Thursday, September 29, 2005

Whine Whine Fuss Fuss

Around the time I discovered I was a birth junkie, I embarked on an educational effort, the purpose of which was to satisfy the pre-requisites to a local second-career nursing program. For individuals with a bachelor’s degree, this program awards a B.S.N. in 13 months.

The catch is the substantial list of prerequisites. Fortunately I had taken many of the courses (biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry) as an undergraduate. I began taking the remaining prereqs (Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology, Pathophysiology, Nutrition, Therapeutic Nutrition) at the community college. At the time my spouse started his graduate studies I only needed 2 pharmacology courses and “Lifespan Development” to complete my list.

Now that my spouse is in his last year of graduate studies (a two-year masters program turned into a five-year Ph.D. program), I’ve resumed thoughts about the few remaining hurdles to nursing school.

You can imagine my disappointment when a friend, who recently decided to prepare for the second-career program herself, met with nursing school advisors and was told they would only accept courses that were taken within the last 10 years. This has been their policy, but it did not apply to me when I met with an advisor six years ago; I’d only been out of college eight years.

So now, instead of 3 courses and retaking the GRE (my 1990 scores are too old; they don’t even use the same scale any more!), I’m facing 5 classes I need to complete before I’m eligible to apply to the nursing program.

To me, who has said legal education would work far better in an apprenticeship model, all this hoop-jumping for a profession whose daily demands rely so heavily on job-specific knowledge (i.e. most of what a pediatric nurse learns, she learns after she’s on the job; so, too, for an ICU nurse, or a surgical prep nurse, etc. etc.) is just plain condescending.

I need to learn about drug classes, doses and interactions. I need to learn how the human body functions. A little life-stage development is fine. But do I really need to relearn Krebs’ cycle or what distinguishes an ester from an ether? Do you think nurse midwives could explain the chemistry behind electron transport?

Would the health care system rather have another compassionate and competent midwife in its ranks or a frustrated on-looker whose past education and life experience weren’t enough to qualify her for education?


Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

Great post, and makes me want to finish one I have been working on and not wanting to post...perhaps you have inspired me to do so.

No, I am finding (and doubt that I will) any sense in having relearned the Krebs Cycle, the Electron Transport Chain or the Periodic Chart.

What HAS been used already this week in my first week of nursing classes (beyond the two years of pre-reqs) has been the Anatomy & Physiology and the Psychology! Go figure!


9:36 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I'll be (at last) completing my Bachelor's Degree come December, and I've been wondering what to do with the rest of my life after that point! Reading your entry was quite motivating, because you have an uphill battle but still seem focused. I wish you lots of luck!

11:51 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I understand there's a huge nursing shortage, too. Hmmm. Wonder why.

1:11 PM  

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