I completely agree with Canoehead. These are excellent topics, and I particularly support 1, 2, and 6.
I also like the responses from Molly J. While numerous factors play into the nursing crisis, in short, I feel that nursing school recruitment has significantly diminished due to a very poor image of nursing, (i.e. menial, laborious work for little pay and and a lack of respect, in addition to the possibility of mandatory overtime). Futhermore, as an acute care nurse practitioner, I too agree that that there are entirely too many NPs in the work force. Here are some thoughts.
1.) There are entirely too many NP schools in this country, and I strongly feel that most are grossly substandard. Two years ago, there were 288 (or close). Many of these schools are taught by nursing educators who were trained in nursing theory and don't have a clue about advanced practice. Some schools emphasize theory and research far more than pharmacology, physiology, and diagnostic reasoning because these schools lack the qualified educators to teach these courses.
2.) In addition to a substandard curriculum, MANY of these schools have very lax standards in choosing their students. PAs and CRNAs are subjected to a battery of interviews (with many schools) in addition to having an excellent GPA and GRE scores. Yet, many NP schools that are rated under the top 30 will take almost anyone who has a BSN, and with very little experience. My state alone has 3 NP programs, and 2 have been deemed GROSSLY substandard by many of its alumni.
3.) To add to the problem, NPs are under fire from the AMA on a monthly basis. In my state, the pharmacy board has also raised opposition. This alone supports the thinning of the number of NP programs and accepting only the "best and the brightest". The NP profession cannot afford to have poorly trained, inexperienced NPs in the workforce placing patients at risk. If an NP harms a patient, the fallout will reverberate throughout the entire state (in some cases). It projects a very poor image of NPs to physicians and the public who have never had the experience of working with an NP. The profession, in many areas of the country, is a time bomb waiting to explode. The NLN should take heed and thin the number of schools in this country. Very few states (such as Texas and CA) should have more than 3 schools, and many states should not have more than one school in my opinion. Unless I'm mistaken, there are only 50 to 55 PA programs in the entire country. I don't believe that the number of CRNA programs exceed this number.
4.) Here is a hot topic. RNs who have absolutely zero expereince with pediatrics and/or women's health entering an FNP program. It shouldn't be allowed. Many critical care nurses and/or med-surg nurses whose expereinces are strictly limited to an adult based population continually enter an FNP program. It shouldn't happen. A semester of pediatrics IS NOT SUFFICIENT to support FNPs who have no prior pediatric experience. While I'm sure that there are many excellent FNPs out there who provide excellent care to kids, a lack of experience in peds puts the kid at risk. Costly mistakes will happen. I read of two kids in recent months who DIED as a result of two newly graduated FNPs who misdiagnosed a child with influenza, (when each actually had bacterial meningitis). I feel that many people don't realize the implications of their role as an FNP (when entering the program), but instead see the FNP as being able to cover the life spectrum. Obviously, when mistakes of this magnitude are made, it is devastating to the family, and crippling to the profession. While there are probally thousands of incompetent doctors who make far more mistakes than most NPs, their status as an MD provides them with a much thicker blanket of protection.
Good luck with your presentation.
Originally posted by canoehead:
2)Portrayal of nursing in media/how does it affect public perception
3)Accountability viewed by nurses/how does it change with short staffing
4)Illness/divorce/children's need for services R/T overtime, shift changes
5)12h vrs 8h shifts affect on health and family
6)Consumers expectations vrs the reality of hospital based nursing care
Happy to help-good luck with your course work.