Retraining Displaced Workers As Nurses - page 2

When the economy started to slump after the financial meltdown in the U.S. several years ago, masses of displaced workers suddenly began to view nursing as a safe haven. The nursing profession has been a magnet for many... Read More

  1. 5
    I was a displaced teacher. I got my CNA certification and was going to go to one of those ungodly expensive schools. While trying to decide, the finance officer who was trying to help me, actually got me my job as a home health aide! I worked there as I got my CNA II (here in NC, they have a higher cert that allows us to do some clinical skills like BS, est. trach care, PEG tube feedings-no meds) and got through Nursing school. We had free job search help here, I collected unemployment for a little while until I could get enough hours. I had to borrow money to go to school, but there was a program that helped people keep their houses while going to school. I was fortunate enough to get a job after graduating in May and looks like we might survive this. When I went back to school after having my children, it was a choice between teaching and nursing. I chose teaching the first time, but I guess God had other plans for me. I work at a LTC/Rehab facility attached to a hosp and love it.

    I wasn't pushed into Nursing here, but there was quite a bit of non-traditional, second career people in my class. There were more over the age of 35 than under. We are lucky, most of us have found jobs.

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  2. 5
    Communter- great article as usual. This is a very loaded article. Knowing me: this is not going to be brief- lots to say on the subject.

    My thoughts are that this welfare to work program has been around for years that I know of. Just not effecting nursing in the numbers it has recently. I remember back in the late 1980's working with a young unit secretary who as her story goes- was recently divorced form a ex-army husband who was selling drugs in another state, she and the young kids fled and returned home to her parents, got on welfare and was entered into the welfare to work program. She caused many an interpersonal problem on the unit as the secretary- over stepping her job descripton as secretary was the bottom line. She did go on to get an LPN and then an RN.My reflection back on the situations is that she was butt kissing to get recommendations to get herself into a nursing school and her unauthorized interference in patient situations were viewed by some more simple minded( lazzy) staffers as "helping" For me, it was a case of "stop helping me, I don't need it and don't want your 'help', you have no license" . I resented it, was frustrated working with her( she didn't want to do the unit secretary tasks but wanted to stick her nose into the RN tasks) and frowned up on some one with no license interfering with my assignment.

    Now for my view on the current surge of nursing influx due to this governemnt dime program. It has put alot of us old timer veteran nurses out of work and on unemployment. Why, because the new "second career" nurses have had governement assistance obtaining the education credentials (BSN included for those "needy enough" to qualify) needed for the new entry level positions which leaves us old veteran nurses- who have trudged along in these nursing trenches for years- SOL and out of a job and ultimated we are now in the poor house( forclosure, banckruptcy), having difficult to finding a new nursing position because we are on the top of our hard earned pay scale and the new ones can come in and will work for less money because the lower pay rate is better than a welfare check. We are financially over burdened and extended from life- our years of rearing a family and from us putting our selves on the back burner for our families and now our nursing credentials (our diploma and ADN's) from long ago, are meaningless and unemployable.

    The nursing profession should have had the forsight to take care of it's own before opening it's arms up to the down and out. Sorry if this is offensive to a some, but it is offensive to us old veteran nurses who have trudged along for years, paid our dues aka, put in the time and sweat equity( our share of the holiday, off shift and weekend rotations, not to mention the brunt of harassment and abuse) and then only to get kicked in the pants. Besides not hiring older nurses; look at how our veteran nurses who have been employed in one facility for all these years are being treated- they are being harassed, micromanaged aka- age discrimination and hostile work environment, out of their jobs( aka a "hard earned pension") by the nursing leadership in the facilities who is doing the business side of these administrations bidding- 'get out the older nurses because they cost too much( payrates, healthcare benes) or will cost us some thing in the future( retirement pensions)' This new surge as new found interest in "nursing" by the welfare to work group, I feel, has greately contributed to the glut of new nurses. Nursing was never the #1 choice for high school candidates - back in my day it fell far below teaching, secretarial and cosmotology. There were 3 of us who went on to Nursng in a class of 400. The Law and medicine were becoming more popular as female domains( 1 female went into law, 1 female went into medicine) due to the clammerings of the Women's rights movement which was still hot and loud at that time- back in the 1970's. The thought of a male entering nursing back then was unheard of- I remember having 1 male student in my nursing class of 1978- he stuck out like a sore thrumb. The draft was still in effect during my early high school years( 1970-1974) and the young males( 18yr old,) were getting there rear ends shot off in Vietnam( Vietnam ended around 1971- 1972). Jane Fonda was posing for pictures on Vietnamese tanks in Hanoi.
    The barriers between male and female professions have long since been broken down, So why would women today become more interested in a profession that has such low wages and be so emotional draining. the benefits of nursing are not out weighted by the sacrifice. The women of today are more interested in the IT, and business/ financial areas where wages are more lucritive. How many of these younger women today REALLY want to wipe but and take abuse when they can dress in nice business suites from Ann Taylor and work in the corporate business world?? The glut is not because it's "my passion" it's because of programs like this in a downturned economy- it pays more than welfare, and can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time and they don't have to pay for it and go into debt. The welfare mentality is to some degree- " have nothing*** to loose and can go now where but up."

