They say nursing “eats it’s own”. I had this recurring fantasy that when I became an NP that something would change, unfortunately this hasn’t been the case for me or many other Advanced Practice Nurses.
I have been receiving several letters lately from APRN’s all over the country expressing their frustration with their RN peers. They recount stories of the RN’s behaving like “tyrants” towards them. They accuse them of nitpicking, refusing to help and generally making the NP’s work life miserable. In some cases they tell me, RN’s are even assigned to supervise the NP’s. (This is a situation that seems wildly inappropriate at best, and downright dangerous at it’s worst.) The nurse practitioners attribute the RN’s behavior to “professional jealousy”.
Now I know there are 2 sides to every story and I am sure the nurses have their tale to tell as well. But unfortunately I too have observed and experienced some of this behavior firsthand. A few years ago I was working an assignment in which the RN’s refused to do vitals on my patients when they roomed them. Why? “Because you are a nurse” was the response. I shrugged it off because I personally liked these nurses but I must admit it really grated on me professionally.
This is a sad and disappointing side to our profession. When I teach new nursing students it’s one of the first things they ask me about in class. What does this say about us? In my years working as a recruiter I can tell you that it’s not money that leads many NP”s to search for a new job. Most Nurse Practitioners quit because they are unhappy and frustrated with their current work environment.
I’m throwing this one out to you for discussion. Do you have a story like this to tell? What have you done to resolve the problem? If you are a Physician Assistant does this happen to you as well or is this strictly a “nursing” problem? Leave me a comment.