I am a Registered Nurse.
Have been for about 15 years.
I did my nurse training in England, back in the early 90's. I trained to be a nurse because the careers lady said she thought I had people skills and that this would be a good qualification to have when working with people. I never actually planned to go to work in a hospital, but once my training had finished, it seemed the most logical place to get work, plus having just spent 3 years in a hospital training you really could only see jobs in one place and that was, of course, the hospital.
Now degrees were not that important back then, nursing was just a qualification that you gained and then went to work.
Over the years they have now started deciding that nursing needed to be recognised and made into a profession. So that meant that they have started making nurse training into degree courses so it is recognised through education facilities like Universities/ College.
Over the last 10 years or so I have watched a lot of colleagues (including Steve, who completed his a couple of months before we got together) convert their training into a Bachelors of Nursing but have never felt the urge to do it.
Finally my time has come!
I have decided to convert my training into something that will be easily recognised and allow me to carry on to do other things easily.
I actually want to give up nursing and train to be a Primary School Teacher.
Even though I am thoroughly enjoying my new job at the hospital, I am sadly bored with nursing.
I still love caring for people and helping them through their frightening experience they may have with us. I still love speaking up for people when they are unable to and fighting to ensure they get the best possible outcome.
I still love being there for people and knowing that I made their experience whilst unwell in the hospital a better experience and let them know that someone really was looking out for them and cares.
But I now want something else. And in this day and age that ability to retrain and do something else is just at our finger tips if we are prepared to work and fight for it. In days gone by, you trained as one thing and that was what you stayed as for the rest of your working life. Nowadays people are spending 20 years in one profession and then suddenly deciding to have a total change, retrain, and then spend the last 20 years working at something totally different...and loving it!
Unfortunately here in New Zealand they do not have a nursing course like I originally did, so nothing to compare it to. I know I do not have a degree, and know that my training was not the equivilent to a degree, so have had to go through the process of finding out exactly where I sit and how much more work I have to do to obtain a degree.
I finally found that information out today with the help of a lovely lady at the local College that does the Bachelor of Nursing Course.
She thinks I can get prior learning recognition and therefore all the nursing papers I have done since my training can go towards it. Which generally means that according to her I need to do 1, yes that is right, 1 more paper/module and I will have enough credits to be recognised as having studied to a degree level and be awarded my Degree in Nursing.
Shame that once I have it I will use it to go on and do something other than nursing!
So I am now in the process of completing the required paperwork to register at the local College on the Bachelors of Nursing Course and will then wait for them to let me know officially what they wish me to complete to obtain my degree.
She spoke of the module I need to complete and it starts in July and finishes in November. It will have a few contact lessons, but not many, and then the rest is done through assessment and assignment, which I think I can manage.
So it looks like, with a bit of luck, that I will finish the year with turning 40 and succeeding in having a degree. Just like my mum did. If she can get a qualification at 40ish then why can't I 20 years later?
Quite an achievement really, one to be very proud of.