Why nursing is a failing profession...

Nurses General Nursing


Let's get ready to rumble. I am here to bash this so-called profession of ours. I can't wait to hear from all of you, especially the BSN's. I have heard many the BSN say that all nurses should be BSN's, because we would all get more professional respect. This leaves the question, "What crack have you all been smoking?" The reason you don't receive respect is that many patients have no realistic idea of exactly what a nurse does or the schooling that goes into it. The administration sees us as nothing more than a means to make them and the owners of the hospitals an absurd amount of money. Administration does not care about you or anyone else. Do you ever wonder why they never seem to get anything done despite all of your complaints? You have organizations like the ANA who only acknowledge BSN nurses as important to the profession. Instead of being open to all members of the nursing community, including CNA's and LPN's, it is only open to RN's, and looks down upon even the ADN nurse. Look at all the money the ANA could make from membership dues for lobbying Congress, offering benefits for its members, or encouraging nurses to seek higher education. Nope, the Arrogant Nurse's Association would rather restrict membership to those all important BSN RN's... because that is the key to better patient care, or so they say. What they fail to recognize is that CNA's, LPN,s, AND RN's, are all important to safe and effective patient care. RN's would be in serious trouble if they received eight patients and were forced to deliver total patient care. LPN's prevent RN's from being overwhelmed by taking a patient assignment and caring for those patients instead of the RN. I hear RN's whine about having to administer an IV push med for an LPN. My response... poor babies... like having to do an IV push for an LPN takes so much time out of your day that you can't give good care. I have an idea... take the LPN out of the picture. That way the RN's can have way more patients than is safe, because the hospital would rather provide no extra nurse at all but is willing to hire the LPN for lower pay to do the same work. But those CNA's and LPN's aren't important to the profession, right? If you answered "yes" to this question, you are dead wrong. Worst of all, nurses are weak because they have no spines. Welcome to the real world of medicine as a business. You want more money? You want more respect? You want better staffing ratios? You want nursing to be viewed as a profession. Well then, let me introduce the concept of a strike. Strikes hurt the hospital's pocket book and makes them listen. Let me guess, you're thinking what about the poor patients? Well, Florence Nightingales, it is called strike nursing, and nurses will be there for the patients. Oh, and your unit managers will be there to actually provide some bedside nursing too, as they cannot strike with you by law. But never mind the striking, when we can all attack each other, spread gossip, and bash each others credentials. Yes, lets do that instead of forcing people to listen to what we are saying as a group. So what else can we do? Form nursing organizations as well as unions and actively recruit as many nurses as possible. Encourage TV shows about nurses instead of doctors. Have commercials put on the air about what nurses do, why they are here, and why they are important. Apply pro-nurse bumper stickers on your car. Get on talk shows like Oprah or Montel and have real nurses (not management)talk about the plight of nurses and the need for patient to nurse ratios. Contact Congressmen and other legislators and make the issue known. Most of all, stick together...with ALL members of the profession... exclude no one and encourage everyone. Be good to each other. Most of us are nice to our patients, why can't most of us be nice to each other? I am getting my BSN, because I want to... encourage others to do the same. Otherwise, if we do not do what I have recommended, our profession will continue to fail.

That is all I have to say. I look forward to the reponses.


good post and on the nailhead...no argument from me, I for one as a BSN RN would be lost withou the help of LVN's and CNA's...as I have said before give me a good nurse no matter what their credentials are!

I don't see nursing as a "failing profession." We may be going through some rough times right now, but we are forever evolving and growing as a profession. Nurses still care very much about their patients and this will never change.

By the way, Florence Nightingale was a strong nursing activist. She would not have put-up with some of the crap that we have endured lately. She would have been marching on the steps of Washington right along side us. If you want some real inspiration and pride in your profession, read her biography.

Amen!!! Wonderful post!!!

Nursemark your post probley is by far the best I have read in here so far.I am sick and tired of the fight between nurses.What we need is a national disater to bring everyone togeather because when the s--- hits the fan all of a sudden everyone pulls togeather.Where I work we have riots,shootings,etc and everyone pulls togeather not this petty crap! :rolleyes:

Hi. I want to give my heartfelt thanks to those who made a sacrifice on my behalf: secretaries, housekeepers, CNAs, office managers, LPNs, RNs, ancillary staff, APNs, managers, physicians, patients, family members... The list could go on. Thank you all so much. I want to especially give thanks to God Almighty, because without Him, I could do nothing.

