Survey: Would there be a nursing shortage if... - page 4
Here are the results of last months survey question Would there be a nursing shortage if nurses were paid better and had better benefits? : Please feel free to read and post any comments... Read More
Mar 4, '03i think if nurses wages where raised it would bring in more nurses that would be there for the money and not for the real thing nursing. i have work at the bigger hospital and made more money, and i was dump on all the time, after being there as a new nurse for 3m i was in charge. my 12hour shift was a 16-18 hour shift. i would get home close my eyes and come back. i now work in a smaller hospital and make alot less money but i'm doing real nursing which makes me happy. please don't get me wrong i think nurses should be payed very well for the work, and stress. but there has to be a calling for nursing not a dollar sign.
Mar 4, '03To Brownms46: Thanks for your thoughtful response to my post. I realize that there are still many people our age (I am 47.) who are still nursing at the bedside. I also realize that in some places, the conditions are deplorable and need to change.
I just get discouraged when some people think that it is ONLY the pay and conditions that are causing the shortage. These people say that "there is no shortage" or that "there would be no shortage if only the pay and conditions were improved." They assume that everyone with an RN license would return to work in nursing if only things were better. I am trying to say that it really is more complicated than that. Many of the baby boomers would not return to bedside nursing regardless of any change in pay or working conditins that might occur. There plan for their lives did not include bedside nursing at this point in their lives to begin with.
At my children's hospital, the ICU ratio is still 1 or 2 pts per nurse and the general care areas are 3 or 4 patients per nurse (with a nursing assitant for every 2 RN's) and we STILL have a shortage. While nothing and nowhere is perfect, we have done almost all of those things that people have asked for ... retention bonuses, flexible scheduling, competitive pay, etc. and there is still a shortage.
Anyone who thinks the answer is as simple as "more money" and "hire more staff" is being too simplistic.
Mar 4, '03I don't think that most nurses go into nursing because of the pay. I think they go into it because of a 'higher calling'. That being said, once there, they see the working conditions, quality of care, long hours, little pay, work most holidays, long hours difficulty in arranging child care around 12 hour shifts, and many leave because of some of these reasons. If they could come up with some better benifits and yeah, increase in pay, and a lighter work load, I think we would see more nurses staying, and encouraging students to pursue a career in nursing.
Mar 4, '03Unbearable is right. That's the key. Money or benefits will not keep them. I know numberous nurses with a 2 year degree that have continued on and acquired a completely different 4 year degree. Mostly because of lack of support from the hospitals, physicians and nurses themselves. Who wants to work nights, weekends and holidays for less wages. Go back to school and get a teaching degree. You will have off weekends, holidays, and about 3 months in the summer. That's hard to beat. In my area, nurses and teachers make about the same, depending on how many years experience. But worse yet - Physicians on call at an area hospital receive $100. an hour, nurses, receive $5. an hour for call pay. Is there something wrong with this picture?
Mar 4, '03I THINK MORE MONEY AND BENES WOULD HELP AND IF THE BALL WERE TO START ROLLING PERHAPS MORE WOULD CHOSE NURSING. THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS OUT THERE WHO WOULD CHOSE TO PUT UP WITH THIS PROFESSION WHEN THEY CAN MAKE SO MUCH MORE WITH LESS EFFORT. IN WISCONSIN OUR FLOOR IS PILOTING THE WISCONSIN NURSING REDESIGN PROGRAM. THOSE CHAIRING THIS ARE INFURIATING. THEY ALMOST INSULT US FOR WORKING PART TIME. I AM SO TIRED AFTER RUNNING THE FLOOR I NEED TO RECUPERATE BETWEEN SHIFTS TOO. THEY SHORT STAFF AND CLAIM "THERE IS A NURSING SHORTAGE, THAT IS WHAT KEEPS US UNDERSTAFFED" MY ***!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IS WHAT I TELL THEM. IT IS A COMPLEX ISSUE, BUT I AM MOST TIRED AND DISGUSTED WITH BEING A DOORMAT. WE ARE AT FAULT FOR ANYTHING THAT GOES WRONG. I AM A PERFECTIONIST AND GIVEN THAT EVEN I KNOW THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECTION. I WANT MORE MONEY, BETTER BENES AND A VOICE THAT IS RESPECTED IN THE ORGANIZATION. I REALLY THINK WE NEED TO PULL TOGETHER AND FIGURE OUT A WAY TO TAKE BACK SOME CONTROL. WE ARE NOT BAD TO WANT MONEY, I WOULDN'T CARE ABOUT MONEY IF THE NEXT GUY DIDN'T. I REFUSE TO BE AFRAID OF WANTING MONEY ANYMORE AND I DON'T CARE WHO TRIES TO IMPLY I AM NOT IN NURSING TO BE A GOOD CARE PROVIDER, THEY JUST DON'T WANT TO GIVE UP WHAT I WANT. LETS NOT FEAR OUR WORTH!!!!!
Mar 4, '03The money would help, but not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. I am a nurse because it has been something I have wanted to do for over 30 years!!!!!!. Is the money good???,not really, unless you work lots of overtime. I love what I do and love making a difference in my patients stay.
Mar 4, '03Money and benes might help in retention and increase morale to those nurses already there. I doubt it will have any significant impact if poor working conditions remain and if nurses continue to be disrespected. Money and benes alone won't work, but are helpful.
Mar 4, '03llg...You are very welcome... And you know I have been thinking all day about your post. And now after reading your second post...I must admit that I have heard nurses say that...they felt they didn't want to work the bedside any longer, as they have paid their dues. Yes there are those who wish to contribute to the well being of others, but have a life too.
I agree that the "shortage" is a complex situation. Brought on by many things. But I do feel there would be more "staff nurses"...if there more hospitals were as forward thinking as yours...and probably a few others.
