What can nurses really do to help our dying profession? - page 7

by Blue11RN 4,186 Views | 69 Comments

I was thinking about the question of "are nurses overworked and underpaid?" Well, of course the answer is yes. And, we have all said as nurses we need to do something to change it. Well, what can we do?? How can we as nurses... Read More


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    I belong to both MNA (my state assoc. of ANA) and AACN. I am involved at the district, state, and national levels of my professional organization, but am not so involved in my specialty organization. I don't resent anyone's extra education (or initials) in nursing; we need all levels; and we need them AT all levels of nursing. I have several co-workers in my unit who have their masters degrees and they work at the bedside the same as I do (I work in CV ICU). I also know 2 nurse practioners who work at the bedside also because they found out they prefer bedside nursing-- and there are still openings available around here for APRNs and NPs. I think that the nurse who has gone on and got a degree in nursing- no matter where she/he works, should be entitled to a higher salary than the diploma or ADN. Just as the nurse who has gone on for certification in a specialty. They made an extra effort to achieve that BSN, MSN, or whatever their title may be, and we (and employers) should recognise them for their effort. I don't care if a nurse has a whole alphabet of initials after their name; the most important ones are either RN or LPN. And also that they are doing their best in caring for their patients. As long as they are performing at the level that I expect of myself, what difference does it make? This job is hard enough when we are all supporting each other; why must we snipe at each other when we are all NURSES underneath it all? No one said it would be easy to be a nurse, but we don't have to make it worse than it is.
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    Lighten up guys. I don't think anyone has addressed the question. Nursing has a large population and to increase wages minimally potentially could blow the governments budget. I'd appreciate if the hospital I worked for treated me as a private patient when I require treatment. I'd appreciate proper staff inservice where I was back filled by someone else to do my training and not have the guilts put on me by others for leaving the ward short of staff. I would appreciate greater advocacy for staff as it happens for the client. I'd appreciate extra entiltlements regarding leave when it involves my children instead of using my sick leave. It is not about how much I get paid or who has the "better education", it's about do I feel valued as a staff member of a hospital and do I walk away believing "this is a great place to work" even though I may get hit, spat on, kicked, verbally abused etc. Money is good, conditions play an equally important part. If it was money that made us happy then there would be no shrinks/therapists employed in those rich areas of our world. Have a good one and start thinking within the organisation.

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    [This message has been edited by psych-rn (edited December 04, 2000).]
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    hi blue. I think the best thing to do is to educate people about the nursing role. I am sick of nurses being portrayed, for example, in movies as bimbos with big chests who walk around in high heels and hand out bedpans. I am studying to be a CRNA. You would not believe the comments and questions I get. Here's a famous one--Why do you have to get a master's degree to hand the anethesiologist syringes? Yikes!

    So, we need to promote our profession to the public. Tell them about what we do. Write letters to newspapers. Change the image that our profession has of hat-donning dimwit people who chase after doctors. It's demeaning. The only way to get political support is to go public.
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    If you want to save the nursing profession go to WWW.MillionNurseMarch.org
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    I think all of the people on this bulletin board that continue to degrade each other about the formal education each has recieved are spending way too much energy in dividing Rn's as a group.I 1/2 of this energy was used to change the way thing are, we would have a much saferand better workplace.Let's look at the curriculum for an AA nurse and that of a BSN. If you only look at the nursing classes and the clinicals they are almost identical.The only difference is that a BSN gets management, statistics and paperwork. It's like adding a political science degree to an AA nurse. I have worked with LPN's that have more clinical sense and compassion for thier job than a lot of the BSN nurses. We need to look at people not titles. If we stay divided we will never accomplish anything. If we always do what we've always done, we will always get what we always got. Let's finally unite for the right cause and move forward.WWW.MillionNurseMarch.org
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    Originally posted by -jt:
    act like blue collar workers -


    Is this a referrence to organized labor - collective bargaining? Are you saying that it is unprofessional to be unified & have an EQUAL voice in the decision-making & policies that affect your practice? I think that is actually the height of professionalism & pt advocacy. By the way, I am a member of the New York State Nurses Association,the ANA, and its labor arm - the UAN.... and my collar is white.

