For years, nursing has been a highly sought after profession for individuals interested in medical science and patient care. Nursing was not recognized a true profession until the mid nineteenth century. However, nursing (though not defined as so) has been around for many years, originating with midwifery and household childcare. Nurses have long been the unsung heroes of the medical world. With perilous work weeks, seemingly endless 12 hour shifts, and daily duties that ensure the safety and well-being of the ill, nurses are essential components of our health system. While nurses no doubt hold an important role in the safe running of our society, there remain several myths and misconceptions about the nursing profession. These four myths about nursing are common and widespread, but are (like all myths) ill-informed and poorly supported.
Myth 1: The nursing shortage guarantees jobs for new nurses on the job market. Sadly for some, this just isn't true. Even with a fairly drastic shortage of nursing professionals, there are numerous hospitals and offices that are turning away under qualified nurses seeking jobs. Obviously, just because there is a shortage in nurses throughout the country does not mean that practices will hire any nurse they find available. The nursing shortage in the U.S. is a complicated issue that likely is rooted in the vast gap between what the public thinks nurses do and what nurse actually do.
Myth 2: An associate's degree does not qualify you to obtain nursing certification. An associate's degree in nursing (ADN) is the minimum requirement to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination. So, an associate's degree alone is not enough to qualify you to be a practicing nurse, but it does allow you to take the licensing exam. Many students choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing before attempting the licensing exam, but an associate's degree is adequate.
Myth 3: Nurses should not establish emotional relationships with their patients. Many people think that in order to remain professional, nurses cannot develop strong emotional with the patients they are caring for. However, after spending hours upon hours tending to the well-being of an individual, it can be very difficult (if not impossible) for nurses to remain unafflicted by their patients. The provider/patient relationship is a complicated one to understand. Both parties require respect, integrity, trust and compassion. Without a relationship built off of equity and compassion, a caregiver cannot properly facilitate the patients' healing and care.
Myth 4: Nurses are just gofers for doctors. A very common misconception, but also a horribly misinformed one. Nurses work to assist doctors in the needs and care of the patient and the facility. While nurses certainly act as assistants to doctors and specialists, they are definitely more than mere errand-runners. Nurses help to diagnose and treat patients. They are there to ensure that patients' get the care that they need and work to educate patients on ways to care for themselves. While, of course, nurses do perform tasks that doctors request of them, this does not mean that they are any less important than the doctors themselves.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.