Where Have All the Nurses Gone?

  1. [font=palatino][color=#993300]where have all the nurses gone?

    [color=#333333]the impact of the nursing shortage on american healthcare [font=palatino][color=#ffffff].... [font=palatino]faye satterly, r.n.











    [font=palatino][color=#ffffff]....[font=palatino]"...an important book...a wake-up call..." --bookviews.com

    at 6:30 a.m. a head nurse reviews room assignments and the day's challenges ahead: twenty-nine patients, most of them seriously ill, and four nurses to care for them. that means a barely manageable and potentially risky patient-nurse ratio of seven to one, with one nurse taking eight patients. unfortunately, this dismal scenario is played out again and again in hospitals across the country.

    this in-depth, behind-the-scene's account of a healthcare system under stress and the declining quality of medical treatment in america should serve as a wakeup call to the public. faye satterly, a registered nurse with over two decades of experience, spells out the alarming statistics: the average nurse today is forty-five years old and anticipating retirement. only 12 percent of nurses are under age thirty. at the same time, nursing schools report decreasing enrollments and fewer graduates. the result is that the nurses who are on the front lines of healthcare are feeling overwhelmed and leaving the field for less stressful opportunities outside hospital settings.

    compounding the looming crisis is the fact that just as nurses are becoming scarce, the need for them is becoming ever greater. over the next decade, aging baby boomers will swell the ranks of the over-fifty-five population, a group that experiences higher healthcare needs than those in their thirties and forties.

    there are answers, the author insists, but they will require an honest public debate about our choices and expectations. what are we willing to do and how much are we willing to pay for safe, effective delivery of healthcare?

    this fascinating and disturbing account by a veteran nurse with extensive experience is a compelling call for action to counter the nursing shortage and ensure that "caring" regains its premium status in healthcare.

    faye satterly, r.n. (charlottesville, va), is cancer services director at martha jefferson hospital. she has been a registered nurse for twenty years, and served as cancer services director for twelve years.
    [font=palatino]http://www.prometheusbooks.com/catalog/book_1458.html
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Sheri257
    Quote from NRSKarenRN
    At the same time, nursing schools report decreasing enrollments and fewer graduates.
    I don't know where they're getting that from. Nursing school enrollments are up and waiting lists are common nationwide, up to two years. My school just added 10 more slots because of increased enrollments.

    Maybe this was true years ago, but it's not true today.

  4. by   OC_An Khe
    Quote from lizz
    I don't know where they're getting that from. Nursing school enrollments are up and waiting lists are common nationwide, up to two years. My school just added 10 more slots because of increased enrollments.

    Maybe this was true years ago, but it's not true today.

    All things are relative, are nursing enrollments going up? Yes but compared to years ago the number of new RN students is still considerably lower.Also the pace of creation of new RNs is not keep up with the known losses from the profession and the increased demand of RN positions. The shortage will continue to grow unless this mis match is corrected.
  5. by   roxannekkb
    Quote from lizz
    I don't know where they're getting that from. Nursing school enrollments are up and waiting lists are common nationwide, up to two years. My school just added 10 more slots because of increased enrollments.

    Maybe this was true years ago, but it's not true today.

    It's interesting about the waiting lists. I wonder if the "waiting lists" are common at all schools or just the community colleges and state schools were education is cheaper. I attended nursing school in the early 1980s, and there were long waiting lists to get into community college programs, as well as state universities. I ended up attending an expensive private university. There was a nursing shortage on, and like now, all the bells and whistles were out. Nothing seems to have changed.

    Nursing school enrollment dramatically decreased during the 1990s, so we can say that enrollment may be up compared to ten years ago, but that really may not be saying much. Also, it would be interesting to see what happens a year or two from now, when the economy is doing better. Nursing also picks up during economic slowdowns.

    And finally, the tide of nurses leaving nursing is increasing. So even if you pump up enrollment, it still can't keep pace with the numbers getting out. And according to one study at least, the largest number of those leaving are those with less than 5 years experience.
  6. by   roxannekkb
    Quote from lizz
    I don't know where they're getting that from. Nursing school enrollments are up and waiting lists are common nationwide, up to two years. My school just added 10 more slots because of increased enrollments.

