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Letters to the Editor – August 2007


Readers weigh in on the image of nursing
I applaud Shelley Cohen for her article “The image of nursing” in the May issue. I’ve been a nurse for more than 50 years, and some of my coworkers accuse me of being old-fashioned. But like Ms. Cohen, I wonder why so many nurses dress so unprofessionally; it’s hard to even identify them as nurses. I’m not saying we should go back to starched white uniforms, which cause skin irritations. In any event, it’s not just what you wear that counts but also how you wear it and how you present yourself.
I also believe nurses need to work on developing collegial relationships with coworkers. I’ve often observed nurses failing to support their peers, whether  it’s the older nurse with a negative attitude toward the neophyte or the expert nurse who’s unwilling to share her expertise with less experienced nurses.
Thank you for giving this “old” nurse her say. I’m still proud and thankful to be part of the world’s “best profession.”
Adele Bemis, MSN, RN
Corpus Christi, TX

I enjoyed “The image of nursing” but have a comment on the “script” Ms. Cohen recommends for introducing ourselves to patients. It’s certainly appropriate to introduce ourselves, as she suggests. But giving only our first names may do little to change our image. How often do you hear physicians introducing themselves by first name only? I realize that divulging our last names might pose a safety concern but it’s more professional than using our first names only.
Jean Powell, RN
St. Petersburg, FL

Seeking disclosure about nursing research
I read with interest “Evidence: The first word in safe I.V. practice” in your May issue. While I commend the authors for seeking evidence on which to base nursing practice, I noticed they didn’t mention whether they obtained institutional review board (IRB) approval or patient consent for their study. Unless it compares practice variations, research that involves human subjects requires both IRB approval and patient consent.
Shannon E. Perry, PhD, RN, FAAN
Phoenix, AZ
Professor Emerita, School of Nursing
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA

Author’s response:
We obtained IRB approval for our study after an expedited review. Because this was a comparison study, we weren’t required to obtain informed written consent from patients; however, we did receive verbal consent, per our standard procedure and the policy of our nursing research program. All nursing research undertaken at the University of Virginia School of Nursing must go through the IRB approval process and all of our investigators receive IRB training.

Editor’s response:
The original version of the article included IRB approval information; due to space constraints, it was deleted during the editorial process. However, from now on, all research articles we publish will disclose whether IRB approval and patient consent were obtained. If these weren’t required, the article will state this and give the reason why.

Are BSN nurses overrated?
I’m tired of hearing nurses with bachelor’s degrees claim they’re the only ones with the education and ability to do a good job. I’ve worked with many nurses and can tell you that on the whole, all nurses are well educated and do a great job—whether they hold nursing diplomas, associate degrees, or bachelor degrees. BSN nurses may have more classroom education, but they can’t hold a candle to associate-degree nurses when it comes to clinical skills. Requiring a bachelor’s degree for all nurses entering the profession would only make the nursing shortage worse. Until we stop fighting among ourselves, our profession will be in trouble. (And by the way, I love your magazine!)
Linda Lorentz, RN
Beverly Hills, FL


We welcome your comments. You may submit letters to the editor electronically at www.AmericanNurseToday.com by clicking on the “Letters to the Editor” link on the top menu. Or you may send them by regular mail to: Letters to the Editor, American Nurse Today, c/o HealthCom Media, 259 Veterans Lane, 3rd Floor, Doylestown, PA 18901. Please include your full name, credentials, city, state, and daytime phone number or e-mail address. Letters should contain no more than 250 words and will be edited for grammar, length, content, and clarity. All letters are considered American Nurse Today property and therefore unconditionally assigned to American Nurse Today.

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