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Florida Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession,
Changing Faces of Nursing, by Evelyn Stankowski, RN

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The year was 1974. I was nineteen years old and beaming from ear to ear as I made that slow walk up to the podium. When the teacher handed me my LPN diploma and shook my hand, I thought I had reached the top of the world.

I was idealistic and eager to learn all I could about my new found profession. I felt proud to wear white and prouder still to wear my white cap with the thin black stripe. I wore it faithfully, everyday, year in and year out. I felt proud to be a nurse. And nursing did not disappointment me.

But that was the seventies.

Nursing was different then. Team nursing was in vogue, staffing was at an all time high and the cornerstone of nursing practice was founded on a very basic principle— the reason why I entered nursing— “the patient came first.”

1981 rolled round, and once again I found myself making that slow walk up to the podium. This time I did not beam so brightly when the teacher handed me my RN degree. Ambivalence had begun to take hold. Nursing was changing. And with it my attitude began to turn.

Nursing caps were no longer worn and team nursing was no longer in vogue, replaced by another concept, a supposed better concept, and one that almost killed me—physically—my first year working as a registered nurse. The ingenious concept was primary nursing.

Primary nursing was set up to provide better nursing care. The idea of one nurse to two patients was ideal. Terrific in fact, however, it did not translate into this ratio once in the workplace. And this is where I believe, nursing took a turn for the worse.

While primary nursing has its place and works best in intensive care units, it is a disastrous concept when implemented out on the general floor. I can remember my first primary nurse assignment, one that was far removed from any ideal setting. I was assigned twelve patients. Of the twelve, five were located in isolation rooms.

The five isolation rooms held their own set of challenges. The patients were all very ill and consumed much time. The gowning up before entering each room was time consuming enough, to say nothing of the actual care these patients required once I was inside the room. And, oh yeah, I remember for a few weeks I only had to gown up for four out of the five patients, the fifth one was not on complete isolation, she was on a VENTILATOR instead.

I can not even begin to express the frustration, exhaustion, and never ending battle over legal implications that plagued the recesses of my mind, night after night, after each evening shift ended. I lasted one year in this environment and never did med-surg nursing again.

I did continue nursing, however, just in another setting. I specialized in alcohol and drug detox for fourteen years. I loved my work, had time for my patients and was privilege to learn so much from so many courageous individuals.

When the nineties came along there was yet another change within the nursing arena to contend with—the face of HMO’s. And with this new concept the principal of “the patient comes first,” began to deteriorate even more. While my job setting did not leave me lingering in utter frustration as the earlier med-surg experience had, it certainly caused inner conflict to see good doctors kicked out and patients refused care because of HMO standards.

In 1996 I relocated to the state of Florida and with that move came another crossroad in my career. Did I want to continue in nursing? I wanted to do something new. And so I did. Today I am not working in a hospital setting of any kind. I work from home and truly love what I am doing. It has nothing to do with nursing and everything to do with peace of mind.

Still, despite the many changes over the last twenty years in the nursing profession, I can candidly say that nursing with all its ups and owns does have a positive quality about it—it’s versatile. It offers new nurses and old alike a great deal of variety. So if one face doesn’t fit your style, just go to another with a happier smile.

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In this section, you can hear from Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, etc, new and old on why they would or would not recommend going into Nursing as a career. Our articles are frank, uncensored and brutally honest. We hope they'll help you make your decision if you're unsure about nursing being for you.

It is not our intent to "scare you off" from Nursing, some of our reviews are quite positive. It is our intention to help you go into Nursing with "open eyes" and aware of what you can reasonably expect as students and entry-level nurses.

Do you have questions or comments about our articles? Like to express an opinion? Visit our forums and make it known!

See also:
Licensed Practical Nurses, http://www.nursefriendly.com/lpn
Registered Nurses, http://www.nursefriendly.com/rn/
To Stay In Nursing or Not: http://www.nursingdiscussions.com/stay


Nursing, Not For Everyone, Not For Most People by Andrew Lopez, RN
Nurses are Licensed Professionals who's practice is regulated by Nurse Practice Acts, and the State Board of Nursing of each State. Nursing is a ...

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Changing Faces of Nursing, by Evelyn Stankowski, RN:"The year was 1974. I was nineteen years old and beaming from ear to ear as I made that slow walk up to the podium. When the teacher handed me my LPN diploma and shook my hand, I thought I had reached the top of the world."
http://www.4nursing.com/changing

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The Beauty of Nursing by Rebekah Hinton, BSN, RN, Virginia Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession:"I have been a caretaker for as long as I can remember. I am the oldest of four daughters and have always been a second Mother to my siblings. Going into nursing seemed to be a logical choice for me. As a student I was eager to learn and worked very hard to get the best education possible. I entered into a Bachelor of Science in nursing program without knowing the difference between a RN program and a BSN program."

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Nursing: How Do I Find Out If It's For Me? by Angela Eichenlaub, RN, BSN:"The face of nursing has changed" or "Nursing is not what it used to be" are phrases I often hear from seasoned staff. I wish I knew what nursing "used to be" so I could compare! My own personal advice to anyone considering a career in nursing is to take your reason for entering the profession into account. Some go into nursing for money, some because they have always wanted to and some people go into nursing because they don't know what else to do."