    Maybe this was true years ago, but it's not true today.

    duplicate message--not sure how that happened.
    Last edit by roxannekkb on Jun 6, '04
  7. by   oramar
    Not a shift goes by that one of my coworkers does not talk about getting out. Now threatening to leave and actually leaving are two different things. Most of them would like to get out but can't afford to stop having pay checks. If the economy continues to improve and people can get better jobs they will leave in droves.
  8. by   teeituptom
    Where have all the nurses gone
    long time passing
    where have all the nurses gone
    long long time ago

    where have all the nurses gone
    gone to Walmarts everyone
    when they will they ever learn
    When will they ever learn


    shows my age doesnt it
  9. by   Tweety
    Quote from teeituptom

    shows my age doesnt it

    Shows my age to as I was humming along as I was reading it. :chuckle

    Interesting book. But I'm living it, not sure I want to read it. But wish the general public and politicians would.
  10. by   CHATSDALE
    The Reason That There Is A Waiting List Is Because There Are Not Enough Teachers/facilities To Teach The Ones Wanting To Go To School.....
    Nursing Shortage Will Increase As Baby Boomers Move From Health Care Providers To Those In Need Of Health Care
  11. by   Nemhain
    Quote from roxannekkb
    It's interesting about the waiting lists. I wonder if the "waiting lists" are common at all schools or just the community colleges and state schools were education is cheaper. I attended nursing school in the early 1980s, and there were long waiting lists to get into community college programs, as well as state universities. I ended up attending an expensive private university. There was a nursing shortage on, and like now, all the bells and whistles were out. Nothing seems to have changed.

    Nursing school enrollment dramatically decreased during the 1990s, so we can say that enrollment may be up compared to ten years ago, but that really may not be saying much. Also, it would be interesting to see what happens a year or two from now, when the economy is doing better. Nursing also picks up during economic slowdowns.

    And finally, the tide of nurses leaving nursing is increasing. So even if you pump up enrollment, it still can't keep pace with the numbers getting out. And according to one study at least, the largest number of those leaving are those with less than 5 years experience.
    About the CC enrollment? Yeah, they've got waiting lists! One CC in my area got 360 application for 32 spaces. But the public University that's only 15 miles away got75 applications for 80 spaces. And the private university only 5 miles away? This is funny...30 application for 48 spaces (they're always in the neg. numbers for enrollment). Why would someone pay $75,000 to be an RN at private school, when they could only pay $2,500 at the CC where the N-Clex pass rate is 99%? There are no "waiting" lists for private schools or 4 year public universities.
    The DON, where my friend is an RN said that nurses over 50 and nurses with less than 7 years experience (regardless of age) are just hemorrhaging out of the hospital.
    One more note...my class had 80 to start with and only 42 are comming back for the second year.
  12. by   oramar
    [QUOTE=Nemhain]The DON, where my friend is an RN said that nurses over 50 and nurses with less than 7 years experience (regardless of age) are just hemorrhaging out of the hospital.
    /QUOTE]It is the most perplexing thing. When are healthcare leaders going to catch on to retention as a money saving move?
  13. by   lifeisbeautiful
    I just read an article that stated that 40% of RNs are dissatisfied with their job. 2 out of 10 nurses are leaving their career within a year. Why are nurses unhappy?? I've listened to many of my co-worker (many are now ex co-workers ), and most stated that they hate how disrespectful many of the doctors are to them (yelling, throwing tantrums in front of other employees, patients and families). This type of behavior would never be tolerated in most jobs..not even at a McDonalds..but it is ok for a professional to be degraded in a hospital? The fact that nurses often miss their breaks and lunches (I've read this complaint numerous times on this site!) is awful. It is not healthy and people get frustrated and burned-out.. Then there is the the "no-mandatory overtime policy", but somehow, nurses never seem to be able to leave their shift on time and are always forced to stay over.."We don't have a nurse coming in to replace you" the hospital says. Well too *******' bad. I have plans and a life and I put in my 10 1/2 and 12 hour shifts..enough!! :angryfire Everyone always says, "Stand up for your rights", but when you do, you are looked at as a "trouble maker" and people say "She/He is always *****in' about the job" . I wish we had a union where I work. Did you know that my hospital got in a lot of trouble for altering time cards of RNs? How ethical is that? They have had to pay over 2 million dollars in back pay :chuckle
    I just recieved my first check for almost a thousand dollars last week:hatparty:
    I would love my job if I would be allowed to go home on time.
    PS You know why there was a waiting list for my Nursing school? They only allow 20 students every two years!!
  14. by   CseMgr1
    Quote from oramar
    Not a shift goes by that one of my coworkers does not talk about getting out. Now threatening to leave and actually leaving are two different things. Most of them would like to get out but can't afford to stop having pay checks. If the economy continues to improve and people can get better jobs they will leave in droves.
    Same here. Two nurses have left our department since March, and at least two more are going to be leaving during the next few weeks. Things just seem to be going to hell in a handbasket. I'm looking for another job...before I walk out.

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