Medicine: Nurse Betty

At the biennial U.S. nurses' convention in Atlantic City last week, the 12,000 delegates had plenty to talk about: low pay and long hours (their slogan: "$50 for 40 hours"); an A.F.L.-C.I.O. drive to unionize them (the nurses decided to bargain exclusively through their state associations); a critical U.S. nurse shortage (hospitals need at least 75,000 more). To see a nurse at work, TIME spent a day with one of the delegates' 300,000 constituents, Nurse Betty (name withheld at her request).

At 7 o'clock one morning last week, Betty, R.N., dark-eyed, 23-year-old head nurse on obstetrical service, reported for duty at her...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!