In Latin America the development of the nursing career is directly linked to socio-economic and political aspects rather than needs or expectations of public health.
This is mainly due to the fact that public health in Latin America is not a mandatory right of society but only a political plan or promise. Therefore, a career in nursing is a profession of uncertain application that relies heavily on health programs and budgets that are always insufficient.
Professional nurses study during four years at college after which they work in nursing administration or in direct assistance of specialized health care; however inadequate health budgets lead to underutilization of professional nursing resources generating disappointment in the projection that graduate nurses have regarding their professional practice.
This causes that nurses seek other horizons and many Latin American countries are becoming exporters of professionals in health care, due to the hospitals failing to pay attention to maintaining adequate staff levels. This in turn creates a major problem for health in countries where it is already inadequate.
Another big problem in this profession is the limited number of professionals that are graduated as it does not cover the demand according to number of patients; people in Latin American countries prefer to go to college to graduate as doctors, not nurses and they opt to devote longer years of study as being a doctor is more regarded than being a nurse, which means that health careers entail more status than service. Latin American mentality is far from fulfilling the premise that healthy and educated people lead to development and progress.
Society considers that nurse profession lacks social value and nurses are seen as someone who provides care to patients, who gives injections and medicines upon the medical diagnosis. This is basically due to the proliferation of academies that graduate assistant nurses who assume the title and role of nurses when they are barely assistant to university professionals.
Some additional problems that plague this profession might be mentioned, and they all end in the same conclusion, that in Latin America nursing profession is considered a low profession which means that the social, structural and work condition exceed its internal structure.
Final it is beyond comprehension as profession of that position in the chain of health care has no deserved recognition.
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