13 THINGS YOU CAN DO......SO JUST DO IT!

  1. Peggy, Have done some of those things already. I do not tell people nursing is a poor choice, but if asked I do give a picture of reality. Good and bad, the ups and the downs. Then each must choose for themselves.
    I have also written to newspapers, somethings are published, some are not. I have an article coming out in the New York Times on June 24 in the womens health section that they are doing. It has to do with being an activist and what got me to that point. My one hope with the article is that other nurses will see it and will start making some noise too.
    I have talked to my administration where I work, they know that I am involved with activism. My nurse managers, and case workers are behind what I do, regular administration on the other hand is a bit frightened of me. When I sought permission from corporate to have my picture taken for the Times article, the look that came across my CEOs face was absolutely priceless. It was a look of stark horror. And no I didn't get permission to do a photograph on the unit, even though the place I am currently working is a good place to be, and I told the reporter that. Did the picture anyway, just did it outside of the hospital. Personally I don't think that administration really does want to listen, doing so gives nurses power they don't want to give up. What did I learn through this? That look of stark horror on my CEOs face said volumes to me. They are scared of nurses who are activists because they know what will happen if there are enough of us! They know and they will run away from it until they can't anymore. I have always been outspoken regarding appropriate patient care and it has upon occasion gotten me in trouble. Thing is getting in trouble only made me dig my heels in more. I am not willing to let issues of money or some corporate type covering things up, come in front of patient care.
    I have also written many times to legislators. I would wager that you have, that Julie has, that Christina has, I know Michele has, Barbara has, trick is to get more of us to do it. I'm sure there are many on this bb that has. Now we need to encourage everyone to take it to the next level. BE MORE PUBLIC! You bet the money is there to do what we need for patients, how much profit is enough profit? This is a question that has to be asked.
    Anyone reading this PLEASE DO YOUR PART! Let us not focus on the various things that divide us, but the things that can bring us together. We all see things from our own perspective, but each of the 13 things(barring sharing spectrum) are things each of us can do regardless of whether we are union or not, whether we believe in unions or not, regardless of what our area of practice is.
    So here we go, the next few years are going to prove interesting for nurses. Much of what we get will depend on what nurses do. So to all of you who read this, hope to see you participating in some way. It is going to make a difference if we can move the momentum our direction!
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    Originally posted by PeggyOhio:
    <STRONG>-jt posted a link to an article listing 13 "Things You Can Do to Help Relieve the RN Shortage". I urge everyone to copy it and follow the suggestions.

    #1 is "Stop denigrating nursing and nurses", which if your anything like me you may find difficult. Promoting nursing at this juncture would be hypocrital for me.
    So I've decided to follow my mothers advise "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all." That's a small step but one I can handle.

    I especially liked the end of the article. It reads, "Can you imagine the splash nursing would make if EACH OF US took one of these steps once a month for the next six months?

    To quote anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Nurses are not a small group. We’re thoughtful. We’re committed. We can become outspoken, articulate, and powerful. We can change the nursing world."

    Read it here:
    13Things</STRONG>
    Peggy...I read this just recently and some of it landed well with me and some did not. You know that I am a vocal advocate of a different nursing profession for the future. I still find nursing to be rewarding, challenging, frustrating, engaging, exciting and stressful...all emotions mixed up in one bag. I, like Helen, am very honest with people about nursing. Next week I am doing 2 interviews for an audiotape series that will address a couple of key questions: 1) What can the public expect of RNs when they access the healthcare system; and 2) What do RNs expect from patients? Both should be interesting to do because a lot of lay people really have no clue about the system. The reason I have agreed to do these is to educate the public about what nursing is and what it is not. We will see how it goes.