The issue for me is not a disrespect of titles, but a respect for needed change in the system. Whether we like it or not, change will take place with or without us. The complexity of patient care today and increasing technology demands that nursing conform itself to meet those needs.

Just looking from the outside, our friends in allied health seem to be willing to reform and conform themselves to keep up with the changes in patient care delivery. For example, to become a registered physical therapist now, you have to have a bachelor's degree to be considered for most programs. This was already true for speech pathology and social work.

One of the main reasons I'm not a member of the ANA, because I do believe that it was a mistake on their leadership's part to not make the ANA all inclusive from the start. But, I do support the idea that entry level into nursing practice today should be as an RN. This is a retreat from my earlier stance as solely supporting the BSN level as entry level. My understanding of the question from the ANA is whether the BSN should be supported as entry level into PROFESSIONAL nursing practice?

I think that a few posters posted some health care organizations on this bb for each title, specialty, and other diverse characteristics. There really is opportunity for all direct caregivers to be involved in promoting themselves and patient care in some way.

Yes, we need to all work as a team. That's the only way to achieve quality patient care. I think that although we may have different opinions on how things should be squared with regards to nursing titles, we still should not go to work with a chip on our shoulder about this. This "I'm better than you" or "I feel inferior to you" attitude actually disrupts good patient care and affects staff morale. Our lights should collectively shine at work so that we can help at least give patients and their families a glimmer of hope.

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

Hi NurseMark-

I want to tell you I agree with you - just about everything you said. I also think nursing is a failing profession because of the inability to speak coherently, in one voice. It is evident in the various threads here. Hell, we can't even start a thread about a newscast in Pittsburg without SOMEONE getting sensitive about it and going way off topic.

Maybe I am nieve, but I have YET to meet ANY nurse, regardless of education, who thinks that LPNs or NAs are useless. My floor did not have NAs until very recently, and most of us didn't even know how to delegate tasks to them! I currently work with an LPN at my clinic job who is unable to approve Rx refills, and needs ME to do it, simply because that is how our employer wants it. We both get irritated at it.

The thing is, and I have always said, that education does not make one a better "person." It makes them simply, more educated. How they choose to use that education is up to them. You can be a snotty, lazy a**hole with or without a degree. The RN you mentioned above who gets annoyed at having to push an IV med for an LPN - let me assure you, that RN would be the same way at home, as a deli clerk, as a bank teller, as a UPS driver, as a housekeeper, as a secretary, as a mother. I firmly believe that is has NOTHING to do with her being an RN.

I agree that all levels of nursing are needed to make the healthcare system run smoothly and safely. But I don't agree with lumping all of us together - in any regard. We are all different. We all have different educational levels and those need to be recognized. Education, for me, is an investment. I expect a high return for my investment. When I don't get it, I get upset. And I am not talking about prestige or power. If I wanted those things, I would not have become a nurse! I am talking about being compensated for my education, being afforded the distinction of going above and beyond a "standard" of nursing - one that right now doesn't exist, or at least, hasn't been defined.

I am a huge proponent of higher education. I don't see the harm in it. A very good nurse coupled with higher learning only adds to his/her knowledgebase - not to mention, adds to him/her as a person. Education should compliment the person, should allow you to expand your horizons and open your mind. Did you know that in Greek times, a Bachelor's degree was so named because it signified the BEGINNING of your education? You weren't really considered "educated" until you reached the Master's level - hence, the name Masters. In Biblical times, Jesus was considered a teacher and promoted learning for all his followers.

The point I am trying to make is, I really don't think that most people walk around thinking the are all that simply because of thier degree. I know I don't. Some do, yes, but rest assured, before they got that degree, they thought they were all that before. I think most of us get hurt feelings because alot of our education is referred to as merely letters, or pieces of paper. And truly, it is so much more than that. It is not to say that we are better - but rather, more educated. Life experience counts for alot yes -but like I said, couple experiences with formal education, and you will have one damn good person. And by "good" I mean someone who should be able to apply both to get the job done. I am not making judgements on their moral or personal beliefs.

