Well, I'm not 100% certain of the details, but I believe that two legislators met with a panel of "experts" to discuss the nursing shortage. From what I understand, a BSN nursing student and the CEO of the the biggest hospital in Little Rock, (Baptist Medical Center) was a part of the panel. I know the CEO personally. HE IS A HUGE PART OF THE PROBLEM within that hospital. I think the bottom line was that the panel suggested that the MAIN problem with nursing is a total lack of respect for the profession. (The panel said this problem attributes to the decline in nursing school enrollment, as well as the reason for nurses leaving the profession. Thus, the other problems stem from this). Anyway, I think that the legislators proposed to promote a bill that would allow for a two year study to investiage the reasons for the nursing shortage. Typical politics. I am going to write them to tell them they are way off base. We already know why there is a nursing shortage. I guess that they feel that they need "hard core evidence" from a study to validate any proposed changes. I'm glad that this state is finally addressing reasons why nursing school enrollment is down, which is a lack of respect for nursing by the public in general. One solution to attract new nurses are meager bonuses over a five year period (or so). Yet, I don't think that is the answer. To begin, registered nurses in Arkansas start out at $12.50 to $13.50 per hour now. (That's up from $11.88 when I started four years ago.) For one, they need a higher salary. The newspaper article pointed out that other careers with comparable education (BSN vs. engineering or computer tech jobs) make from $19,000 to $29,000 more per year in starting salaries. Don't let that suprise you however. This is, without question, a state with very narrow-minded, backwards thinking. It is felt that since nursing is comprised mainly of women (94%), then nurses shouldn't worry about their salaries. In fact, when legislation was introduced in 1994 to the state legislature advocating a PhD program in Little Rock, an opponnent to the bill made the remark (before the entire House of Reps) that HE could teach a nurse what SHE needed to know within two weeks, and thus a PhD program is a WASTE of time and money! Government within this state is comprised of pompous rednecks whose intellect does not match their grandiosity.
Originally posted by PeggyOhio:
There was a Senate sub-committee field hearing on the Nursing Shortage in Little Rock, Arkansas yesterday. Are there any Arkansas nurses out there that could share with us on how that went?