I thought I would start a new thread to respond to the comment that some CRNAs act like they are ashamed of being nurses.
It might surprise some of you "younger" folk that there has been (for lack of a better phrase) bad blood between nurse anesthesia and mainstream nursing. At least, I hope it surprises some of you. Because I think both sides have been making efforts to mend those fences, and I think we have accomplished much in this regard.
So when I see young CRNAs/SRNAs bristle at the suggestion that they would be ashamed of their nursing roots, I smile. That is a good thing. It means we are shedding some of the baggage of the past, and good riddance to it.
On the other hand, it is part of our history, and we would best not forget about it, but understand it and learn from it. The book "Watchful Care" by Bankert tells the story better than I can. I know, some of you are sick of hearing me push this book. But until each and every one of you read it, expect to keep hearing me talk about it!
When nurse anesthetists decided to form a professional organization, they approached the ANA, and were rejected. Organized nursing said we were not "real nurses". Even though that took place decades ago, it continues to influence our behavior and attitudes today. Nursing and nurse anesthesia didn't really trust each other, so to feel like they were on the same side was just really out of the question. The prevailing view was that going into anesthesia was "leaving nursing". They looked down on us for doing it. And, yes, some nurse anesthetists embraced that by gloating that they had risen to a level above nursing.
There are remnants of this mutual distrust everywhere. Some of you have had to deal with nurse managers who were less than supportive of your desire to go to anesthesia school. Yes there are issues about training people who are just going to leave, jealousy, envy of the earning potential, etc. But I believe it is explained by these strong historical roots as well.
Somewhere along the line, both our professional organizations realized this mutual animosity was only hurting both of us. Nurse anesthesia is the most powerful of nursing specialties, in terms of legislation and lobbying power. We are the leaders among the specialties, the first to get individual billing rights, etc. Nursing has much to benefit by being our ally.
And despite all of nurse anesthesia's successes, we are met with increasing opposition and the threat of losing the ground we have gained. Mainstream nursing is 2.7 million strong. RNs constitute the largest group of all health care professionals. We can be much more effective, for all of our goals, if we work together.
I can really see an improvement since programs were required to grant master's degrees. More and more of our programs are now in schools
of nursing. I personally believe that is contributing to our improved relationships.
So if someone with a decade or two's experience in ICU and/or anesthesia says they have known some CRNAs who are ashamed of being a nurse------yeah, that is probably the truth. Is that attitude common? Not as much now as it used to be. And should be getting increasingly more rare as we move toward the future. A future that is bright with promise for continued development of all nursing and its specialties.