America's view of the nursing profession

  1. Hi everyone! I have noticed that different people in society all have very different views of nursing. Some think that nursing is a "dirty job", meaning that it involves many unpleasant tasks. Other think nurses are "overworked and underpaid." What can we do as members of the nursing profession to change these views?
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  2. 50 Comments

  3. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from elatty
    Hi everyone! I have noticed that different people in society all have very different views of nursing. Some think that nursing is a "dirty job", meaning that it involves many unpleasant tasks. Other think nurses are "overworked and underpaid." What can we do as members of the nursing profession to change these views?

    Educate the public, but at the rate of lack of "funds" for everything - I don't see it happening anytime soon.
    Welcome to the site. Enjoy your stay and best wishes to you.
  4. by   lindarn
    Quote from elatty
    Hi everyone! I have noticed that different people in society all have very different views of nursing. Some think that nursing is a "dirty job", meaning that it involves many unpleasant tasks. Other think nurses are "overworked and underpaid." What can we do as members of the nursing profession to change these views?
    The public thinks of us as blue collar trailer trash, by our lack of education, our perceived lack of autonomy, and our "learned helplessness", mentality and demeanor, and our lack of control over our profesion. We are not viewed as professionals, as are PT's, OT's and Pharmacists (who now have a doctorates as entry into practice). We lack the knowledge and expertise to run our profession, define it, and control it. Nursing is controlled like a voodoo doll by doctors, administrators, patients, and family members. And worse, we lack the initiative to change these circumstance, and educate ourselves to make it happen. We lack the self confidence to make the changes necessary to bring nursing in to the 21st century and into the world of the medical professionals.

    Everyone needs to read the book, "Nursing Against the Odds", by Suzanne Gorden. She outlines and discusses what she has observed about nurses, and what they do to perpetuate this image, and disgraceful treatment that they are made to live with. I highly recommend it to EVERY NURSE, AND DEFINATELY EVERY STUDENT NURSE. READ THIS BOOK AND DISCOVER WAYS TO CHANGE NURSING.

    Every thing about nursing needs to change, from our education, to our professional entrance into the world as new grads, to the way we act and react, and the way we accept this disgraceful assault on our profession. We need to find and nurture leaders to lead us to a better nursing profession. This will only come with a grassroot takeover and change of our present educational system, and the methods that are taught. The public may think that nurses are wonderful, and trustworthy, but as to the concept of respect and image? From my experience, I don't think that they think of us as being on par with the other members of the health care professionals. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The public thinks of us as blue collar trailer trash, by our lack of education, our perceived lack of autonomy, and our "learned helplessness", mentality and demeanor, and our lack of control over our profesion. We are not viewed as professionals, as are PT's, OT's and Pharmacists (who now have a doctorates as entry into practice).
    I've noticed more of the "blue collar trailer trash attitudes" coming from some nurses themselves, more than the public.
  6. by   ChevRN
    When I tell others I am a nurse, they look up to me and respect my profession. They look at my job as one that is professional and of high responsibility, also well paying.

    This is my experience from personal friends and acquaintances. In the media, however, I have seen this differently. Take, for example Ben Stiller's role as Greg Focker in "Meet the Parents/Fockers". In "Meet the Parents", he is belittled by the Byrnes family and their friends.

    What are the other personal experiences of other nurses.
  7. by   BlueYYsRN
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I've noticed more of the "blue collar trailer trash attitudes" coming from some nurses themselves, more than the public.

    You are right on.

    Maybe it would help if we stopped insulting each other. Am I "blue collar trailer trash" because I am a Registered Nurse who obtained an ASN before taking the same boards as the nuirse who obtained a BSN?

    I generally dont even respond when this comes up but I must say this old argument is insulting.
  8. by   Katnip
    I've never been referred to as "blue collar trailer trash" even when I had a factory job. I think the term would be demeaning toward any person with a job.

    While I don't think we always get the respect we deserve, I don't think people look at nurses as something that stuck to the bottom of their shoes.

