What can nurses really do to help our dying profession? - page 2

I was thinking about the question of "are nurses overworked and underpaid?" Well, of course the answer is yes. And, we have all said as nurses we need to do something to change it. Well, what can we... Read More

  1. by   shee1a
    The market is fabulous out there right now for nurses. One can get a job just about anywhere, so there is no need to put up with poor treatment or stagnant pay scales. We would hope that once the powers that be figure that out things will change for us. However, sadly I dont think they will. At our place managemant states they expect a certain % of turnover per year (dont know the number). Lets face it we do have that flexibility in nursing to change areas when we please and it is not looked down upon, in fact some would say that it makes a more rounded nurse.
    I do agree with one of the girls way above if we are to advance as a profession change has to start with in. We cant back bite like babies and then expect people to take us and our profession seriously.
    Then we need to look outward and educate the puplic on what we do. yes they like us and a recent poll showed that out of all the professions we garner the highest respect and trust. Yet still we are undervalued money wise. We need to inform every patient and every person that we come in contact with that we are not "bed pan slingers" that instead yes we have a brain. We can work autonomously and more than likely we are the ones who are going to save their butts at 3AM when there is no MD around. Just a thought.
  2. by   askater
    Hi Just a nurse--

    I'm glad you're actively looking for a new job. I previously worked at a hospital. Sounds much like yours. I had MANY concerns. My supervisor and up said nothing will change...if you don't like it leave.

    And that's what I did. I went to a different hospital. I feel I have a voice there. Supervision is better. Much more supportive.

    The first hospital I worked at is 5 minutes away. My dad needed surgery. He had the choice of my old hospital and current hospital. He choose the 35 minute drive to my current hospital.

    Good luck!

  3. by   D.W.AHRENS
    Hay folks, I hate to interrupt all the backstabbing and infighting going on here, but I need your help. In terms of promoting Nursing as a profession it is my desire to assemble all the information necessary for a Nurse Generalist (Diploma Degree and or Associates and or B.S.N.) To declare their autonomy. It is my belief this cannot happen as long as nurses are simply EMPLOYEES. That's where they have us. Some of us have left hospital employee status to wander into the much greener pastures of Agency nursing. Why would a nurse need an agency to make the money off the sweet of the nurse's brow??? My only guess is it all goes back to the days when a Nurse was a Prostitute that a Doctor had the decency to put to good use; hence we are still in need of our pimp.?.
    Why else would a nurse need an employer??? The Administrators of nursing Agencies are generally not nurses and generally (in my limited experience) not able to be much more than an insurance salesman if it were not for them having a job berating nurses, then nurses providing 100% of the work which generates the money so these folks can continue to whip their nurses into line.
    Suppose a GROUP of Nurses were to form Professional Associations (P.A.) like doctors, lawyers, Certified Public Accountants and other Professionals do all the time.
    Then they were to draw up a contract with individual units in hospitals describing 1. How much money per hour they would require 2. How many patients they would care for on that unit. 3. What the additional (pretty damn high) cost to the hospital would be for each additional patient should there be a need arise to take extra patients. 4. How long would the contract live. 5. At what point before the contract expired would the facility need to request for an extension before by default the old contract would automatically die. (Forget appreciating experience on the floor make them pay for it). 6. How much orientation would be necessary. 7. How much additional orientation would be necessary on a unit per unit basis before floating could be considered. 8. How much extra it would cost the facility to float the nurse. 9. How much advanced warning would be required before floating the nurse. Etc...
    What I need form you is examples of current contracts local agencies and Travel Nurse Agencies currently use. If you could please e-mail them to me at
    Don@Ahrens.net or dwajr@juno.com
    I will remove all identifiers and reproduce a generic version. I will then have a lawyer friend of mine look it over for legal correctness; then copy write it as a GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE. Then link it to my nursing page http://dwajr.Tripod.com/nursing
    GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE means it is copywrited so that anyone can copy it, and then modify it in any way they wish and use it in any manner they wish so long as they never copy write their revision so others cannot duplicate it.
    Donald W. Ahrens Jr, R.N.
  4. by   Net
    I agree with all that you say, only problem is that I am UK, if more nurses worked together instead of argueing about all and sundry then the NSH in our country would be a better place. I am a mature student and I have seen so much regarding patient care that I have thought of packing up but | know that I will make a difference eventually when the bickering between qualified staff stops. The bickering between qualified staff is starting to show in the attitude of student nurse's.
  5. by   Net
    I agree with all that you say, only problem is that I am UK, if more nurses worked together instead of argueing about all and sundry then the NSH in our country would be a better place. I am a mature student and I have seen so much regarding patient care that I have thought of packing up but | know that I will make a difference eventually when the bickering between qualified staff stops. When qualified staff stop giving the mature students a hard time they will find that they have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. I know this cannot be said for all but at least give us a chance.
  6. by   Blue11RN
    I was surprised to see all the comments from my post. I am glad everyone is thinking. I am glad we are also on the same track of, how can we improve our profession. Because we are a wonderful profession and a very needed profession. We just have to make people (administration) see our point. We are not being greedy like alot of doctor's, but just want fair pay and a fair job setting. So, my fellow nurses (includes everyone, NA,LPNs,RN's, BSN, and MSN because we are all just nurses) lets keep thinking and start moving!!!!!! Lets stop fighting among ourselves. Just because one nurse went through a BSN or diploma program, it really doesn't matter. Every nurse has to indure the same problems!!! Thanks.
  7. by   Nikilea
    Well put Blue11RN! - From a nurse who worked hard,sacrificed some things, and will always be proud to be a Nurse!

