Nursing Shortage Makes the Prime Time News! - page 4

CBS News | Is There A Nurse In The House? The CBS Evening News (Dec 28th) - Eye on America ( My pt called me into his room to watch a news report on the nation-wide nursing shortage. ... Read More

  1. by   oramar
    jt, as usual I like your post. Everything you say is true. Two years ago I was already saying that the tight staffing and manditory overtime made for a good bottom line. Anything that results in a good bottom line will be repeated. Nurses are on the side of patients, CEOs and accontants are usually on the side of profit. It is no wonder there is no common ground.
  2. by   Mijourney
    [quote]Originally posted by -jt:
    [b]
    Originally posted by Iwant2banurse:
    - How about hospitals that are in special need for nurses set up CNA courses. Have perspective nurses start that way and after they complete a year of CNA experience be accepted into a RN program.
    I also feel that because there is such a need for nurses that the government should pay for a ADN program for any one interested with the stipulation that graduates must complete one year in one of the local hospitals. This would not only help nurses get their first job/experience and help out the hospitals.


    Good suggestions. There is so much that can be done by hospitals and educators to help alleviate the nurses shortage yet they drag their feet in doing any of it. WHY? You may think I am beginning to sound paranoid but I really think its because they have no intention of alleviating the nursing shortage at all. This shortage was started 10 yrs ago by hospitals forcing us out of our jobs, replacing us & telling us we didnt need to be at the bedside. PCAs, CNAs, and techs could do our work, we just had to be responsible for supervising & documenting. We were too expensive and they could get by with less expensive laborers and just one or 2 RNs instead of 4. That was the goal all along. This is a manufactured shortage that is following the course they set for us. It is right on target. It is how it was planned. This is exactly what they wanted.... less RNs. What they didnt count on was the nursing organization's research that proved pt morbidity and mortality increases when there are less RNs caring for them. And they didnt count on the public taking notice. And they wouldnt listen 10 yrs ago when we told them all this would happen. So now this all is just a little glitch to them. They are doing the minimal that they can to appease the public but still limit RNs so they can keep overhead costs down & use less expensive workers and now they have the perfect excuse: "oh we'd love to hire more Rns but there are none so we just have to make do with PCAs, CNAs, and techs".... and whatever other assistive help the doctors at the AMA & people like William F Buckley dream up next. In fact his suggestion is no surprise. If you look at future staffing projection plans from hospitals over the last 10 yrs, you'd see that this kind of thing (used to be called candy-stripers but now would have more responsibilities) was thought of & planned long ago. Less Rns, more ancillary help. They have us right where they wanted us. We're coming up with all kinds of ways to get Nursing out of this situation when they have actually planned for the last 10 yrs to get right to this point. It would be easy to solve the nursing shortage if we both were on the same side working towards that goal but we're having a tug of war instead. If they really wanted us there, they would be making & advertizing workplace improvements in conditions, wages, benefits, etc & screaming it from the rooftops to get our attention & entice us to come back to work.
    The fact that that is not happening & they are fighting so hard against our unions and associations to avoid doing that speaks volumes. Manipulating the media to get their own sorry message out to for public sympathy & barring the reports from showing the whole truth by not letting them air interviews from the nurses, telling the public they want Rns but just cant find any & then turning right around & doing everything that they can to keep us away is a..... ohh whats the word I'm looking for????
    lie, hypocracy, conspiracy?
    Hi -jt, I have enjoyed your posts under this topic. Your analysis of this shortage seems plausible and may be right on target. Oramar I agree with your indication that we are seeing extremes.

    A little off the subject but have you notice that employers are increasingly requiring for employees to pay more out of their pockets for health and medical care? Employers are severely limiting what our health benefits will pay for. Yet, we find our wages or salaries are not even keeping up with inflation. Like you wrote, the powers to be got us where they want us. I think that those of us who feel squeezed may reach our limit, feel we have nothing to lose and begin to actively plan on ways to weed out the greed. I think, though, that one day in the near future, the market will take a major turn for the worse and will become chronic like the nursing shortage. Thankfully, I don't have far to fall.
  3. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Iwant2banurse:
    [B]- How about hospitals that are in special need for nurses set up CNA courses. Have perspective nurses start that way and after they complete a year of CNA experience be accepted into a RN program.
    I also feel that because there is such a need for nurses that the government should pay for a ADN program for any one interested with the stipulation that graduates must complete one year in one of the local hospitals. This would not only help nurses get their first job/experience and help out the hospitals.


