What if Nursing School had a "Sorting Hat"?

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What if Nursing School had a "Sorting Hat"?

Many of us know the story of Harry Potter when he first visited Hogwarts. If not, Harry and the other young wizards had a ceremony where there was a "sorting hat" that decided which house or sect that the wizards were divided into and each had different virtues assigned to them...

  • Gryffindor - Bravery, helping others, and chivalry
  • Hufflepuff - Hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play
  • Ravenclaw - Intelligence, knowledge, planning ahead, and wit
  • Slytherin - Ambition, cunningness, heritage, and resourcefulness

Well, what if we had this same hat in nursing school to help guide those budding new nurses that are just about to start their careers? The hat would read your desires and virtues and lead them down the most appropriate path instead of being left to try to figure it out on their own. There is not a ton of help or direction after nursing school when looking for a new position. It is assumed that the student nurses will figure it out during clinicals where they get limited exposure to various specialties. 

More and more often we see new nurses entering into positions that they know nothing about and really are not ready for it and some that are making a grave mistake. Every path in nursing is unique and takes specific virtues and attitude. Those who choose nursing as a career, have similar core virtues but each specialty often requires additional virtues and likely differing personalities. 

After the fire department and nursing school, I was hired right into a perioperative 101 program in a cardiovascular operating room (CVOR). That was great for me as is was intense and demanding and had some coworkers with strong personalities. I also was a medic in the ER during nursing school so I thought I was going to end up there which I would have been perfectly happy with. If I did not get the opportunity to work in the CVOR, I likely would have never worked in the OR at all because I would have began my path likely in the ER and  never looked back. Not every new nurse is afforded this golden opportunity, and I also realize that not every new nurse would think that the OR is such a great place. But that's why it would be great to have this "sorting hat"!

Just imagine...starting nursing school and getting your core classes done. After the core classes, there is a ceremony for all the students where a beat up, smelly, old hat is placed on each individuals head and then the hat reads their innermost desires, personalities, and virtues, and determines the best possible nursing path and that decides the next set of courses for them. Then they go from there, setup for the next steps after nursing school is completed. Of course cross training will happen and the path might eventually change, but they will already be on their path and setup for success. 

Obviously...Harry Potter lives in a mythical world and that kind of stuff does not exist but there has got to be a better way to send these kids out more prepared for their future and help with placement while they are in their clinicals. We fail to setup these graduate nurses for success and often see them as a burden when we have to be their teachers and preceptors...They will be the ones providing care to us when we need it and to the next generations. We should be teaching them everything that we know and making sure they leave our tutelage better off than when they started. Now weather or not they decide to listen and absorb the information and training...well, we just have to do our best!