Where have all the experienced nurses gone?

  1. On my floor, all the staff nurses have 5 yrs or less experience and are all about in the their late 20's. Has anyone else noticed this trend? Where do the med/surg nurses go after 5 yrs?
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  2. 51 Comments

  3. by   NoCrumping
    Quote from MHarrah
    On my floor, all the staff nurses have 5 yrs or less experience and are all about in the their late 20's. Has anyone else noticed this trend? Where do the med/surg nurses go after 5 yrs?
    They wise up and realize that there are other areas of nursing, and careers in general, that are easier on the mind and body. 5 years is a bit long though, I have noticed after 2 years people start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of med/surg...........
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The med-surg floor i used to work on had either nurses with less than 5 years experience, or nurses that had been on that floor for 20+ years.

    The ones with the 20+ years experience worked day shift, which left the ones with less than 5 years on evenings and nights. And i think after awhile, some get tired of that, especially when they see that it would be years of those shifts without any change of pace.

    Kind of a catch-22.
  5. by   shasta1
    i just lef med surg after working for 2 years. the nurses i worked with on med surg were very diverse some there 3 years, some 5years some 20 years. i left because i was not happy anymore, i dreaded going to work and i found myself watching the clock after only an hour into my 12 hour shift. i felt stagnant in med surg, i was afraid of cardiac drugs, codes and the unknown. i am 2 months into the er and i really like going to work everyday. i think many of the experienced nurses get burnt out from the constraints put on them on the med surg floor.... i would never give back the experience i got from med surg
  6. by   kadokin
    Quote from MHarrah
    On my floor, all the staff nurses have 5 yrs or less experience and are all about in the their late 20's. Has anyone else noticed this trend? Where do the med/surg nurses go after 5 yrs?
    They just. . .fade away.
  7. by   katfishLPN
    They don't want to pay experienced nurse's when they can pay new grads less. That is my opinion of what is happening to the experienced nurse's in a lot of different settings!
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from katfishlpn
    they don't want to pay experienced nurse's when they can pay new grads less. that is my opinion of what is happening to the experienced nurse's in a lot of different settings!
    you got that right! my previous nurse manager made it more than clear that she didn't value experience or the experienced nurse. even announced it at a staff meeting! the experienced nurses all quit.
  9. by   katfishLPN
    That is such a scary thing! When experience doesn't count for anything we are ALL in deep s@*#!!!
  10. by   perle1
    In my opinion, an experienced medsurg nurse is worth her/his weight in gold. I've been a medsurg nurse for 11years, prior to that I was a patient care tech, prior to that a medic. A medsurg nurse has a wide knowledge base, must be a master of organization and able to concentrate while fielding a myriad of distractions. Hats off to all those who love medsurg!!! And yes, I know I'm tooting my own horn too!
  11. by   VivaLasViejas
    Well, this is one experienced med/surg nurse whose body can no longer handle the physical strain or emotional stresses of trying to do way too much with too few resources and too little time. I walked away from a $30-an-hour job only a week ago, and already I realize it would have been sheer madness not to in the face of all the health problems I've had just this past year:

    Chest pain
    Kidney stones
    Pyelonephritis
    UTI
    Gallstones
    Two surgeries
    Three bouts w/ bronchitis
    Half a dozen trips to the ER
    Two hospital admissions
    Cellulitis
    Ovarian cysts
    Osteoporosis
    Arthritis of the elbows and shoulders
    Chronic knee, leg, and back pain
    Frequent nausea
    Severe anxiety
    Weight gain

    I don't know where I'm going with my career, but one thing's for sure: it won't be where I've been.
  12. by   Thunderwolf
    Quote from ruby vee
    you got that right! my previous nurse manager made it more than clear that she didn't value experience or the experienced nurse. even announced it at a staff meeting! the experienced nurses all quit.
    this is when a boss ceases being a nurse...it happens, sad to say.
    but, quite often, this is the message that is communicated from admin to them in those type of facilities. thank god for myself and our patients, our admin can balance being management with being an advocate for both our patients and nurses. i feel your pain. i witnessed first hand another hospital in our same area go through this very thing. experienced and new grad nurses both walked out in droves. the general med surg floor had to be shut down twice because there were no nurses to staff it...couldn't keep them because of this type of mindset. the floor was a potential litigious nightmare as a result. when will these type of admin and nurse managers finally get the message? sad, very sad, and it happens.
  13. by   Thunderwolf
    It just means that you can not be bought any more...when your peace of mind and physical health is calling out to you, you have to answer. You have simply began listening, that's all. You've done the right thing. You'll see.

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))

    Quote from mjlrn97
    Well, this is one experienced med/surg nurse whose body can no longer handle the physical strain or emotional stresses of trying to do way too much with too few resources and too little time. I walked away from a $30-an-hour job only a week ago, and already I realize it would have been sheer madness not to in the face of all the health problems I've had just this past year:

    Chest pain
    Kidney stones
    Pyelonephritis
    UTI
    Gallstones
    Two surgeries
    Three bouts w/ bronchitis
    Half a dozen trips to the ER
    Two hospital admissions
    Cellulitis
    Ovarian cysts
    Osteoporosis
    Arthritis of the elbows and shoulders
    Chronic knee, leg, and back pain
    Frequent nausea
    Severe anxiety
    Weight gain

    I don't know where I'm going with my career, but one thing's for sure: it won't be where I've been.
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Dec 28, '05
  14. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    It just means that you can not be bought any more...when your peace of mind and physical health is calling out to you, you have to answer. You have simply began listening, that's all. You've done the right thing. You'll see.

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))
    Thank you, Wolfie.........I know you're right, and that it will all turn out OK in the end.

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