By Patty Eakin, PennLive
When I became a nurse in 1976, I set out to become part of the most respected profession in our country. I wanted to be at the bedside, caring for sick patients and delivering the highest quality of care possible. Instead, at times, I found myself struggling to deliver even adequate care. Too often, patients are put at risk and RN licenses are compromised by our profit-driven healthcare system which routinely leaves patients without proper nursing care in order to make more money. In my nearly forty year career as a nurse, the biggest difference in staffing conditions and overall morale has been working in a hospital where nurses have a union and are able to stand up for themselves and the quality of care they deliver. As frontline healthcare providers, nurses need to lead the way to a safer healthcare system.