    Yes, the public needs to be informed of what kind of education it takes to be a nurse.
  9. by   bluesky
    Quote from elatty
    Hi everyone! I have noticed that different people in society all have very different views of nursing. Some think that nursing is a "dirty job", meaning that it involves many unpleasant tasks. Other think nurses are "overworked and underpaid." What can we do as members of the nursing profession to change these views?
    Well, there are some not so savory tasks involved in nursing andwe definitely are overworked and underpaid. I'd say those perceptions are pretty accurate, for me at least. :stone
  10. by   FroggysMom
    Quote from lindarn
    The public thinks of us as blue collar trailer trash, by our lack of education, our perceived lack of autonomy, and our "learned helplessness", mentality and demeanor, and our lack of control over our profesion. We are not viewed as professionals, as are PT's, OT's and Pharmacists (who now have a doctorates as entry into practice). We lack the knowledge and expertise to run our profession, define it, and control it. Nursing is controlled like a voodoo doll by doctors, administrators, patients, and family members. And worse, we lack the initiative to change these circumstance, and educate ourselves to make it happen. We lack the self confidence to make the changes necessary to bring nursing in to the 21st century and into the world of the medical professionals.

    Everyone needs to read the book, "Nursing Against the Odds", by Suzanne Gorden. She outlines and discusses what she has observed about nurses, and what they do to perpetuate this image, and disgraceful treatment that they are made to live with. I highly recommend it to EVERY NURSE, AND DEFINATELY EVERY STUDENT NURSE. READ THIS BOOK AND DISCOVER WAYS TO CHANGE NURSING.

    Every thing about nursing needs to change, from our education, to our professional entrance into the world as new grads, to the way we act and react, and the way we accept this disgraceful assault on our profession. We need to find and nurture leaders to lead us to a better nursing profession. This will only come with a grassroot takeover and change of our present educational system, and the methods that are taught. The public may think that nurses are wonderful, and trustworthy, but as to the concept of respect and image? From my experience, I don't think that they think of us as being on par with the other members of the health care professionals. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington

    Hey hey...watch it. Assaults and preconceived notions can occur anywhere. My husband is a hard working BLUE COLLAR man and has been for all his working life - over 40 years now. We live in a trailer out of choice and keep it well. I have been a nurse for over 25 years.

    I don't mean to flame you and I did read and understand what you had to say, but please enough of the 'blue collar trailer trash' stuff. Because we live in trailers (or mobile homes if you prefer) and don't have 16 letters behind our names doesn't mean we are trash.
  11. by   bluesky
    "Blue collar trailer trash" is a completely offensive term used by people who are clearly classist.
  12. by   bluesky
    Quote from FroggysMom
    Hey hey...watch it. Assaults and preconceived notions can occur anywhere. My husband is a hard working BLUE COLLAR man and has been for all his working life - over 40 years now. We live in a trailer out of choice and keep it well. I have been a nurse for over 25 years.

    I don't mean to flame you and I did read and understand what you had to say, but please enough of the 'blue collar trailer trash' stuff. Because we live in trailers (or mobile homes if you prefer) and don't have 16 letters behind our names doesn't mean we are trash.
    Thank You. The greatness of this country was built on the sore backs of working class people. Why many nurses have so much contempt for working people is a mystery to me (seeing how a. like it or not we are working people and b. we see the price that working people have to pay in terms of their health everyday).
    Last edit by bluesky on Oct 18, '05
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Grandparents were blue collar. Parents are blue collar. And me too. Oh, yes, the trailer, too, for 10 years. Imagine how convenient it was to not pack ANYTHING, just hitch up your house to a hauler, and go.

    As a result, i appreciate where i come from, i appreciate where i am, and i appreciate where i'm going. No, ifs, ands, or insults about it.

    :hatparty:
  14. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from lindarn
    The public thinks of us as blue collar trailer trash, by our lack of education, our perceived lack of autonomy, and our "learned helplessness", mentality and demeanor, and our lack of control over our profesion. We are not viewed as professionals, as are PT's, OT's and Pharmacists (who now have a doctorates as entry into practice). We lack the knowledge and expertise to run our profession, define it, and control it. Nursing is controlled like a voodoo doll by doctors, administrators, patients, and family members. And worse, we lack the initiative to change these circumstance, and educate ourselves to make it happen. We lack the self confidence to make the changes necessary to bring nursing in to the 21st century and into the world of the medical professionals.
    I would have to respectfully disagree. Perhaps it depends on which area of the country you're in. I get alot of respect being a nurse. There are always those patients families who you can't please no matter how hard you try. They are the only one's I ever have problems with. People in the public, neighbors, patients, etc....are respectful of me know I'm a nurse.

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