I am a nursing student and will be graduating in 2004 with my bachelor's degree. I am very proud of myself for this accomplishment....because I will be 48 years old when I graduate.
I keep reading about this nursing shortage, and have experienced it first hand when I had major surgery a year ago. But understanding that the nursing staff was overworked helped me be more understanding.
It occurs to me that maybe schools are targeting the wrong age group for nursing students. Perhaps they should be targeting the older, more mature student (please don't think that I am putting down the younger student)who is ready to go back to school. I see this as an advantage because of the nursing shortage and the amount of "older" people who really want to go back to school. Allot of older students don't want to go into the high tech fields and want a job that they can retire from with a good retirement income.
If hospitals and nursing school recruiters would look at this from an economic point of view, I'm sure they would see that the "older" student pretty much knows what they want to do with the rest of their life, and would be a good hiring risk.
Please don't think that I am in any way demeaning the younger student/nurse...but as I have read, most of the younger ones are moving into the high tech field, and I think that is great!
I know I'm rambling, but I really feel that nurse recruiters should look at this...maybe it would help out!
Apr 9, '01
essarge, just so happens you are saying what a lot of people are saying. In the future most people who enter nursing will have to come from what they refer to "as non-traditional backgrounds". Middle class people who can afford to send their kids to school are going to encourgage them to do other things. It does not hurt to recruit youngsters but I wonder how much success they will experience no matter how hard they recruit from the young, middle class group.
Apr 9, '01
I have a post about manipulating management pertaining to this.
Get IN A UNION!
Apr 9, '01
The "older student" I was referring to was the person who had pretty much already raised their family and decided that it was finally "their time"!
I think that it is a vastly untapped pool of prospective future nurses, and with their experiences in life at handling allot of different situations, it might make for more understanding in the field
Apr 9, '01
Hi essarge. Congratulations on your achievements. Welcome to nursing. I must tell you, however, that I think that you vastly underrate nursing and what you need to know and be able to do to be truly successful in practice.
It use to be a day when nursing was low tech. This was prior to advanced technology, profits, and managed care. Predictions are being made that in 5 to 10 years, all records will be electronic.
In an increasingly fast paced work environment, nurses are increasingly being sued as we are finding that hiding behind the coattails of a physician no longer suffices when errors are made. Physicians technically are not our supervisors.
We nurses are responsible for knowing alot more about patient care then having good people skills and how to administer it. We are also responsible for keeping current as well as learning new treatment and therapies.
We are responsible for learning how to take care of an increasingly hetergeneous population.
We are responsible for learning our nurse practice acts and current or proposed laws that could affect them.
Nurses are responsible for managing every aspect of patient care in every setting. This, in my opinion, is very high tech.
There is that growing nursing shortage. The shortage requires a great deal of flexibility by those who dare to work in the trenches. It requires not only the patience and wisdom typically associated with older nurses, but it requires a great deal of physical strength and stamina. Many nurses, even young ones are not up to the task.
Keep in mind that you may opt not to work in one setting for your entire work life. You want to prepare yourself to be able to make a successful transition to any setting where you feel you can make a difference including working for yourself.
Apr 9, '01
I agree totally regarding the physical side of nursing. Hospital nursing requires a lot of stamina and endurance. There are many nurses on disability for injuries on the job. Sometimes orderlies are available; sometimes not. When they are not, it's up to the nurses. I would not advise any older non-traditional students to go into hospital nursing. It is much too exhausting. That's why most nurses don't stay at the bedside until they are of retirement age. Great to go into nursing when you're older if you are looking at positions that don't require the demanding physical work that hospitals require.
Apr 10, '01
Just for the record, I do plan on going into hospital nursing (critical care), but I am probably not the norm. I am physically active and in shape because I train in martial arts. I enjoy a good challenge and do not shy away from it, otherwise I would not have chosen nursing at this age.I do realize that nursing is more "high tech" than it was even 5 years ago, but not so high tech that you need to know how to program a computer to do your job well.
There are new proposed laws in both the senate and the house of representatives that will hopefully alleviate some of the shortages in the field.One of those new laws that was just introduced was the nurse reinvestment act (senate bill 706 and house of representatives bill 1436). This proposal would establish the national nurse service corps, which would give things like scholarships, psa's, grants etc. I really hope that this helps, but on the same note, I still strongly feel that the "older" student is the place to really do some serious looking for help in the shortage area.
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