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How Low is Too Low? or is there no such thing...

elixir

Regular Member
Was having a chat to people earlier today about ATAR cutoffs for medical professions including nursing. There seem to be a lot of opinions around it.

Is the fact people get into nursing with an ATAR of 65 out of school a scary thought for you? or are you of the opinion that academic marks in school are no indication of how you will go in tertiary studies?

I'm sure there would be stats on this somewhere; so please feel free to share them and your opinions!

I think there are a lot of things to take into account and everyones circumstance will be different but would be interested to see what the general consensus is regarding this!
 

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frootloop

House Surgeon
Moderator
My thoughts on this are that 1) School marks really are not a very good indicator of life, the universe, and everything. 2) Nursing isn't really an 'academic' course (disclaimer: Not bagging on nurses, obviously), so it's not like nursing students should have to be getting ludicrously high academic grades.
 
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frootloop

House Surgeon
Moderator
I'd be VERY weary of saying that Nursing is not an academic career!!!!
Sigh, knew I'd be met with this. If it helps, I don't really think that medicine is a hugely 'academic' vocation either, in that you don't need to be Sheldon Cooper to cope with it.
 

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skyglow1

Regular Member
Oh I see what you mean. You needed a better choice of words lol. I guess you mean you don't need to be a genius to do either medicine or nursing.
 

Havox

Sword and Martini Guy!
Emeritus Staff
Sigh, knew I'd be met with this. If it helps, I don't really think that medicine is a hugely 'academic' vocation either, in that you don't need to be Sheldon Cooper to cope with it.
Imagines Sheldon Cooper as a doctor.


lols...

"So when was the last time you achieved coitus?"
 

frootloop

House Surgeon
Moderator
Oh I see what you mean. You needed a better choice of words lol. I guess you mean you don't need to be a genius to do either medicine or nursing.
Yeah, this. (We were talking about school marks and their importance to future success, kind of forgot that 'academic' could be taken multiple ways)
[offtopic]Me and words are not good friends. I guess this is why I failed at high school :p[/offtopic]
 

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Rotors

Regular Member
It is quite interesting that in the US selection for Nursing takes much the same model as selection for undergraduate Medicine in New Zealand, you are required to complete certain pre-requisite subjects and are assessed on your grades for entry plus some have an interview or whatever.

Nursing in New Zealand is pretty easy to get into; for school leavers some credits at Level 3 in biology or chemistry and English are preferred or if you don't have that you can get provisional entry which relies on you passing an anatomy and physiology paper the summer prior and most want two references and some require an interview.

Eh ... having been there and done that I can safely say nursing is not a massively intellectually demanding career, probably 90% of the clinical decision making and associated clinical knowledge that you find in medicine is not there and I would argue that Medical and even Paramedic students have more demands on them in terms of their knowledge base and needing to critically apply it.

In saying that if you want to step up and become a Nurse Practitioner or something you need to be a bit brighter

I think the standard University Entrance qualification with some required credits in science and English is pretty appropriate for Nursing.
 

iddybiddy

Regular Member
I'd be VERY weary of saying that Nursing is not an academic career!!!!
I consider nursing as an "apprentice" like profession (much like surgery in many ways...). You don't need high levels of theoretical knowledge to be an excellent nurse; you don't need to know exactly why your patient is sick to take care of them as a nurse; you don't (in general) need to do lots of research as a nurse; you don't need to sit a million exams once you graduate as a nurse.

Therefore, how hardcore you were able to study for your exams in year 12 is particularly irrelevant if you can do the job when sh*t gets real.
 
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Lacerum

Emeritus Staff
Emeritus Staff
I consider nursing as an "apprentice" like profession (much like surgery in many ways...). You don't need high levels of theoretical knowledge to be an excellent nurse. Therefore, how hardcore you were able to study for a maths exam in year 12 is particularly irrelevant if you can do the job when sh*t gets real.
I'm not sure if by extension of the apprentice analogy, you are saying that you don't need high levels of theoretical knowledge to be an excellent surgeon?

EDIT: I missed your edit. In this context, it appears the surgeon analogy wasn't relevant to your argument.
 

iddybiddy

Regular Member
I'm not sure if by extension of the apprentice analogy, you are saying that you don't need high levels of theoretical knowledge to be an excellent surgeon?
Historically, no.

