At the time I decided to pursue nursing as a career, all of the data and the present, at that time, conditions were an incitement. I actually saw a future in nursing. It was a very creditable option for someone who wanted to make a career choice. Then as we all know some thing happened and wages stagnated and working conditions degenerated to the point of today.
Nursing wages in most of the country have not even kept up with inflation. While the other career options and their salaries have soared even within other areas of health care.
I have heard the arguments about nursing being a great career because of so much that is open to a nurse to move onto such as management, administration, teaching, law, research, sales, information technology, etc. The hard cold fact is that I could have focused on any one of these career options without going into nursing in the first place. I could have chosen any one of these other careers in the traditional way as a career. Nursing was my primary focus as a career choice and not a secondary choice to get into a different career objective.
Now you can either take my word for it or you can research just about any thread/post about nursing and a "calling" or anyone with the focus of encouraging nursing, you will see a statement of how money is not a concern. You will also see a statement made about putting up with or tolerating the working conditions because of some religious or spiritual doctrine. If this is not the same as enduring personal suffering and sacrifice in order to minister to the sick, then what is it? There was even a recent comment on another post made by a nurse, "this is the price we pay for our calling?"
You can say that nursing as a profession is not hindered by this view. I can say it is. I can only imagine a young person coming across these statements trying to decide a career choice that would serve them well in the future. I can see them thinking about things like nice cars, homes, and providing for a future family and saying, why should I have to suffer in a profession when I have so many other options? If nursing is made up with individuals who will allow themselves to suffer and tolerate their conditions, then maybe I need to find another career choice. This last statement has probably been made by thousands of nurses who have left or are planning on leaving soon, including me. This is what I meant by nursing is a slowly dying profession.
Now if the nurses who have this view of nursing as a religious or spiritual endeavor want to push back nursing 200 years to a time where nuns or other religious orders were at the bedside, then they are on the right track. If they want to purge nursing of those of us who saw nursing as a career choice, then again they are on the right track. If they want to see nurse to patient ratios continue to climb and enrollment in nursing programs
continue to decline, then again they are on the right track. As long as there are a group of people who believe or feel the need to personally suffer and who are willing to tolerate the conditions in this profession while at the same time allowing this continue and make statements like these, then other considering nursing as career choice will go some where else and other nurses will leave. If anyone thinks that they can find enough highly spiritual or religious individuals that will step into nursing as it stands now to suffer and tolerate the working conditions, then maybe they need to look around and see how many nuns are still at the bedside.
One last thing, if anyone thinks they are fooling young people with all the career options open to nurses, think again. It only takes a microsecond to figure out that many of the career options open to nurse to ascend to, do not need a background in nursing to achieve in the first place. We all know that many of these options were escape paths developed by past nurses in order to flee the bedside, because they could not tolerate the atmosphere any longer.