    As a personal and professional life career coach dealing with a lot of nurses, one of the questions that comes up most frequently is: What is nursing like for you? From that one question comes a wealth of opportunity to explore just what you value most for your life and career. The question is not as simple as it sounds.

    chas
  4. by   -jt
    &lt; I have also written many times to legislators. I would wager that you have, that Julie has, that Christina has, &gt;

    yes & if Hillary Clinton or Chuck Schumer EVER answer one of my 5 letters to each of them asking which way they voted on rescinding the ergonomics standard 2 months after Bill Clinton put it into place this year, I will be happy to share that with you. I find it amazing that in the midst of all these Senate Hearings, all the articles, all the exposure, all the letters talking about the problems, pointing out the flight of nurses from the bedsides, the working conditions, the age of the average nurse & the toll those conditions are taking - with all of this info, those legislators in both houses JUMPED at the chance to take away a rule that would have made working at the bedside a little easier & maybe kept some older nurses at the bedside able to work a little longer before retiring. Such a contradiction. Their actions spoke louder than all those nice words they said at the hearings & in the newspapers. They talk the talk but when it came time to walk the walk they sat down..... because the ergonomic standard would have caused their big-business-buddies to spend money on workplace improvements. I think we deserve to know which way our elected officials voted on that one. Obviously the majority in both houses voted to get rid of it & in the face of the present situation, that defeats the effort. I want to know why.
  5. by   -jt
    &lt;-jt posted a link to an article listing 13 "Things You Can Do to Help Relieve the RN Shortage". I urge everyone to copy it and follow the suggestions.&gt;

    I have mixed feelings about that article, Peg. I'll admit I may be a bit biased against Nursing Spectrum & that may be clouding me from seeing the benefit in that article & my temper may be causing me to read it in a certain way but I felt talked down to - yet again - by that magazine. After the past 2 yrs of their executives filling the pages telling us we have to stop complaining, learn that our roles have changed, learn to think out of the box, & understand that nursing is different now, learn that being a nurse doesnt mean you have to stay in one place & accept being down-sized out of your job as an opportunity to learn something else, accept the way of the world with managed care & learn to do more with less, learn to delegate & supervise instead of taking care of the pts, I have had it with them. My first reaction was:

    ohhhhhh Nursing Spectrum - the management's free magazine to nurses.....
    (free because all the ads from scab agencies & hospital HR dept fantasies pay for it)

    &lt;&lt;1. Stop denigrating nursing and nurses. Many nurses focus on how terrible nursing is as a career.....&gt;&gt;

    so the job sucks right now because of the conditions THEY are keeping us in but we arent supposed to talk about that............

    &lt;&lt;2. Speak to your boss and administration. NOW that the nursing shortage is well-known and managers are lying awake at night wondering where the warm bodies will come from, ITS LIKELY that administration will welcome input from all nurses. This is not an invitation to make an appointment to gripe
    and complain. ....&gt;&gt;

    oh so NOW that they cant sleep at night, they want to hear what we have to say? NOW they need us??? NOW they might "welcome" our input????? Hmmmmmmm........
    Where were they when we tried for the past 10 yrs to tell them this present situation would be the result of their actions? Why does it take getting to this crisis before they pay any attention to what we have to say? Im a little bitter about now that its affecting THEM, they will give us the time of day. Sorry, but I got just a little tired of hearing I was "a dime a dozen" & now that they are ready to ask what I think, I dont feel like being bothered with them. They had their chance. We'll take it from here.
    (yes I know that is counter-productive. Im just venting steam. we WILL work together. Still I feel like that article is scolding a little child)

    &lt;&lt;3. Reorient your thinking from problems to opportunities. Would you rather have a problem, a challenge, or an opportunity?&gt;&gt;

    so if your place of employment is killing you with mandatory OT, no support staff or equipment, and too many pts, we shouldnt consider that a problem but take it as a challenge to either work with it or take it as an opportunity to find another job????

    Notice this last one wasnt listed as number one or even in the top 3. And while I agree with it, it makes no mention of how to get nurses to stop feeling guilty about asking for a decent wage OR how to make administrators "get the point" about salaries either. It just dumps it all back in our laps. And no where in the article about solving the nursing shortage does it mention anything about how to get the administration to improve working conditions or we can get the employers to make the physical labor of the job a little easier so older nurses will stay at work. (the ergonomic standard that Congress did away with would have helped there). I am annoyed with this magazine but no matter how many times I ask them to stop sending it to me, it keeps showing up in my mailbox....

