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Saving LivesWhy the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk$
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Sandy Summers and Harry Jacobs Summers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337064

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337064.001.0001

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Who are Nurses and Where have they Gone?

Who are Nurses and Where have they Gone?

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 Who are Nurses and Where have they Gone?
Source:
Saving Lives
Author(s):

Sandy Summers

Harry Jacobs Summers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337064.003.0001

Nursing is a distinct scientific field and an autonomous profession. Nurses follow a unique, holistic practice model that emphasizes preventive care and overall well-being. Virtually all US nurses are now educated at colleges by nursing scholars. Nurses report to senior nurses, not physicians. Today’s nurses practice in diverse settings, from major trauma centers to research institutions to rural clinics to disaster zones. These skilled professionals manage patient conditions, prevent deadly errors, teach and advocate for patients, and work for better health policies and systems. But patients die when nurses are understaffed or underempowered, and when nursing care is assigned to those who are not nurses, in order to cut costs. For many years the world has suffered from a deadly nursing shortage, both in terms of unfilled nursing positions and a failure to fund enough nursing positions. The current nursing shortage kills thousands, if not millions, of people every year.

Keywords:   nursing profession, health science, autonomous profession, holistic care, practice model, preventive care, nursing scholars, nursing shortage, understaffing, healthcare cost-cutting

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