, with your preceptor on hand in case an emergency would arise, would be so helpful. I feel like there's a lot of things to still learn when you first enter the work force. But, as far as my clinical rotations go as a third semester student, our clinical experiences are a great time to learn. As a result of these clinical experiences, I feel like a much more competent student nurse.
Question 4:If Nursing school was more simulation labs as well as clinicals, would you feel more confident when entering the work force?
Jamie's Answer: I really think that more simulation labs would be great, especially for first and second semester students. Once you reach third semester, you're really expected to be on your A came at clinical. With simulations, these really help you think on your feet and handle any situation you might encounter in the work force. I think that more simulation labs would definitely be beneficial before entering the work force.
Megan Kirks, pictured in center, Graduated May 2013 from Pike-Lincoln Technical Center in Eolia, Missouri as a Licensed Practical Nurse. I held a phone interview with Megan to ask more about her schooling.
Megan informed me she went through a 10 month program. The nursing students had 580 clinical hours to be completed before graduation. Those were divided between pediatrics, long term care, med-surgical, Operating Room, and Obstetrics & Gynecology. Megan also mentioned each student did a 3 week preceptorship.
She also mentioned it was very fast pace and for the students who fell behind--they didn't make it. We both agreed that to go through any nursing school you have to be dedicated and determined to be a nurse, it isn't going to come easy. She loved going to a technical school because it was more hands on and she felt prepared once she entered the work force. She said that of course every nurse will be nervous on their first day but she felt confident in herself because of all of the hands on practice and clinical hours she had done.
She does plan to bridge over to become a registered nurse after completing her first year of working as an Licensed Practical Nurse and finished the conversation by telling me she absolutely loved her job and felt proud of herself for accomplishing what it took to get there.
After researching online and interviewing a current nursing student as well as a new graduate of nursing, I still believe there should be more hands on work offered for the RN BSN completion. With school requirements rapidly changing hopefully Missouri as well as other states around the country consider making more hands-on learning opportunities available to future nursing students.
Arieli, Daniella. "Emotional Work And Diversity In Clinical Placements Of Nursing Students." Journal Of Nursing Scholarship 45.2 (2013): 192-201. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.
"Department of Nursing and Allied Health." Department of Nursing and Allied Health. http://www.missouriwestern.edu/nursing
Web. 10 Nov. 2013.
Brinnen, Jamie. Email Interview. 2 Nov. 2013.
Kirks, Megan. Personal Interview. 4 Nov. 2013.