The Chasm in Nursing
she will receive unding or that study—regardless o whether it has obvious clinical value. And even with studies that do haveobvious clinical value, the people who most need to know theresults are unlikely to have access to the inormation becausethey will not read the journal in which the results are published or attend the conerence at which the work is presented. (Moreon these problems later in this chapter.) In the end, the study will simply join the long list o works that do not serve to improve the proession or the work we do in any way. Even so, academics,researchers, and theorists will pat themselves on the back and tell each other how much they have accomplished or nursing.
There seems to be a point in every nurse’s career when the nurse isexpected to go on or higher education or to move to a role that mayinvolve patient care but that is not directly at the bedside. It is dicultto pinpoint when this is, and it may vary or each nurse, but in myexperience, the expectation is there regardless.For nurses to be educated—intentionally or not—that bedside nursingis somehow beneath the proessional nurse is to completely devalue whatnursing
. It is unconscionable that people within our own proessionwould seek to devalue who we are, separating nurses into those who“get dirty” caring or patients rom those engaged in other activities that,theoretically, support them. Those who support nurses who provide directpatient care are typically in academe or research, but these categories arenot black and white. Many nurses who teach or conduct research continuetheir clinical work, and many nurses who provide direct care to patientsengage in teaching and/or research. However, as mentioned, there appearsto be a airly distinct line in the sand between those who provide directcare at the RN level and those who work primarily in academic settings.Aren’t we all nurses? Isn’t our rst responsibility the welare o patients and patient care? Why should nurses who remain in bedsidenursing, regardless o the venue, be made to eel they are not ambitiousor motivated to better themselves, or that they lack the intelligence to geta graduate degree and do something else? Aren’t all nurses prepared tomake important and lasting contributions, regardless o whether they stayin direct patient care or they leave it or “scholarly” activities? Shouldn’tnurses respect what each o them brings to the proession and not