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What Needs To Change In Nursing? Four Nurses Speak Up

Four nurses start the conversation on what needs to change in their profession and you can continue it. What changes would you like to see?

Our work with registered nurses (RNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and orderlies throughout the years has led us to understand that reform is needed in the nursing profession. Health care workers are some of the hardest working and most passionate professionals in the workforce, but they are often underpaid and asked to do the near-impossible while understaffed.

We have four nurses from diverse backgrounds who were kind enough to speak out on one change they believe needs to be made in the nursing profession. Whether you agree or disagree, remember they are courageously sharing personal views influenced by their own unique careers in nursing. We want to hear yours, too!

Joyce Fiodembo, RN

Joyce has been an RN for more than 20 years, working in various settings in several countries. She has authored several books and is the founder of International Nurse Support.

What’s the one thing you think should change in the nursing profession?

“The one thing I think should change in the nursing career is the long and repetitive documentation. Too much documenting takes nurses away from direct hands-on patient care. Because of legal issues, good documentation is important, but limiting this would free the nurse more and add value to patient care.”

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN

Elizabeth is a former psychiatric nurse in Maryland who now works as a nurse entrepreneur, bestselling author, workshop/conference host, keynote speaker and Reiki master teacher. Visit her at http://elizabethscala.com/.

What’s the one thing you think should change in the nursing profession?

“Wow, what an empowering question. I was just thinking about this today as I left a meeting with a group of nurses and contemplated how similar the discussions have been in the past. In my opinion, the nursing profession is very fear-based. The mind-set of the profession is filled with lack. Things like this are heard time after time: ‘We don’t have the time’ or ‘There aren’t any resources’ or ‘We never have enough staff.’

While many of these concerns are valid, the fact that the profession of nursing focuses on them more than looking for benefits, opportunities and solutions is a real downfall of my chosen profession. If we change our mind-set and what we focus on, our world can change. The nursing profession that focuses on growth, prospects, healing and change is one that will thrive. ”

Candy Treft, RN (The Gypsy Nurse)

Candy, better known as the Gypsy Nurse, has worked as a travel nurse throughout North America and Europe. Her assignments have ranged from eight weeks to 12 months. She helps others learn and hone skills in the travel medical profession. Visit her at TheGypsyNurse.com.

What’s the one thing you think should change in the nursing profession?

“I would love to see a change in the culture of nursing. Nurses do not tend to be supportive of their peers. Learn to relish the successes of your peers and encourage the new professionals that you work with. Maintaining a constant environment of support instead of negativity could bring our profession to an entirely new level.”

Keith Carlson, RN (Nurse Keith)

Keith is a registered nurse, blogger, writer, nurse podcaster and board-certified nurse coach who provides holistic career coaching for savvy 21st-century nurses. His website is NurseKeith.com, and his popular nursing podcast can be found at RNFMRadio.com.

What’s the one thing you think should change in the nursing profession?

“The notion that nurses “eat their young” must change. New nurses need the support of their more experienced colleagues. We were all once new nurses ourselves, and nurturing and mentoring new nurses is a central way to keep the lifeblood of the profession flowing. Too many novice nurses are eaten up and spit out by their jaded, cynical colleagues. Bullying and horizontal violence in nursing must stop, especially where new nurses are concerned.”

Share Your Thoughts!

What is the single most important change you would like to see in nursing: pay, staffing, respect, documentation, mind-set? Let us know!

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