Archive for January, 2003

Nursing

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003

Well, its the second day of classes for Spring 2003 at the University of Akron School of Nursing. This semester I am struggling to have a good “attitude” about taking a course I could have taught. But such is nursing, jump those hoops girls!! Our profession teeters on the brink. I see such brilliance in the minds of the women I work with and learn from, and in the same instance see female weirdness all over the place. Nurses are strange by breed. I cannot explain it, but I have come to accept it about myself and my peers.

I am currently taking 19 credit hours. I will whine about this for the next 16 weeks so just expect it. I am a practicing RN, going back to get my masters. I started my adventures in nursing career as a 31 year old, arrogant and nieve (is there a worse combination?!?) religious zealot who was going to take over the world with my hospital diploma!!

A few things have changed, I am the polar opposite of a religous zealot (my boyfriend says amen!), I have been too wrong too often to live in arrogance ever again and life has shaken me out of my nievete. Its been a fun decade. I hate to use cliche words, but I have had many a paradigm shift. I have learned to be who I am from gleaning from some incredible women in my life. All of them nurses or nursing students with life experience that amazed me. My first mentor and friend was Marty, she literally taught me to be a human being. When I met her first semester of nursing school I was the biggest pain in the gluts God ever put on the planet. I knew it all, and I said it all. Marty was my irresistable force meeting my immovable object. She watched life as I knew it fall it peices and was there to show me another way. Thank you Marty. As you go through your struggles my thoughts and prayers are with you.

So all of that to say we need mentors. It does not make us weak to realize we need people in our lives to show us paths they have already walked. Nursing is essentially a profession of apprenticeship. I hate to tell you folks in your basic programs, you are learning just enough to pass the boards and have a foundation to build real practice knowledge. If you think you know enough to be a practicing nurse without the input of your peers on the floor, you are dangerous and I ask you to please avoid pediatrics.

Nursing as a profession is stuggling to define itself. If you want to know the Hallmarks of A Profession, go back to your Nursing 101 book, I am sure you will find a lovely definition. First things first, we need a body of knowledge that is all ours. A tough thing to accomplish in the world of medicine. We are necessarily in collaboration with docs. Its the nature of who we are, and we often times take our cues from them. So how do we establish a body of knowledge apart from docs? Researching the area we are legally allowed to act independantly.

Research, research research. I hate it, you hate it, stats stink, but we are dead in the water and forever handmaidens without it. So I am learning research. Hopefully one day I will be as good at it as my present mentors. I have been fortunate enough to have my career championed by a couple really wonderful women who I admire and see as role models. Thank you Dr. Ross-Alomaulki, Dr. Renker and (soon to be Dr.) Peg DiMarco, RN, MSN, PNP. You inspire me and I am humbled by your confidence in me.

Hoops. Get used to them they are not going away. We jump through hoops because we are in subordinate relationships to just about everybody as students. Even returning students who are already practicing RN’s. Its not personal, its just how it goes. If you do not have the constitution to play by the rules and learn to work the hoops, grad school will eat your brain. Remember your goals, and the hoops just become chuck holes on the road, troublesome, but not terminal. So suck it up my dear peers, and stop complaining. Somethings just need to be accepted for what they are. Remember, at some point we get to rule, its just not now.

Our Daughters

Tuesday, January 7th, 2003

I have talked before about my boyfriend. His name is Chris and he is the computer guru of the family. He is also one of the best human beings I have ever known. We are the proud parents of five kitties. One left us after 18 year to go to kitty heaven, the other four are young spry things that keep us on our toes. Chris did such a nice job of featuring our furry kids, that I am just putting the link here.

Take a peek if you want to see the cutest kids ever!!

Shelter Day

Tuesday, January 7th, 2003

Well one week to go before break is over. Sometimes I wonder why I am doing this, and then I go to the shelter. I frequent, as part of my studies, a homeless shelter for women and children. I went over with my advisor to do physicals on the kids who came in over the weekend. These are happy kids and good moms. They find themselves in a strange place in life, but they are good people. These kids have nothing, and they are happy. It gives me perspective. Whenever I get to feeling a little off about my life, I go there, I look in their eyes, and then I go home and shut up.

New Year!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Well, its here 2003. Who would have thought 2002 would be such a remarkable year! Soon this site will have all the thoughts, ramblings and frustrations of a registered nurse working to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. For those of you who are on the road with me… hang in there we will make it. In the past two years I have jumped through more hoops than should be legal (my school’s mascot is a kangaroo – go figure!). If anything I have to say here either moves some hoops or makes the jumping easier.. I will feel fulfilled in my mission!!

Anyway, what will be here in the next couple of weeks is all the work I have produced for my undergrad work including references. I would never encourage plagerism, it will get you kicked out of school, but if any of my work can help direct another pnp… then go for it.

The focus of my studies for the upcoming year is homeless women and their kids. I am working with several really brilliant people this semester learning the joys of research, I will pass on links and tidbits as they show up. Part of an independant study I am doing included documenting two crates of research articles for my advisor.. so if you are looking for articles on homeless populations – send me a request and I will search what I have and pass on the info.

Well Happy New Year and Good Luck Next Semester!!