Challenges Faced by a Professional Nurse Today

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Overview I have been a nurse for eight years, working in Emergency Medicine, Oncology, and Public Health. Presently, I am a school health nurse. Nursing is more than a career to me. Certainly, it is a way to earn money to support my family, but it is far more than that. It is an opportunity for me to advance and actualize, to give back to the community, to act as an educator, and to participate in a positive way in the lives of others. I am motivated by the prospect of career advancement, health preventation, and the ability to make a difference in lives, often at a time of great stress or concern. My BSN degree pursuit certainly requires many sacrifices: family time, leisure time for study, earning less now in preparation for long-term or future financial secruity, the broadening of my horizons as I use and am exposed to divergent ideas and technologies, and particularly enhacing my leadership abilities. In reflecting about ethics, I did a great deal of research into the various issues surrounding very real and important healthcare concerns and realized that contemporary nursing is rewarding, but extremely complex. In my research I came across a quote from former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala: The image that people often have of nurses as acute care handmaidens"¦. Is so out of date and inaccurate that it may impede the nation's ability to harness the expertise and vision of these professionals in ways that can produce the needed improvements in the
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