A study done on the Nursing shortage

  1. http://content.myh.monster.com/nursi...oryId=2&sid=38


    National poll shows most Americans are worried about nursing shortage
    Vanderbilt University study provides key insights on perceptions and fears

    Americans are intensely aware of the national nursing shortage and believe it is a serious problem, according to a national poll released by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center's School of Nursing and Center for Health Services Research in Nashville, Tenn.

    The poll confirms that a vast majority of Americans are concerned about the impact the nursing shortage may have on their personal health and quality of patient care in the United States. It also confirms that Americans overwhelmingly trust, respect and admire nurses and would encourage relatives and friends to consider a career in nursing. However, a general lack of knowledge of the nursing profession and the opportunities it offers remains a significant barrier to nursing recruitment efforts.

    "We found three in four Americans believe the nursing shortage is a serious health care problem, and people believe it will negatively impact the quality of care they get in the nation's hospitals," said Dr. Peter Buerhaus, associate dean of nursing at Vanderbilt, Sigma Theta Tau International board member and a leading researcher on the nursing shortage.

    The study shows that:
    81 percent of Americans recognize that there is a nursing shortage and 65 percent believe the shortage is either a major problem or a crisis.
    93 percent agree (80 percent strongly agree) that the nursing shortage jeopardizes the quality of health care in the United States. Seniors, aged 55 and older, are particularly sensitive to the shortage's impact on the quality of the health care system.
    75 percent are concerned that the nursing shortage could impact their individual health care, and 65 percent of younger Americans (aged 18 to 34) experience anxiety over the shortage.
    Other key findings of the survey include:
    95 percent of Americans find nurses' opinions on health matters to be credible and overwhelmingly trust, respect and admire nurses.
    97 percent view nurses and the nursing profession favorably (76 percent very favorably), and 91 percent say nurses play a critical role in the health care system.
    Although 83 percent of Americans, including 78 percent of men, would encourage a loved one to enter the nursing profession, only 21 percent would consider nursing as a career for themselves.
    Only one male in 10 would consider nursing as a career.
    91 percent said they would view it positively (74 percent very positively) if a family member or close friend told them they were considering a nursing career.
    The care that nurses offer patients is the main reason Americans have considered a career in nursing. Thirty-four percent of those who have considered nursing as a career say the primary reason is because nurses care about people and want to help others.
    Most Americans are unaware that nursing offers career opportunities outside patient care - such as research or hospital management. Many Americans have only a cursory knowledge of the differences among types of nursing professionals, such as licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and nurse practitioners. In addition, Americans much more strongly associate nurses with engaging in activities providing care, such as critical end-of-life care (74 percent), than they do with functions such as working in laboratories (35 percent), conducting research (32 percent), and writing and revising hospital and clinic policies (30 percent).
    Most Americans have little or no idea about how much money nurses earn, and there is little recognition that nursing salaries are competitive with those of other professions.
    According to the researchers, interest in nursing will likely increase significantly once the American public is made aware of the opportunities the profession offers. Already 21 percent say that they have at least once considered a career in nursing.

    "The biggest problem is that people are unaware of the array of opportunities and rewards in nursing today," Buerhaus said. "They are unaware that nursing salaries are very competitive with other professions or that nursing offers career opportunities in health research, hospital management, and family and community health care, in addition to traditional patient care. We need to get these messages out to parents, teachers, counselors and, above all, students at all levels."

    Commissioned by Johnson & Johnson, the nationwide poll was conducted with telephone interviews with 1,005 Americans aged 21 and older. Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc. of Washington, D.C., conducted the poll.


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    This article was provided by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   stressedlpn
    very informative, and intresting, now if we could just get all those people to stand behind us that would be great.
  4. by   ceecel.dee
    There, I feel better after reading that! Thank you very much! :angel2:
  5. by   Genista
    Thanks for sharing these results. I'm glad the public is concerned!
    They should be.

    But I don't think the article addressed MY biggest concern, which is,"Does the public know WHY there is a nursing shortage?"
    It is not because there aren't enough nurses. It's because the nurses that we have... don't want to work in unsafe conditions.

    I can't help but think, when the article talks about "opportunities in nursing," about the glorious opportunities that I have encountered (that they fail to mention) like: overtime everyday, never getting a break, short staffing, and increased responsibility.Flexible scheduling, adequate pay and variety doesn't make up for the fact that I ALWAYS work 1 hr overtime w/o a lunch break and people's lives DEPEND on me. Nurse are worked to the bone. They are considered expendable. There is no effort to keep us in the profession...just attempts to lure new RNs who don't know any better. Why don't those media articles ever address nursing burnout , rentention issues & nurse to patient ratios!!!!!????? I am one of the folk who likes to be a nurse, is good at it, but am Leaving due to horrible working conditions.

