a few questions about nursing?

  1. I am trying to decide if nursing is the right field for me. I have heard mostly bad things about nursing like they are over worked and underpaid. I think it is disrespectful to our nurses who gets a BSN and doesn't get paid more. It doesn't make sense because you get paid more in other fields if you get your Bachelors so why not nurses. I 'm not trying start a debate because ASN worked hard for their degree too. I'm just curious to heard why y'all think the BSN nurses are not paid more. Why is nursing barely considered a profession?
    Last edit by Masters on Apr 28, '04
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    Only You Can Decide If Nursing Is Right For You Many People Who Don T Really Want A Particular Profession Find That It Was Something They Really Love To Do You Can Be Overworked They Can Cram A Lot Of Stuff Into A 8 Hour Day But One Work Of Advise When The Phone Rings Learn To Answer It "no" Many Nurses Get Burnout Trying To Make A Little Extra Money The Body And The Mind Can Only Tolerate So Much Abuse
  4. by   RNelf
    Good questions, Masters. I'm not sure why BSNs aren't always paid more (in some institutions they are) but I think maybe it's better if they aren't, at least for now. There are already too many divisive issues in nursing, I think, like RN vs LPN, critical care vs general care, teaching hospitals vs community hospitals, etc. I think if we want to advance our profession we need to unite. We all need to be paid more!

    As far as whether nursing is right for you, as chatsdale says, only you can decide that. Not all institutions treat their nurses well, unfortunately, but many do. Shop around. It's no crime to choose your place of employment based on salary. Places that appreciate their nurses pay them!

    There are lots more issues in nursing than just salary, of course. I think perhaps nursing is less respected as a profession because for decades it was "women's work", and also for many decades required less education than other fields. Plus, I don't think people like to talk about what nurses do for them, it reminds them of losing their dignity and autonomy.

    However, even considering all these negatives, there is no other profession in the world I would rather do. Nursing is intellectually stimulating and incredibly rewarding and fullfilling. Just choose your employer carefully.
  5. by   psychomachia
    Quote from Masters
    Why is nursing barely considered a profession?
    Oh let's see...

    Perhaps the reason nursing isn't accepted as a "profession" is because other professions laugh at the pseudointellectual-mystical-paranormal mumbo jumbo spewed forth by people like Krieger, Rogers, et al.

    Here's an excerpt from "Rogerian Nursing Theory" by Jef Raskin from Skeptical Inquirer, Sept. 2000:



    Why There Can Be No Theory of Nursing

    The idea of a comprehensive theory of nursing is a strange one. We could not, for example, formulate a general theory of biology, though we can state biology's essential thrust. Biology is the study of life; it is not a theory of life. Its methods range from field observation and laboratory investigations to building mathematical models. Biology includes many theories, such as the theory of natural selection and the theory of the structure and function of DNA. There is no overarching theory of biology from which we derive biological principles. Biology, in turn, is based on chemistry and, ultimately, on physics. Similarly; there is no theory of physics, but a collection of theories about the physical world. Even if the grand unified theory now being contemplated were to be completed, the various branches of physics would not disappear. There will still be surprises from the physical world, and much work would still remain to be done, even in centuries-old and well-established fields such as fluid dynamics.

    The range of tasks and disciplines that nursing includes is extremely broad. An effective nurse must understand both the human and the physiological aspects of illness. A nurse administers medication and performs procedures such as vaccinations, installing intravenous catheters, and attending wounds; a nurse checks on the propriety of medicines and dosages, sees to the physical needs of patients who cannot tend for themselves, observes and records their physical and emotional status, and can serve as the effector and senses of a doctor. In practice, though not officially, nurses often suggest diagnoses and therapies to doctors. Nurses also become mediators or ombudspersons for the patient with regard to other health care professionals, organizations, governmental bureaucracies, and commercial entities such as insurance companies. This list covers but a fraction of the extraordinarily varied tasks that nurses carry out. In short, a nurse must have a disparate and broad range of interpersonal, organizational, clerical, and technical skills. The knowledge and skill base is compounded from multiple disciplines, including physiology, sociology, psychology, and bookkeeping.

    Nursing educators should realize that it makes no sense to claim that there is a single theory of nursing, although the overarching goal of nurses' professional practice--to improve the wellbeing of their patients--underlies all the other activities. Trying to impose a "scientific" theory on such a disparate range of skills and techniques detracts from the credibility of the profession.



    If you would like to read the rest of the article go here: http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m.../article.jhtml


    But I don't suggest heading off to your next nursing theory class and debating whether or not Roger's Science of Unitary Human Beings is a crock of s**t (which it is) because the academic world of nursing would brand you as a heretic and flog you with a "foley o' nine tails" while performing a "therapeutic touch" exorcism to rid your chakra of "bad energy." You're better off just writing your papers with what they want to hear/read while in school and form your own opinion after you see/work the real world of nursing.

