Hear hear. Looking around at the medical field as it is, I made a decision to finish my BSN and head to medical school once I complete the prerequisites. I love being a nurse, I will always be a nurse, and nothing will take that from me. At the same time, there is one other important reason I am doing this that you did not mention: A seat at the table. I want to be someone who has influence and is able to contribute to the shape of how things develop in our world. No matter how desperately we nurses try to convince ourselves otherwise, the world will never see us as having the same level of expertise and authority as doctors. Whether it comes to governmental policy or institutional boards, we never make up more than a token presence. Take a look at the board of your hospital and count how many RN's are on it.
In the community, it's even worse. Don't believe me? Go to any committee meeting where some piece of legislation is being considered. The other day I went to the capitol of my state for an education committee meeting having to do with nurse to student ratios in our public school system. Nurse this and NP that got up and each time they spent the first few minutes defending their title, their experience, and explaining to the committee why their work, education, etc. makes them an expert witness. Dr. So and So gets up to testify. "So, what do you do?" "I am a pediatrician." "Okay, thank you very much. What do you want to present today?" They respected the pediatrician over a nurse on a nursing issue. Take a deep breath and absorb that before you throw stones at me.
My main concern is not to protect my ego as a nurse. I understand the frustrations of people who think we're not taken seriously enough. But to get the things done that I care about, I'm not holding my breath that society will wake up to the role of nurses. To many people - and I hear this a lot from "civilians" - our constant reminders that we are educated professionals, not doctors' assistants, sounds like we're insecure. People tell me, "If you people are more than 'just a nurse' then why do you have to keep saying it so much?"
The day will come when I will wear with pride the badge that says, "JosÃ© QuiÃ±ones, RN, BSN, MD."