    [This message has been edited by Nikilea (edited January 19, 2000).]
  8. by   sparrow
    Speaking as a lowly Diploma nurse: in my facility most of the nurse management positions are held by diploma nurses! This includes ED Director, OR, OB, PEDs, MED/SURG, Rehab, Risk Management, and myself in IC/EH. And this has been the trend in most of the hosptials I've worked in. I have been in mangement in one form or another since 1978, at which time I had only practiced nursing for 5 years. And, believe me there were plenty of BSN's to choose from, but I was the youngest Nursing Management person in my facilty and was choosen over BSN's with equal experience. Why? I guess better organizational skills, people skills, assessment skills and technical skills.
  9. by   4Health
    Originally posted by Nikilea:
    Well put Blue11RN! - From a nurse who worked hard,sacrificed some things, and will always be proud to be a Nurse!

    [This message has been edited by Nikilea (edited January 19, 2000).]
    I have to agree with nurses pulling together and I think those that are the true professionals do. I think that the very best way to promote our profession is to conduct our daily routines as professionals and to support our profession actively!

    The best way to promote it continually is to maintain our memberships with our professional associations. I know I can't keep on top of it with everything I do in my field (Cardiology), so I do rely on my state nursing association to keep on top of it for me and they do. Does that mean that I agree with everything they do? NO! Does it mean I pull my membership at the first sign they don't take my personal suggestions? Absolutely NOT! I recognize that these professionals are devoting their times, efforts and energies to support my profession overall. I recognize that if I can't be there at every state Board of Nursing Meeting to represent my personal interest in my career choice, I feel much better knowing that at least the profession's overall interest ARE being looked at from NURSING'S perspective.

    The professional associations are trying to do the best they can with the average being only 2% of all nurses in this country who actually maintain membership in these organizations. Do we really believe that we can protect our nursing profession with only 2% contributing towards that protection and advancement? Can we keep saying "I don't need to get involved because I know ANA and the other organizations will protect us even if I don't join as a member"? Do you realize that membership in any of these organizations will amount to usually less than 1/2 of 1% of your annual salary from nursing? Is is really too much to ask that a nurse contribute back to nursing at least the bear minimum of maintaining membership in his/her choice of professional association so that the profession can AFFORD to keep on top of changes legal and otherwise that affect nursing? I actually maintain membership in 2 organizations, ANA and AACN for Nursing in general and for my specialty area. That doesn't mean I have to carry the ball all the time, but at least I support with my money what I say every day from my mouth. I love this profession and want to see it stick around and grow, but I know that to nurture anything, it takes money to feed it and care for it. Please consider becoming more involved with your choice of organizations, but consider ANA as a bases because of their continued efforts in behalf of ALL NURSES!

  10. by   maikranz
    AMEN 4health.

    One of Mr. Flexner's given criteria for what constitutes a profession includes, among other items, membership in a professional organization, so.....
    JOIN your state nurses' association (and, if you want to, you can go to a meeting!!!). We'd love to have you; YOU are our strength as nurses. It costs ~$19 / month to join. Too expensive? What do you pay for a carton of cigarettes? Your cell phone? Beeper? Your manicure? A fill-up of your SUV?
    And guess what. As long as ALL nurses are encouraged to continue with this endless debate about who the "RealNurse" is, we will NEVER come together as a group and be strong and this breaks my heart. Doctors don't do this, lawyers don't do this, teachers don't do this--why do we? This is going on since 1965.

    I am and always will be a hospital-prepared diploma nurse graduate and I am most definitely NOT a "physician extender" nor "an extension of the physician". Heavenly stars.
  11. by   EJD-LPN
    Originally posted by LAS:
    We need to start by treating each other with respect. We need to start nurturing the new nurses. We need to start by supporting and defending each other. We need to stop complaining about each other behind each other backs. We need to concentrate on solving problems instead of tearing each other down. Until we stand together we will remain divided.
  12. by   EJD-LPN
  13. by   oleufda
    Originally posted by scg:
    BSN nurses are better educated .......The medical profession dosent have half the trouble that the nursing profession has. (brought upon its self)
    BSN RN's in most cases are no better than diploma or Associate degree.....and the nursing profession has more trouble than the medical profession because it is predominantly female and trive on back stabbing..... of course as with the person I quoted at the beginning this is based on my opinion of the nurses I have worked with.