I'm not trying to stir up a war. I realize I've just started a thread on a very controversial topic here. But I'm simply not convinced nurses have much autonomy. There are some aspects of nursing that appear independent, such as how nurses are governed by other nurses in terms of licenses, credentialing, certifying colleges, etc, but in the clinical setting, you do what the physician says. You can't giving a patient watered down nasal spray without a physician order. Catheterizing, wound dressing, dress removal, aside from taking vitals, recording the information, and advocating for the patient, you can't do anything a physician hasn't ordered in terms of providing care.
I understand I'm still young, and there are things about nursing I don't understand fully, so if you're willing to kindly explain how nurses can be considered autonomous health care providers, I'm more than willing to consider what you tell me.