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To Be Or Not To Be, by Sharon Jones, RN, Ohio Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession:"To Be…Or Not To Be… was never the question for me. I had always been a caretaker of sorts even at a very young age. The decision to return to work was based more on a career that I could relate to and be employed at. To be it was… and I started school at a local college for a Registered Nurse program. Almost two years into school, all my pre- req. courses completed and a waiting list to get into the nursing classes (a very unbelievable thing looking back- too many students- many had to wait) forced me to change course of action that lead to LPN school."

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Twenty Years of Nursing by James E. Meekins, North Carolina Nursing Views:"Thirty years ago I walked into the Navy recruiters office; laid off, without a real skill and signed up to be a Navy Hospital Corpsman (medic). I learned basic patient care---and basic first aid; and learned to work under the direction of a physician or nurse. I enjoyed what I did, the pride of being part of a team; accomplishment of a common goal, first aid in the field with Marines, or care of a patient in the hospital. . . ."

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Nursing: Pros and Cons by Christy Picton, RN, BSN, Illinois Nurses' Views of The Nursing Profession:"I struggle when asked whether I would recommend the nursing profession as a career. In the end it comes to down to a weighing of the pros and cons. Let me begin by introducing you to some of my patients, my "pros" so to speak. . . . "

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"One of The Lucky Ones" by Christine Cruz, Minnesota Nurses Views of The Nursing Profession:"My name is Chris. I have been an RN for ten-years. I have worked in a wide variety of nursing settings, from home care, long-term care to telephone triage, clinics and nursing management. Upon graduation from nursing school in, May, 1993, I had eagerly anticipated a new RN position at a local hospital, in one of its med-surgical units. . . ."

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You Want to Be a Nurse? -- Better Leave Your Heart Behind by Pennye Diane Morgan Shaw R.N., Texas Nurses Views of the Nursing Profession:"So you're thinking about being a nurse? You probably are a person who wants to make a difference, to help others, to be a compassionate healer. Are these are the same reasons I entered the nursing profession about 9 years ago. I had been through the emotional experience of watching my father being diagnosed with colon cancer. I had been by his side though radiation therapy, and though surgery and recovery. I watched as he struggled to cope with the drastic changes to his body as he tried to return to a normal life. . . . "

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My Advice for New and Potential Nurses, by Pam Lowry, Illinois Nurses Views of the Nursing Profession:"According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), "The United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is projected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows." They also state enrollments in nursing colleges are at a six-year decline. According to JAMA there will be a shortage of 400,000 nurses in the U.S. by the year 2020. AACN goes on to state there are declines in nursing faculty leading to limitations on enrollment, the population of R.N.'s is the lowest it has been in 20 years, and vacancy rates at hospitals are high. . . "

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An Insight Into Nursing by Leah Stockdale, R.N., B.S.N. Maryland Nurses Views of the Nursing Profession:"Although I am extremely proud of being a nurse, I will have to say that I am not sure if I would choose the profession if I could go back. At the same time, I probably would not choose any career in the health care industry. In my opinion, as far as hospital nursing is concerned, the negatives outweigh the positives. That is why I am currently in the process of applying my nursing skills and education to another field. . . "

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A Letter To A Future Nurse by Kristina Rzanca, LPN, Michigan Nurses Views:"Being a Nurse is a career you can be spiritually, emotionally and financially satisfied with. In this day and age this is a unique opportunity, but it is not for everyone. A special person with qualities such as empathy, compassion, intelligence and above all patience should only apply. . . . "

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To Be A Nurse Takes A Special Kind Of Person By Vicky Oliver, LPN:"As an LPN for the last ten years I believe I could give some insight on my experience as a nurse. I am the type of person who is always doing something for others instead of me. My experiences in nursing consist of Medical Surgical, Doctors' Office, Emergency Room, Surgery, GI Lab, Urology, Utilization Review, Recovery Room, and the Nursing Home. Anyone that goes into the nursing profession needs to be a very caring person, someone who wants to give to others and someone that is very dedicated. . . "

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After Fourteen Years As An RN, I Am Not Sorry For My Choice By Lynn Kash, RN:"Would I recommend the nursing profession? That is a good question that requires a lot of thought. Nursing was not my first choice of careers. I studied accounting in college, and after working in the business world, decided it was not for me. I fell into a job as a nursing assistant and found patient care to my liking. I then started nursing school and the rest is history. . . .

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A New York BSN's Point of View, By Melina Begun, BSN, RN, Clinical Administrative Liaison Nurse:"Nursing is suffering. Thousands of caring people enter into this profession every year only to become disillusioned by its reality. When I first started to study nursing, I immediately felt a connection with its history and our potential to be leaders in the medical community. Excited by all of the knowledge and skills I acquired in my Ivy league nursing program, I was astonished by the harsh reality of nursing in today's hospitals when I started working as a staff nurse. . .

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Tips To A Good Start In The Nursing Profession by Diane Hartley:"My name is Diane and I have been in the nursing profession for 12 years. In those years I have seen very many changes with this profession. One of the first changes was in DRG's. This for those of you who do not know what they are is diagnosis related groups. . . "

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See Also: Certified Nursing Assistants, CNAs, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Disabled Nurses, Male Nurses, Men In Nursing, Legal Nurse Consultants, Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPNs/LVNs), Registered Nurses


Please choose from the following (Links will open up a new window):
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Nurses views Not Recommending The Profession.

Choose Nurses Views by State: Alabama, California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York State, North Carolina, Pennsylvania Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Male Gender Bias - Entrance to No Mans Land by Nurseman
Are you a male and thinking about entering the world of nursing? Have you ever wondered why they're so few men in nursing? If you are young, single ...


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