Elizabeth Blackwell Women's Health Center Spring 1979 Newsletter
NURSING: You Can't Pay the Rent with Professionalism
The Myths and Realities of Nursing
As nurses, we have learned that nurses and nursing are special--different from factory or secretarial work, because we perform a vital service to people. The myth is that performing the service should be more rewarding to the nurse than good pay and benefits. Based on this myth, we expect nursing to offer us personal growth, job mobility, educational opportunities, good pay and benefits, well organized and efficient working conditions, finally respect as professionals on the health care team. Instead, the reality is that we find high turnover rates among nurses, low pay in comparison to other skilled jobs and long hours. Faced with this reality many nurses leave nursing when we become frustrated with the working conditions in hospitals that prevent us from giving the high quality of care we are taught to give and which people deserve. In this issue of the newsletter, we want to examine the contradictions between the myths and realities of nursing--why nurses become so frustrated and what's holding us back from moving to change these conditions.