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Good nurse not defined by initials

Published June 12. 2010 09:00AM

Dear Editor:

Just shy of two weeks after celebrating the nursing profession, you publish a totally biased article degrading every nurse who hasn't had the luxury of extra time or money to pursue her BSN. The entire article was written from the perspective of a nursing administrator who obviously has not done bedside care in quite some time.

We are all required to pass the same test to qualify as registered nurses. There is no specific test that makes a BSN more special. Yes, a well-rounded education does have its benefits, but what about those nurses with 10, 20, or 30 plus years of actual experience? They are also well rounded in life experiences. We don't need a college degree to interact with physicians, therapists, or any other member of the hospital team. We have the advantage of being with the patient one-on-one, to gain better insight on how to provide better care, both in the hospital and after discharge.

When faced with a life or death situation, I'm sure most patients would choose the nurse that received 90 percent of her education from hands-on experience as opposed to the nurse with more history or English courses. How could having a BSN degree possibly save more lives?As far as letting a "machine" do our patient assessment ... can a machine tell if a patient is cold and clammy (possibly from insulin shock, fear, or a host of other medical problems)? Can a machine offer the comfort that a human touch can provide?

A good nurse is not defined by the number of initials after her name. A good nurse truly exemplifies the fine art of caring and competence by providing the best patient care possible.


Diane Briggs


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