Speaking as a nursing student, I can say that I've had it both ways...
My parents were, and are, so proud when I decided to become a nurse, and even more when I got my acceptance letter. My mother tells anyone who will listen that I'm going to be a nurse, so much so that the nurses at her doctors office ask her what part I've come to, what skills we've done, etc. (My mother has to go in monthly to have her INR checked due to being on Coumadin to prevent blood clots.) My sister, who is two years younger and attends the same school that I do, does the same thing; when one of her friends mentions they are thinking of becoming a nurse, she tells them to ask me what I had to have to get in the program or what we're doing in class, etc.
But, there have been a few people who have said, "Why don't you become a Nurse Practioner or a Physician Assistant?" When I tell them that NP is a possible goal down the line, but that I want to actually be there for the patient's to speak to, ask questions to, and really be there for the patient, they just seem puzzled.
I think the issue is that people think of being a nurse, as "Just a nurse," but people within the profession (or who hope to be
) know the importance of nurses of all levels, LPN, RN, ADN, BSN, MSN, NP, Ph D, and even CNA and MAs. We are there to help the patient, and more importantly to be an advocate for the patient for the MDs, DOs, and PAs of the world.