PhD Jakubowska: Nursing is a prestigious profession and the satisfaction of taking care of another person is priceless

Who will find themselves studying Nursing? Is it a study and profession only for ladies and where can you work after graduation? We talk about all this with Klaudia Jakubowska, PhD, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Head of the Nursing Course at Vincent Pol University.

From left, Klaudia Jakubowska, PhD, and Prof. Małgorzata Gorzel

Is nursing still a profession or already a mission?

I think the question should be phrased the other way round. It used to be that nursing was first and foremost a mission, and one could even speak of a vocation. This doesn’t mean, of course, that nowadays you don’t need to have a specific predisposition to care for another human being, but in modern and contemporary nursing we are focusing above all on the independence of the profession, giving nurses more and more qualifications, research and many other factors that have an impact on the resilient development of the profession. It is noteworthy that an increasing number of nurses have degrees and that their scope of activity for the profession is international in scope. The word ‘mission’ or ‘vocation’ nowadays is bound to refer to a desire to work with others and a strong emphasis on educating nurses in interpersonal communication, psychology in the broadest sense, sociology or the ethics of the profession.

Who will find their way into the Nursing course?

I can’t say everyone, unfortunately. Besides, some people exclude themselves from the circle of Nursing students by saying: “I wouldn’t be able to work with blood”, “it’s too hard a job for me”. Nevertheless, this profession is not just about whether someone can work with blood or not. Here it should be made clear that this is a profession for the mentally aware and mature. The psycho-physical and health requirements are quite extensive, but the most important ones certainly include: perceptiveness, the ability to concentrate, divisibility, a good memory, an aptitude for dealing with people, the ability to establish contact with people, the ability to cooperate in a team, the ability to make quick and accurate decisions, the ability to analyse situations and take risks, the ability to comply with rules, regulations and standards, good organisation of one’s own work, a willingness to help, patience or responsibility. I could go on and on. Our profession is described in a very accessible way on the Public Employment Service Portal – I encourage you to have a look. [link]

What sets Vincent Pol University’s nursing studies apart?

I am obviously biased by virtue of my position, but I believe that we stand out unquestionably compared to private universities. Of course, this is not just a political formula, I really deeply believe that and I think so. I think there are many aspects that can be singled out, but from my perspective as a former student and now as a lecturer and the person in charge of this faculty, among the most important is the state-of-the-art Simulation Centre, which is fully equipped with high-quality reusable and disposable equipment. Here, huge thanks are due to the university authorities for never refusing to meet our needs despite the fact that the university covers purchases entirely from its own resources in this area. Thanks are certainly also due to the team who look after this place. These are people who have a medical background and are constantly training and improving their knowledge of medical simulation. The staff at the Simulation Centre get along very well with the lecturers and together they form a harmonious team. All this translates into a student-friendly atmosphere. The newly published ‘Medical Simulation Handbook’ for the Nursing course is also a result of this cooperation.

Another advantage is the exceptional team of lecturers. The classes are taught by both experienced nurses with many years of experience, significant achievements, careers and serious positions, resilient in the nursing community, and young people who bring a lot of positive energy and new ideas in the implementation of the educational programme. All of this makes us together a very compatible and balanced team, and there is a very good atmosphere in the faculty.

We are also distinguished by the large number of agreements that are concluded with medical institutions for the implementation of practical classes and apprenticeships. Thanks to the hard work of the team responsible for cooperation with the socio-economic environment, we have excellent cooperation with all medical facilities within 100 km of Lublin. This is also extremely motivating for us. It’s important to remember that behind such results are specific individuals who assiduously nurture these extremely valuable relationships.

A further advantage is the schedule of the study programme, which, as far as the standard of education allows, we try to adapt to the students’ time possibilities. However, this is not easy as these are very demanding and time-consuming studies.

I would like to emphasise very clearly that, as a private university, we are inspected in exactly the same way, and perhaps even more thoroughly than state universities, by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education with regard to the quality of education. This year we had our second-level studies inspected by the CRASzPiP and were certified for a period of four years. I believe that this is a great accolade for us as a private university and testifies to the high quality of the teaching provided. Our hard work in developing the course has certainly been recognised.

Is this a study and profession for ladies only?

I hope not, because too much oestrogen in one place is unhealthy (laughs). Men are effective in relieving the tension that can often be felt in our female environment. Here, it must be said in all honesty that professional solidarity is not the easiest thing in nursing and the predominance of the female gender may have an impact on this. It is no news that women differ from men, for example, in the way they manage their emotions or solve problems. All these psycho-physical differences influence the fact that men are not only welcome in Nursing, but also in Midwifery. In terms of my experience, male nurses have been my lecturers, colleagues
colleagues, co-workers, students and I have nothing but good memories. I don’t think anyone should be discriminated against in this profession because of their gender.

What are the career prospects for female nurses?

Huge. In fact, the whole world is open for you to realise yourself and fulfil your dreams. Do you want to be a scientist or a lecturer? There’s a job for you. Want to work in a hospital? There is a job for you. And here, too, there is a lot to talk about because every specialisation is different, every department is different and the responsibilities may look different. You will do something different in the anaesthesiology department, something different in dialysis and something different in the surgery department. Do you want to assist in surgeries as an instrument technician? Go ahead and pursue it. Do you prefer complete independence and working in the field? The OPD environment is already waiting for you. Do you like adrenaline? Try your hand at the Hospital Emergency Department and find out what the role of a nurse in the National Emergency System can be. Jobs are everywhere and nurses are in short supply.

How much can a nurse earn?

She can earn very well and I wish every nurse the highest possible earnings. Personally, I think it is a prestigious profession, end of full stop. This is my opinion despite the various factors that may influence someone to think otherwise. Without nurses there is not and will not be a health care system. The salary of a nurse is influenced by many aspects. This is regulated by law, while in reality it can look different because of loopholes, which I do not want to dwell on. I don’t want to give specific amounts, but working in this profession you can really make a decent living, even if you are a so-called ‘freshman’. Nurses often take on several jobs, which gives them the opportunity to have a so-called financial cushion. Last but not least, even if someone tempted by the salary decides to go into this profession, I must say here that the satisfaction provided by the aspects of working with others is truly priceless. Nurses can boast of many beautiful stories that squeeze tears from their eyes.

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