    As an older veteran nurse who has had to apply for and collect unemployment, I can attest to the fact that unemployed nurses are looked at like they have 2 heads- the true situation of nursing unemployment is not common knowledge- not even to the dept of labor. In the retraining waiver classes/sessions at the dept of labor/unemployment/one stop- which I did attend( I contradicted and interrupted to correct this farse of "lucrative nursing mantra".... nursing shortage crap: and I was almost thrown out. I expect the facts and truths be given to the masses/general public, not fairy tales)the counselors were spouting off the nursing propaganda and giving waivers for CNA certification programs. Over 75%=approx 30 people, of the room( the room was standing room only approx 40 people) stood in line for the CNA waiver.
    I made it very loud and clear that I wanted a waiver for the IT program( only 2 of us requested this one) and wanted out of NURSING due to the nursing unemployment situation and felt it was disgusting that nurses were out on unemployment when the room full of people were there to get waivers for CNA programs and telling of the nursing shortage Bull crap.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jul 18, '12
    jadelpn, anotherone, TheCommuter, and 2 others like this.
  3. 0
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago has stated that he wants to see more Chicago/Cook County jobs held by it's residents. Somewhere he mentions a stipend paid if you hire graduates from Chicago city colleges.

    He is making some demands of Chicago area Hospitals, etc. to hire from Chicago colleges. Nursing is one area he specifically is putting pressure on. He stated something in a press conference about not wanting nurses from other places getting jobs that could be filled by a Chicago college graduate (can't find the press brief - so not quoting). Even surrounding Illinois counties are not welcome in this plan for the city. He said he was going to build relationships with Cook county facilities (which means he is going to give them the squeeze) to mentor Chicago city college nursing students/hire. The news stories surrounding this move interview displaced workers going back for nursing degrees.

    There are some heavy hitters in Chicago... Rush, Northwestern, U of C, Loyola, to name a few. These are very selective in hiring... but Mr. Emanuel is not one to be messed with.

    So this makes things even harder for future grads in the Chicago area to find jobs, unless you went to college in Chicago.
  4. 1
    netglow- My thoughts on this is that the money for unemployement checks come out of the state's funds. If I am reading your post correctly this is a good thing, which hopefully will spark for other politicians in other states to start similar actions and restrictions to prevent out of state workers coming in to take jobs away from state's residents. The message I get is 'we are going to employ our own first, and then if anything left" It stimulates the state's economy when it's residents are employed, not, when it's workers live in a neighboring state, take their money to their home state and spends said money in their own neighboring home state. When that happens money goes out of one state and is poured into another state .Draining the employer state and we residents of the employer state end up with lack of jobs and a higher cost of living. When that happened in my state- I am guessing around 2008-2009( the first I heard of it was 2009), my state was reported as "hemorrhaging residents"- meaning people were loosing their incomes, selling their homes and moving out of state. I had one patient tell me she and her family had sold their home and we moving out of state, they couldn't afford to live here anymore: but to do so, they had to pay out of the sale profit and certain % of the fee to the state to do so.

    I know in my state, to attain a state position- be it anything: accounting, IT, garbage collector, nurse for the Public health dept's, it is now has residency requirements. My state was high on the US's unemployment list( above the national average), the foreclosure list(was #3 on the national list) and the bancruptcy list( was #5 on the US's list). My state has one of the highest property tax rates( again it was #1 or #2). My state was high on the nursing salary list( was #3 behind California and NYC). Our nursing salaries for new grads start at $32/ It is in commuter distance to 2 major cities and has plenty of mass transit. Students from all around the country flocked here approx 2-3 yrs ago for nursing positions. Now there are NO jobs to be found in any of the area hospitals - I have at least 7 major university Medical centers around me.
    It has always left a bad taste in my mouth that new grads should be living on one coast and having to apply for nursing positions on the other. I think this is very destructive to the since of "family" and leaves a person without a support system. Which in my opinnion, is not healthy. Which contributes to that calleousness, cold, detatched personality that is often read about.