Obviously the analogy isn't complete. In the 21st century a surgeon is a physician who can operate... isn't that what they say? :)
 

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elixir

Regular Member
I think i've successfully opened a can of worms here...

I think it is important to realise working in a nursing home as an RN might well be quite different to an RN working in ICU....the demands are different in every area and one could argue that particular areas require a higher level of "academics" (although academic doesn't feel to be the right word....)
 
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iddybiddy

Regular Member
I think i've successfully opened a can of worms here...

I think it is important to realise working in a nursing home as an RN might well be quite different to an RN working in ICU....the demands are different in every area and one could argue that particular areas require a high level of "academics" (although academic doesn't feel to be the right word....)
I'm not entirely sure why it's "bad" to call nursing a less academic profession. Forever needing to study is not everyone's cup of tea!!

Clearly, no one is equating "academic profession" with intelligence. That's just silly.
 

elixir

Regular Member
TBH that is one of the reasons I want to do it!- the idea that I wouldn't have to study so intensely my whole life! I guess as I have gotten older my priorities have changed.

Just want to clarify- my opinions aren't particularly valid; only based on personal experience. I'm assuming I have a LOT to learn ;)
 

iddybiddy

Regular Member
I'm not sure if by extension of the apprentice analogy, you are saying that you don't need high levels of theoretical knowledge to be an excellent surgeon?

EDIT: I missed your edit. In this context, it appears the surgeon analogy wasn't relevant to your argument.
Oh. I just wanted to throw it in there to illustrate that nursing has a heavy focus on the "craft"/"doing" part - much like surgery. I would still not consider surgery as "academic" as internal medicine.. but that's another topic :p

http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=20000004
 

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elixir

Regular Member
Oh. I just wanted to throw it in there to illustrate that nursing has a heavy focus on the "craft"/"doing" part - much like surgery. I would still not consider surgery as "academic" as internal medicine.. but that's another topic :p

BMJ Careers - Academic surgery
I really like that opening quote “You must be interested in the intellectual challenges of the broad discipline of surgery and not just want to be a cog in the wheel,” .... seems like you would get a lot further with that attitude...
 

dobes

Member
I'm going to open the can of worms again. I know this discussion was over 2 weeks ago, but I got here late :p

To answer the original question, I would argue that the requirements are a little bit low, but they are better than 20 years ago when at one uni they were something like a TER of 35. You don't need Sheldon Cooper-esque intelligence to be a nurse, but you need to be reasonably intelligent. The most important quality for a nurse in my opinion is work ethic. As a nurse, you need to work. Hard. It's not the only important quality though.

I wouldn't say that nursing is apprentice-like, but I would argue that it would make a good 'pre-medicine' degree. You get a reasonable understanding of anatomy, a pretty good understanding of pharmacology. The most important thing you would get from nursing is that you know how to talk to people. Specifically, patients and nurses. Having worked as an RN, it's breathtaking to see how many doctors (junior & senior) do not know how to talk and listen to patients. Almost as bad is the fact that many junior doctors don't realise how helpful an experienced nurse can be to them.

Many times in ICU I have seen senior nurses suggesting a course of action to a junior doctor only to be ignored. What happens next is the senior doctor comes over, asks the nurse for his/her opinion & then agrees with it! I would argue that nurses in critical care areas (ICU, A&E, CCU) are just as specialised as doctors there are, and for the most part, know a hell of a lot more than junior doctors (Interns, RMOs & junior Registrars).

Sure, as elixir mentioned, there is a huge difference between being an RN in a nursing home & being an RN in an ICU. You might be surprised to discover that the major difference is that most nurses working in an ICU have done further study and have various grad dips, masters degrees & even 1 or 2 PhDs as well. Nursing, just like medicine, now requires evidence of continuing education for registration every year. That means you'll still need to do some study or education every year just so you can keep working.

My advice for any junior doctor or future doctor is this: Listen to what nurses are telling you. They spend a lot more time with individual patients than you do, and so are better placed to know when something isn't right. Nurses can make your job a lot easier if you work with them, but if you treat them badly they can make your life a lot harder.
 
I completed the HSC in 2007. I completed a bachelor of nursing in 2010. The UAI's of nursing is mixed. From low 60s to the 80s, the cut offs is pretty low. I had peers who got UAI's in the 90's who did nursing and Ive had met people who where admitted with UAI in the 60s. At the end of the day it doesnt matter where you get your degree. The only thing is most important is whether the course is accreditated or not.
 

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