    My personal view is that the "profession" of nursing needs to stop worrying about being accepted by other professions (medicine, law, etc) and concentrate on making NURSING better for the working nurse. Two possibilities exist for the "profession" to advance: 1. Unionization, which would create collective bargaining contracts with employers. 2. Becoming "self-employed" as nurses and directly negotiate a contract with the employer. There may be other alternatives, but the worst would be to continue working in the "sweat-shop" conditions that exist today.
  6. by   orrnlori
    I don't know about underpaid. There's an awful lot of 100,000 yearly incomes thrown around on this board. 100,000/year is a pretty comfortable income, of course, I don't make that much and I don't know anyone personally in nursing who does, but you see it quoted here an awful lot from those who say they make that much. I guess it's relative.

    Also the only people who I've heard not call nursing a profession is nurses. I don't know why that is either. I agree with Psychomachia that we spend an awful lot of time wringing our hands over our perceived professional worth by others.

    I also agree with him about some of the toucy-feely psycho babble that comes out of some nursing literature. Things like "energy fields" don't interest me much and I don't believe they have much basis in fact. I had a nursing instructor that believed in aura's. I thought it was preposterous. NANDA used to acutally have a nursing diagnosis for disruption of energy fields when I was in school 1996-1998, suppose it's still listed as a real nursing diagnosis?

    As far as the issue of pay for the BSN, I leave that to others to discuss. I would also recommend you search the topic here. I've been a member a short time and the topic has been beat to death.
  7. by   RNelf
    See what I mean about divisiveness in nursing? (wink)

    Really, if you ask MD, lawyers, teachers, etc, if they consider nursing a profession, most of them, if they're honest, will say no. I've tried it. Many people pay lip service to the idea of nursing as a profession, but don't act on it. I'm only concerned with my "perceived professional worth" insofar as it impacts how I'm treated by my employer. Where nurses are not considered professionals, they are treated like commodities.

    I agree, Lori, that unionization is a good thing. My hospital is unionized, and we set the standard for our region, in more than just pay and benefits.
  8. by   jingy
    ***Thank you, psychomachia!!*** That's all I heard in my BSN program, and most importantly at the expense of learning how to do important procedures. I left nursing to get a masters in library science, and haven't heard the words "unitary", "biopsychosocial", and "conceptualization" since.
  9. by   llg
    I wonder about people who have a need to attack others in ways that are harsh and hurtful because they have philosophical beliefs that are different from their own.

    Nursing includes many different people with many different philosophical perspectives. Some people lean very heavily toward the traditional western "modern science" perspective -- particularly the phyisical sciences. Others are more rooted in the social sciences and "post-modernism" and "human science." Others are into both post-modernism and the traditional physical sciences. Still others take an approach that is more philosophical than scientific. Some favor Eastern philosophies over Western philosophies. And then there are those who have a primarily spiritual perspective -- whether it be Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Hindu, Buddist, whatever.

    At any given moment, individual scholars, schools, hospitals, etc. will be led by people with a perspective that is different from yours. That's normal ... and it is a healthy sign of body of knowledge that is growing and evolving and open to an exploration of a wide variety of possibile ideas. You don't need to "buy into" every one of them ... but you should respect the process and the freedom of exploration that allows ideas to placed in the open for honest academic debate.

    Most bodies of knowledge (even clasics like phyics and chemistry and biology) have included a lot of ideas that did not stand the tests of time and scrutiny. Just remind yourself of all the wrong ideas that scientists believed even 50 years ago, much less 200 years ago. Nursing needs to be allowed to go through the same knowledge development processes of the proposal of ideas, discussion, testing, refining, discarding, futher developing, etc. The good ideas will survive. The bad ideas will be weed out and/or fade away.

    And most important, we need to be allowed to do that in an environment of courtesy and mutual respect -- not hurtful attacks, obscene language, intimidation tactics, etc.

    Again, I say ... "I wonder about people who have a need to attack others in ways that are harsh and hurtful because they have philosophical beliefs that are different from their own."

    llg
  10. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from psychomachia
    Oh let's see...

    Perhaps the reason nursing isn't accepted as a "profession" is because other professions laugh at the pseudointellectual-mystical-paranormal mumbo jumbo spewed forth by people like Krieger, Rogers, et al.

    Here's an excerpt from "Rogerian Nursing Theory" by Jef Raskin from Skeptical Inquirer, Sept. 2000:



    Why There Can Be No Theory of Nursing

    The idea of a comprehensive theory of nursing is a strange one. We could not, for example, formulate a general theory of biology, though we can state biology's essential thrust. Biology is the study of life; it is not a theory of life. Its methods range from field observation and laboratory investigations to building mathematical models. Biology includes many theories, such as the theory of natural selection and the theory of the structure and function of DNA. There is no overarching theory of biology from which we derive biological principles. Biology, in turn, is based on chemistry and, ultimately, on physics. Similarly; there is no theory of physics, but a collection of theories about the physical world. Even if the grand unified theory now being contemplated were to be completed, the various branches of physics would not disappear. There will still be surprises from the physical world, and much work would still remain to be done, even in centuries-old and well-established fields such as fluid dynamics.

