Is there REALLY a nursing shortage? - page 19

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   BigB
    Quote from Mudwoman
    Our state BON approved Medication Aides 2 years ago for nursing homes. Recently the bi-monthly newsletter talked about what a success the program has been and they are looking at expanding it in some instances for hospitals. 3 of the largest hospitals in the state have decided to go back to primary care with RN's having up to 5 patients and having a CNA that will have 10 pts. No LPN's. Children's hospital in Little Rock is advertising for RN's, but with a catch. The job has no benefits and is for 13 weeks at a time----contract labor. Look for this to be the wave of the future. We will probably "bid" for the work out there and it will go to the lowest bidder.

    LPN's here are having a hard time finding work and salaries are declining. Classic evidence that there is no shortage. We don't even have any private LPN schools. Just the local comm college.
    I fear the wide spread use of "med aides" will be the downfall of the lvn position.
  2. by   Pudnluv
    I'm just gonna throw out something for debate. Is there really a nursing shortage? We hear so much about short staffing, patient overload and mandatory overtime. I look in the paper and the biggest section in the paper is the medical, all with ads for nurses. The hospitals in my area are all advertising for positions. So how is it, then when a recent group of new grads from a local nursing school applied to my hospital, only one got hired? I read in this forum about hiring freezes, layoffs and how so many new nurses have difficulty finding jobs. I also read about short staffing, mandatory overtime, being forced to float onto units not qualified for d/t staffing demands. I'm well aware of the different demographics around the country, some are glutted, some are experiencing a shortage. But the media makes the shortage seem so widespread.
    So my question is this....Is there really a nursing shortage or is this just propaganda from the health care industry as a whole? Is it a way to save money for hospitals and also absolve them of any guilt from bad outcomes due to poor staffing? If you only open the door so far, and let one or two in at a time, you still have a line waiting to get in. Then the hospitals cry, well, there's a shortage, we can't help it!
    Just a little food for thought and debate. Conspiracy theorists welcome!
  3. by   HouTx
    Pudnluv,

    What a great discussion question.

    The shortage projections are based on a number of well researched & documented factors (nursing education capacity, new grads per year, shrinking faculty, aging population etc. etc.). However, the economy is playing havoc with all of the numbers.

    As the economy shrinks - people are foregoing health care & volumes of service are dropping across the board - ambulatory as well as acute care. Shrinking volumes give rise to shrinking labor budgets. Facilities are coping with this in a variety of ways: cutting positions, increasing part-time ratios (to decrease benefit $); substituting lower skilled staff, etc.

    One of the most common reactions to decreasing revenues is slashing any 'non productive' area. This means that education resources are on the chopping block. As an educator, I have experienced this many times in many organizations. Someone once told me that education positions are the second 'most likely' to be cut, right after marketing - seems to be true.

    When educational resources are not there, it is very difficult to bring in New Grads. They have to have significant amounts of support/development to achieve competency. At the same time, experienced nurses are going back to work or increasing hours to supplement family incomes.... Result? it's grim for new grads in some parts of the country.

    However, in my area - we don't seem to have enough 'under employed' nurses to come back into the workforce. So we're still hiring new grads.

    Shortage??? hmmm - it all depends.
  4. by   HeartsOpenWide
    My friend talked with some recruiters in S.F. who told her that a lot of new grad programs were canceled because of the cost of them and the way the economy is going. They also told her that a lot of the hospitals were not hiring new grads because new grads cost a lot to train (my instructor told us about 60,000). It also depends on area...not just area as in are of the country but the area of nursing you are going into...maybe the should apply for TLC or public health positions...there are a lot open in my area...but every one wants to fun jobs like OB, ER, or OR...
  5. by   sirI
    Threads merged.
  6. by   jjjoy
    If HR is as understaffed as nursing units, then perhaps so many positions go unfilled for so long because by the time they process the applicants and hire nurses for two or three slots, there are another 10 open nursing slots that have been put on the back burner. Meanwhile, because it's taken them so long to get to some of the applications, the HR personnel figure it's not worth following up old applications and start the process over again for another two to three slots.