    11. Realize that its untrue to say we cant afford to boost nurse salaries or nurse staffing. The truth is, theres money enough to afford the type of healthcare and working conditions for nurses that we all want. As a society, were choosing to spend that money elsewhere. Nurses need to own the
    legitimacy of being well-paid and compensated as respected professionals. We need to educate the public about the inequities of nursing salaries. We must stop feeling that we should play nice when it comes to economic issues. Our skills, knowledge, and wisdom are valuable, and they should be compensated as such. The public wont get the point about nursing salaries until nurses themselves get it. http://community.nursingspectrum.com...e.cfm?AID=4098
  6. by   PeggyOhio
    -jt posted a link to an article listing 13 "Things You Can Do to Help Relieve the RN Shortage". I urge everyone to copy it and follow the suggestions.

    #1 is "Stop denigrating nursing and nurses", which if your anything like me you may find difficult. Promoting nursing at this juncture would be hypocrital for me.
    So I've decided to follow my mothers advise "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all." That's a small step but one I can handle.

    I especially liked the end of the article. It reads, "Can you imagine the splash nursing would make if EACH OF US took one of these steps once a month for the next six months?

    To quote anthropologist Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Nurses are not a small group. We’re thoughtful. We’re committed. We can become outspoken, articulate, and powerful. We can change the nursing world."

    Read it here:
    13Things
  7. by   Mijourney
    Originally posted by -jt:
    <STRONG>&lt;-jt posted a link to an article listing 13 "Things You Can Do to Help Relieve the RN Shortage". I urge everyone to copy it and follow the suggestions.&gt;

    I have mixed feelings about that article, Peg. I'll admit I may be a bit biased against Nursing Spectrum & that may be clouding me from seeing the benefit in that article & my temper may be causing me to read it in a certain way but I felt talked down to - yet again - by that magazine. After the past 2 yrs of their executives filling the pages telling us we have to stop complaining, learn that our roles have changed, learn to think out of the box, & understand that nursing is different now, learn that being a nurse doesnt mean you have to stay in one place & accept being down-sized out of your job as an opportunity to learn something else, accept the way of the world with managed care & learn to do more with less, learn to delegate & supervise instead of taking care of the pts, I have had it with them. My first reaction was:

    ohhhhhh Nursing Spectrum - the management's free magazine to nurses.....
    (free because all the ads from scab agencies & hospital HR dept fantasies pay for it)

    &lt;&lt;1. Stop denigrating nursing and nurses. Many nurses focus on how terrible nursing is as a career.....&gt;&gt;

    so the job sucks right now because of the conditions THEY are keeping us in but we arent supposed to talk about that............

    &lt;&lt;2. Speak to your boss and administration. NOW that the nursing shortage is well-known and managers are lying awake at night wondering where the warm bodies will come from, ITS LIKELY that administration will welcome input from all nurses. This is not an invitation to make an appointment to gripe
    and complain. ....&gt;&gt;

    oh so NOW that they cant sleep at night, they want to hear what we have to say? NOW they need us??? NOW they might "welcome" our input????? Hmmmmmmm........
    Where were they when we tried for the past 10 yrs to tell them this present situation would be the result of their actions? Why does it take getting to this crisis before they pay any attention to what we have to say? Im a little bitter about now that its affecting THEM, they will give us the time of day. Sorry, but I got just a little tired of hearing I was "a dime a dozen" & now that they are ready to ask what I think, I dont feel like being bothered with them. They had their chance. We'll take it from here.
    (yes I know that is counter-productive. Im just venting steam. we WILL work together. Still I feel like that article is scolding a little child)

    &lt;&lt;3. Reorient your thinking from problems to opportunities. Would you rather have a problem, a challenge, or an opportunity?&gt;&gt;

    so if your place of employment is killing you with mandatory OT, no support staff or equipment, and too many pts, we shouldnt consider that a problem but take it as a challenge to either work with it or take it as an opportunity to find another job????

    Notice this last one wasnt listed as number one or even in the top 3. And while I agree with it, it makes no mention of how to get nurses to stop feeling guilty about asking for a decent wage OR how to make administrators "get the point" about salaries either. It just dumps it all back in our laps. And no where in the article about solving the nursing shortage does it mention anything about how to get the administration to improve working conditions or we can get the employers to make the physical labor of the job a little easier so older nurses will stay at work. (the ergonomic standard that Congress did away with would have helped there). I am annoyed with this magazine but no matter how many times I ask them to stop sending it to me, it keeps showing up in my mailbox....

