"And nurses say they don't get paid well. Hmm....for a job that only requires a two-year degree, I must say, Nurses are making bank!"
For one thing, at least at my school, my 2 year degree cost me four years due to pre-requisites.
For another, your average hospital nurse has to do more critical thinking in one day that your average doctor has to do in a week - *average* being the key word, there are exceptions in both directions of course! And that isn't dissing doctors, even average ones. It's just that we nurses are their eyes and ears. It is just a factor of the job.
Example: Today, we had to intubate a patient. Even though I work in the ED, with all the ICU beds tied up, I had this person from nearly the start of my shift to past the end of it. When the doc was with the pt, he was all critical thinking. But after intubation and original orders, it was up to me to keep him up-to-date on the patient's needs.
So it wasn't up to the doc to decide, 'Maybe I should order some more sedation for this pt who we have paralyzed for quite some time now.' It was me who had to recognize when the pt was not only coming out of the paralysis, but also the sedation.
Further yet, the education doesn't even really start until "school" ends. During my residency I have spent a tremendous number of hours in the classroom, with much more to come post-residency.
Believe me, while nurses do make decent-to-good money (depending on how long one has been working - and as a recent graduate even I can recognize the *tremendous* difference experience makes as a nurse), the education is ongoing, the critical thinking skills are...well...CRITICAL, and we work our asses off for that money.
In my opinion, very, very few people, with all the skills required to even be able to do the job, would be willing to work this hard, for this many hours, doing some of the dirtiest, ickiest work imaginable, without being appropriately compensated.
And you don't want a Real nursing shortage, based on under-payment. The qualities of a good nurse are not something you want to be missing in whichever underpaid person would otherwise be taking care of you or your family member or friend!
I hope that isn't too rambling. I am *exhausted*, lol. In the ED I am not used to having only 1, critically ill patient at a time all day long! It is more tiring than any three other ED patients at a time. My hat's off to you ICU and other CCRNs!