Although there are varying types of licenses for nurses, all types of licensed nursing professionals are equally underappreciated within their industry. It is a longstanding issue in our culture that nurses are simply there, and expected to be, with almost no acknowledgment of their incredibly difficult work environments and their understated utility in society. Simply put, we need nurses to survive, to heal, to navigate difficult medical situations, and despite the fact that we collectively know this, there is very little support given back to nurses. This lack of support manifests in extremely long hours, difficult clientele, difficult coworkers and management, devaluing from other healthcare professionals (such as physicians), and underpayment of wages comparative to the work that they do.
Understaffing, which we have previously written about, is the crux of many hardships that nurses face. Nursing applicants cannot apply fast enough to become licensed nurses. Because of the shortage of nurses, the work environment becomes much more tumultuous. People still get sick and need medical help at the same rate as they do whether nurses are prevalent or not, and there is little reprieve. This would already be difficult with an appropriate number of nurses, considering the work of caring for patients is very hard even if rewarding. However, due to the ongoing shortage, RNs, LPNs, and APNs all equally struggle despite having different licensure. Society generally does not understand the differences between these licenses, either, which places nurses in an undervalued position.
Nursing started out as a female-specific profession that allowed women to dip their toes into the medical field, without being able to be doctors. Although some things have certainly changed, including the fact that women are allowed to become physicians and nursing is no longer a female-only profession, there are a couple of factors that still align with this origin: poor pay because of the undervalued position, and the stigma of being relegated to a “lesser” position in the medical field. The reality is nurses are an integral, vital part of any medical environment and facilities would undoubtedly collapse without their presence. Despite this fact, nurses still struggle with inadequate pay comparative to their utility and necessity. When one is underpaid, feelings of underappreciation are commonly present. Being paid adequately is not just a fiscal matter, but also heavily factors into mental health, stress levels, and general self-value. Even if nurses continued to be overworked, being paid an amount that is appropriate for the work that they endure would tremendously improve working conditions and the self-valuation that occurs within the profession.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of conditions that make nurses underappreciated, perhaps the mere acknowledgment that this cultural condition exists is the first step to rectifying the current struggles that nurses face.
Williams & Nickl has represented thousands of licensed professionals and their licensed business entities who face issues with IDFPR. If you find yourself in such a situation, Williams & Nickl can provide the help you need.