Nurses: ‘If you truly value us, then show it!’
As a 46-year veteran nurse, who is now retired, I wholeheartedly concur with Tiffin's (2012) statement that nursing is a process that has evolved from the position of a vocation to the status of a respected profession, one in which caring is still fundamentally at its core. It is a profession that has become more complex in ways that could not have been imagined a generation ago – a complexity that has been compounded by elevations in the scope of practice, and perceptions and expectations of the nurse's role, specifically the demand for higher academic achievements (diplomas, bachelor's degrees, and Master's degrees) (Glasper, 2018).
It is my understanding that higher academic achievement not only validates the nursing profession, but also improves the nurse's understanding of the health issues of their patients, enabling them to treat them in a way that will improve their health outcomes and, consequently, their overall satisfaction and experience. Unfortunately, the added pressure of higher academic achievements, including the issues illustrated in Box 1, has been shown to significantly impact nurses' performance as well as their mental wellbeing, and consequently, many have left the profession or are considering leaving (Royal College of Nursing, 2023).
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