    The range of tasks and disciplines that nursing includes is extremely broad. An effective nurse must understand both the human and the physiological aspects of illness. A nurse administers medication and performs procedures such as vaccinations, installing intravenous catheters, and attending wounds; a nurse checks on the propriety of medicines and dosages, sees to the physical needs of patients who cannot tend for themselves, observes and records their physical and emotional status, and can serve as the effector and senses of a doctor. In practice, though not officially, nurses often suggest diagnoses and therapies to doctors. Nurses also become mediators or ombudspersons for the patient with regard to other health care professionals, organizations, governmental bureaucracies, and commercial entities such as insurance companies. This list covers but a fraction of the extraordinarily varied tasks that nurses carry out. In short, a nurse must have a disparate and broad range of interpersonal, organizational, clerical, and technical skills. The knowledge and skill base is compounded from multiple disciplines, including physiology, sociology, psychology, and bookkeeping.

    Nursing educators should realize that it makes no sense to claim that there is a single theory of nursing, although the overarching goal of nurses' professional practice--to improve the wellbeing of their patients--underlies all the other activities. Trying to impose a "scientific" theory on such a disparate range of skills and techniques detracts from the credibility of the profession.



    If you would like to read the rest of the article go here: http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m.../article.jhtml


    But I don't suggest heading off to your next nursing theory class and debating whether or not Roger's Science of Unitary Human Beings is a crock of s**t (which it is) because the academic world of nursing would brand you as a heretic and flog you with a "foley o' nine tails" while performing a "therapeutic touch" exorcism to rid your chakra of "bad energy." You're better off just writing your papers with what they want to hear/read while in school and form your own opinion after you see/work the real world of nursing.

    My personal view is that the "profession" of nursing needs to stop worrying about being accepted by other professions (medicine, law, etc) and concentrate on making NURSING better for the working nurse. Two possibilities exist for the "profession" to advance: 1. Unionization, which would create collective bargaining contracts with employers. 2. Becoming "self-employed" as nurses and directly negotiate a contract with the employer. There may be other alternatives, but the worst would be to continue working in the "sweat-shop" conditions that exist today.

    Very thoughtful, insightful and funny post, psycomachia.

    Love it!
  11. by   orrnlori
    Hurtful attacks, obscene language, intimidation tactics? Gee, I'm sorry, I didn't think I was doing any of those things. Were you referring to me, llg? I hope not cause I didn't mean to offend anyone and I'm sorry if I did.

    I guess I'm one of those nurses who wants to see nursing be a science based in science. I have no problem with the psychological perspectives in dealing with the entire patient. But when we get into things like energy fields and some of the other things I was exposed to in my nusing education, I'm a little embarrassed by it. I believe nursing is holistic, it has to be. But I don't believe one can pass their hands over the body of another and feel their energy fields. And I had a little of that theory in school. I thought it was too far fetched to be believable.

    I do think that religion and basic spiritual beliefs are important to patients and I've read studies that people who are strongly religious are more likely to survive life altering events.

    I'm simply saying that science should be taught in nursing. Things like energy fields, eastern theology, etc., should be relagated to elective nursing classes for those who have an interest in them. I'd rather, as a student, have more pathopysioloy, pharm, current political events, management, etc. in school.

    Again, I never meant to attack anyone, it wasn't my intent and I never thought it would be taken that way.
  12. by   angel337
    maybe i missed something, but i always viewed nursing as a profession. long before i became one that was my impression. i decided to ask people in non nursing professions and they say the same thing. i have a family member who is a teacher and she says her job as a elementary school teacher is the least respected and lowest paid of all professions. she says that she is there for the children only because her salary (30k) barely pays her bills so she works two jobs. i think this is sad because without teachers you have no future. at least most nurses i know can say they are compensated pretty well. oh well, i guess everyone has a complaint about there chosen career. i really can't complain, i have had other "professions" and this is the first time i can say i like what i do. for now i will just count my blessings.
  13. by   srhdaw
    just like any job, the longer ur there, the more chances you have at making more money.

    my Aunt has been a nurse for 25 years this June. and she makes well over 100k+ a year (she does 3 12 hr shifts a week, and some per dium mostly every other day. she isnt burnt out at all, because she has the 12 hr shifts under control and is very used to them. as far as per dium she takes it as it comes, and does refuse to show up sometimes, and with the perk of having seniority at her hospital that is A-OK!

    also, i am in my first year of nursing school , SO HARD, and im not doing it for the money, tho the hospital that my schools interns go to, does Hire anyone at my college, mostly all that apply, and start them at around 60k a year.

    so... i guess it depends where you live etc. But, i agree, DONT do it for them money, because if thats what ur in it for, your up for a VERY RUDE awakening. if you do your job good and enjoy it, then it isnt really work
  14. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    My best friend has been an RN for 20+ years. She makes only $18./hr, AGENCY, NO benefits.

    It all depends on where you live and what the market will bear.

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