Is there REALLY a nursing shortage? - page 7

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   UM Review RN
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    When I leave my hospital nursing position, hopefully after less than a year in the field, there will be another idealistic grad eager to take my spot. That is part of the problem. So PACNWNursing, hospitals have learned that they don't have to change anything. They don't care about retention, because there are several local community colleges pumping out new grads every year. Also, I agree that hospitals want nurses to believe in the shortage because it helps to justify the staffing ratios.
    Demographically, that position will become insupportable within about 10 years. It's predicted that there simply won't be a continuous stream of new grads available by then, population-wise.

    But I predict there'll still be a shortage of nurses as well as services, because with Boomers in retirement, people won't be able to afford healthcare anyway, and many services will still be cut.
  2. by   PACNWNURSING
    Kate, good call, if the hospitals keep beating the drum of a nursing shortage, they know people who are pressed to find a secure career will seriously consider nursing.
  3. by   Freedom42
    I wouldn't be so sure about that stream of new grads. Even if people "seriously consider" careers in nursing, they've still got to be educated, and with the faculty shortage as bad as it is, programs are already struggling to meet demand. You can't educate new nurses without nursing faculty, and we don't give nurses at the master's and Ph.D level much choice when they have to take big pay cuts to take campus jobs.
  4. by   mmurphy
    Ingel.. you couldn't have hit the nail on the head more accurately. Hospitals, and health care agencies attempts to circumvent necessary staffing ratios is what makes nursing a very undesirable field in which to work.

    Even with state staffing regulations, many companies spend more man power and money attempting to maniplate the regualtions in order to essentially "short staff", nursing areas. We nurses are fools to accomodate these conditions.
  5. by   OC_An Khe
    The demographics are clearly in favor of the shortage continuing and probably growing. It doesn't matter if there is a over supply of licensed RN or not. The real supply is the number of RNs willing to work in the hospitals, SNF, etc. If that is not enough to meet the demand then either the economic compensation for RNs will continue to increase or as been tried before in other times of crisis, dumbing down the profession and moving what at one time was exclusively an RN role to less educated and prepared practicioners.With the risk of decreasing quality of care and patient safety.
    There is also a shrinking supply of new RNs for several reasons. The main two are demographics of the generations following the boomers and the fact that women have far more career paths open to them then when a significant number of RNs practising today were originally educated. Also 30 years ago when I started to practise almost 80% of nursing employment was hospital based, today, that number has shrunk to about 54% of nursing employment.
    The latter fact is just begining to be recognized by the hospital industry and has lead to the improvements in compensation of RNs as they begin to compete with other industries for the talent level that is required to be an RN.
  6. by   hope3456
    My theory is there is a more of a 'shortage' in areas where nurses can't afford to live i.e. california, flordia, ect. In places where the cost of living is affordable, and in more 'desirable' areas (northern colorado) , there isn't as much of a shortage. I live in N. Colo, and it is competitive here to get into RN jobs.

    Also, Nurses seem to always be interested in going to 'where the grass is greener,' which leads to continual turnover.
  7. by   SarasotaRN2b
    Actually, it isn't in the best interest for hospitals to have revolving door and new nurses. New nurses usually need 3 months on the job training with a preceptor. So everytime that a new grad fills an empty spot, the hospital has to pay that salary, as well as the preceptor because that preceptor is not going to be taking care of different patients.
  8. by   P_RN
    shortage: the property of being an amount by which something is less than expected or required.

    i think there is a shortage of people who will work at what is at best a nebulous expectation/definition of the job.

    let's look:
    that nurse didn't bring me my ice/water....bad nurse

    that nurse didn't get juice for my spouse who has hypoglycemia.

    that nurse didn't come to work today because she-worked 4 hours over last nite, because she has a sick child with no daycare because of her long hours.

    that nurse is here because she is sick and only has 5 days a year to be sick. hope she doesn't make me get sick.

    that nurse was late giving mama her medicine (she only had 60 patients to medicate in the hour allowed)

    that nurse should have known the doctor intended to give xxx med, not yyy med. nurses are supposed to know those things.

    that nurse should have known i have- an allergy, diabetes, high blood pressure, no i didn't tell her, it's in my chart (somewhere) i shouldn't have to tell her.

    that nurse looked pretty tired, what does she do all day? i see them sitting at the desk (everyone in uniform at the desk is a nurse!)

    and yes read your journals, that nurse should have, should have, should have should have..........

    that nurse left nursing, and it tears her heart out, because she *is* a nurse.
  9. by   Dalzac
    I know in our paper the nurse want-ads went down from 5 pages to 3 pages.
    I had to retired due to my health(bad back from lifting heavy stuff for 30 yrs) and a bunch of other stuff. I have to say I am glad I am out of the work force. I was getting to the point of being just disgusted from the patients families. I cared for the patients, but the families were just nightmares anymore. the media paints us in such a horrible light that the public thinks we are all rotten. And every family member is out to prove the media is right and no matter how hard we try to change it, we can't.
    And the big thing is management only wants to keep the "customers" happy and even if we were right you still get written up for just about anything. I was written up for standing in front of a bedside monitor and had my hands on my hips I was checking all my readings, Cardiac output, heart rhythm,etc,etc. and all the family said i had an attitude because I had my hands on my hip. It is just stupid.
  10. by   all4schwa
    if there wasn't a shortage would hospitals be paying for nurses in other countries to uproot and come work here?
  11. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from Dalzac
    And the big thing is management only wants to keep the "customers" happy and even if we were right you still get written up for just about anything. I was written up for standing in front of a bedside monitor and had my hands on my hips I was checking all my readings, Cardiac output, heart rhythm,etc,etc. and all the family said i had an attitude because I had my hands on my hip. It is just stupid.
    That reminds me of the time one of my "customer's" friends complained about me because I was seen standing with my hands on my hips while reading a monitor screen.

    My supervisor looked at the complainer, stood up, and in his most serious voice said, "Let me get this straight. You are unhappy because she put her hands on her hips. Is that correct? Well, as far as I am concerned, they are her hands and her hips, and I as I see it, she can put her own hands on her own hips if that's what she wants to do."
  12. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Retired R.N.
    That reminds me of the time one of my "customer's" friends complained about me because I was seen standing with my hands on my hips while reading a monitor screen.

    My supervisor looked at the complainer, stood up, and in his most serious voice said, "Let me get this straight. You are unhappy because she put her hands on her hips. Is that correct? Well, as far as I am concerned, they are her hands and her hips, and I as I see it, she can put her own hands on her own hips if that's what she wants to do."
    I'm sure some people think I have an attitude problem too, in that case.

    However, putting my hands on my hips helps expand my rib cage. In other words, don't take it personal, just trying to breathe over here.
  13. by   mariedoreen
    It wasn't about the money for me. It was about too many patients and not enough support for a new grad. I would have happily taken less money per hour (blasphemy around here I know) for saner working conditions. I'll keep looking for a position in nursing that doesn't push me to the depths of depression, but if I don't find it so be it. I will not sacrifice my mental and physical health for the working conditions that so many nurses are subjected to. Life is way too short and there is no amount of money they could pay me that would make me want to do that.

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