After 38 years of nursing, on all levels, acute care, geriatrics, school, I am finally "burnt out". I do not understand the young nurses who have "burn out" before they start. Maybe it is not the profession for you. It takes a certain personality to be able to put anothers needs before your own. I love nursing, and always will. I love the feeling of satification, the learning, the rewards of knowing I have done all I can to help a fellow human being. The problem, as I see it, is that we have gotten away from bedside care. We leave that to the aides. We are so involved in the paper compliance, budgets, ordering supplies, couseling staff etc, that we have left the patient behind. I have been able to keep going all these years because I put the patient first, then after they are cared for I do the paperwork. Sure, there is not enough time, there is too much work to do in a short 8 hours. But I do not take breaks or lunch and I work overtime without being paid. The nurses today need a union more than ever to make sure that the Administration, Dept of Health and all those governing bodies understand that we are not secretaries, purchasing agents, billers,etc, but that we are NURSES who deserve to be able to do what we were trained to do. Whatever happened to "non-nursing functions" I don't hear that term anymore. I am sure more people would feel better about being a nurse if they allow us to be nurses.