1. Joyce, Linda RN

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I am a 49-year-old RN with 28 years in hospital nursing. No fancy degrees, just lots of experience in all types of patient care, working in medical- surgical and critical care nursing. I don't consider myself a martyr or feel guilty after a 12-hour shift. Nor do I expect to be categorized by my generation. My colleagues and I are one thing only-professional nurses.


The days of starched nursing caps and standing up when a physician enters a nursing station are long over. So is the belief that nurses, alone among the members of the health care team, are solely responsible for patient safety and well-being. The authors say baby-boom nurses are emotionally drained, yet they offer no solution to this very critical and real problem. If the nurses were given proper staffing and compensation for their work, there would be much less generational or other tension among them. It would behoove facilities' vice presidents and patient care coordinators to start demanding more nursing staff. Furthermore, the authors' suggestion that baby boomers "must be willing to laugh at their workaholism" is irresponsible. We should not have to grin and bear it.


Instead of creating divisiveness between nurses by emphasizing their ages, shifts, or titles, let's look to our facilities' administrations and our nursing leaders for answers to the many dilemmas we face on each shift. If things continue as they are, we'll have no new recruits and more problems with retention.


Linda Joyce, RN