    Good suggestions. There is so much that can be done by hospitals and educators to help alleviate the nurses shortage yet they drag their feet in doing any of it. WHY? You may think I am beginning to sound paranoid but I really think its because they have no intention of alleviating the nursing shortage at all. This shortage was started 10 yrs ago by hospitals forcing us out of our jobs, replacing us & telling us we didnt need to be at the bedside. PCAs, CNAs, and techs could do our work, we just had to be responsible for supervising & documenting. We were too expensive and they could get by with less expensive laborers and just one or 2 RNs instead of 4. That was the goal all along. This is a manufactured shortage that is following the course they set for us. It is right on target. It is how it was planned. This is exactly what they wanted.... less RNs. What they didnt count on was the nursing organization's research that proved pt morbidity and mortality increases when there are less RNs caring for them. And they didnt count on the public taking notice. And they wouldnt listen 10 yrs ago when we told them all this would happen. So now this all is just a little glitch to them. They are doing the minimal that they can to appease the public but still limit RNs so they can keep overhead costs down & use less expensive workers and now they have the perfect excuse: "oh we'd love to hire more Rns but there are none so we just have to make do with PCAs, CNAs, and techs".... and whatever other assistive help the doctors at the AMA & people like William F Buckley dream up next. In fact his suggestion is no surprise. If you look at future staffing projection plans from hospitals over the last 10 yrs, you'd see that this kind of thing (used to be called candy-stripers but now would have more responsibilities) was thought of & planned long ago. Less Rns, more ancillary help. They have us right where they wanted us. We're coming up with all kinds of ways to get Nursing out of this situation when they have actually planned for the last 10 yrs to get right to this point. It would be easy to solve the nursing shortage if we both were on the same side working towards that goal but we're having a tug of war instead. If they really wanted us there, they would be making & advertizing workplace improvements in conditions, wages, benefits, etc & screaming it from the rooftops to get our attention & entice us to come back to work.
    The fact that that is not happening & they are fighting so hard against our unions and associations to avoid doing that speaks volumes. Manipulating the media to get their own sorry message out to for public sympathy & barring the reports from showing the whole truth by not letting them air interviews from the nurses, telling the public they want Rns but just cant find any & then turning right around & doing everything that they can to keep us away is a..... ohh whats the word I'm looking for????
    lie, hypocracy, conspiracy?
  4. by   Barbara Rose
    jt, and others: I just returned from a meeting with TNA in Austin; among other things I found out that TNA has asked our legislators for $40million this session for education,including tuition with stipulation to work for at least 1 year. This includes both hospital and nursing homes. There are also negotiations underway with hospital association and Dept. of Health to make licensure/operation directly tied to staffing ratios controlled by panels with floor nurses setting ratios, and no ability to staff with mandatory overtime. This sounds like a good compromise and I am waiting for further details. Perhaps you all could suggest these types of solutions in your states as well.
  5. by   OC_An Khe
    -jt I've enjoyed your posts and for the most part agree with your assessments and point of view. This current shortage has as its roots the factors you mentioned but also goes back to the 1970's. The broadening of career opportunities for women, the need for two income families and the baby boom population bulge as all impact on todays situation. The obvious choice of making nursing competitive with other professions was assessed and rejected as being to expensive.I can remember discussing this issue in school in the 1970's. Instead the route was chosen was to "dummy down" the profession and replace RN's with less educated replacements and less educated nurses.(How many institutions have cut, eliminated and deemphasized continuing education for nurses?) Why is the BSN as entry so controversial, the bean counters and bottom liners don't want to see it happen.Less education less compensation, its the way of the world.
    Another factor in all of this is that the economic value of nursing is not recognized in any public way. That M&M decline with a higher RN to patient ratio is ignored and the vast economic savings this results in to society is treated as if it doesn't exist... most americans don't recognize the nursing profession until they are in dire need of one. Let us hope these trends can be reversed, before we are in need of them.
  6. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by ocankhe:
    [B]-jt I've enjoyed your posts and for the most part agree with your assessments and point of view. This current shortage has as its roots the factors you mentioned but also goes back to the 1970's. The broadening of career opportunities for women, the need for two income families and the baby boom population bulge as all impact on todays situation. The obvious choice of making nursing competitive with other professions was assessed and rejected as being to expensive. Why is the BSN as entry so controversial, the bean counters and bottom liners don't want to see it happen.Less education less compensation, its the way of the world.
    Another factor in all of this is that the economic value of nursing is not recognized in any public way. That M&M decline with a higher RN to patient ratio is ignored