    Also what is fueling the issue of displaced workers/ in commuter's article is the immigration of nurses from other countries. We have an extremely high percentage of foreign nurses employed in our hospital systems.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jul 18, '12
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  5. 2
    simply put the reason many displaced workers dont flock to become MD's is for the following reasons

    1. 4 year degree preferred ( in biological scienes as it includes most all pre-reqs needed to apply)
    2. stellar undergrad GPA 3.8 and higher to be "competetive"
    3. take MCAT and pass with an above average score if your GPA is lower than 3.8
    4. If you dont get scholarship get over 100k in debt to pay for school
    5. dedicate 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical schoox, + x amount of years for residency depending on specialty

    for all theses reasons many people dont have the dedication to do all this to become an MD when you can go to school for 2yr. get adn and work as an RN and make alot more than minimum wage.

    is a new RN salary decent ...short answer yes many people dont make more than 20 bucks an hour and only have to work 3 days a week

    are you going to be able to buy a house cash or a maserati a few years into nursing...short

    has there been nurses that can ...yes..but typically they are ARNP, DON, or make over 40/hr due to many many many years of exp.
    brandy1017 and chriskelly like this.
  6. 0
    The Chicago and surrounding burbs also has an extremely high percentage of foreign nurses hired into the hospital system - the LTCs as well. This is a tremendous problem that has affected employment prospects for those locally too. As these nurses move up the chain, some do preferentially hire only nurses from their homeland. Which I think is wrong if they want to continue to live here and be considered Americans. I used to think that this practice was not real, but I quickly was informed of it by those very nurses at my clinical sites.

    The only problem I have with the keeping it local thing, is, that you and your family can be citizens for generations - but you decide to go to that fancy college you were accepted at because you worked hard in school, that college being not in Chicago or Cook County makes you a less preferred hire.
  7. 0
    Our small community went crazy with the retraining of workers into the "in demand"field of nursing. The paper did an article about the record student enrollments into the local community college...numbers that hadn't been seen in years.and what was everyone going for? Nursing ! Out of 3600 full time students 1200 (approximately) were majoring in a school who takes 80 students per year in a town with one hospital. What are people thinking!?
  8. 1
    In my day; nurses had to have stellar grads to gain entry, continiously and stay in the program and hopefully to get to graduate. Like I posted- Nursing was not on the "hot" list for careers. We didn't have all these back door avenues to get into nursing school and yes, for the very few that did have the qualification to gain entry- there was waiting lists. The entry requirements were stricter, not many saw it as a "get rich quick scheme". Nursing was not and still isn't nor will it ever be, something you could force yourself to like or live with or through due to the nature of the work Back then - the "men were very quickly separated from the boys" so to say. A class could start out with 78 students and by the end of the first year drop down to 30 students and end up with a graduation class of 22.

    There is only a very small percentage out there today that "should" be a nurse, just as it was back then. We used to have a phrase back then- "not nursing material"- well that still holds true still today,. only now the pool of nurses is greater and the great majority of which "are not nursing material" Those that cat claw, the all about "ME", get others fired- that power trip personality. Those are poeple who came from nothing and now have a status( so they think) they don't take seriously the responsibility that the job entails. When healthcare systems are so money driven with the business philosopy, that kind of selfish, self centered , reckless personality keeps be boobing around until some patient is harmed and then, too, they know exactly what to say and do to get them self off the hook. It's sad to say but nursing should have an ethics and a morality test as a pre req to gain entry into a program. Not just a essay that one can download and BS their way through like a greeting card. These are the "Hallmark" nurses but when push comes to shove- they are sad cases and a threat to patient safety. Why in the world are so many nursing students posting about- "Nursing is my dreeeeeam job. I t is my passion. I have a criminal conviction for ...... but it want my fault, do you think I will be disqualified. Back in my day- well, yeah!!! for sure!!!! if it was your dreeeeeam job and Passion, you should have given your actions more serious thought. Drug, DUI and shoplifiting and all the other criminal ditties I read posted on here, were not just invented with that Lindsey Lohman creature or that other jerk before her, Winona Rider. My generation coined the phase: "Sex, Drugs and Rockn'Roll" But those of us who wanted to go into nursing from our HS years KNEW, that if we were involved with any of this, our chances of our DREEEEEEEEEAM job would be gone!!! we kept our noses clean and our records.

