One factor that seems to be completely ignored, however, is the fact that we, the taxpayers, are subsidizing some very expensive educational programs for R.N.s that do not adequately prepare the students for the realities of the jobs that await them after graduation. This "elephant in the living room" topic needs to be addressed if we are ever to solve the so-called "shortage of nurses."
How can we nurses even pretend that we respect the professionalism of our own fellow workers when we are so blind to the working conditions that they face every day of their lives? When studies have shown that driving an automobile when sleep deprived is equally or more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol, how can we in good faith approve of mandatory schedules that do not permit nurses to get enough sleep? Since when have the benefits of regular meals become unnecessary for nurses? Should nurses have to consider Depends an accessory to their scrubs
? Why do nurses have so little control over the practice of nursing?