Thank you for your posts. Some very good points which I take with great appreciation.
Yes, for me, coming to nursing is to answer a calling (the word "calling" here I use it to mean "a long time wish & something that I feel best doing"). I am fortunate because I grew up in a family which encouraged kids to volunteer in hospitals after school. Over the years, I got to know a little about the jobs of some of the health professionals and how valuable their jobs are to the society. I wish more people would have the same opportunity. This leads me into thinking: if we are able to provide more info on nursing in the schools
, may be that will increase students' general awareness & interest in this profession. It's hard for a young person to want to pick a profession that he/she doesn't know too much about. (I agree that "increasing the exposure of the nursing to the students" is a better phrase than "persuading".)
Nursing students, I notice, once they start the clinicals, they keep it pretty much to themselves. This is understandable: the workload is heavy, and we are expected to do very well. Many of us do very well, even with a full time job and a family. Therefore I came to think about doing something to help out when I am still going through my pre reqs.
I was discouraged recently when I spoke about this topic with a few nurse friends. Their view was: it's good to have a shortage, hospitals will then have more need to increase nurses' pay and working conditions. (Could this be the reason why some nurses are resentful of the new grads, and hence the famous quote: "Nurses eating their young"? I leaned this quote from the BB on this site).
I agree that more attractive benefits will make any profession more attractive. But in nursing, immediate patient welfare should be factored into this equation. There must be a better way to make medical establishments to better take care of the nurses! Nursing school
may need to include business courses some day, so we can better understand the business side of the health care system of today, and would be better equipped when it comes time to negotiate with the decision makers of the industry.
As for the long term actual benefits, I think we should include recruiting. If we see less and less new people joining this profession, we would not have many nurses to care for us & our loved ones when we are old. And that's no benefit.
What a difficult subject!
I came to the decision of getting a second degree in nursing after a successful career running a business in another field. I have a choce & no loans. I am no stranger to hard work, work place politics, long hours, diminished holidays & social life...etc. The satisfaction of knowing that I can one day help patients to feel better is a big reward to me. I am sure that I am one of the many who are in this mind frame and are up for the challenge and are ready to follow their heart. The young people need to be more exposed to the world of nursing, if we seriously do not want to see the nurse shortage to become worse. Just my 2 cents. Hope that my thoughts make sense?
Nurses work hard. And nursing is hard work. There must be a better way to make the health care system to adjust the nurses' compensation accordingly, one that would not put the patients in risk. Nurses run most of the "store front" work of the health care business. A good businessman would know that it's only good business to provide the best environment for his/her helpers. The health care businesses know that many nurses would stay in nursing because they enjoy participating in the recovery process of people, despite of the bad working conditions. This is the personal strength of those nurses, not their weakness. The health industry needs to respect and reward this strength.