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The leadership of nursing has been more concerned with the issue of nursing as a profession on a par with medicine than with the development of an education that would lead to professional status. Nurses must leave nursing, the care of the sick, to advance their careers. The author proposes rigorous preprofessional science preparation and nursing education at the baccalaureate level followed by a clinical internship. Nurses would be able to achieve specialty education either by graduate education or through experience and continuing nursing education. Those nurses who elected careers in management, the social or natural sciences, as researchers or faculty, could build on their strong undergraduate science education. This educational model would require the apprenticeship education of nursing assistants, whose training should be planned by and supervised by nurses in the classroom and on the wards.

(C) 1989 Association of American Medical Colleges