    For all those little ex cons out there thinking of nursing as your DREEEEEEEEEEEEEAm job- think seriously and hard of the responsibility and trust that a nurse has bestowed on them and then ask yourself honestly- am I really right for a profession that is responsible for some strangers life and well being. Do my actions really indicate that I am a responsible and accountable person. this should also go for nurses aids. I have seen nurses aids do some really horrendous and horrific things to patients up to and including pulling an elderly woman's arm out of her shoulder joint. Careless, thoughtless rough mishandling of a frail old lady.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jul 18, '12
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  9. 4
    I am also a displaced worker that allowed WIA to help me through school. Nursing was always my goal, I completed all prereqs and got accepted into a program but declined it because I was going through a divorce and raising 2 young children. I worked in a different field for over 5 years when I was laid off. This was my opportunity to become a nurse. I was planning on going the online route but that didn't work out so I chose to start with LPN. A friend told me about WIA so I checked it out.

    WIA only pays after other grants and scholarships are awarded. So they only paid for the extras of LPN school. After I graduated in December, I began searching for a job while waiting for my acceptance letter into RN school. I was a single mother and my availablity was limited, I was unable to find a job. I continued to communicate with my case worker and she said they had some extra funds and offered to help with RN school. Again, all they paid for was the extras. I just graduated and will begin my job next year. They may have paid out a total of $1000 for the 2 programs but they were also a great support system for me.

    I got married in December, my husband was laid off in February. He will now begin working toward his RN...just kidding. WIA is helping him with a tech diploma. The program is not set up to send people into nursing school. They have material regarding many different programs, mostly technical. We did our own research and knew what program he wanted to enter, they looked it up and agreed to help.

    If the money weren't going to WIA, it would go to a different least WIA is helping to better lives.
    MBARNBSN, koi310, chriskelly, and 1 other like this.
  10. 0
    netglow: Here's the text of the press release.

    CHICAGO - Mayor Emanuel today announced that Allscripts will add 40 more jobs to its Chicago office at the Merchandise Mart, as part of a new program announced by the Mayor to help City Colleges graduates find immediate, consistent employment. The jobs will be created in conjunction with the City Colleges ambitious College to Careers program, and will help students in Health IT enter the workforce in these critical roles.

    “I am focused on helping City Colleges train the workers who will carry Chicago’s economy to future successes,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This program will help us create jobs that are available immediately for graduates of the City Colleges.”

    Allscripts has committed to train 40 new graduates from the City Colleges of Chicago and equip them to achieve their Health Information Technology (HIT) certification. At the same time, Allscripts will transition the employees to full-time employment – working in roles within the company’s services, support, and development organizations. The entry-level positions will allow students to transition directly into the workforce at the end of their studies. The City of Chicago has agreed to pay the salaries of the 40 employees for the first six months of their tenure using TIF surplus resources; after that Allscripts will take over their salaries. According to Allscripts officials, after the first year or two in the job, many of these employees will be making $50,000 to $80,000 per year.

    “These are exactly the sort of jobs we are looking to create for Chicagoans,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These positions are on the front line of the growing field of Healthcare IT, and I am pleased that we can train Chicagoans and help them get these jobs of tomorrow.”

    “I am very happy that we can continue to invest in the city of Chicago, advance the public-private partnership between our company and the City, and support the Mayor in the College to Careers program,” said Allscripts Chief Executive Officer Glen Tullman. “There’s no issue more pressing than getting Americans back to work and Allscripts is proud to do its part by creating meaningful, high-tech jobs in our local community, and fostering opportunity for Chicagoans to enter the growing and critical field of Healthcare IT.”

    Mayor Emanuel made the announcement as part of his commencement address at the City Colleges of Chicago graduation ceremony.. This year, City Colleges granted nearly 3,300 associates degrees, up 800 from 2011 and double the number from ten years ago.

    Allscripts is the leading global provider of Electronic Health Records, Connectivity and Information systems to hospitals and physicians. Previously, the company announced that it will be adding approximately 300 new jobs in the City of Chicago by the end of 2012. In addition, beginning in 2012, the company will hold its annual users conference at McCormick Place through 2014. The jobs being announced today are in addition to the previous announcement.

    Allscripts is one of Chicago’s fastest growing companies, having been named to the Crain’s Chicago Business Fast Fifty list for the last five years.

    Nearly 25 companies have made commitments to add jobs in Chicago since Mayor Emanuel took office, totaling more than 15,000 jobs.
    I have mixed feelings on this. I'd like to see the fine print on the contract between the City and the companies that hire the graduates. I would also like to see a residency requirement for the employee. People fake their permanent addresses all the time.

    Example: I was enrolling my son in our local Chicago public high school. The registration letter clearly indicated that a birth certificate of the child, a state ID of the parent, and a recent utility bill proving enrollment boundary residency be provided. The person in front of me had a US birth cert for the kid, an out-of-country ID for the parent, and a year-old non-utility bill with a different name that had a local address on it. Guess what? The kid was enrolled. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

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