Is there REALLY a nursing shortage? - page 17

This is an interesting article guys/gals... Here's the letter I wrote to the President, Vice-President, U.S. Congress Rep. and Senator: "I'm an R.N. and I recently started working as an agency... Read More

  1. by   TheCommuter
    My statements will probably be construed as controversial, but here goes.

    There is no nursing shortage. There are over 2.5 million registered nurses in America in addition to the 700,000 licensed practical/vocational nurses. Therefore, there are more than enough currently licensed nurses in this country to solve the so-called 'nursing shortage'.

    Here are the problems. A huge portion of these licensed nurses are not working. Many of these licensed nurses abandon the nursing field altogether due to burnout, poor working conditions, and other issues that deserve some sociological research. Additionally, our greatest healthcare needs are at the bedside, but there are too many nurses in management and not enough who are willing to do the 'dirty work' at the bedside. In other words, there are too many 'chiefs' and not enough 'indians'.

    There is no shortage of nurses; rather, there's a shortage of nurses who will put up with the crap at the bedside. There's also a shortage of master's-educated nursing instructors. In addition, nursing pay rates will drop if nursing schools admit and graduate a whole flood of new nurses to fill this so-called 'shortage'.
  2. by   postmortem_cowboy
    Quote from TheCommuter
    My statements will probably be construed as controversial, but here goes.

    There is no nursing shortage. There are over 2.5 million registered nurses in America in addition to the 700,000 licensed practical/vocational nurses. Therefore, there are more than enough currently licensed nurses in this country to solve the so-called 'nursing shortage'.

    Here are the problems. A huge portion of these licensed nurses are not working. Many of these licensed nurses abandon the nursing field altogether due to burnout, poor working conditions, and other issues that deserve some sociological research. Additionally, our greatest healthcare needs are at the bedside, but there are too many nurses in management and not enough who are willing to do the 'dirty work' at the bedside. In other words, there are too many 'chiefs' and not enough 'indians'.

    There is no shortage of nurses; rather, there's a shortage of nurses who will put up with the crap at the bedside. There's also a shortage of master's-educated nursing instructors. In addition, nursing pay rates will drop if nursing schools admit and graduate a whole flood of new nurses to fill this so-called 'shortage'.
    A'FRICKEN MEN TO THAT!!!


    Wayne.
  3. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from postmortem_cowboy
    A'FRICKEN MEN TO THAT!!!


    Wayne.
    Thanks.
  4. by   Fiona59
    Up here there is a shortage of full time positions for those that want them. How many nurses want to work two or three part time jobs to earn a full time wage? Benefits and pensions are tied to the amount of hours attached to positions (going to those that are .4FTE or better). Yet, I continue to see .2 or .3FTEs being listed as vacant.

    It gets very complicated studying shift rotations to try and match these part time jobs into full time hours.

    Give us the hours we need to financially survive.
  5. by   Mudwoman
    Bruce Williams on late night talk radio made a profound observation one night. If there is a "shortage" in any field, then the wages and benefits increase accordingly. Nurses have been loosing benefits for the last 15 years and more so in the last 5. Our salaries are stagnant when inflation is taken into consideration. So, based on that------there is no shortage.

    In some areas like the one I live in, there are so many nurses graduating from the local colleges, that you can't find a job and when you do, the pay is pitiful. There is a job in town for an LPN for home health care. The job has been available now for 5 months and they run an ad every week in the local paper. The starting pay is $9 hr. They are now advertising that they have a new benefits package. It is 40 hrs a week and you are on call for one week every month 24/7. Where I work now, a year ago the starting salary was $15 hr and now the new hires are getting $12.50 hr and we have 20-30 applicants for every posting.
  6. by   checkb
    The Commuter and PM Cowboy (see above posts) are straight up correct. I'm one of those not working nurses, (out for 7 years to raise the kids). I'm about to go back into the trenches. I hear about the so called "nursing shortage" and figure no problem I should be able to work where I want. The job market is telling a very different story. Not as many jobs out there as a market in shortage should bear. 2-3 years ago there may have been a shortage, don't see a sign of it now.
    Last edit by checkb on Feb 22, '07
  7. by   karyn09
    Another reason for people saying there's a shortage is because what RN's out there want to leave their high paying positions to get a lower salary as a teacher? There aren't enough teachers in California...so all programs here are impacted. I'm not sure if it's the same anywhere else, but at the hospitals in CA, a majority of the time, if an LVN/LPN leaves, they fill that position with an RN - there are fewer [if any] positions for LVN/LPN's at the hospitals now.
  8. by   postmortem_cowboy
    Quote from karyn09
    Another reason for people saying there's a shortage is because what RN's out there want to leave their high paying positions to get a lower salary as a teacher? There aren't enough teachers in California...so all programs here are impacted. I'm not sure if it's the same anywhere else, but at the hospitals in CA, a majority of the time, if an LVN/LPN leaves, they fill that position with an RN - there are fewer [if any] positions for LVN/LPN's at the hospitals now.

