1. Leone, Nancy RN

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To the Editor:


I had to write to you about your editorial in Gastroenterology Journal, 28(5). While it has been sitting on my table for a week or two, I just was able to look at it yesterday. I agree wholeheartedly regarding the professionalism of nurses. I have often attended medical conferences of an international level. The physicians remain professional in their demeanor and dress, but often, as you mentioned, the nurses are easily identifiable by their dress and their behavior. While I have no objection to a good time, the correct venue in which to "let one's hair down" must definitely be considered.


I am continuing my educational journey with online education. I find a great chasm exists between nurses who exhibit professional behavior and those who simply have a job. The attitudes are different; the goals are different; and, most importantly, the treatment of patients is different. While this might not be completely driven by educational levels, it certainly has some connection.


My personal opinion surrounds the difference between a "professional" nurse and a nurse with a job. It does not involve monetary compensation or any compensation at all. My thought of a professional nurse is one who gives without pay to their community or any population. Professional nurses volunteer nursing services for a myriad of needs, such as providing or receiving education for disease processes or patient care techniques such as Lamaze or blood glucose monitoring, support group sponsorship for patients who have specific difficulties, or assisting and participating at fund-raising events of the various organizations dedicated to health topics (e.g., American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, or American Liver Foundation).


I challenge the SGNA to continue to encourage volunteerism for their members. At the minimum, it will show the dedication of our nurses. At the most, we might connect with someone at just the time they are in need.


Nancy Leone, RN


(e-mail:, Region 20, Chicago