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  •  I didn't go to college to be a nurse (8+ / 0-)

    I wanted a degree in mathematics or maybe teach it.  I had so much advanced math in high school I bypassed the freshman year and entered as a sophomore.  Unfortunately, after a year of study I was told I was "taking a seat from a man" and not allowed to take additional math classes.  Yes, horrid, but it was perfectly legal to do it back then.

    Teaching was out of the question as men seeking draft deferments had taken all the available spots in the education area and, even if a spot was available for me, a job wouldn't (yes, men got all the jobs, too - legal at that time to preferentially hire men).

    So I transferred into nursing.  I got to use my math and science background, but got stuck in a profession that wasn't respected, the hours sucked, and it didn't pay well.  Moving to a public hospital with a union after my several years in the private sector made a difference.

    Every career is now open to women.  Nursing and teaching, the only professions open to us back then, have suffered as a result.  However, they haven't learned that to attract the best, you provide an incentive.  A voice in the workplace, better working conditions and staffing, and better pay would help.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 09:24:49 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  And how, Puddy. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, jct, ruleoflaw, rhubarb

      As the baby boomers go into their old age, nursing help of every kind will be at a premium.  People think it's here now, but it's not, not quite yet.  Only the oldest fringe of the baby boom is now requiring anywhere near that kind of attention, and even they are only in their late late sixties.

      In about, oh, 10 to 15 years, the REAL power of baby boomer numbers will be felt in the industry.  And, most of the care needed will be from nurses, not doctors.  

      Nursing has SLOWLY, gained in salary and respect---compared to teaching.   IMO, it will take off in another decade.  I really do believe they'll be begging with money and incentives, for more geriatric nurses.  Of course, that's another point---GERIATRIC nurses.

      Currently, geriatric nursing is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, as per the words of my dearest and oldest friend who is a geriatric nurse.  But short of pulling a "Soylent Green" solution on us, or just bidding us adieu with morphine and margaritas, this country is in for a BIG how dee do when the Baby boom begins to deteriorate.  We are STILL the largest bulk of an age group in this country.

      If that's what it takes, that's what it takes.  Hate to wish my own mortality any sooner, but the silver lining will be that nurses will be in high demand, and in the position to make demands.  I really do believe this.    

      •  You make a good and valid point (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jct, ruleoflaw, rhubarb, peptabysmal

        However, I think they'll deal with geriatrics the same way they deal with kidney dialysis - using lots and lots of techs rather than professional nurses.  Techs are cheaper and the bottom line is the only thing the health care industry cares about.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 12:05:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nurses as physician extenders (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat, peptabysmal

          is another way to cheapen things. And that'll be the way it goes, for as long as profits drive health care. If things should change, then you might see resurgence of physicians and nurses as autonomous professionals, rather than their emergence as glorified techs.

          •  Who will be the nurse when (0+ / 0-)

            the nurse becomes the physician extender?  Nurses provide unique and valuable services.  Patients need them.

            There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

            by Puddytat on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 09:07:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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