nursing shortage

  1. My question is : how severe is the nursing shortage?I know of other universities and collages graduating a good number of nurses and there's still a shortage. Where are the nurses going?What are they doing?
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   kathrynlynn
    The shortage is severe and will get worse. But, you are correct...there are lots of nurses....however, they are no longer practicing in the traditional roles which we have known in the past, especially hospital based. There are so many more options nowadays. From legal nurse consultant, to speciality consultant, travel nursing, pharmaceutical research, independant practice,etc. Add that to the number of nurses who have left the field totally for a second career, yes, you have a lot of nurses.

    IMO, I like tosay there is a "shortage of nurses practicing nursing". I think it is more accurate.

    K. Lynn
  4. by   Jenny P
    Kathrynlynn, those different options you listed ARE nurses practicing nursing; they just aren't in the traditional workplaces!

    Charo, the "good number of nurses" graduating from colleges is just not enough for the number of sick pts. these days.
  5. by   nurseratchett29
    Just for the hell of it, I just checked the job postings for Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston (where I work). there are between 150 and 200 posting s for Staff Nurses on the site. I lost count after I went throught 189 pages of the 318 that they have posted. Does this leave any doubt about the shortage? Many LTC's are offering sign on bonuses of up to $3000 for nurses. Home care agencies are having to turn away patients or refer to other agencies because of lack of staffing. The clients that do get staffing, are only getting roughly half of the hours they're approved for. Many places are so desperate, they are hiring on the spot without even checking references if BCI's come back OK.When you stop to think about it, not only is the shortage making us work a dangerous amount of hours but it also is making facilities grab anyone off the street without really finding out whether they are suited for the position they are applying for. Also about the number of graduates out of school--When I graduated (not all that long ago, less than 10 years) I was told to not get discouraged because at that time the market was flooded. Since then, many of the generation previous to mine have retired and roughly 1/3 of the people I graduated with have decided not to practice any more. That is a big loss to our community.
  6. by   -jt
    Right now there is no shoratge of nurses in numbers. The profession has grown by 4%. There is only a shortage of nurses who are willing to work in the unacceptable conditions they find come with hospital jobs.

    There is also a decline in student enrollment from previous years (can we blame them?) so there will be a true shortage of nurses in numbers in a few years as the rest of retire unless something is done to change that.
    Last edit by -jt on May 2, '02
  7. by   scrappy
    Originally posted by -jt
    Right now there is no shoratge of nurses in numbers. The profession has grown by 4%. There is only a shortage of nurses who are willing to work in the unacceptable conditions they find come with hospital jobs.

    There is also a decline in student enrollment from previous years (can we blame them?) so there will be a shortage of nurses in numbers in a few years as the rest of retire unless something is done to change that.
    I 100 percent agree and I couldn't have said it better.
  8. by   kathrynlynn
    My apologies. I did not mean to imply those roles were not nursing... especially since I am in pharmaceutical research. My point was simply they are not in the traditional roles as we have known. JT said it the best.

    K. Lynn
  9. by   Teshiee
    I agree there is a severe shortage but some say there isnt. It is just a lot of nurses left never to return to work in conditions that are unsafe, unfair and just plain bad! I don't know what is going to happen when the baby boomers hang it up! Something will have to give or else.
  10. by   nursing 101
    Well I can also say that schools are a good part of it too. The passing grade for some schools are a B which would be an 80% average. Most of the time you can not take a test over even if you are sick... Let alone take a class over. They kick you out of the program for failing a class even if it was your last one. I remeber 10 years ago I tried to get in the program and they told me that after I finish my pre-req's I had to wait at least 2 more years to get accepted (please). Some colleges even had their program closed and didn't know when they would open them up!Do you think most people were going to thru that? Nursing is the only program (and physical therapy) that is reputated for not enrolling people as much.
    I just tried 2 community colleges and they all have waiting list up to a year, not as bad as before. I also got accepted at a four year college and won't have to take so many entrance exams and I won't have to wait after I finish my pre-req's. But it will cost me a pretty penny. But at this point I don't care "cause I always wanted to be a nurse. I hope that more nursing educators come around, because to me you have to start fixing things from the bottom up. And needless to say they have to start with universities, colleges and vocational schools.
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    Most nursing school student to instructor ratio is 8-12:1.
    Other collegeiate programs can have 30-50:1------so you can see the need to limit the amount of students in class.

