Hi everyone, I'm taking a research methods class for nursing school, and was wondering if you guys could give me some feedback on my proposal. Bear in mind this isn't even a first draft, it's basically just an outline of what I'm going to write my paper on. If you have any suggestions on different angles I can take on this subject (I know some of it has been beaten to death in the forums) I'd really appreciate it!
The problem to be addressed:
Especially in times of recession, the media is ripe with stories directing people to change their career to a field that is allegedly "recession-proof." All kinds of media outlets conjure lists of these occupations putting health-care jobs, especially nursing, consistently at the top. Over the past year, applications to nursing school have spiked while the percentage of nurses who are hired right out of school has plummeted. Contrary to popular belief, I suspect that this year's nursing shortage has evaporated; in fact, I think that the industry may temporarily be suffering from a surplus of nurses. While browsing through the job posting sites of several US hospitals, I see that there are many openings for nurses, but 100% of the advertisements I have seen require a minimum of 1 year experience as an RN (externships and student-nurse jobs don't qualify as experience). It seems that what the public is calling a shortage, is actually a deficiency in the health care industry's ability to hire new nurses. In my paper I'd like to investigate what is causing this deficiency.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate why new grads are having trouble finding employment during an alleged "nursing shortage." Currently I'd like to consider three specific possibilities. First, are new nursing grads not skilled enough to be desirable employees in a hospital setting? Second, is it too expensive to transition new grads from an academic setting to a professional one? Third, are there simply so many nurses looking for employment that hospitals have no incentive to hire young, inexperienced nurses?
This topic would be interesting to anyone involved with the health-care industry, especially nursing. The approach that I'm taking with this paper would probably be most interesting to nursing students, new nurses, their educators, and those who work in health care administration.
Possible research sources:
As with any research study, it is important to gather sources that can provide me with a balanced perspective on the problem. I can get first-hand information through interviews with nurses, educators, and health care administrators. I would like to contact the human resources office of a few hospitals here in San Diego and see if they would be willing to share their perspective. This topic has been thoroughly discussed on nursing bulletin boards on the internet, where there are a wealth of personal anecdotes. I would also like to see if anything has been written in the peer-reviewed literature, the ANA could probably direct me to some good papers. I would also like to see if any economists have recently published anything about this problem.
I think that this paper will deal mostly with business administration, economics, public health, and education.