This article was originally published on 9/9/2015 on the Nurses @ Microsoft Blog.
It’s official! I finally graduated with a doctorate in nursing practice. It was 8 years ago that I started nursing school, yet it seems like yesterday that I told my high school counselor I wanted to become a criminal-profiler-philosopher-painter-inventor. Turns out, being a nurse practitioner isn’t too bad either.
What drew me to the nursing profession were the science courses, holistic philosophy of treatment, and ability to begin clinical care immediately. I entered nursing school in August 2007 full of determination, armed with a stethoscope and pathophysiology textbook. Like your prototypical type-A nurse, I came equipped with pens, sticky notes, highlighters, three-ring binders, reference books, coffee, and my computer. However, what I wasn’t prepared for were the five unlikely prejudices on my journey to becoming a doctor of nursing practice.
You are too smart for nursing school.
The first time I heard this was from a family member. Then I heard it again from friends and colleagues. Initially, I was confused by this assertion: “Uh oh, I must not be very smart because nursing school is actually really challenging.” Over time I realized that the problem was a public misunderstanding. Actually, I was smart enough to go to nursing school.
Here are a few things I think the world should know about nursing school. First, we take science classes. Yes, that means we study anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, and pathophysiology. Second, we must pass standardized benchmarking exams every year. Third, we don’t wear white dresses and hats. Fourth, we aren’t all women, and the number of males entering the profession continues to grow. Fifth, we undergo extensive clinical rotations beginning in our undergraduate studies. Sixth, we are not trained to obey doctor’s orders; in fact, we are educated to provide autonomous and collaborative care of all individuals either sick or well across all settings.
Continue reading on The Nurses @ Microsoft Blog. Spoiler alert, the other prejudices include: