AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
I found the letter entitled "Medics and Nursing" (Letters, December 2009) disturbing.
I was a systems engineer for nearly 20 years (a project manager for five of those), but when I turned 55, I found it difficult to obtain another position in my field, even though I have five academic degrees. I was told I was overqualified, but I desperately needed a job to send my two children to college. As a volunteer medic in our community, I thought it would be easy to transition to a nursing career. For the most part, it was, even though medics are trained a bit differently than nurses.
I love being a nurse but find it's physically more challenging than being a medic, which was a physically difficult job, requiring that I be able to carry 100 lbs. of medications, a 12-lead electrocardiography monitor, and, if necessary, a large oxygen tank. At least the driver might assist me. Nurses, however, are on their feet for eight straight hours, sometimes running to respond to their patients. I've had a total hip replacement since becoming a nurse. I've also forgone breaks, lunch, and dinner on many days, because there was just too much to do.
I agree that nurses should continue their education, but I wonder why they should be required to attain a bachelor of science in nursing, as opposed to another bachelor of science degree. Most of the prerequisites are the same.
Patricia L. Webb, MS, RN
St. Inigoes, MD