What can nurses really do to help our dying profession?

  1. 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 do?? How can we as nurses really start something to make changes?? I am willing to help out in the cause to make our profession safe. I want respect and the pay to go with it. So, think my fellow nurses! And, even the nursing students.This will be your profession soon, and if you want to stay in it, and gain respect, you should help in the fight too. Let really ban together!! All nurses!!!! What do you think????
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    About Blue11RN

    Joined: Nov '99; Posts: 39


  3. 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.
  4. by   MollyJ
    Well, I don't necessarily buy the premise that we are a dying profession...but we certainly are in a state of flux, swept along by the changes in the health care industry.
    In other spots on this BB, I have referred to the problems in health care as the sounds of a dying system. Health care/the US public have "bought" the premise that all people deserve almost unlimited levels of health care and that health care situations should be flawless and without error. This, of course, creates a financial conundrum that is nearly unsolveable. How do we afford this level of care? We cannot. Until folks are willing to admit this basic truth, the industry will try to squeeze each last dime of care out of every nurse. We will be asked to do more than we can.
    I like LAS's reply. As an Old Nurse, I am struck and grateful to the nurses that had time to teach and nurture me as a new grad. They were kind and while I managed to screw up plenty of times on my own, I had people to turn to, people to ask.
    I am hoping that our nursing organizations like ANA and the specialty organizations and nursing educators are giving a little thought to what skills and abilities nurses will need when we are forced (by financial reality) to stop providing every possible (and not always feasible) bit of care to all comers. I don't necessarily welcome this time. I just feel it is inevitable.
    Because I am a public health nurse, I will say that each nurse should remember their roots. Remember self-care, health promotion, health protection, prevention, basic nursing. These are the core of nursing and the parts that will never go out of style.
    Food for thought.
  5. by   scg
    Get rid of the bad apples. The nurses that do not continue to grow in professionalism and education. Get rid of the back stabbing ones that act like blue collar workers. Make a BSN the only degree for new nurses. Refuse to be belittled by anyone, and quit repeating the sick quote -nurses eat their young-.
  6. by   Nikilea
    Originally posted by scg:
    Get rid of the bad apples. The nurses that do not continue to grow in professionalism and education. Get rid of the back stabbing ones that act like blue collar workers. Make a BSN the only degree for new nurses. Refuse to be belittled by anyone, and quit repeating the sick quote -nurses eat their young-.
    How sad that you seem to believe that 4 years of College makes a better prepared, more professional nurse! I am sad to say that I have worked with my fair share of "highly educated" backstabbers. My greatist fear is that as nurses we continue to create greater chasms with a wave of elitist attitudes toward one another. Are we really a separate entity from the physician model when we too ascribe to the notion that alphabet soup after one's name indicates their level of professionalism?
  7. by   scg
    BSN nurses are better educated. I resent working with AA nurses who get paid the same and the ANA & NLN should put a stop to it. As nurses we should have a great attitude tword ourselves and each other. We are not a separate entity from the MD. We are an extension of the MD, and always will be (BSN or MSN). The medical profession dosent have half the trouble that the nursing profession has. (brought upon its self)
  8. by   justanurse
    Okay, who's doing the backstabbing now? I think I read someone on here recently who was talking about her BSN program didn't adequately prepare her for working with patients, like her ADN coworker's program had.
    I am a nurse, I have an ADN in nursing. Does that make me less able to practice patient care than someone with a BSN? No, it doesn't. Does it make me less likely to fly up the ranks of hospital administration? Yes, and that's ok with me. I'm not into upward mobility, I just want to give good, quality patient care and get paid a decent wage at doing what I do.
    I also feel that nurses should have a good attitude toward each other, we are our own worst enemy. But, comments like that are not showing a good attitude toward your fellow nurses. I'm glad you feel close to the MD's, but I'd prefer to feel closer to my patients. A nurse is more of a patient's advocate than a Dr's advocate, but maybe that's my ADN showing through.
    Hey, maybe that's the way the "nurses" that have advanced in administration at my place of employment feel. The little ADN's and diploma nurses aren't worth anything and should be paid a little pittance of wages, just enough to keep them coming back, and give them a tiny 2% wage increase every couple of years. Yeah, they aren't well educated, they won't know any better. "A nurse is a nurse, after all." And, we can be replaced any time, and no one will miss us when we're gone.
    Oh, and one more thing: scg: in the state you hold your nursing license, did you have to take a separate test than the nurses graduating from an ADN program? If not, then you're not really any more qualified for your nursing license than any of those from an ADN program, you just spent more on your education. And, more educated doesn't always mean better. A little tact and humanity goes a long way, and I didn't have to go to college for four years to learn that!
  9. by   scg
    My comments are showing a good attitude tward my fellow nurses. No, most nurses that advance don't look down on the ADN/diploma nurses but some administrators do and it's sad to say that some of the nurses look down on themselves as well. (and I'm not saying you do).