    Add to that:
    Most nursing instructors are over age 50 and will retire within the next 10 years. HUGE problem here OR opportunity for bedside nurses to go into educatiion and REFORM antiquated training methods.

    Re :
    "They kick you out of the program for failing a class even if it was your last one." By the time you get to your last class, you should be able to pass it!

    Nurses hold the outcome of patients lives in their hands every day and can change the outcome if they survive or not through nurses actions or inactions. Most docs don't have that same power except surgeons and anestesiologist.... if a doc goofs up a fellow doc can usually be consulted to help. If a nurse fails to realize a critical situation, the patient can be dead even before the doc arrives. IMO.
  12. by   g.cook
    Originally posted by scrappy


    I 100 percent agree and I couldn't have said it better.
    gd

    I have my own opinion about the nursing shortage. I myself have not worked as a nurse in almost 4 yrs. The conditions and libilities are terrible! Especially in nursing homes. I loved my first job which was on a Med-Surg floor even though I learned a lot, the supervising nurses were awful and always on my case about helping the patients too much (helping them to the BR with an IV pole), but do you think either of them would help me? They sat at the nurses station all night and ate and talked! Some nurses they were. They gave me the most difficult patients too. I was warned by an R.N. from another floor that they would not get off my back until I either quit or tranferred to another floor. I got so many compliments from my patients I couldn't figure out what the nurses problems were. Then I went to agency nursing, things improved so much as far as office politics. I did that for 5 yrs. Then went to work as a staff nurse on a subacute floor. I really enjoyed that until they decided I would be desk nurse. I hated that and told my super I was not interested. I am an LPN and thought for the amount of libility I was taking on, that an RN with more experience should have the position. Well, that never happened even though I had RNs working under me!
    I left that job to take care of my ailing father. I tried to return to work. One nurse hung up the phone on me as I was repaging the dr. who had given me an order and I didn't have it. The DON was standing right there. I was at awe. I later phoned the dr. and he informed me to right them all up! I quit that job after I was told I could have treated a lady with CHF with Lasix ( believe me it was too late for Lasix). Besides an LPN can not give Lasix IV push! Then I went to another nursing home which was brand new. I worked 11-7 and couldn't even tell you which door I was to open to send someone out to the hospital because I wasn't told! When I called the DON, she wrote me up for insubordination because I literally asked her if she was leaving me there to run the place all by myself without any orientation to the place and me being the only nurse there. What a nightmare! And I was also in charge of two floors, which later I found out was against the law!
    Now you all know. Hope you read every word too!
    Fed up,
    Gayle
  13. by   nursing 101
    I don't agree with one point NurseKaren RN,
    Just because I failed one class even if I passed the others should not be a point to kick me out of the entire program. I mean let me take it over, put me on probation or something but don't kick me out of nursing alltogther. Now if I don't pass the second time around, that's another subject. But at least give me a second chance. Obviosly if I'm almost finished and couldn't pass the last one that means either I'm not grasping soemthing out of that class. Yes we are supposed to know and be able to handle all situations of the job when we get out there. But you can not possibly tell me that you remeber everything they taught you in school. If anything you lose and you gain some out in the real world. And this goes for every profession.
    This situation happenned to my cousin 4 years ago... The girl got very depressed and has never talked about nursing ever since. I can't even ask her a simple question without her getting agitated and everything.
  14. by   Teshiee
    Lowering the grade expectations is not going to help. Nursing school seems to set the tone of eating thy young. If they are going to make school so damn hard why not be supportive and help those nurses succeed out in the REAL world of nursing. I can't tell you how many nurses I come across with the same attitude nursing school is hell! The instructor is this or that. It is bad all the way round. So unrealistic then when you come out you are plum mad because you realize it wasn't that serious to begin with. Learning with out intimidation would have been nice.

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nursing shortage