Today I find almost daily new nurses asking about travel nursing. Why? Because they hear about the money, the independence and the ability to control their lives. Somewhere along the lines...they discovered that they didn't want to even begin to work as staff. Maybe it was the conditions they saw as students, that caused them to seek another way to pursue their careers.
Maybe they saw nurses mistreated by MDs, or saw the work loads that nurses endure at many facilities. Or maybe they saw the limited ability of nurses to have any real voice in how care is delivered in many of even the best facilities.
I don't know...but maybe the "shortage" is because those in charge of education programs...were short sighted in closing programs...or just not ensuing that others continued. There should be no reason for there not being enough to allow entry into this profession.
Years ago...and even now...there are long waiting lists for new students. There is such a hassle with the whole process that it probably has turned away some excellent prospects. I just wonder who many did we lose?? How many fresh new faces did we miss...because they had to wait for a slot?? And in the waiting found another avenue to release their desire to serve humanity.
I wish I knew the answer to why there aren't enough nurses to help us care for those who are hurting, and in need of competent, and safe care. But I think if there aren't some answers soon...we will be back to caring for our love ones at home. Because in too many places..they aren't getting the care they should.
I salute your hospital in doing what it takes to provide safe pt/nurse ratios, and other incentives for nurse. As you have to start somewhere. Thank you for an enlightening discussion.
Mar 4, '03I have to say that I chose nursing as a career...just like anyone else chooses a career and of course money comes into play...some it means a lot and others it doesn't. If this was a male dominated profession, the fact that money is being brought into it wouldn't be so taboo. Before becoming a nurse I kept hearing how well nurses were paid and sure that attracted me. I am not altruistic....I'm here to make a living and it just happens to be one that involves treating the ill and the healthy. Doctors do it and they're not ashamed to admit that the money isn't somewhat of a motivator. I'm not Mother Theresa but I'm not a robot carrying out tasks either for the $$$$. I have a service to offer for exchange for money, it's called business. It's done all over the world, 24/7 365 days a year. We are supposed to be professionals and professionals should be paid well for their professional services and there is nothing wrong for wanting and expecting a professionals salary or pay. I don't think offering nurses money is the cureall of course to the shortage but it is a factor in the big picture in nursing. Until we stop acting like martyrs and accepting to do the work 7 times us for the pay of 1/2 of one of us or less then it will not change. I've known waitresses to make more than I do, in fact I've known many non degree workers make more money without the risk of killing or harming one or more people in a single day, risk of lawsuits, facing huge health risks on a minute by minute basis, being verbally and physically assulted, lifting and tugging hundreds of pounds, standing for hours and hours on end, working shift after shift with no food or bathroom breaks, must i go on. Sure maybe not everyone goes thru all of this and if you don't you're just lucky. I'm a fairly new nurse and it will take some major changes in the way nurses are treated before i will make this my life long career. If I knew how to change it or contribute to change I will or would do it. I know I won't be more than I am, one person doing her job but I won't even try to be the the 20 arms and legs administration and nursing managers want me to be to save them a few dollars.
Other factors that encourage the shortage is a pure lack of control over your life...it seems the hospitals want to own you, at least in my area. You can't be there for your kids either due to being at work more than at home or when you are home you are comatosed from exhaustion. My mother is a perfect example what the last 15 or so yrs in nursing have done to her...she's had to have both her feet broken and reset due to stress fractures from years of pushing 300lb patients and standing on her feet 16 or more hours a day and my mother is 5 foot and about 100lbs. It's taken her that long to just now make $21/hr. When you have two children to raise and this is the only income and there are no other choices around that pay even that well...where do you go? She put up with what she did to survive and thats what nurses do, at least in my area is just survive. The last time I heard the poverty cut off is around 29,000 (dont' quote me) and I make a little over that...hmmmmm doesn't quite seem worth it does it? Oh, please don't flame me...i'm in a mood.Last edit by MrsK1223 on Mar 4, '03
Mar 4, '03nurses, receive $5. an hour for call pay. Is there something wrong with this picture?
I get $1.75 an hour for call pay, how about that?
Mar 5, '03yes there would still be a shortage with better pay, i think the shortage would be better. there are many other problems that need adressing, lack of respect, not enough autonomy,over work,backstabbing.poor working conditions etc. the list just goes on and on and on
Mar 5, '03The pay packet at the end of the week is nice but it is not what keeps us old people in the job. We're just mad.
Many of the Grad Nurses however are not going to put up with abusive doctors, supervisers who expect you to work free and patients who think nurses are slaves to order about or hit if they are unhappy. We need to kill the Nightinggale image of the sweet lady with the lamp and educate the public and allied health workers that we are professional health care workers and deserve some RESPECT. Until we demand respect and subsequently gain that respect we will be treated like SH*& and young nurses will continue to seek employment outside the profession.
Mar 5, '03I agree with so many of the previous comments. Money was NOT why I went into nursing. True, I expect a reasonable wage for my work. This isn't a volunteer position! However, I actually am satisfied with my current pay. I am only working 3 days a week now, because I can afford to. Since I graduated in 98, my hourly wage has gone up by $14/hr!!!! And guess what...I still want out of nursing. The deplorable working conditions are driving me out. I would gladly work for half the pay if I had half the responsibility. But the way it works in "real nursing" is...you get more & more responsibility, less resources, less power, more restrictions and a little bit more money. No thanks. I want balance. I want to enjoy my life...and work is a part of my life.
I am glad I can afford to work only 3 days a week, but even so I can not imagine staying in this field for more than a few years, tops. I could be making lots & lots of money right now, with all the shift diff & OT pay, etc, but I find that when my employer calls me in on my day off, I don't want to go in at all!
Good topic, though. Playing devil's advocate, huh?