    Thank you!
    Do you remember how we were courted with the last shortage at the end of the 70's & into the 80's? So many of us were in our 20's & 30's (now dragging along in our 40's) and had little children. Hospitals looked at why we werent working & made an all out effort to get us back to the bedside by offering on-site child care (does anyone still see that anymore), 12 hr shifts so we could be out of the house for less days, more part time & per diem work, higher salaries & family benefits. But they arent trying to come up with anything to catch our attention this time. Its all about the bottom dollar. At our last negotiations, our HR director sat there &, in the discussion about safe staffing and mandatory ot as they relate to pt safety, he had the audacity to tell us (and a room packed with RNs who were observing) that a tired RN is better than no RN at all.
    WRONG! The room erupted & informed him that he got it backwards: No RN at all is better than a tired RN because a tired RN cannot make a fatal mistake if she isnt there. (The hospital finally agreed to our safe staffing ratios and restrictions on the use of mandatory in the end but we had to take a strike vote to get it. Didnt have to strike though, because the vote alone was enough to help them see the light about pt safety, but thats another topic)
    About the BSN, I think you are right too. Dont you feel like you are pushing against a brick wall? Swimming agaisnt the tide? Many states have shut down their diploma schools but did not add seats to the ADN or BSN programs to pick up the slack, and cut funding for nursing education. Some places actually have waiting lists of people who want to be RNs but there is no space for them in the programs. And the hospitals tell us they cant find RNs?? I wonder how many of those facilities had a hand in the decisions to close down programs & not add seats to others in their states. (Most diploma programs were the hospital's nursing schools). In California, they have just eliminated a large percentage of their BSN seats too! But did they increase the number of seats in the ADN programs???? Noooooo.
    So there is a nursing shortage, and instead of doing anything to stop it & turn it around, they are speeding it along & exacerbating it by making becoming an RN almost impossible because you cant get a place in a program. Makes no sense? Of course it does. Nurses are too expensive. Keep them down & out & you can redefine healthcare delivery according to your budget.... all the while with the excuse that you HAVE to do it this way because there just are no more nurses.
    Its a conspiracy I tell ya!
  7. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Barbara Rose:
    [B]jt, and others: I just returned from a meeting with TNA in Austin; among other things I found out that TNA has asked our legislators for $40million this session for education,including tuition with stipulation to work for at least 1 year. This includes both hospital and nursing homes. There are also negotiations underway with hospital association and Dept. of Health to make licensure/operation directly tied to staffing ratios controlled by panels with floor nurses setting ratios, and no ability to staff with mandatory overtime. This sounds like a good compromise

    Hi Barbara,

    Yes it does. And have you seen this?:
    http://www.ana.org/pressrel/2000/pr1220.htm

  8. by   -jt
    The Public is Noticing......

    "Medical Errors Reports Enter Public Consciousness
    1/5/01

    Recent media coverage of medical errors has caused the public to consider the problem a leading measure of health care quality....."
    http://www.ana.org/news/ananews.htm#kaiser
  9. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by -jt:
    [B]The Public is Noticing......


    so is the media...

    After receiving an avalanche of mail from nurses about how the show looks as though nurses dont even exist in that hospital, 24/7 Johns Hopkins show will be featuring stories about nurses & the integral part they play in healthcare. Series starts Jan 28th.

    Also....
    In the issue of People Magazine last week, there is a letter to the editor that mentions the nursing shortage in nursing homes.

  10. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by -jt:
    [B][QUOTE]
    After receiving an avalanche of mail from nurses about how the show looks as though nurses dont even exist in that hospital, 24/7 Johns Hopkins show will be featuring stories about nurses & the integral part they play in healthcare. Series starts Jan 28th.

    Must be all those letters this show got from nurses telling them they made it look like nurses didnt exist at that hospital actually had an impact.......

    " Series Features Nurses on the Discovery Health Channel

    The Discovery Health Channel is running a five-part series titled "Nurses," which takes a behind-the-scenes look at nurses as they go about their daily rounds.

    The stories are based on interviews with nurses at John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, working in five different specialties - pediatrics, critical care, obstetrics/neonatal, oncology and psychiatric nursing. The stories are compelling and capture real-life situations that focus on the critical thinking skills, as well as the compassion of nurses.

    Nurses from a variety of backgrounds and experiences were interviewed for the program. The series begins airing on Jan. 28, at 8 and 9 p.m., focusing on pediatric and critical care nurses, respectively. It will continue on Feb. 18, at 8, 9, and 10 p.m., featuring obstetric, oncology and psychiatric nurses, respectively........"
    American Nurses Association | News: ANA News..


    Maybe they even took your suggestion & followed an RN for the day. Cant wait to see this.


    Details.......

  11. by   mustangsheba
    I am so pleased to see some truly constructive ideas here. I do believe our primary focus should be on the media, followed by our legislators. It would be good if when we write to one, we send copies to all the others, i.e., a letter to CBS generates a copy to the Prez, our state Governors, our senators and representatives and especially to anyone of any influence who has shown an interest in this cause. I think the MNM is a nice idea, but I feel it is something that will make us as nurses feel closer without having any real impact on the desired outcome. We need the media on our side, intensely and passionately involved. What about Diane Sawyer? Barbara?Who else can anyone think of? Oprah! We have some really powerful writers or maybe we can just overwhelm them with numbers. Your turns.
  12. by   -jt
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by mustangsheba:
    [B] Oprah! We have some really powerful writers or maybe we can just overwhelm them with numbers. Your turns

    Oprah was flooded with letters from nurses a while ago when she did that story of work in the ER & neglected to mention that we even exist. As far as I know, she hasnt replied.
  13. by   fergus51
    Reg,
    I wasn't defending the Canadian system to you, it was cargal that offended me (I wonder if she's ever worked here?). The rest of my post was in response to your question.

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