There is no real nurse shortage?

  1. I was reading a post and saw someone posted this, I don't think it's true. But how do you feel about this statement?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   S.N. Visit
    I think the areas that have a shortage, are the areas who don't take care of their nurses.
  4. by   EricJRN
    Depends on where you live. The other thing is that nursing has a fairly high percentage of people who no longer work in the field. If you take even a percentage of those people (many of whom are burned out or dissatisfied) and get them back into the nursing workforce, then we'd have plenty of nurses.
  5. by   MAISY, RN-ER
    With the passage of that immigration law, there truly isn't a nursing shortage. Just nurses not willing to risk life and limb...AND...patient safety.

    Hospitals are not begging for nurses in our area...I believe a lot of nurses have just opted out. After being in ER two years, I have already seen talented, experienced nurses head for greener pastures....management, alternative careers, less stressful environments.

    Staffing is not adequate...ancillary staff, nowhere to be found...responsibilities have grown....patients and their family want more...patient's are sicker.

    Salaries across the country are sickly low compared to what a nurse, and the risk she takes caring for patients is worth. I have come to realize this as I see what others are making. My $30/hr day rate is not enough for the days I am killed with icu level patients-my license is not worth it! That being said, those making less are really getting taken advantage of!

    So, is there a nursing shortage? I don't believe so....just nurses unwilling to settle for dangerous working conditions.

    Maisy
  6. by   Katnip
    Quote from EricEnfermero
    Depends on where you live. The other thing is that nursing has a fairly high percentage of people who no longer work in the field. If you take even a percentage of those people (many of whom are burned out or dissatisfied) and get them back into the nursing workforce, then we'd have plenty of nurses.
    The point of that statement is that there are about 500,000 licensed nurses in the U.S. who do not work as nurses. Hence, there's no shortage of nurses, just a shortage of nurses who will not work for poor pay and working conditions.
  7. by   nurseinlimbo
    I think that if you polled all the nurses who have graduated from nursing schools in North America in the last 20 years, you would find a considerable percentage who no longer work as nurses. I would dare say more than 50%.
    We get sick of the shift work, weekends, short shifting, double shifting, overtime, having to have two part time jobs or several Prn jobs just to make a go of it. Also tired of BS from coworkers and mgmt, families and patients.
    There is really no way to do this job partime, I am always asked to do more, stay longer, give up this or that family activity or sleep. It's just not worth what we get paid to make the sacrifices that we make.
    My sister in law is a BN and stays home, I doubt she will ever work FT again, my brother is an engineer so she is lucky. I graduated with some girls 4 yrs ago who have already given up their license to have kids and stay home.
    I am looking forward to the day when I can give up my position and work prn in one place and only say yes when I want to.
  8. by   luvschoolnursing
    I work in a high school. It is VERY hard to get a job as a school nurse around here. The pay is about 1/2 of what you could make in the hospital but the hours are great, the working conditions are good and for the most part you feel like you are doing a safe job and making a difference. No nursing shortage when the job is desirable.

    I agree with the above posters-there is s shortage of nurses willing to break their backs and spirits working long hours in unsafe conditions with no appreciation. Kind of sad that it's like this, really.
  9. by   llg
    I think it is not a simple "yes" or "no" question. There are underlying population and societal factors that are putting pressures on the health care system in general to provide more care with fewer people. They include such factors as:

    1. The aging population needs more health care, with relatively fewer young people to do the physical work.
    2. The advances in health care possibilities and society's expectation that all services be available to everyone (even those who can't pay or who have a limited life expectancy) also adds to the demand for health care services.
    3. The legal and regulatory climate that requires much more paperwork and safety controls adds burdens on the system.
    4. Women now have more career options than they did in the past.
    5. There are more single mothers in the work force who have problems with child care etc. while working rotating shifts.
    etc. etc. etc.

    These changes DO have an impact on the supply of nurses and the demands placed upon nurses. Anyone who thinks they are not an important part of the problem is wrong.

    However, it is equally wrong to blame the "shortage" on ONLY these factors. Nursng needs have not been adequately considered in the planning of health facilities and in the political world that runs facilities on a day-to-day basis. Many nurses leave nursing because working conditions are so bad. That can't be ignored either.

    In the end, it is a complex, multi-deminsional problem with no easy answers. The big societal forces putting strain on our health care system is moving us in the direction of a "real" shortage and the working conditions are compounding the problems. All aspects of the problem need to be addressed to have much of an impact. No one action will make much impact unless it is accompanied by other actions to move the whole system in a positive direction.
  10. by   anonymurse
    Yeah, there are plenty of non-working RNs in the woodwork and when the economy tanks and the spouse gets laid off, look out, here they come, and whatever else we're doing, we'll have to add to that the burden of re-grooving people with yesterday's skills and mindset plus the stress of being sellers in a buyer's market, and if you thought staffing was bad when times were flush, oh well.

    Nonetheless, here we are in a fairly recession-proof field if we can only hang on, which means those who were slackers and backstabbers suddenly will be history, and the team-builders who graced their work with energy and dedication and whose co-workers laughed as they spent spare time and money keeping their skills on the bleeding edge are going to do very nicely indeed.

    It's the same old story: it ain't about the company, it ain't about the industry, it ain't about the economy, it's all about us and how we think and what we do with what we have.
  11. by   oncnursemsn
    I can't speak in an educated way about "staff nurses" or those who are providing direct care. My sense is that there is a nurse shortage- with many different causes. As a nursing instructor for a small ADN program, I can say with certainty that we are going to be in terrible shape in the next 5-10 years. I'm 44, and one of the youngest faculty- the vast majority of those I teach with are going to be retiring in this time period. Who's going to be around to teach our future nurses? I make nearly twice as much when I work in Boston providing direct patient care then when I am teaching 42 students. The incentive to teach is certainly not monetary! We are going to have to make some serious changes professionally- and we're already too late. Sorry to sound so pessimistic!
  12. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Quote from anonymurse
    ...whose co-workers laughed as they spent spare time and money keeping their skills on the bleeding edge are going to do very nicely indeed.
    Nice! It's the bleeding edge that gets me, no matter how many ways you look at it, I'm here for keeps!!!!! ;-)

    Now, is not the time for anticoagulating therapy; keep Lovenox (No LOVE: hospitals budgeting for new towers rather than thinking of wages), Heparin (unHappy: underpaid and overworked), and yes, Aspirin (Angry: Society wanting too much for so little!) away from us!! And allow our bleeding edge time to heal!
    Last edit by CaLLaCoDe on Dec 16, '07
  13. by   Valerie Salva
    a critical shortage of nurses
    low pay for a grueling job keeps many americans out of the field--and that spells trouble as baby boomers age




    quote:
    the u.s. is facing a severe nursing shortage. already, an estimated 8.5% of the nursing positions in the u.s. are unfilled--and some expect that number to triple by 2020 as 80 million baby boomers retire and expand the ranks of those needing care. hospital administrators and nurses' advocates have declared a staffing crisis as the nursing shortage hits its 10th year, the longest stretch in 50 years.

    there are 500,000 registered nurses who are not practicing their profession -- fully one-fifth of the current rn workforce of 2.5 million and enough to fill current vacancies twice over.
    read article in its entirety:

    http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/...tm?chan=search


    if you are talking about actual number of licensed nurses in the us vs. the number of job openings for nurses, there is actually a large surplus of nurses.
  14. by   RN1980
    get rid of joint commission that should help...

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