<we here in Pa we DO NOT have a shortage of nurses at this moment in time. >
Thats the same nation-wide. Please make the interviewer understand that according to several well-recognized sources, including the recent study by the University of Pennsylvania, research by the American Nurses Association, the General Accounting Office in DC, & the 107th Congressional Research Survey (released to Congress on May 18 of this yr), there are almost 500,000 licensed nurses in the country who did not work in nursing last year. Thats almost 20% of all U.S. nurses & they are not working in hospitals, nursing homes, or even in nursing.
The major reason is the unacceptable working conditions like the ones mentioned - poor staffing, high pt loads, dismal salaries, poor or no pensions and health benefits, lack of recognition and compensation for experience/education, lack of support services & support staff, lack of equipment that would ease the physical labor of the job, lack of safety procedures & supplies, forced overtime, being prevented from speaking out about unsafe pt care or conditions - at the threat of loss of your job, abusive administrative policies & practices - all geared to save a buck on the botom line, etc.
According to the American Hospital Association, there are only about 120,000 open nursing positions now vacant nation-wide. Yet there are 500,000 non-working nurses. That means there are 5 TIMES as many nurses available nation-wide as there are jobs for them. So there is no shortage of nurses right now - just a shortage of jobs with acceptable working conditions. Nurses are out there but are choosing to stay away from these jobs. The solution is to fix the working conditions.
Students are not choosing this career for the same reason current nurses have left, are leaving & continue to stay away. The ANA has told Congress that "the current nursing shortage will remain and likely worsen if changes to the workplace are not immediately addressed".
You might want to go to this interview armed with some back-up.... like a print out of those posts up there. Also, heres some other things you could print out & give to the reporter to make your point , make him aware, so you can get an informative, accurate article written. They arent so much interested in our opinion as they are in our experiences, the facts & statistics....
Nurses do have the solutions.
If you arent unionized, be careful you dont name names. Instead of identifying the hospital you work in by name, just say in print that you are a Registered Nurse working on whatever kind of unit, in whichever town in a "large medical facility" or whatever it is. Stay away from names & just talk about your experiences.
You can tell the reporter off the record where you work but ask it not be printed.... and tell him why! If you are not unionized or dont have a whistleblower state law, you dont have the protection against retaliation by your employer.