Nursing Shortage

  1. Last edit by NCNocRN on May 15, '04
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Margy
    Hi Joy... I work in Australia and we have the same problem there. Hospitals are targeting 'Agency ' staff as they are easy to put off and dont receive benefits such as sick pay, annual leave and superannuation.
    You therefore have a hospital with mainly casual workers which has no real committed workforce, resulting in a place that is falling apart! Having made that statement I must say that I work with many 'Agency' staff and they are great people but it is hard to maintain the 'fabric' of a working team when it changes daily.
    For mangers of hositals it means they save money and that is the reason for casual staff. In fact I dont think long term predictions about use of money is a factor, it seems that short term gains are paramount.
    Cheers,, Margy.
  4. by   ljfrn
    The reason there is a nursing shortage which is going across the country rapidly is mainly two-fold. One reason is that a lot of nursing schools closed a few years ago when someone decided (wrongfully) that there were too many RN's and the patient census was going to go down. The other reason is that the baby boomers are now becoming senior citizens and are creating a great influx into the hospitals and medical care settings. I am chairman of our Recruitment and Retention Council in the hospital and we have been studying this issue and also ways to alleviate the problem. There really are not any short term quick fix answers but it helps to network with the nursing schools in your area and also start networking with middle and high school to get more children interested in nursing as their career.
  5. by   mn nurse
    We have a nursing shortage here in MN, too, particularly in long-term care and in home care. It's a vicious cycle - the subacute unit I used to run had good nurses but they got so burned out working short, by the time we'd get positions filled, the established staff would quit, making us short again. To make matters worse, nurses we did have would come in for their shift and end up stuck staying for two, sometimes every day they were scheduled, because there was literally NOBODY coming in on the next shift! I picked up many evening shifts (for free, since I was salaried) just to try to give them a break - it's heartbreaking to watch a person cry because they're stuck with a mandatory double on the evening of their son's first baseball game or school Christmas Concert. I can't fault administration - they gave overtime bonuses, hiring bonuses, stopped taking admissions to try to bring the census down to a level we could manage with the staff we had, contracted with temp. agencies, etc. There just weren't any more nurses! I admit, I gave up and transferred to a position where I wasn't responsible for patient care...