You're right - I am sure alot of RNs would be lost without aides or LPNs - thing is, I really wouldn't know - my experience with them has been so limited - so I have done it all. I have taken the unsafe assignment, I have done ADLs.....I am in no way above any role in the hospital. But what I am, is a person who went to college, worked my butt off and finished my degree. Am I a better person? No. Am I more educated? Yes. Am I paid more? No. Am I paid what I am worth? No. Do I have the same professional issues as an ADN, LPN? Yes. Are we both nurses? Yes.

I think our society has gotten so used to putting everyone in a pot and saying "we are all the same" so as to not offend anyone, that we are actually not recognizing differences - which leads to poor pay and lower standards, or NO standards. We need a standard by which to judge other nurses. There are nurses who go above and beyond the minimum education and attain more knowledge, more certifications. What would be the incentive for others to do the same? Personal gain? Sure...but that only goes so far.

NurseMark, I truly believe that in general, nurses function as a team. On my units, we do. We have wide range of educational levels, and truthfully, no one knows who is what. But I think that the insecurity on BOTH ends, those who belittle LPNs and those who dimiss BSNs as nothing more than letters or snobs, have more to do with the individual person and thier personal issues, rather than thier skill level.

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.

YOU preach it, Sistah Suzy!!! You're right on target, girl!

Specializes in CV-ICU.

Susy K, you have said it all so well. The only issue you did not address is the ANA part, but I don't remember if you are a member or not. :D

The whole issue on the ANA is that it was formed long BEFORE there were LPNs, and it's name goes back to 1918 or so. They didn't change their name when LPNs evolved. Taking this idea into another "female" occupation (historically speaking) did the NEA(National Education Association) change their name when the NFT (National Federation of Teachers) was formed? No. The whole BSN/ADN flap (in ANA) is also history, from back in the 60's and 70's. That has been a dead issue on the national level for many years. If it is still a problem in your state, it may be because the bedside nurses are not involved in your state association.

Can CNAs, LPNs, and all educational levels of RNs be part of an association? Sure, but it hasn't been started or founded yet. I thought that the MNM might have been able to pull that off; unfortuneately, that group ran into problems and has changed completely. :rolleyes:

Will we ever get past these arguements? I hope so. :D There is so much work for us to do to educate the public; and we will never get there by this in-fighting all of the time.

Hi. I stand corrected on the BSN/ADN flap. For some reason, when I browsed through the ANCC site through the ANA site recently, I got the mistaken impression that they were supporting the BSN as entry level and advocated two levels of certification for RNs. Perhaps it's just naivity on my part, but I thought the NLN would be delegated the responsibility of addressing the issue with standardizing nursing education. This is the reason I could not figure out why the ANA reiterated their position several years ago.

Titles unfortunately are a major point of contention in my neck of the woods. I live in the South where many of us are first generation college graduates. Anything beyond a diploma or two year degree is frequently considered overkill and is regularly scrutinized by those who are unable to or who have no desire to go any farther in their formal education.

I personally applaud any type of educational achievement that gives a person a sense of accomplishment. It took quite a bit of initiative for many of us to go for training because we already had many pressing obligations.

Unlike some of my colleagues, I'm not offended about working with an LPN or an APN for that matter. Beside some quality CNAs of which I was once one, LPNs are mostly responsible for my success at the bedside. What offends me is that no matter the staffing mix, it never is enough to address all the needs of the patient and to adequately protect our licenses.

I agree with Jenny P that all groups of direct caregivers can work together to promote quality patient care and the value of having quality nursing staff for that care.

As far as the varieties of RNs goes, I think the point has been made that as long as we all take the same state board, work under the same nurse practice act, that we all essentially fall into the same pile. Many state governments would be hard pressed to pay for separate, BSN, ADN, and diploma state boards. LPNs and APNs are unique in that they take state boards relevant to their training.

Right on Brother! Kick Nancy Nurse off of the plank! We need BRUTUS nurses. I'd appreciate your thoughts on forming a national union.

Nurse X

I wouldn't say nursing is a failing profession. in fact, nursing is only of the only jobs that allow you to work in anyplace, any specialty, at any level of care, with which degree or specialty you want. The possiblities are endless. We tend to not give nursing enough credit. You can even go into informatics and learn computer networking - as strange as it sounds. Of course it's not a perfect world. If not we would be on a nice beach in Italy....opps well thats vacation for next month :). We need to relax more and smell the fresh air. Life is great. Do what you desire nursing has great variations and vast opportunities pick the one you want and go with it.


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