1. Urquhart, Lyndall BA, RN

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There are many reasons why so many nurses leave the profession and discourage others from joining: nursing is a mentally, physically, and emotionally demanding job ("Our Own Worst Enemies,"Viewpoint, November 2003).


I have been a nurse for more than 30 years and have turned down several promotions in order to remain at the bedside, because this is where I am satisfied. Yet the temptation to leave the profession increases each year, mainly because of the conflict between nursing's standards and ethics and corporate America, where patients are treated like assembly line items and nurses like factory workers.


The author, Lynn Schnautz, is fortunate that she finds her work satisfying, but at least 18 of her hospital colleagues don't. Many people wouldn't encourage their loved ones to work in a stressful and life-threatening profession (exposure to needlesticks and severe acute respitory syndrome, for example) unless the person felt a genuine calling.


Lyndall Urquhart, BA, RN