I thoroughly agreed with, and enjoyed, your recent articles on the Nursing Shortage. These articles hit the nail on the head when they emphasized the need to address the problems that exist in the current nursing work environment. One of these problem is that we continue to be devalued by not only physicians and administrators, but by the general public as well. We, the nursing work force, are presented as evil and uncaring people as we fight for a better workplace environment and for better compensation. I believe that much of negative image results because most nurses are women, and are still, in some ways, considered as second class citizens. I am now a nurse practitioner and have more control over how I practice than I did as a critical care nurse. Although I miss critical care terribly, I am now more valued by the general public and can educate them as to what nurses are capable of doing. I feel that now I am serving nursing and myself better, but remain concerned about the lack of control and respect still experienced by my colleagues in critical care.
Diane Wheeler, MSN, CCRN, ANP