I was reading in my local newspaper about the nursing shortage. It stated reasons for this on the staff cutbacks 5 years ago which led to harder working conditions and lower pay, due to pay increses not keeping up with other professions. Many nurses chose to work per deim, they get more per hour and they can choose assignments. This means that there are less nurses with specialization. It seems to me that the nurseing profession is at a cross road, the hospitals needed to cut costs so they chose to cut RNs. Now they are finding that they need the people that they have pushed away. We as the new nurses have a unique opprotunity to mold nursing for the future. I wanted to hear from other near nurses and nurses on what they think nursing should be like in the future.
Jan 25, '99
The future of nursing at this point is dismal at best. The current trend is to cut RN's, so that the physicians and hospitals can make more money. I think that they are cutting their own throats. It's an easy way out right now. If they need to chop off 1 million dollars, they just get rid of an RN from each wing on each shift. What they have to realize eventually is this:
1- At some point they will be down to 1 or no RN's, which cannot be done. I think they will realize this at the time it occurs.
2 - They will actually have to start finding a more realistic way of saving money.
3 - This trend only corrects the immediate problem. It will catch up to the hospitals and physicians. An increase in the number of lawsuits will be seen. The doctors and/or insurance companies will get sued, more often. This will negate the savings of the past.
4 - If there are more lawsuits against nurses for, neglect, ommision of errors, etc. more nurses will be likely to quit the proffesion. This would be the only logical option, rather than risk a million dollar lawsuit just to make $30,000-40,000 a year. It will still get worse before it gets better. I can tell you that our dept. director pushed for no employee raises this year. She did not deny it either, saying I would rather do that then have to lay someone off. What a joke, yet she still makes $80,000+ for the year, and more in bonuses by sending other employees home, just to get a bonus every year that is probably equal to my yearly pay.
Only time will tell.
Jan 30, '99
I think CEN's estimation of the future of nursing is bleak at best. Perhaps your experiences have made it seem so. However, it has been my experience that the future of nursing is extremely bright. Nurses are gaining more respect from the public and insurance companies. APRNs have increased prescriptive power and there has been a major increase in their popularity. I'm sorry your experience has been bleak, but perhaps it is just the hospital you work for.
Jan 31, '99
It is not just the hospital I work for, it tend s to be the trend. At least in the Ohio area. The fact is, when the hospital tries to save money they look to cut the staff first. Unlike NY and Pa the ANP's in Ohio don't have the same prescriptive powers. We see more and more people in our er each year. Yet the er makes less and less money each year, due to insurance changes. This leads to the reduction of staff. Don't tell me bleak. I beleive it will ge better eventually. However, it will get worse over the next couple years before it gets better.
Jan 31, '99
As I see it the nursing profession is changing; someone is resposible to direct the changes, it had better be the nurses themselves. If not nurses than administrators will do it. How do you all plan to impact our profession for the better?
Feb 3, '99
I am graduating in May, so I lack the experience and first hand knowledge. We have discussed the issue of hospitals cutting nurses when their budget is short. What I find very sad, is that the hospitals are cutting the very thing that ensures that their patients receive quality care and have good outcomes. If you look at what part of the hospital is having the largest growth, look at the adminstrative end. It angers me that if patient census is down, it is the nurse that gets sent home--Why don't they tell the accountant to take a VDO or PTO....Does it seem right that the very thing the hospital uses to advertise (quality patient care--patient focused, ect..) they ignore once their census is down. I don't know if this is right, or makes any sense....but I do know how to make the difference in my future--Join a professional nursing association....A group is better heard than a single person....I'm going to take an active approach to my future career to ensure that I have a say in job related issues.
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