Is There Really A Shortage Of Nurses?

  1. i originally posted this as a reply in another thread, but want to hear opinions from all so i started this topic. i want your opinion.....is the "nursing shortage image" created from under-staffed facilities, making it seem like there are not enough nurses cause they run with skeleton staffing to make more money? ....or, is there really a shortage of nurses in the work-force?

    here is my reply from another topic...

    here is my opinion on the nursing shortage.......i am sure some may disagree

    THERE IS NO NURSING SHORTAGE!
    the "shortage" is facilities against hiring a nominal nurse-to-patient/resident-staff. most facilities operate under-staffed to save money, the employed nurses are forced to "cut corners" lessening the quality of care because of high numbers of patients/residents they are assigned. many nurses are well-underpaid, but take a position to make "ends-meet", than as soon as a higher paying position becomes available, they quit and take the new position that opens because a nurse left do to finding another higher paying job or being over-worked from high patient assignments and opened his/her eyes and said "i better quit this place before an accident happens and i lose my license".....the new nurse will follow suit over time.
    so now u see a high turn-around of hiring and nurses leaving their jobs. look in your local paper for nursing jobs everyday for a few months.....how many times do u see openings at the the same facility? why do u think that is?
    step back and take a good look at this real scenario...the whole picture, i am curious to hear replies.
    (and i didn't even mention telling facilities what days and hours u are available to work and what days and hours u cannot work, they agree to terms and hire u, u leave your current job for the new one, 30 days later they change your hours and days to ones u are not available to work, so now you must quit this job and look for another one.....while being mad as hell u left your old job for this one.).
    so all this high-turn-around of nursing positions.....is there really a nursing shortage? i wonder how many nurses apply for one single nursing position listed in the job-classifieds.....none, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50?....think about it.

    yes, the big picture may make things look like a nursing shortage (the understaffing ect.), but is there really a shortage of nurses??
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   mvanz9999
    There's already a thread with quite a few responses:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/1862997-post1.html
  4. by   Vman
    yes, i know...i replied in that post but the topic was geared mostly towards nursing schools. i intend this thread to be geared at the widely possibly assumed nursing shortage in general.
  5. by   mvanz9999
    I'm going to put up what I basically said before and that is this: there is not a shortage of RN's, but a shortage of RN's willing work under the conditions they are offered. Lack of teachers, ect are things people love to point to, but when you talk to nurses, working or not, the general agreement is they don't want to work the hours, shifts, patient overload, ect.

    I'm not really sure what the solution to this is. It would be nice if the profession as a whole would protest, but that's not a very realistic idea.
  6. by   TheCommuter
    I'm simply going to copy and paste my response to the other thread since it's less time-consuming.

    There's no nursing shortage. 2,500,000 RNs are licensed in the U.S. and nearly 800,000 LPNs are licensed. If every single one of these actively licensed nurses was employed at the bedside, then there would be no nursing shortage. There's simply a shortage of nurses who want to work at the bedside!

    Some nurses left the field altogether due to burnout. Other nurses have been promoted into management and will never return to the bedside. Many nurses start their careers at the bedside and become disillusioned. The bedside is where nurses are most desperately needed, yet there are too many 'chiefs' in management and not enough 'indians' at the bedside.

    This is just some food for thought. Don't believe everything you hear about the so-called 'nursing shortage'.
  7. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    There is no shortage of nurses. Maybe out in the boonies where no one wants to go, but overall, and particularly in metropolitan and suburban areas, no.

    There is a shortage of nurses willing to work for peanuts.

    There is a shortage of nurses willing to carry an unsafe patient load.

    There is a shortage of nurses willing to put up with poor treatment from management.

    But there are plenty of nurses.

    A sad thought (and this always makes me so popular), the more foreign nurses who come to the US--or I should say, western countries--the fewer there will be in countries where there truly is a shortage. And when we complain that the care is different from nurses who came here for the money (let's face it, how many foreign health care professionals flock to the US out of a spiritual calling to take care of America's sick and poor? Puhleeze), we can be grateful that the hospital, the HMO's and the rest of the profit-based health care system we have here are so financially healthy.

    OK, I'm done for a while on this one.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    There is also no shortage of threads on this topic - all over the BB.

    I've already replied numerous times. THERE IS NO NURSING SHORTAGE, merely a lack of licensed people willing to work under the current conditions in facilities.
  9. by   Mudwoman
    I'm one of those that live out in the "boonies" and there is no shortage here. The local nursing home never has an ad for nurses. There are 2 hospitals in the next larger town. One is for profit and has been sold 3 times in the last 5 years. They only hire part time now so they don't have to provide benefits. Rumor has it that they are closing soon. The other hospital--non profit hospital-- just laid off 300 nurses stating that they believe they will have fewer customers in the future. I worked there before coming to where I work now, and it is a sweat shop. Today in the Sunday paper, there are only 4 jobs for LPN's. NONE for RN's and only 1 ad for CNA. We have an opening where I work and I'm amazed at the number of applicants. It is like flies at a July picnic.

    When I graduated in 1994, my base pay was around $9.50 hr. Nursing homes were paying $12 hr for new grad LVN's. The nursing home in my rural town is paying $9 hr for LPN's and the starting rate for RN's around here is $17.50 hr. The state pays BSN RN's $28K year for home health. There are no openings at this time.

    I have some thoughts as to the future that I will post on a new thread later. One talk show host the other night made the comment that if there is a shortage, then wages make up for that shortage. We have not even kept up with inflation over the last 15 years. That should tell us something.
  10. by   mvanz9999
    mudwoman, could you post a link to that thread? i don't want to miss it.
  11. by   Mudwoman
    Quote from mvanz9999
    mudwoman, could you post a link to that thread? i don't want to miss it.

    i posted on the general message forum today, but no one has responded. not sure if they think i'm crazy, or no one has a clue as to what could be done, or if no one wants to think about where nursing in this country is going.

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