Top seven myths about nursing degrees

Nursing degrees have been the subject of many myths throughout the years. Myths about nursing degrees can be perpetuated because of an inadequate understanding of the field and the many options available. Commonly-held beliefs can misrepresent the real world of nursing education and the careers that can be sought after with a nursing degree.

Nursing degrees are exceedingly valuable and respected and can open the way to various professions, including consulting, teaching, administration, and research. There is also a myth that a nursing degree is “simple” to acquire or that you can become a medical attendant without much hard work. 

This is far from the truth—nurses must be educated experts prepared in the most recent medical technology and techniques. It takes a great deal to get a nursing degree.

Here are some of the myths about nursing degrees.

Nursing degrees are all the same

Nursing qualifications differ due to the various levels of nursing qualifications, each with a concentration. At the undergraduate level, they involve a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and a diploma in nursing. 

Each path could provide different specializations within the area relative to the curriculum. At the graduate level, the various pathways are Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing. 

Each degree requires varying clinical experience and can focus on specific areas such as leadership, education, or research. Additionally, certificates are offered to students after completion of some degree tracks. Thus, a range of nursing degree programs is available to those looking to pursue a career in nursing.

To teach about the different levels of nursing degree, Rockhurst University’s online MSN-AGACNP program looks into the role of advanced practice nurses and how social, cultural, political, and economic elements impact them. Issues in the changing healthcare environment are reviewed for quality and patient safety initiatives to improve patient outcomes. It also delves into the ethical and legal aspects of advanced nursing practice.

Nursing is a female-dominated occupation

Contrary to general belief, nursing is not exclusively a female-dominated profession. While nursing has been mainly sought by women historically, there has been a significant increase in male nurses in recent years. 

Men gradually recognized the rewarding and fulfilling career of nursing and the numerous career chances available. Nursing is a profession that welcomes persons of all genders and promotes change and inclusivity.

Nursing is a low-paying career

Another common misconception is that nursing is a low-paying profession. In reality, nursing offers competitive salaries and excellent earning potential. The salary of a nurse can vary depending on factors such as education, experience, specialization, and geographic location. 

Advanced practice nurses, such as nurse practitioners and anesthetists, can earn significantly higher salaries. Additionally, nurses have opportunities for career advancement and can pursue leadership roles, which often come with higher pay scales. Overall, nursing provides a stable and financially rewarding career path.

Nursing is limited to bedside care

Nursing is often related to bedside care in hospital surroundings, but this is just one feature of the occupation. Nurses work in varied healthcare surroundings, including schools, clinics, public health departments, study institutions, and corporate surroundings. 

They are involved in various roles: consultants, educators, administrators, and researchers. Also, nurses can specify on multiple grounds such as critical care, geriatrics, pediatrics, psychiatric nursing, and more. 

Nurses can take on developed practice characteristics with advanced degrees, recommending medications, identifying illnesses, and providing primary care. The nursing profession proposes a wealth of chances and agility for nurses to follow their welfare and career ambitions outside bedside care.

Nurses are just assistants

Nursing degrees are often misunderstood as being mere assistants or caretakers. This is one of the biggest myths about nursing degrees that holds no truth. In reality, nursing degrees are comprehensive and rigorous courses that prepare the student to become a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, nurse administrator, or nurse researcher. 

Nursing programs focus heavily on the sciences such as biology, anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, and nutrition. They also teach advanced nursing specialties, including oncology, pediatrics, geriatrics, and emergency care. A nursing degree prepares the student to deliver nurse-led care, advance the community’s health, and promote healthy outcomes within the healthcare system.

Nurses are just caregivers

One of the most pervasive myths about nursing degrees is that nurses are caregivers. While it is true that nurses provide patient care and are invaluable to the healthcare system, a degree in nursing requires the same level of knowledge, skill, and professionalism as any other college degree. 

Nurses undergo rigorous professional training and must understand the scientific foundations of healthcare and the practical application of this knowledge. They go through years of study and clinical practice to develop the skills to assess, diagnose, and treat patients and possess a deep understanding of the social, psychological, and economic impacts of illness. 

Nursing is only about technical skills

It is surprising that many students expect to acquire the practical skills required for the job from a degree. Nursing is not a trade. The technical aspects of nursing are the baseline of your education.

In nursing school, you will gain technical knowledge and abilities and develop a compassionate way of thinking and caring for patients. Learning to advocate for the patient and honing your critical thinking abilities are essential to a successful nursing education.

No two situations are the same; while a textbook can provide fundamental guidance, it cannot account for the intricacies involved in caring for an individual whose condition changes regularly. Nursing is not just about technical proficiency; it involves so much more.

Final thoughts

A nursing degree is invaluable to anyone looking for a meaningful career in one of the leading healthcare professions. The myths about nursing degrees are largely unfounded, and regardless of whether you enter this field through a two-year associate’s program, four-year bachelor’s program, or a higher level of education, it offers incredible opportunity. 

Nursing is a rigorous and challenging profession, but it allows you to make a real difference in others’ lives. With ever-evolving healthcare technology and a widening scope of specializations, the nursing profession is one of the most impressive and rewarding paths you can take.