"Who's the 'Real' Nurse?" (Viewpoint, August 2010) reflected my recent experiences. A year ago, I accepted a position as a clinical documentation specialist in a hospital, leaving a staff nurse position on a telemetry floor where I'd worked three 12-hour shifts a week. I'd wanted to explore other opportunities and a work schedule that better accommodated my family.
When people ask what I do now, I proudly tell them I'm still a nurse (and a student, pursuing a BSN). But when I tell them my title and describe what I do, they usually look puzzled and question whether I'm a "real" nurse. I must further explain my role and describe how it's still nursing, even though I'm not providing direct patient care. I'm bothered by these reactions of confusion and disbelief.
Our roles may vary, but nurses need to work together—whether on the front lines or behind the scenes—to unite our profession.
Holly Thompson, RN