I agree that there is no reason why nurses should not be compensated well for the work they do. It seems that everything falls on the nurses; everything is blamed on the nurses. Other departments in the hospital environment make as much or more than nurses. I was shocked to find that an assistant physical therapist with 2 years education make more than most RN's with a BSN. It seems that every other department gets to take lunch breaks, etc., but not nurses! After 22 years in the field, ICU, I think that if we did not portray ourselves as these wonderful angels of mercy, willing to be degraded by doctors, administration, patients, etc., that we would be seen as the educated professionals we are. I remember when I first worked as a nurse, years ago, that we got a lot more respect from other departments, such as resp. therapy, than we do now. It used to be that the RN was right under the doctor. Not any more! As long as we put ourselves out there to be used and abused, we will be. I am not a burned-out nurse; I now only work part-time in a non-stressful job. But after seeing nursing for what it really is all these years, I think it is time for nurses to demand more respect, pay and prestige than we get. A friend of mine once said, "well, we're all nurses." She was not a nurse, but just assumed all it took was caring for people. No idea of the amount of education and sacrifices we make.