    I wish those articles would tell the WHOLE story!
    But thanks for sharing a little good news...

    I'm still waiting for the "truth about nursing" to come out.
    (Not holding my breath). LOL.
  6. by   sjoe
    Kona2--you could always voice your concerns in a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Then these thoughts might appear in print.
  7. by   -jt
    <very informative, and intresting, now if we could just get all those people to stand behind us that would be great.>

    The public is already standing behind us & contacting their legislators to demand laws to solve the problem. Now if we could just get more NURSES to stand up for themselves & do the same, that would be great.
  8. by   jnette
    Thank you, JT... AGAIN !
    I don't believe ANY of the nurses I work with in my facility belong to ANA or even recieve nursing journals, for that matter. Yet the whining and continued shock and surprise as things continue to deteriorate is constant. We DO have things to whine and be concerned about, no question! But it takes more than complaining amongst ourselves.

    I may be treading on thin ice here, but have we ever done a poll
    (still relatively new to the BB, so don't know) on how many nurses have actually contacted their representatives in congress, etc.? (written or sent those letters you made available to us)...or how many belong to ANA? Would be interesting to see the percentages....
  9. by   Brownms46
    ceecel.dee, and kona2
    You're very welcome....

    Yes the article did leave out a lot about the real reason there is a shortage. I also felt the study didn't dig deep enough for my tastes, but it did show that the public views nurses with respect. Which is difficult to discern sometimes where you're dealing with family members and some difficult patients with over the top expectations.
    The article also came across as somewhat of a recruitment piece, but there were enough good points about, that I decided it was worth reading...
  10. by   MK2002
    The problem seen over and over again in such articles is that a shortage is reported but the reasons are given little if any coverage. At best, an article usually cites "an aging population and increased demand for services" or similar reason for the cause of the shortage. That makes for great copy but little else. In the long run these articles convince their readers to seek a career in nursing without being fully informed about the high rate of attrition. The writer assumes that the employee will be powerless to effect change, so the causes of the shortage are ignored. They reinforce the idea that the employee is unimportant.

    As for the specific article quoted in this discussion, it was well researched. The statistics are especially informative. If the public only knew the reasons for the high turnover and the occupational stress, there might be some progress.
  11. by   Brownms46
    MK2002...Good post. One day I would actually like to see the whipped cream taken off this subject, and the hidden real issues brought out into the open. Thank you..
  12. by   SandyB
    I'm in California and you might have heard we have a staffing ratio that passed in our state gov and has been signed by the gov. It don't take effect until 2004 but you can bet I sent a message to my representive and the governer stating I see a need for such a law! There was a major push to get nurses to support it and from talking to friends and co-workers we all participated.
  13. by   jnette
    Good Job !
    Good for you ! This is what's needed more than anything right now. Make our voices heard 'til they're running from the noise and acting on our behalf if only just to shut us up !
  14. by   -jt
    <At best, an article usually cites "an aging population and increased demand for services" or similar reason for the cause of the shortage. That makes for great copy but little else. In the long run these articles convince their readers to seek a career in nursing without being fully informed about the high rate of attrition. The writer assumes that the employee will be powerless to effect change, so the causes of the shortage are ignored. They reinforce the idea that the employee is unimportant.>

    I did a press conference at my state capitol on the issues of RN staffing & forced overtime. This was at one of my state assoc RN Lobby Days last year. The room was packed with RNs & reporters - standing room only. I didnt talk about "the nursing shortage" - I talked about the shortage of nurses who are willing to work in hospitals today -- and I showed the reporters why. You could have heard a pin drop in that room. It was undertsood very well & my comments were reported accurately in my local newspaper in a full page article about the issues. I saw the same thing reported on in another paper & you would never even know it was talking about the same press conference. Yet the reporters got the same plain talk in simple language & concrete evidence at the same time.

    We're telling it right. Some of the reporters are just not writing it right. So, I had to write the writer & let him know to pay better attention next time 'cause he missed the whole point, misrepresented the issue, left out important information that the public should be aware of, & did his readers (the public) a disservice.

    I have to wonder if the fact that the newspapers Board consists of the heads of several area hospitals had anything to do with certain omissions from these kinds of articles or that they are written in a way much differently from how it is told.

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