    Education should be equal across the board. In my state BSN nurses have a stronger voice and the pay is better. I know this because I started out as a diploma nurse. We all need to take our profession seriously (and I'm not saying we don't) As in anything -only the strong survive.
  10. by   mn nurse
    I am an AD RN. I graduated from a program with a 99% pass rate on the boards (better than any of the 4-year programs around here) and was able to hit the floor running on my first job. We spent our last quarter working 3 days per week at a large teaching hospital, and we carried a full patient load. After graduation, we were very well prepared to take our places at the bedside and able to provide high quality care. I am now interested in areas of nursing which require knowledge and skills beyond direct patient care, and am working on my BSN, but I would not expect that it will make me a better bedside nurse, nor will it make me better than the many excellent 2-year and diploma nurses I have worked with.

    PS: Nurses are NOT physician extenders, at least in my book. While there are certainly areas of our practices that overlap, the art of nursing and the art of medicine are separate.
  11. by   scg
    Your BSN will make you a better nurse, leadership wise. We can all have excellent patient care skills, but that dosen't give nurses political savy for improving our profession,ie..better pay/working conditions.

    Nursing and medicine go hand in hand, one can't function with out the other.
  12. by   LPN2RN
    WOW, how sad to see all of this! I work with a great number of Diploma, Associate and Bachelor RNs (not to mention the Advanced Practitioners). ALL of them have different areas of expertise to offer. (Hey, I'm an LPN now, and I've got a lot to offer too.) I have also worked with a great number of Diploma, Associate and Bachelor RNs (not to mention the Advanced Practitioners) that are HORRIBLE nurses...people who I wouldn't want to care for anyone, let alone MY family or friends. Your educational level has nothing to do with the quality of care you provide, or your leadership qualities. Those aspects come with competency, high self-esteem, positive self-concept, and a clear sense of identity. (I believe that you learn that in basic psych, so that would be year 1 in the 4 year program...) What I read here is appalling and detracts from the profession of nursing in general. I am a client advocate. I want the best possible holistic care for my clients. I will provide it regardless of my educational level...why? because I know and understand MY obligations and MY resources. I applaud all of you nurses out there, whether LPN, ADN, RN-D or BSN/MSNs who have to work with attitudes like this. CHIN UP!!
  13. by   askater

    This topics turning into associates VS. b.s.n. degrees.

    What am I doing.

    #1 quit putting fellow nurses down. I see it time and time again. We MUST support each other.

    #2 If I have problems. I don't complain. I talk to supervisory and up regarding my concerns. I put things in writing. And look for answers. At my hospital they've increased our patient:nurse ratio. Fellow nurses often respond to me as oh well. There's nothing we can do. YES there is something WE can do!!!!

  14. by   justanurse
    I will apologize. I do not mean to slam anyone, regardless of education. I have worked with wonderful nurse's aides, all the way up to BSN's who were terrific. And, as LPN2RN said, there are some I would not want to care for anyone. I learned a lot during my education. I have learned SOOOOO MUCH MORE in the years since. In the facility I work at the there is a minimal difference in pay for ADN vs. BSN - and you have to qualify for the difference (staff meetings, community service, additional education above CEU's needed for licensure, etc). I really love to do bedside nursing and don't feel the need to get a BSN to do what I love. I do feel the need to get other practical certifications related to my nursing practice.
    And, askater: Just what can we do to make things better? I, like all nurses would love to make things better. At my facility we are told if we don't like it to leave, many have - and those of us left are in worse shape than ever before. I am also actively seeking employment elsewhere. I think things are hitting near the bottom where I work and hopeful someone in power will begin to see what kind of shape they've let it get in to. They sure haven't listened to department directors or nursing staff. I wouldn't wish bad health on anyone, but boy would they see things differently if they had to be a patient in our unit and wait for their nurse like everyone else has to.