Originally posted by sjoe
Nearly nonexistent until/unless one is a NP.
Joe, not attacking you, but I wonder what this means.
I've found that many NPs are basically functioning as jr. docs, or something of that nature. One acquaintance who is an NP has finally given up on correcting patients who call her "Dr." They basically refuse to believe that she's a nurse. That troubles me. Are we saying that nurses are just para-professionals who couldn't or didn't make it to med school?
Nurses hold independent, autonomous licenses to practice professional nursing. This is why, "when something goes wrong," -- assuming we're the one who did it -- we are responsible. There's no back-up to your practice. You are responsible for providing professional nursing care to your patients.
Autonomy, like power, is not something given, like some kind of award. It is something assumed, claimed, owned by those who have the authority to do so. Your education -- and the license you hold -- give you that authority.
No one in any professional field is ultimately autonomous. We all practice our craft in a web of professional and business relationships. But you have the obligation and responsibility to provide quality care in your field of expertise. Take that responsibility very seriously, and guard it jealously.
That's autonomy, folks.
Jim Huffman, RN