Recent controversy might help educate public about role of nurses

Many of us are aware of the recent controversy that brought attention to the nursing profession because of some comments made by a co-host of the talk show "The View."

Regardless of the reasons that created the controversy — which I find very valid, by the way — I think the outcome was a good one. The public became a little more knowledgeable about the nursing profession, the phenomenal qualities and the hard work of nurses, and the preparation that a nurse goes through to be able to provide care.


This dispute touched me personally, as I officially became a nursing student this semester.

Ever since I started the nursing program, I, like Miss Colorado, have been wearing my stethoscope around my neck, learning the skills to properly use it and the talent of differentiating between heart rhythms, sounds, pulses, etc. to provide the best possible care to the patients I will have in the future. When the controversy arose — even though I am not yet a nurse — I too felt somewhat offended.

To demean the nursing profession by implying that nurses should not wear stethoscopes because they are only for doctors, or that being a nurse is not as hard as being a doctor, only shows ignorance; it only shows the need for more education regarding the nursing profession.

I wasn't necessarily offended by the comments of the hosts of the TV show, but moreover by the fact that most people — hosts included — are generally unaware of the hard work nurses must do and what becoming a nurse really entails.

Since I became a nursing student this term, my life has changed tremendously. Studying until very late hours and getting very little sleep are both part of my daily routine. Most of what others would call free time is not free time anymore; instead, it is study time. Most people look forward to the weekends to go out and relax; for me, the weekends are just time to try to recuperate, catch up on some lost sleep and spend more time studying in preparation for the coming busy week. I no longer watch TV, as every minute that I could spend watching TV, I dedicate to study.

Reading for leisure is no longer something that I have time to do; instead, all of my readings — which, I might add, are a lot — focus on learning about the body and how to better assess and care for a patient.

Nursing students focus on the importance and the satisfaction of caring for others.

We are studying to learn how to provide the best care for our patients and help them overcome their medical issues and be healthy.

We are basically learning how to attend to others' interests before our own.

Nursing is all about caring.

I've realized now that I am experiencing the reality of just how much and how hard nurses have to study to become nurses, and how much they have to sacrifice, not just in the profession, but as students, as well.

I can firmly say that nursing students pretty much give up their lives and make studying one of their top priorities — all because we want to dedicate our lives to help and care for others.

That's why the comments of those hosts created such controversy.

As I am studying hard and doing my best to become a nurse, I definitely have a greater appreciation for nurses. I understand all that they had to go through to become nurses and care for us.


I only hope that this controversy helped open the eyes and the minds of those who do not yet recognize the value and importance of these professionals.

I hope it helped to recognize the heart that is put into the nursing profession.