I have been an ICU nurse the majority of my 30 years in nursing. I started out and am still a diploma RN. I learned "old school" but have kept up with technology and have always felt that at the bedside one did not know if I had a degree or not.
My employer has been actively at war with nursing for the past few years. Making cuts in the name of lack of medicare reimbursement. I have watched the nursing numbers dwindle, have seen ancillary staff done away with. We are now facing cuts in our hours to save the hospital on having to pay benefits. I am sad, very sad that nursing is dying.
I have always been the type of nurse that has frequently, on an almost daily basis been sincerely thanked by my patients or their families, have frequently had a patient say "you have taken such good care of me." Have frequently gotten a smile out of the sickest or most nervous patients with my "humor."
But now I am afraid. I am afraid that nursing is dying and I am afraid I will lose my job and won't get another because I lack a BSN and I am in my 50's. I am sad that I devoted so many years to a heartless hospital system that does not appreciate my years of service and the fact that I am not a bump on a log.
I am mainly sad because nursing is dying and all those "nurses" with advanced degrees are not acting as nurses and being proactive in trying to save nursing. Instead they are siding with management big wigs, ceo's with big salaries and allowing nursing to die. You are the ones that never stayed too long at the bedside and realizes there was a real, live person who was depending on you to give excellent patient care, to be an ear, to give hope to the hopeless, to crack a whip on those that were giving up, to hold the hand of the dying. I would have to think if you had stayed just a little while at the bedside you would realize the value of a nurse, the value of me and would not contribute to the death of nursing.