Why are you leaving nursing?

Well, I’m not.

I’ve been an RN for almost 40 years, and loved most of it. Worked in Med-Surg, ICU, CCU, Step-down/Transitional care, Clinic, Pediatrics, Neonatal ICU, Pediatric ICU, and Home Healthcare of Medically Fragile Children. There is a lot I appreciate about the work we do and the settings we do it in.

I recently received a request for books about nurses, so I’m listing some of my favorites here.

From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing by Patricia Benner

Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes, and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care by Suzanne Gordon

From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public  by Bernice Buresh and Suzanne Gordon

Saving Lives: Why the Media’s Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All At Risk by Sandy Summers and Howard Jacobs Summers

None of these are new, which is sad, because I’d hoped that the issues each one  brings up would be on the way to resolution by now. Instead we hear that “nurses are expensive” and so Kentucky was too slow to control a Hepatitis A outbreak.

We hear that maternal mortality in the US is higher than any other developed country. Why? Are there not enough RNs to take frequent vital signs, do trained assessment, and get a doctor’s attention? (Short answer? No.)

So in my pursuit of improving nursing I’ve become an Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement® practitioner. Not because I’m leaving Nursing, but because I think it needs a little buffing up. The books I recommend are not new, but continuing on as we have been: cutting costs, demeaning nurses, thinking only in terms of hours and wages- isn’t helping us care for people. Maybe a new way of thinking will. My plan is to take this work into Pediatric and Neonatal ICU, to improve outcomes, to prevent sequelae, and to help my fellow nurses have a little ease in our struggle to provide what we went into nursing to give: care.

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