Hey all: here is my humble opinion about the sad state of nursing affairs today and the direction it appears to be heading in the years to come. Feel free to leave your own ideas and opinions on this post.
Dear Boards of Nursing, Nursing Schools
, Goverment Regulatory Agencies, Law Enforcement and The General Public,
Nurses have not failed you, you have failed nurses.
Let's start from the beginning; it takes a special person to decide to dedicate their lives to others. Nursing calls a special group of persons to the profession: people who will spend years in school, many late night studying hours, passing exams, meeting requirements and learning about NEXT TO everything with regards to helping and healing. Out of school, new nurses all pass a federally-regulated board exam gauranteeing that they possess the minimum knowledge necessary to carry out nursing duties. At their first job, new nurses pick up extra shifts, obtain certifications, stay late and work themselves to death. Older nurses are forced to work back-breaking jobs late into retirement age because they lost everything in a stock market crash. Throughout the course of a career nurses will work against impossible ratios, the addition of new tasks and requirements for charting, care for even sicker patients but with less autonomy. Nurses will face horizontal and vertical violence, be disrespected by patients and families alike, and can no longer feel safe and protected at work (Utah nurse, Dartmouth-Hitchcock). Many will leave the profession, others will be injured to the extent that they can never work again. Still other nurses may destroy their home lives, turn to addiction or burn-out and give up on safe nursing care. State Boards of Nursing will face a serious nursing shortage lightly, giving nursing schools and nursing educators little incentive to beef up enrollment and (on the flip side) allow employers to mandate unreasonable hours that almost gaurantee nurses will make mistakes-- only to be penalized for them. Nurses themselves will become exhausted, snappy and careless versions of the bright-eyed, loving and gentle souls they once were because we didn't fail you, you failed us.
Thank you for reading.
Last edit by Brian S. on Sep 22, '17