Nursing is one of those professions that seems to polarize people. Over the past many years, when speaking with members of the public and even healthcare professionals, I've found opinions to be rather strong about who or what they believe nurses to be and what the job is like. Some people believe that nurses are angels (we're not), others believe that it's an easy job and that nurses are their servants (we're not), and yet others believe that a "smart nurse" is a wannabe doctor (we're not) and that if you're not a "smart nurse," then being a nurse was as close as you could get to becoming a doctor (it's not). Oh, and many believe that doctors are nurses' bosses and that nurses can't and don't think on their own (so not true). We can't forget that there's also the whole other group of people who have no clue at all what it is like to be a nurse and what nurses actually do. (What Do Nurses Really Do?)
Nurses need more support. They need more people going into the profession so there are fewer shortages and demands like forced overtime. They need better support in the hospitals. They need for the public to understand that they aren't miracle workers and if the public demands that the nurses do non-nursing tasks, then the nurses don't have time to do what they are supposed to do.
Nurses aren't perfect. There are some who shouldn't be in the profession and everyone knows someone who has a bad story to tell about such a nurse. But it's so important remember that this is not representative of the profession. There are bad teachers, but not all are bad. There are bad bank tellers, but not all are bad. There are bad accountants, but not all are bad. Nurses are for the most part, very caring and very good at what they do. They have to be to keep going back to it shift after shift.