    Probably more relevant, though is the BIG problem of the revolving door. Facilities use such slim staffing and pile so many various responsibilities on the nurses that nurses are constantly quitting out of frustration, looking for better working conditions. The facilities are in a constant state of hiring, not because they don't hire, but because they lose staff as fast as they hire them. Ultimately, many nurses conclude that leaving the bedside is the only way to avoid impossible working situations. Thus, the shortage is exacerbated.
  7. by   twistednut
    There is already talk about med techs replacing RN's. i am not threatened by foreigners. i feel more threatened by our government and the power that they have to change our livlihoods in the blink of an eye with the poor decisions they make.
  8. by   jjjoy
    Quote from twistednut
    i feel more threatened by our government and the power that they have to change our livelihoods in the blink of an eye with the poor decisions they make.
    While I understand that the government has the power to make or break certain livelihoods and that we as citizens can't just sit back and expect government representatives to make choices that will be best for us an individuals or as a society, I don't understand the great faith that many of those same people seem to have in "free market" either. Companies where increasing profitability is the bottom line also make choices that make or break livelihoods and we as consumers and employees only have so much power to influence their choices, especially for services like health care where choosing to go without isn't often a reasonable option.

    A privately run company is just as likely to push for utilizing med aides as is a government-funded agency as everyone tries to keep costs down. I certainly don't think the government can solve every problem or should have unilateral power over things like administering health care. But I also don't think solely leaving it to the powers of free market will necessarily lead to better outcomes across the board.

    I don't think it's ever as simple as choosing between "free market" or "government-involvement."
  9. by   mmurphy
    I agree. I agree. I agree. It is not a matter of racism or bigotry, it is a matter of exploiting us, the American Citizen Nurse.
  10. by   VaEMT190
    To the best of my knowledge, in Virginia the nurses are WELL above the "shortage" line. As far as EMT's go, this is a big shortage in Southwest Virginia. Some Rescue Squads get around 5+ calls a day but are still Volunteer because their is not near enough people to work for them. Luckily my agency had paid staff for all stations and volunteers "come and go" and are usually the 3rd man on a truck. One of the hospitals that we CAN transport to ended up firing about 8 nurses and a handful of ppl from the admin area because of budget cuts.
  11. by   Court23
    Hey. I am not an agency nurse, I work in a hospital as a regular floor nurse. Only one area of our hospital uses agency and they are set up as a nursing home. I did however work agency as a CNA and I loved it. I think there will always be a demand for agency nurses. Some hospitals do not like to use agency because their rate is higher, however I have found some agency nurses to be worth that increase. The biggest nursing shortage is supposed to be coming in 2011. Hospitals everywhere are going to be retiring bundles of nurses and the increase for agency nurses and nurses in general are going to be on the rise. I would not worry about our jobs leaving, our job is a must and will always be needed as long as we have a health care system.
  12. by   AntonellaB
    Guys,
    let's not argue...Immigration politics can be changed/fixed only by the politicians. We cannot do anything to change it. America has always been a "melting pot", a land that attracts people from all over the world. We should be thankful that we live in a country with a freedom, opportunities, and ability to make choices. We should be respectful and not greedy. If we were good workers, willing to face the challenges and be devoted in our professions...why should we worry about someone else coming to take our jobs?!...So many people are on welfare that they shouldn't be...they can try to work, get a job, do something and be productive....Don't abuse the system. Immigrants pay taxes, too. Right? These taxes are distributed...they fund ones that are on welfare, too. To support one retired person nowdays you need more working people (ratio 7 working to 1 retired, not sure if it is still the same) to contribute to Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

    JF Kennedy said long ago: "It is not important so much what the country will do for you. It matters what you do for your country".

    An immigrant myself
  13. by   musicgirl
    Alot of my colleagues seem to be leaving floor nursing and doing UR.

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