I have been hearing that RN’s no longer want to do bedside nursing. Nurses today want to advance one’s nursing career and work in management or become a practitioner or someone other than just a nurse.
Options For Nurses Today
There are many, but the question that I have is what happened to the nurse that wanted to take care of patients. When I first went into nursing most of us just wanted to get a job in a hospital and become expert at caring for patients. At this time we did not have the options, even, of going into a specialty. Most of us started out on med-surg floor where we were expected to work for at least a year. It was almost like an apprenticeship. During this time we improved upon the skills and knowledge that we had learned during our education program.
Apparently, today, when nurses graduate they feel that they are ready to do anything. I don’t agree with this. I think that they need time to put what they have learned in the classroom into practice. During this time the nurse can figure out what they like in nursing and what they want to do in the future. In today’s world there is a multitude of options open to nurses. Some may require further formal education and a higher degree. Others, such as a staff nurse in a specialty, just need a chance to learn more in the specialty that they like and apply and get some experience in it.
There are so many options for nurses, today. Because patients are not staying in the hospital very long today, many jobs are community based. Homecare is a huge opportunity. Many patients still require care after they are discharged since long hospital stays do not exist. Nurses are needed in the community to teach the patient and/or family to do what once was done in the hospital by a nurse. Many procedures are now done in outpatient clinics. Nurses are needed to assist the doctor in these clinics. Some services are even provided over the phone now, requiring nurses to do this. Even education for nurses is done on the internet by nurses.
Another possibility is nurses beginning their own business and becoming entrepreneurs. Nurses used to be subservient to the doctors, but today they are becoming much more independent and going out on their own. Many nurses are as well-educated as medical doctors. Many nurses have a master’s degree or a doctorate. All of this makes a lot of change and opportunities both within the hospital and outside of the hospital. Nurses need to take advantage of these changes and advance their career.
What Do These Changes Mean To Nursing
If all nurses want to advance their career who is going to take care of the patients and how does it effect those few nurses that just want to be an old-fashioned nurse and care for the patient at the bedside? Do these nurses feel left out and like they have missed the boat? What happens when there are too many chiefs and no Indians?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be this nurse caring for patients at the bedside. These are the ones that should be admired and given a lot of credit for what they are doing. Someone is needed to care for the patient. One of the problems is technology and what part this is playing in all of this. Some of the devices that we have today does provide care that the nurse gave at the bedside. An example of this is the devices used to measure blood pressure and the heart . Yes that relieves the nurse from these mundane things that the nurse did every shift or more often when needed. However, there is a lot more that is not given when the device does the work. It does not give the patient a chance to ask questions when the nurse goes in to check vital signs, or provide the touch or the emotional support that was given when the nurse went to the bedside. These are probably more important than the task is.
What Should A Nurse Do?
Is it alright to be the best bedside nurse that he can be? If this is what he wants does it mean that he is not advancing his career? I guess it depends on what is rewarding for him. If he wants to advance up the ladder and/or make a lot of money probably being a great bedside nurse does not do it for him. One does not get recognition and rewards from the patient and family if he is working in administration.
Again not everyone can be the boss. Who is going to care of the patient if this is the case? One can work hard as a bedside nurse and attain her goal to be an excellent care nurse. Isn’t it rewarding to have a patient and his family praise the care that the nurse gave him during his recent stay? Doesn’t it make you feel good when a patient wants you for his nurse because of the excellent care you give? No one starts out here. It takes time and work to be that person. Eventually it results in patients telling supervisors how great you are. Does this not qualify as advancing your career? I think it does.
On the other hand, it is true that not all nurses are this nurse. Some nurses don’t want this and not happy doing this. I was one of those nurses. I hope I gave good care to patients, but that was not what I liked doing. The reason was not just that I wanted to get ahead and move up the ladder. I simply did not like bedside nursing. So, I sought out something else. It is better that a nurse recognizes this and seeks to find what she does like and work toward that. There is nothing wrong with this either. As I have said before, it takes everyone to make it work. We can not force people to do something they do not like doing.
Many Options To Advance
As mentioned above, in today’s world there are so many possibilities for nurses. Some require more formal education and degrees and others just take hard work in the field of your choice until you have advanced to be the best. Sometimes nurses don’t even want to work within the confines of traditional nursing. It is best to recognize this before he has tried for years to do something that he really did not want when he started out. This, unfortunately, happens more often than you might think and people work in a career that they wish they hadn’t.
It may be possible to compromise and advance one’s career and remain in the same career of nursing that he started out in. For example, he can become and entrepreneur and start a business in nursing with a little more education in business or in learning how to start an on-line business. Some people, like me, start doing this at the end of our career. After I retired I decided to start a couple of businesses on-line for nurses. Consequently, I started one to encourage nurses to start their own on-line business.
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There are so many options in nursing today. The main point is to not remain stagnant and move on to advance your career in whatever field in nursing you choose. There are a lot of options, so just make a decision and move on.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.