    11. Realize that its untrue to say we cant afford to boost nurse salaries or nurse staffing. The truth is, theres money enough to afford the type of healthcare and working conditions for nurses that we all want. As a society, were choosing to spend that money elsewhere. Nurses need to own the
    legitimacy of being well-paid and compensated as respected professionals. We need to educate the public about the inequities of nursing salaries. We must stop feeling that we should play nice when it comes to economic issues. Our skills, knowledge, and wisdom are valuable, and they should be compensated as such. The public wont get the point about nursing salaries until nurses themselves get it. http://community.nursingspectrum.com...e.cfm?AID=4098</STRONG>
    Hi -jt. You couldn't have written it better. The work smarter, not harder mantra does not apply to trench workers, because what we do is naturally hard work.

    I like what the author had to write about the 13 ways to help relieve the nursing shorage. In fact, I've already done some of the things she writes about. But -jt, I've got to hand it to you. Alot of what she writes only addresses the shortage from the surface. It doesn't get down to the heart of the problem in health care which is greed (the focus on excess profits), the misappropriation and diversion of money away from vital services including the workers providing the services, and the mismanagement/misutilization of health/medical care workers.
  8. by   nursejanedough
    rncountry, I have enjoyed your posts. I have forgotten what field of nursing you are in, could you please tell me? Also, I would like to know if you are a major bread winner and if you have kids to support, would you be just as willing to be so outspoken to administrators, etc? I am just curious as I am doing my own survey and wanting to write to "top" people. Thanks, jane.
  9. by   essarge
    jt,

    I enjoyed reading your post and it makes me want to ask one question.....if these managers are stayig awake at night trying to figure out where to get warm bodies, then, why don't they work that shift...I mean they are already awake right?
  10. by   Tiara
    jt: You should e-mail your response to NS letters to the editor and to the e-mail address of the author. It's getting a bit tedious to read all of these articles from people telling nurses what they should/shouldn't do. What do they think we've been doing? Nothing? If it hadn't been for all of our e-mails, letters, etc. the nursing shortage might still be on the back burner. duh.
  11. by   -jt
    &lt;If it hadn't been for all of our e-mails, letters, etc. the nursing shortage might still be on the back burner. duh.&gt;

    Dont forget the simultaneous RN strikes in Nyack,NY,(6 mths) Stanford,CA (8wks)& Worcester, MA (9 wks) - THOSE RNs got it moved to the front burner & thats when the media finally woke up - & other nurses got moving. Those striking RNs helped mobilize other RNs into awareness & letter-writing their legislators & newspapers. It all snowballed from there. Followed by RN strikes in Washington,DC, and Flint, MI.
    It took massive RN strikes to brake open the gates, got other nurses energized & active & made the media wake up. Now we're all on a roll.

    Tiara - I did as you suggested. Im sure it will be tossed into the "circular file cabinet" and chalked up to more "griping" from a disgruntled bedside nurse.
    No matter.....
  12. by   -jt
    &lt;If it hadn't been for all of our e-mails, letters, etc. the nursing shortage might still be on the back burner. duh.&gt;

    Dont forget the simultaneous RN strikes in Nyack,NY,(6 mths) Stanford,CA (8wks)& Worcester, MA (9 wks) - THOSE RNs got it moved to the front burner & thats when the media finally woke up - & other nurses got moving. Those striking RNs helped mobilize other RNs into awareness & letter-writing their legislators & newspapers. It all snowballed from there. Followed by RN strikes in Washington,DC, and Flint, MI.
    It took massive RN strikes to brake open the gates, got other nurses energized & active & made the media wake up. Now we're all on a roll.

    Tiara - I did as you suggested. Im sure it will be tossed into the "circular file cabinet" and chalked up to more "griping" from a disgruntled bedside nurse.
    No matter.....
  13. by   -jt
    peggy, your state association's governmental/legislative affairs dept needs to hear this feedback so they can know what theyre dealing with in his office.

    You can probably just email a copy of that post right to their link on the ONA website & include the name & title of the rep you went to see & the person you talked to.
    When we have lobby days & do the "debriefing" after the meetings with the elected officials, this is exactly the kind of helpful info the legislative affairs dept team is looking for.
  14. by   Tiara
    Good for you JT. I also e-mailed the author of that article. I'm sure a lot of my stuff ends up in the trash but every once in a while you write something that makes cerebral contact!! Yes!!!!!!!!

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