    FYI: "Is Collective Bargaining Professional" http://www.ana.org/dlwa/barg/index.htm

    Couldn't agree more with the above post.Unionization is not unprofessional, however not all SNA's provide collective bargaing. Nursing Unions should be run by nurses. The above link is interesting and useful information. Thanks jt


    [This message has been edited by ocankhe (edited December 16, 2000).]
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    Sounds like you have a good idea here. What are you going to do about the competition? (nurses who are willing to work for less) You would have to provide a better service than the competitor if you are going to charge more.
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    Originally posted by Blue11RN:
    I was thinking about the question of "are nurses overworked and underpaid?" Well, of course the answer is yes. And, we have all said as nurses we need to do something to change it. Well, what can we do?? How can we as nurses really start something to make changes?? I am willing to help out in the cause to make our profession safe. I want respect and the pay to go with it. So, think my fellow nurses! And, even the nursing students.This will be your profession soon, and if you want to stay in it, and gain respect, you should help in the fight too. Let really ban together!! All nurses!!!! What do you think????

    I think we nurses need to take control of our careers instead of being at the mercy of the hospital administration. We are obviously not being adequately represented in the hospital executive board. Why is that? Why don't we have a nurse rep to fight for the staff nurses' rights? Or if we do, why don't they have a back bone?
    It is time for us to control our own destinies and take responsibility for our own happiness or misery, which ever the case may be. Let's start our own nursing firm and make the hospitals come to us. We can make any demands that we want if we are unified. They need us. And if you are thinking "what about the patients? They will be the ones to suffer." Well, aren't they suffering now? Anyway, just some thoughts on what we might be able to do.
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    Quote from MollyJ
    Well, I don't necessarily buy the premise that we are a dying profession...but we certainly are in a state of flux, swept along by the changes in the health care industry.
    In other spots on this BB, I have referred to the problems in health care as the sounds of a dying system. Health care/the US public have "bought" the premise that all people deserve almost unlimited levels of health care and that health care situations should be flawless and without error. This, of course, creates a financial conundrum that is nearly unsolveable. How do we afford this level of care? We cannot. Until folks are willing to admit this basic truth, the industry will try to squeeze each last dime of care out of every nurse. We will be asked to do more than we can.
    I like LAS's reply. As an Old Nurse, I am struck and grateful to the nurses that had time to teach and nurture me as a new grad. They were kind and while I managed to screw up plenty of times on my own, I had people to turn to, people to ask.
    I am hoping that our nursing organizations like ANA and the specialty organizations and nursing educators are giving a little thought to what skills and abilities nurses will need when we are forced (by financial reality) to stop providing every possible (and not always feasible) bit of care to all comers. I don't necessarily welcome this time. I just feel it is inevitable.
    Because I am a public health nurse, I will say that each nurse should remember their roots. Remember self-care, health promotion, health protection, prevention, basic nursing. These are the core of nursing and the parts that will never go out of style.
    Food for thought.
    When I first became a nurse, mentoring and teaching was done by all nurses. You were welcome with open arms. Many nurses shared their secrets on how to perform a certain task. Over the years, things have drastically changed. Nurses are the forefront in caring and has suffered the atomic blast first hand. Saying this, many nurses have not recognized that healthcare has changed. What worked and was applicable in the past is not working for today. The Feds and State officials no it is changing but, don't have a plan in action to fix it. Partly due to politics and money. Medicine and healthcare has become so integrated and complex, and no one is willing to fix it. It is sad for nurses to lash out on one another, partly because no one will carry the message of the nurse to the right official. In the past, nurses voice was heard simply by the nurse supervisor and administrator. Today, if these entities hear, the big boys are not interested. This is one reason why you see legislation taking place in California, just to stop the greedy establishement from taking unsafe action on nurses by increasing their patient load to unsafe conditions.
    This is the time for nurses to quit fighting one another and band together with forces who are in the political arena to make change. Those nurses who act unprofessionally to their peers and cannot mentor new nurses should be eliminated.
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    Quote from spacenurse
    How can we continue this BSN debate when there are not enough universities offering nursing education?
    It was years ago that the University of California eliminated its undergraduate nursing programs.


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    The CSU I am trying to get into is thinking about bringing it back. This is a great idea with the schools being so compacted at the JC level. This would also give students that have better grades and experience more of a chance of getting in. At my JC the student (and I have a friend that is like this so they do exist) that only cared about at least passing with a C because that is all the is required, has the same chance of getting in as me that busted my hump to get my 3.5 and took three years off getting medical experience. At least at the CSU they are aloud to select their students without fear of being sued for discrimination. I understand that not every one can get the grades, for many reasons, which fine as long as you try and are serious about your education. I can not help but get mad when 290 people are try to take one of the only 20 seats available when I know many of them will fail when they get into the program because they do not know how to apply themselves because they have skated by up until this point. I see them as wasting a seat.
    Last edit by HeartsOpenWide on Sep 25, '05


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