Yes, the nurses in the ER will be allowed more latitude, basically because there isn't the time to stand around waiting for a doc to decide. But still, the entire ethos is built to suppress the nurses, IMHO. The pay is disgraceful, quite frankly. And the cost of living is high. So all in all, it is not easy being a nurse in the UK, and that is before you account for the dreary weather. LOL!
I'm British, but I no longer live there. I couldn't stand the mentality. In many ways it is wonderful...people are much more polite and courteous than here in the USA, and there is far less "me-ism" and much more consideration for others. On the other hand there is a general weariness that permeates the culture - almost like they can't stand for people to try and better themselves. In America, that is encouraged - the American Dream is for anyone who wants it, basically. In the UK, I felt if you tried to climb the ladder there were 1000s of people ready to jump on your back and drag you back down. But, this is all subjective of course. There is so much to love about the country - I miss it and loathe it all in one go!
As for the NHS, it is tied into the dreadful class system that still pervades the UK. Hence the hierarchy of the doctors and nurses. Nurses, IMO, are seen as servants ready to carry out the doctors orders and little else. Again - not because they don't know how - these are highly educated and trained professionals. I just feel that the culture restrains them from flourishing. Aside from the fact that they are spread so thinly they have little time to "think critically". The NHS has been brought to its knees by the "medical tourist" - those who fly in for their care, stay, then leave without paying any bills for being outside the system. It's so sad. I hate what has happened to the country I love so much, but I could no longer tolerate the **** I saw.
It's definitely worth it though if you want the experience, if for no other reason than to realize just how well respected and paid the US nurses are in comparison. When you consider the grumbles we have here, it makes you realize just how awful it must be for the UK nurses - or worse still, in a 2nd or 3rd world country!!!