Please reconsider your decision to become a nurse. Are you from Britain? I noticed that you used an "s" in a place where we(Americans) put a "z". The following is an excerpt from an editorial I wrote....
It's almost uncanny the way that the true issue has been skirted for more than a century now. Nursing is the last great battlefield of sexual discrimination, period.
An RN must complete either 4 years of study in a two-year program or earn a bachelor's of science in order to practice. A nurse must pass difficult state board exams prior to receiving a license. A nurse must also be drug-free, hold current certifications in CPR and sometimes Advanced Cardiac Life Support, have no criminal record, submit to a yearly physical exam and TB screening, and participate in continuing education. Then the nurse must practice her skills with unerring perfection and responsibility, lest a life is lost (or a nursing license.) Call me crazy, but this sounds like a PROFESSIONAL person.
Yet, nurses receive wages that are commensurate with a BLUE COLLAR working MAN. Why do you think there is all this talk of unions? Nurses are considered LABOR!
Traditionally nurses have been women. In the beginning, perhaps they were handmaidens with little skill, but talk to any nurse today and you'll find a highly educated professional with awesome responsibility and critical thinking skills. If I were to dictate into a tape recorder all that I must know to perform my job, it would take MONTHS to complete. I doubt the same is true for men who deliver bread, pack warehouse orders, and collect trash. Yet all of these JOBS pay MORE than the average nurse's wage. Nursing used to be a second job for women who were not the primary earners in their household, so hospital administrators have comfortably sat back and paid as little as humanly possible for professional, responsible work. After all, a woman doesn't have a family to support. Basing pay on the perceived need of your worker rather than the on the value of your worker's skill is discrimination, in this case based on sex. Nurses are also caring people and easily taken advantage of by administrators as they appeal to a nurse's 'sense of duty' to mandate overtime and exhausting work-assignments.
What a wonderful deal these administrators have! Well, let me be the harbinger of bad news. The party's over, guys.
In the past, when a nursing crisis has existed, more people went into nursing because of available jobs. At this point in time there are a plethora of jobs and yet the schools are virtually empty. Why? Because even though the nursing profession hasn't reached the year 2001, the women in this country have. We are no longer content to bust our rears for 35K when EVERY other career is open to us. (Incidentally, ask any nurse if she would allow her daughter to become a nurse, invariably the answer will be NO.) New high school graduates are not interested in dedication, service, and sacrifice. They are interested in a prestigious career that actually pays enough to have a savings account and cable television. The irony is that only a very intelligent person can hope to make it through a nursing program, this same person, because of her intelligence, realizes that a career in nursing is fiscally, professionally, and emotionally unrewarding. Who in their right mind would want to clean every bodily fluid, expose themselves to disease, comfort terminal patients, be responsible for ALL aspects of patient care, analyze test results, ect. for $15 to $20 an hour? Who would want to pay $50 a month for parking, NOT get a discount at the cafeteria (if you get a lunch), be told what color and style scrubs
to wear, for the glittering perk of health insurance? Not many, when faced with the options of a new millennium. And there lies the crisis. Older nurses are retiring as many nurses have dislocated themselves to other professions that offer more respect, less stress, and more pay. We are getting smarter and making a quiet exodus. Very few are coming to replace us. There will be no full circle this time.
Are there solutions? Yes, many, but the problem is not even being addressed. A dollar or two an hour is NOT going to resolve this issue. Nursing can easily be a billable service that generates revenue, but hospital administrators have grown fat from the profits of nursing for the last hundred years and will not like sharing the pie. But share they must, or in the near future you will care a lot less about whether you have access to world-renowned physicians and a lot more about whether you have access to pain medication after surgery, and yes, even a bedpan.
Antoinette Skonezny RN
QUOTE]Originally posted by laura davidson:
I want to study nursing in the USA but dont know who to contact or how to go about it do you have any information at all. If so please reply as i am desperately trying to organise my studies.
[This message has been edited by atncc1701 (edited March 30, 2001).]