February 22, 2010, 4:44 pm

Five Years On…

Well, this is creepy!

It’s a photo from the Library of Congress‘ digital nursing collection.

It looks like a still from a Hitchcock film.

She’s going to the light….

Actually, she is probably going down to central supply for gauze.

Wouldn’t be surprised if Rod Serling stepped into view…

“Nurse Nell is about to take a step…into the Twilight Zone…”

Oh geeze, now I’m freaking myself out.


I came across a blog post today. I was floored.

I have reprinted it here with permission:

I’ve come to terms with something recently; I have absolutely NO urge to get my BSN.

I used to think that I should, if I could and that I would. Eventually. Now the kids are virtually grown, I have the time, I could swing the funds and I don’t want it. I’m a bedside nurse. Always have been, with the exception of a foray into psych nursing and telephone triage. It’s what I love, when you get down to the core of why I’m a nurse. It’s what I am good at. It’s what my Associate degree prepared me for.

The thought of writing papers and researching and comparing differing nursing models while dealing with the obnoxious topic of nursing diagnoses makes me comatose. (Good ol’ Sister Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model was good enough for me in school and it is good enough for me now…)

Ironically, I love learning! I read the journals, I love attending classes, and working… requires me to keep up-to-date on all the specialties. I want to increase my fluency in Spanish, take a class on Shakespeare, pick up a violin – maybe even learn to play it, speak Japanese and, well, you get the idea.

But….I’ve no interest in managing a department, I respect those who can. Teaching is not one of my gifts. I enjoy the hospital environment; I’ve never been interested in public health nursing. I’ve never needed a BSN to accomplish what I’ve wanted in my career.



Sounds like the writer is pretty adamant.  I should be so sure of myself.

And I was.

Back when I wrote this in September of 2005.


So what changed?

I started blogging. Writing about nursing made me think about nursing. Really think about it.  I started reading the blogs of nursing students.  They were so excited to be entering the profession. Excited. I hadn’t felt that way in years. What did they see in nursing that I no longer saw? Why were they sacrificing so much to embark on a career I had come to take for granted?

I wanted what they had.

I would get that BSN.  I only looked at two programs. I chose the University of Green Bay’s BSN-LINC program. To this day I can’t tell you why. It just felt right.

Of course, I’d take it nice and easy and enjoy the process, like your typical Type A personality.

Yeah, right.

Oh, I’ve enjoyed the process. But like Ike and Tina, I “nevah, evah do nothin’ nice. And easy.”

Well, it turns out I love research, am fascinated by nursing theories, get a thrill out of producing a perfect APA paper and think public health nursing rocks.

I’m such a nerd!

Bedside nursing is wonderful,  but there are public health programs to produce, nursing research to conduct and new generations of colleagues to educate.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have something to contribute to those areas, as well.




  • Rachel

    February 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Don’t you love looking back and laughing at your old self!

  • Peggikaye

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    2 years ago …sometime close to Valentines day, my therapist asked me if I’d ever consider going back to school. I was clear that I didn’t want to go back to school, school had little to offer me and would only complicate my life.

    April 6th came along, a conflict with a children’s pastor over the treatment of children with disabilities and 2 days later I was enrolled as a psych major to start school in the fall on my way to getting my BS, then Master’s then PhD.

    Still no where near the master’s (although a lot closer to the Associates than when I started) and still just as determined.

    What a difference a day makes … huh?

  • Annemiek

    February 22, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Why does that nurse think she has to leave the bedside if she gets a BSN? You can have your BSN, have more insight and look at nursing in a whole new way, and still be at the bedside. It only makes you better. I would not have thought so either, but looking back now I have gained a whole new perspective. I will be done with my BSN if all goes well in December… after being an RN for 26 years!

  • Annemiek

    February 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    O, and those stairs look a lot like the stairs in the very first hospital I worked. Up in the attic is where they did the sewing. Ripped sheet? Make it into a pillow case.

  • RehabRN

    February 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I will never regret getting my BSN vs an ADN. I am just having too much fun at my job, and I’m having that much fun because research and other fun stuff requires one.

    Yes, I’m a nerd and proud of it. Proud Mary (even if it’s not my name) won’t be “workin’ for the Man every night and day” either.

    I’ll just keep on going…

  • Black Cloud ER Tech
    Black Cloud ER Tech

    February 23, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    3.5 years ago, when I went from Firefighter/EMT to the ER as an ER Tech, I was content with being an ER Tech… After MANY of my colleagues (including the ER docs), and the support of my RN wife, I started the prereq process… taking a class here and there. Now at the end of the 2 year process, I am coming to terms with transitioning from ER Tech to Student Nurse… If you asked me 3 years a go, I would have never thought that I would be where I am today.

    – Black Cloud ER Tech (soon to be Black Cloud Student Nurse)

  • the Muse, RN
    the Muse, RN

    February 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Nurse K,
    I am involved with mentoring nurses, techs and CNAs – most with the exact opinions of ‘your author’ above (just not so eloquently stated ::smile::). In all my years, I have not checked-in with a single one after they’ve stepped onto the path of a higher or different degree and heard them say anything but great things about their decision to leap. “…there was a step” or “I grew wings!”

    Congratulations to you! and everyone! that makes this life-changing decision. It just goes to support the maxim: You don’t know what you don’t know until someone inspires you to learn.

    Please, keep us updated on your progress!!
    the Muse, RN

  • Notes from the Web « Off the Charts
    Notes from the Web « Off the Charts

    February 25, 2010 at 11:01 am

    […] at Emergiblog has a nice post dealing with changing her mind about whether or not she wanted to get a […]

  • The Wise RN
    The Wise RN

    February 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    You go girl! I, too, went for my BSN and never looked back!

    Oh and APA? We have a love-hate relationship.

    So glad for you that you have found a renewed sense of excitement and enjoyment out of your career. Best wishes to you!

  • storytellerdoc

    February 26, 2010 at 8:04 am

    You are so right, that is one creepy photograph….Maybe the devil is coaxing her down…LOL About your introspection, well done. Very insightful and poignant and I enjoyed the post much. Thanks.

  • Stephanie Jewett, RN, MBA
    Stephanie Jewett, RN, MBA

    February 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    That’s a great story. I actually thought I loved bedside nursing and did it for years. I still love it, but took a turn into business and ended up running a surgery center for a great length of time. I did help my colleagues often, but the management side was equally as rewarding. Stephanie

  • ednurseasauras

    February 27, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Yep, I said the same things. Now nearing 3 years into a RN-BSN program which I will finish this summer. I thought I wanted to teach, turns out I’m doing that already. Now I don’t know what I want to do, but will think about the options.

  • Amega Global
    Amega Global

    March 2, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Nice topic you got here. oh by the way. I like the picture. Its really freaky. It reminds me the stairway at the old hospital nearby before it was demolished.

  • Change of Shift « mamatrauma
    Change of Shift « mamatrauma

    March 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    […] we are so sure.  Kim over at Emergiblog talks about her experience with this in her post Five Years On… All I can say is never say never, I always end up eating my words.  Kim mentions that it was […]

  • Ginnie

    March 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I can empathize as an RN from the way old school of diploma nursing (and Nell is headed down to the tunnel which goes from the hospital to the student nurse dorm). 20 yrs after graduating I went back to school; it took 6 yrs to get a BSN and 4 to do the Masters but it has been worth it. I still do clinical shifts, I teach, I manage an ED, I enjoy every minute of the day (most days anyway)

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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