"The Future of Nursing—Making Waves" (In the News, February) made me contemplate my legacy as a nurse. I proudly earned my associate's degree and am now pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing degree after realizing the importance of continuing my education.
The Institute of Medicine's 2010 Future of Nursing report emphasizes the need to develop leaders across the spectrum of nursing. Gaining valuable clinical practice experience, earning continuing education units, and pursuing certification in specialty areas all help us to become better professional nurses.
We must take nursing to the next level. No longer do we simply receive orders and follow policies; instead we collaborate with physicians and administrators on the quality and impact of the health care we're providing. We must have a voice in health care policy decision making and address health care reform.
In the six years I've been an RN, I've noticed that nurses lack the confidence to stand together on issues. We need to use our voices and numbers to show that nursing is important and that our opinions matter.
Bridgette Contreras, ADN, RN
El Paso, TX