Having spent a lifetime in nursing and having held many roles, I would like to offer my ideas about the profession of nursing.
1. While nursing is a profession it is also a trade. Being a trade does not lower or diminish nurses or what nurses do. Nurses are trained to provide custodial care. Nursing is a needed part of the healthcare team. Nurses are no greater or no lesser in importance then others professions. The healthcare team needs all of us just like the body needs all its parts to function well.
2. I think that the glory days of nursing are behind us. Too many economic issues are present in the world. I have been their to remember the days when nurses were not allow to talk in the hallway and had to stand for a doctor. We have come a long way as has PT/OT/ pharmacy etc.
3. We need to recruit better quality people into nurses. Too many academically deficient students and too many "dreamers" do not make a great pool of future nurses.
4. Nursing is a hard job, not a quick buck. Too many people saw nursing as a way to pay the bills until something better came along. When it does not come, the bitterness and disappointment are great. As nurses, we can all name colleagues who are bitter, burnt out, should never have been in nursing, etc, etc.
5. Nursing needs to reconsider how it trains new nurses. All nurses must be required to complete a formal residency in order to be allowed to sit for their boards. The clinical training provided is weak and not significant to allow the nurse to have even a basic understanding of nursing. The assumption that the nurse will be trained by his or her first employer is wrong. Hospitals have reduced their hiring and other employers
like LTC or HH do not have the resources to train and orient new nurses. A residency in a hospital should provide the nurse with the basics of bedside nursing and allow then to know how to assess patient's, pass medications, start IV's, draw blood and have a basic knowlede of IC protocols, NPSG, documentation, falls prevention, etc. Due to money, nurse would have to pay for this training, but I see it as worthwhile. In the 1990"s when getting a job was tough, a few local hospitals set up fee based residency programs. The nurse received 12 weeks of training and exposure to a hospital setting and the hospital received the tution and the students labor.
6. Nursing needs to set the standard for NP education. I believe it should be a master's degree. Why take more money from students for non essential classes provided in a DNP program. It only consumes time and money that would be better spent working and learning nursing.
Anyway, my 2 cents.