No Nursing Shortage At The Present Time - page 32
I am assured that some of you are reading this and saying to yourselves, "Duh! This topic is old hat. We already know there's a glut of nurses in many parts of the country, so why are you writing... Read More
0Dec 3, '13 by Gemi523Nursing Shortage?? *scoff*
I am an experienced BSN, RN, CCRN. Worked in ICU for 8 years at biggest hospitals in the nation. I left my job to take 6 months of maternity leave. I am now having a very difficult time finding a permanent position. When I graduated 8 years ago, hospitals came to my community college to offer us jobs before we even graduated!! So Im not used to this. Sure, Im picky. I want to work at a large academic hospital in the ICU and not get paid peanuts. But point is, its super competitive out there. If there is a job opening, you are in competition with their current travel nurse who wants to go permanent.
I SMH at the thousands of students entering nursing school right now and who have graduated nursing school within the past 3 years. It's a tough time. Wishing you all the best and future opportunities.
1Dec 3, '13 by zack1110“The nursing shortage lies—local major hospital corporations are not hiring nurses, despite continuing to falsely post job openings”
December 1, 2013
After deciding to go to school to become a Registered Nurse, many had the hopes and promises of never being unemployed or ever having to worry about finding a job. So many figured this would be a good investment in their future—but it may be time to reconsider that idea.
For as long as I can remember, and most definitely for as long as I had aspired to be a nurse, I had been hearing the term ‘nursing shortage’ tossed around by the multiple media streams as well as from other healthcare professionals. It was brought up everywhere. If you looked for example, in the newspaper, you would find ads boasting huge sign on bonuses for Registered Nurses with excellent wages and benefits— some even paid continuing education opportunities.
Many people began to jump on the bandwagon to obtaining their nursing degrees. With many opting to do BSN programs, there were also many ADN programs that offered nursing education and the ‘RN’ title after only 2 years of study. This made it appealing to a lot of already employed individuals looking for a stable, steady career change. All kinds of nursing programs began to spring up, with as many as 6-10 nursing programs per city or region. Most of these programs here in Knoxville are producing roughly 60-100 nurses every 2 or 4 years depending on the program, but with a job outlook growth projected at “faster than average” and the “shortage of nurses”, it seems like a no brainer! With quotes like this plastered all over the American Nurse’s Association’s website, where could you possibly go wrong?
The Shortage Isn’t Stopping Soon You’ve likely heard about the “nursing shortage” for years now, and perhaps you think it’s been resolved. However, registered nurses are still at the top of the list when it comes to employment growth (BLS, 2010).
What we have failed to see as a society is the impact of market saturation. With so many local nursing programs producing a steady supply of new graduates, it’s not difficult to see that eventually the supply is going to exceed demand in any given geographical region, as it has already done here in Knoxville. But this isn’t the only contributing factor in and of itself. This is just one of the complicating factors in a multiple faceted, bigger issue.
At the same time we saw such an increase in the amount of nurses that were being turned out into the job market, we also began to see some political changes within the healthcare industry itself, in particularly with the hospitals. Many of the smaller market hospitals began to merge or be ‘bought out’ by larger corporations, such as Covenant Health and Tennova Healthcare Systems. These larger corporations have ended up owning many smaller hospitals and dominate the job market in the Knoxville area. This is a great investment for the corporations, but can be pure disaster for the nurse seeking employment.
If those two strikes aren’t enough to put nurses behind the eight ball, then add in the fact that many jobs that used to be held only by Registered Nurses are now being filled by Licensed Practical Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, and Medical Assistants. This is in part due to an increase in the availability of educational programs for these careers. Also, the job descriptions have changed which allow these individuals to do more than the previously could, thus eliminating the need for RN’s. This also eliminates the need for a company to pay RN wages for the same tasks that can be done by a CNA or LPN.
This leads to another problem that is wreaking havoc on nursing job opportunities—the greediness of these large corporations. The idea of “doing more with less” has caught on BIG with employers. In jobs, such as retail, this only hurts the employee by working them to a personal limit and exhaustion. In the employer’s eye, if they can get one person to do the work of three people, then why would they want to pay three people? This idea has really taken a hold on the nursing industry as well. The employers however, have neglected to see the real problem with this. When you implement this ideology, not only do you work the employee beyond his or her limits, but you also endanger the lives of patients. I have found this to be the case first hand, working for Covenant Health. This is especially true on medical surgical units and critical care units. It is not uncommon for one nurse to carry the load of 7-8 patients per shift on a medical surgical unit and 3 patients at a time in a critical care unit. This patient to nurse ratio has increase drastically over the past few years and is simply unsafe practice. I can remember having traveling nurses come to our facility, see our nurse to patient ratio and make comments about how ‘unsafe” they felt working with that load. The employers are slowly increasing the workload per person until they find a “breaking point”, which usually consists of a patient harm event and/or a subsequent lawsuit involving patient harm. Unfortunately, patients must be injured or harmed before the issue is viewed in any other light aside from a “bottom line” or “money” issue. Despite bringing these issues up in staff development meeting numerous times, it was always “blown off” as not important. These large corporations are able to get away with such treatment of their employees because of the very thing they are creating—the saturation of nurses and the fact that they dominate the market. If you have nurses that are seeking jobs so desperately, then they are willing to “put up” with harsher working conditions and lower wages in spite of having a “job”. At the same time, the reason for those harsher working conditions is greediness from the employers by not hiring additional nurses to spread the workload out and make conditions safer for everyone. It’s a vicious cycle and until the healthcare corporations such as Covenant and Tennova realize this, they may be facing more patient dissatisfaction and lawsuits than they bargained for.
Interestingly enough, employers do a great job of “masking” the fact that they aren’t hiring new nurses too. Just go to any large hospital website and view the job opening boards. You would be amazed at the amount of “open” positions that are posted there. I have heard from numerous nurses, that even after applying for upwards of 30 positions, they have yet to receive one call for an interview. I have experienced the same thing first hand. After speaking with one local Human Resources agent, it was apparent that their facility had only hired five RN’s over the past 5 months, despite countless pages of open job postings. I have spoken with several managers who have informed me that hiring is just ‘dead’ and there are no plans to hire additional nurses, especially before the beginning of the year at the earliest. In addition, you never see those attractive ‘sign on’ bonuses that once were a commonplace among nursing positions.
If these large hospital corporations are not going to hire new nurses, and we have in fact seen the end of the ‘nursing shortage era”, then they at least need to stop feeding the public a constant stream of lies by continuing to post job openings daily. This is a very misleading and dirty way to do business in the community.
1Dec 4, '13 by TheCommuter, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorQuote from zack1110Many big businesses engage in misleading and 'dirty' conduct to keep the revenue stream flowing. Hospital corporations and schools are big businesses. What's new?If these large hospital corporations are not going to hire new nurses, and we have in fact seen the end of the ‘nursing shortage era”, then they at least need to stop feeding the public a constant stream of lies by continuing to post job openings daily. This is a very misleading and dirty way to do business in the community.