CAN TECHNICIANS TAKE THE PLACE OF NURSES?'

Florence Nightingale overcame a disapproving mother, jealous colleagues and skeptical surgeons to become the founder of modern nursing, but she never had to duke it out with cost-cutting HMO executives. If she had, she might have sounded as angry and alarmed as the 47 nurses who wrote in response to our report "The New Hands-Off Nursing" [SOCIETY, Sept. 30].

James Kunen's article on the trend toward replacing nurses with unlicensed patient-care technicians led Clare Kranstover, an R.N. and caseworker with Kemper National Services in Park City, Utah, to issue this blunt warning: "Patients, beware! You will be at risk when hospitals...

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