To the Editors:

In your editorial titled “Professionalism” (September 2003:394–396), you state that unionization of nursing is causing an “erosion” of professional values, but unionization is not the cause of lack of professionalism in nursing. Unionization is the consequence of a lack of professionalism. Some key characteristics of a profession include autonomy and education of the practitioner and compensation that is appropriate for the work being done.

Currently, there are multiple entry paths into the nursing profession. These include master of science in nursing, bachelor of science in nursing, and associate degree in nursing. Most new nursing students choose the 2-year associate degree as their preferred curriculum. In addition, many experienced nurses are diploma nurses or have associate degree’s. Other professions have a single entry level at the master’s level or doctorate. How can nursing be considered a profession when the majority of nurses have only 2 years of higher...

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