1. Combs, Ginny RN, BSN, IBCLE, HNC

Article Content

I have been a Maternal Child Health Nurse since 1985. Recently, I had another child-who is now 18 months-and have been able to stay home which has been wonderful. I eagerly read and loved your editorial "Do you love nursing?" (Mar/April 2002 MCN). As I saw those words a resounding "yes" formed in my heart as I reminisced about times past and all those families who have touched me and invited me into their lives. I learned as much from them as they ever learned from me.


But upon turning the page my moment of nostalgic wonder was shattered. I saw the title "Nurse Tracking Systems" and wondered what great invention this could be. Was it to assist nurses with patient care? I quickly realized that I was dead wrong and my stomach turned. I have actually never written a letter to an editor but felt compelled to ASAP! I am taking time away from my roving toddler and homework-doing 10-year-old to express my panicked opinion. If Nurse Tracking Systems is what nursing is becoming in my short departure while raising children perhaps I should switch careers and sell plants at the local nursery. Another nurse lost.


But no, I care too much. I care enough to write this letter and to believe in something as magical and healing as the art of nursing. It is why we all became nurses. To track this time with some piece of limited technology reduces the art of nursing to numbers on spreadsheets. I am horrified. As a patient, I would be aghast that my nurse was connected to a tracking device. As a nurse, I would give my resignation. Unless we commit ourselves to our art and science of nursing in a professional paradigm we will fail. I never want a nurse at the bedside as a consequence of a punitive system that attempts to reduce what inherently is not reducible.


I really don't want to sell plants at the local nursery. My hopes are that we will wake up and not lose more of our ranks; that we can be a profession that draws wonderful, talented people because nursing is their passion; and that we can always remember to partner together to give the very best to patients and ourselves.


Ginny Combs, RN, BSN, IBCLE, HNC