We need to protect our profession. Nurses are overworked and underpaid for our knowledge base.I have had many patients make the statement that and I quote "I know Duke is paying you well as an RN." When I tell these patients that we(I have only been a nurse for a little over a year) are not making $30,ooo a year(flat rate,Duke starts new grads @ $15.04), they are dumbfounded. The patients say,for your educational level and knowledge I am really shocked. They realize and recognize that nurses are the back bone of any facility,yes we work as a team,but the patients ask us questions that they should be asking the MD! In answer to your question,should we start making this a for profit profession,I not quiet sure! WE have to provide contining education data,just like the doctors,we have to keep up with the latest techniques. Nurses like PT,OT,RESP, therpay should not be tied in as part of the general hospital bill. We are highly skilled professionals,(we are PT,OT, Respiratory,dietians,cna,social worker,and Psych consult when needed). There are many times when I ask myself,did I make the right decision about nursing,then a patient will look at me and say thank you,and all my doubts will go out the window. The answer is yes,we need to protect our profession,we can continue to give excellent care and probably have a little more control over our profession if we starte charging for nursing services. I think administion would seen,who really brings in the money! Thanks for a great topic.