    Yeah tell me about it karyn... I lost my registry job back in september and started sending my resume out, 30 a week or more, found a part time job doing flu shot clinics, figured that would do till something full time came around, and nothing has. I took what was told to me as a full time position with a research company that does medication studies here in OC, all the while your going to get hired on full time (as they hired everyone 1099). And when my med study was done, guess who was out of a job again? Moi. Pathetic thing is that no one there could start an IV, they always came to me for any kind of difficult sticks, either IV or phleb sticks even the lead phlebotomist would come get me. And I don't consider myself all that great with IV or phleb sticks. Now you tell me with damn near applying for everything that's out there every week. With having an acute hospital with 3 ads up for 3 different full time ER positions to call me in for an interview, then call me just hours later to see if I can come in through a registry that doesn't even have a contract with the hospital the next morning, then call me and say we're waiting on a background inv. then call me and say oh i'm going on vacation i'll call you on feb 3rd to hire you, then not calling on feb 3rd... how is there a nursing shortage at all? I've been getting this kind of run around since September. This is ridiculous!! I've applied to LTC, rehabs, acutes, desk jobs (which i really hate), HH, and it seems that the shifty people/companies are the ones that call me back and want interviews for some reason and I end up in the same boat as I was before, no job.

    Who the hell do you have to kill around the OC to find a decent job anymore? Cuz i'm all out of ideas...:icon_roll


    Wayne.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from postmortem_cowboy
    Who the hell do you have to kill around the OC to find a decent job anymore? Cuz i'm all out of ideas...:icon_roll
    I completed a Los Angeles area LVN program about 16 months ago and, at the same time, numerous other schools in Southern California were churning out new LVN grads every few months. Jobs in your area will continue to be sparse for LVNs unless these schools were to finally stop flooding the market with new nurses.

    This is just my $0.02 on the issue at hand.
  10. by   postmortem_cowboy
    Yeah I hear ya' Commuter... it's simply ridiculous... I sort of feel like I wasted a year of my life, could have been doing this in an RN program and just bypassing my LVN altogether. However I wouldn't give up the experiences I've had a as a nurse for anything, it's just plain flat disgusting.


    Wayne.
  11. by   lorster
    Quote from Mudwoman
    Bruce Williams on late night talk radio made a profound observation one night. If there is a "shortage" in any field, then the wages and benefits increase accordingly. Nurses have been loosing benefits for the last 15 years and more so in the last 5. Our salaries are stagnant when inflation is taken into consideration. So, based on that------there is no shortage.

    In some areas like the one I live in, there are so many nurses graduating from the local colleges, that you can't find a job and when you do, the pay is pitiful. There is a job in town for an LPN for home health care. The job has been available now for 5 months and they run an ad every week in the local paper. The starting pay is $9 hr. They are now advertising that they have a new benefits package. It is 40 hrs a week and you are on call for one week every month 24/7. Where I work now, a year ago the starting salary was $15 hr and now the new hires are getting $12.50 hr and we have 20-30 applicants for every posting.

    You know whose fault this is??? OURS. For being doormats and actually doing this type of work for that little money. SHAME ON US!!! I am embarressed to be a member of the nursing profession because of this very mentality. Why are we not standing up and demanding better wages, benefits and working conditions? This is not going to change until we all start shouting. Think about it. We deserve what we get because of our stupidity. How long would these big corporate money generators stay open if all of us suddenly left the bedside. Let the chiefs work the bedside for a change. Sorry but I'm tired of the worthless pitiful profession.
  12. by   Mudwoman
    Quote from lorster
    You know whose fault this is??? OURS. For being doormats and actually doing this type of work for that little money. SHAME ON US!!! I am embarressed to be a member of the nursing profession because of this very mentality. Why are we not standing up and demanding better wages, benefits and working conditions? This is not going to change until we all start shouting. Think about it. We deserve what we get because of our stupidity. How long would these big corporate money generators stay open if all of us suddenly left the bedside. Let the chiefs work the bedside for a change. Sorry but I'm tired of the worthless pitiful profession.

    Most states are right to work states and therefore no union can ever get a foothold. You go on strike and they just fire you and move on. As long as nurses have to work to put food on the table and pay the rent, and jobs are scarce, then wages will be low and get lower.
  13. by   postmortem_cowboy
    Quote from Mudwoman
    Most states are right to work states and therefore no union can ever get a foothold. You go on strike and they just fire you and move on. As long as nurses have to work to put food on the table and pay the rent, and jobs are scarce, then wages will be low and get lower.
    Duely notable Mud, and there's not a whole lot we can do about it either. I'd love to see a true union come to california, one that will actually do something more than just be a figure for the public and actually be a voice of working nurses.


    Wayne.

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