Originally posted by Susy K:
You are a very articulate person, I enjoy reading your posts, even if we disagree. I hope we can continue to disagree as we have so respectfully done thus far.
You have my attention with a few of your points. Nursing has come along way since the 1920's. I remember learning how nursing was an option for women who weren't housewives; as a nurse they had a reliable job with a steady income. Nowadays, yes, there are many career paths to choose from that weren't always open to women, namely business, etc. But then I guess I wonder, why are young girls choosing these career paths over nursing? How has nursing become so unattractive? That is why I feel like the hostility we hold contributes to the perceived, and I emphasize the word perceived, lack of professionalism and advancement. Do women nowadays gravitate towards other career options simply because they can? Or is it something deeper? That is what I'm trying to get at. Men have also started to penetrate the nursing profession, as they have never before. So that's why I don't necessarily think the other choices are all that much better - I just think nursing doesn't look make itself look that much more appealing than the others.
The hospitals have mandatory overtime, yes. I am a victim of it every week. But we have mandatory overtime because we have no staff. We have no staff because...why? The mandatory overtime? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
To Laura and Sunshine: what I mean by standardized nursing requirements are one unified educational track to become a nurse. Sunshine, I don't mean to imply that the BSN should be the minimum. The ADN could be the minimum for all I care. It's more so the principle of having some standard by which to judge other nurses. Those nurses who choose to get graduate degrees, obtain certifications and further their education above and beyond the standard should be able to expect a higher salary. But the problem is, what IS the standard? We don't seem to really have one, or at least one that the profession as a whole can agree on.
Brownie, I don't know how long you have been a nurse, but I get the impression it's been quite a long time. I'm sure you've seen shortages come and go. But this shortage is proported to be the worst yet. Why? Nurses leaving the bedside yes, but every profession can absorb this type of flux with new graduates. We don't HAVE any new graduates. To me that seems to be where the problem lies, or at least where to start.
[This message has been edited by Susy K (edited March 30, 2001).]
Hi Susy K,
Beleive me, I have no intentions of having anything but respect for you. I feel, we can all agree to disagree. I thank you for your compliment, and I must say I enjoy your spunk. I believe you're are the future of nursing, and even though I feel there is much you need to experience yet, this doesn't detract from your competence, or your abilities.
Yes, I have been in this a looooong time, well at least I think I have. Memory fades sometimes, but I remember having some of these same conversations waaaaay back then. Two of the big topics were, BSN vs, ADN, and Diploma nurses. The other was the shortage. When I first got my license, hospitals were offering CARS, for you to come on board with them. One hospital offered me as a new LPN, a NEW CAR, with the option to trade each year I renewed my contract with them. Travel nursing was also big at this time, and one hospital was housing nurses in a dorm, providing them with A DRIVER on their off days to take them on shopping trips! While on this assignments, they would work all the overtime they wanted, because this hospital was just that short. Nurses came from all over to work there. It was a time, when if you had a license, you had the job! I worked on floors, where ALMOST ALL the nurses working there, were agency nurses on the DAY shift! I became an agency nurse over 20yrs ago, after working at a hospital with mandatory overtime. If no one volunteered, they would come over to you, and say.."you're staying"...period! Nurses were leaving in droves to go into Real Estate, Business, etc, etc. The reasons were many.
Money, family obligations, quality of life, lack of respect, and plain old burnout.
The Old shortage of nurses, and how things were then!
I did a shift on a 30 bed oncology unit, with just one other agency nurse (LVN), and an RN charge nurse, on a nite shift. We ran so hard, we never even had time to think about going to the bathroom, or even getting a drink of H20 let alone take a break!
Do you know what? Some nurse, had the nerve to call, and ask me if I had did a Bld sugar on a pt.!!!! I felt it that's all I missed caring for 15 PTS, and that patient was alive, and still breathing, I was blessed!!
I have walked onto a floor to see an LVN, who was the ONLY nurse on the floor when I arrived, after getting a late call from the staffing office. This nurse had about 10 IVs lined up in the med room, and was walking down the hall, with several IV bottles(no bags then), in her arms, trying figure out which way to go first!! As I watched her, I suddenly realized, we were the only staff on the floor!!! Believe me Susy K, it was all I could do, NOT to run for the elevator, and keep running! All this was over 15yrs ago.
Susy K, there have been many times, I thought about doing something else, when I saw other less demanding positions offered with the same or more money than I was making. In fact, I went to work for American Airlines for 6 mos.. Even though American was a great employer, the benefits were excellent, I just couldn't stay away from nursing.
As for the men coming into the profession, here is my opinion on that. I feel that men no longer feel, they have to be doctors in order to care for patients. It used to be, if a man was in nursing, some thought something was not quite right about them. False thinking I know, but that is how many felt. The men I have worked with have been excellent nurses, and the profession is blessd to have them.
Next, I do agree, we should have a standardized entry level for nursing. But I don't agree it should be at the BSN level. A loong time ago, when making the BSN the entry level for nursing was being touted as the next coming thing, it was proposed, that LPN/LVNs & ADNs, be grandfathered in as Technical nurses. I feel that clinical ladders would be the best way to go. Many people understand career development levels, as you have associate managers, assist. managers etc. Why not the same thing in nursing? Make the techincal level the start of nursing, and then allow those who want to continue on, the advantage of having a income, while they pursue advancement.
And YES I strongly support higher pay, for higher education, as it's the only fair thing to do. But, to make the BSN the inital level of entry, "I" feel would only serve to discourage even more potential students, and only increase the shortage at this time. Maybe in the future when healthcare has truly been reformed, and treated with more than just bandaids, this could be feasible.
How things have changed!
It used to be, if someone knew you were a nurse, you were given respect. Now, they see you as a lowly paid servant, who deserves to be used, and abused. One guy told me, I should expect pts, to holler at me, and abuse me!!!
Because of the media, and some publized medical incompetence, the public, no longer respects us. Instead they are susupicious of us, and more demanding. Now they'er customers instead of patients.
Also the acurity of patients on the floors have increased greatly!
Now you see pts. with Nitro & Dopamine drips on the med/surg floors! Talk about things being scary, in a world where lawsuits have become the norm.
Hospitals used to require an agency nurse to have at least one or two days orientation before working on a floor, or unit. Now they throw you in there without even showing you where the bathroom is!
How does our young view us?
I have watched children, and teenages who are visiting, watching me, as I provide care of their love one. Many times I wonder how they see what I do. Do they look at me with awe, and wonder, desiring to emulate me, or do they make up in their mind never to be me, as they watched me running from room to room, never stopping?
Susy K, these are some of the big reasons, nurses are leaving, and why new students aren't coming on board. When people struggle to go to school, it's to better their situation, and most see nursing as no immediate return on their investment. When you have high school students making over $1,000 a week in the high tech fields, that rewards them for their knowledge, and have weekends, and holidays off, nursing becomes a very hard sell.