Review: The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital


The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital

Published by: Workman Publishing Co. 


If you know someone who is considering Nursing as a profession, give her a copy of  The Nurses.  Nursing is a difficult, yet rewarding profession. Alexandra Robbins follows the stories of four E.R Nurses as they navigate their daily routine working at different hospitals. One of the most important roles of a Nurse is to anticipate and prepare for any changes in their patient’s health status.

The E.R nurses discuss multiple daily problems, e.g., understaffed nurses, unsafe conditions, interpersonal problems with other disciplines, drug abuse, cliques,  physical injuries and burnout. Toss in the dysfunctional behavior between Nurse Managers and staff nurses that hospitals thrive on, and this issue could be an entire book itself. The hospital’s focus is to make big profits. Although Robbins focuses on ER nurses, the same problems occur through the entire hospital. I  agree with the stories Robbins  documented.  It’s clear she she extensively researched the problems of nurses.

I’ve been an RN and Adult Nurse Practitioner for 20+ years working across many specialties.  After reading The Nurses, I’m disappointed that America’s 3 million nurses make up the largest segment of the health-care workforce in the U.S. and  they don’t realize their power to fight for higher salaries and better working conditions. Nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. and despite the growth, demand is outpacing supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.2 million vacancies will emerge for R.N.’s between 2014 and 2022.

Other professions’s salaries increase as they gain more experience. This isn’t the case for nursing salaries. Robbins’s  informational book is highly recommend it for those considering Nursing as a career, or anyone who wants to see what really goes on behind the scenes at hospitals.

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