Great article! Many good points. It's not clear to me that nursing is necessarily being de-skilled. It's just that we need to continually update our skill sets. As other posters have pointed out, what nurses do today, physicians use to do. In many cases, nurses have invaded other discipline's territory as it were and become the bain of that other discipline's existence.
Health care facilities are in the money making business, for-profit or not, and if they deem their reimbursement levels to be too low to pay wages and benefits for licensed workers then unfortunately caregivers and our patients suffer. I do agree with some of the assessments that point out that nurses may need to make an effort to become independent practitioners while providing care at the bedside. I think those of us with graduate nursing degrees can make that case as long as the scope of practice supports it.
Some nurses feel that the problem of de-skilling is as a result of too much focus on enhancing the educational requirements for nurses. I contend that the fact that our profession is so fragmented is the cause of much of our agony. We have unlicensed nurses, ranging from CNAs to RMAs, as well as licensed nurses, RNs and LPNs. Practically anyone calls him/herself a nurse, but you don't hear much of that with therapy or pharmacy. So, I contend (I know darts will be thrown in my direction) that part of the problem with de-skilling lies with us not accepting that we need to standardize nursing educational requirements. That will partly solve the nurse educator shortage as well as the de-skilling problem. Alright, let me have it!