I appreciate your willingness to help, but as an actual nurse I have a different perspective on why we have a shortage.Please let me shed light on why we are in "this horrible situation."
Your post makes me feel I must comment to this.The real cause of the shortage is generally misunderstood by the general public. So, first my rant, then I will gladly answer your questions...
To me, trying to fill the nursing shortage by recruiting new staff is like trying to fill a bucket of water made from a sieve. There are some big problems in healthcare, and the environment nurses are having to work in. We are fed up, and leaving in droves.
Nursing today is often unsafe, unfair, and undesirable. The fact that nurses are worked to the bone with inadequate staff, can't take their breaks, work overtime, holidays, and odd hours, and often don't get fair pay...well, it's just not right.We are mandated to overtime in some states, mandated to fill other shifts at the drop of a hat, and expected to come in on our days off to fill in the gaps. The legal paperwork alone is enough to send one back to school for a new career. Add to that the fact that we face life threatening, complex & emotionally charged scenarios daily.
You said you are not a nurse, so you probably wouldn't know the REAL reason there is a shortage isn't for lack of nurses...it's really for lack of nurses willing to work in the present conditions of health care. So, please try and remember those of us who were used up & burned out by this nurse eating profession called healthcare.Until better working conditions are met, nurses will continue to leave the field.
That being said, I will gladly help with your questions...
When did you first decide you wanted to be a nurse? (Or what age should we target our programming?)
I was 22-23 when I first decided I wanted to become an RN
Why a nurse and not some other health care career?
The variety it offered (different specialties) and broad range of skills and knowledge
How would you "sell" your job?
Flexible hours, fair pay (in my state, due to the shortage I can work any shift I want pretty much, and the pay is not bad)
What is the best part of your day?
Advocating for patients
Supporting patients & family
Collaborating with other healthcare professionals
Brainstorming & figuring out solutions to potential or real problems
What is one thing about nursing that the rest of us might find surprising?
There is a lot of critical thinking going on in nurses' heads. We are monitoring physical assessments, labs, tests, planning for discharge needs, questioning medications and reactions, etc.
Nurses are with the patient 24 hours a day- and we are the ones who often first note the subtle changes in a patient's status.Being a nurse is a huge responsibility- not just physical tasks.
As a nurse how would you like to share the positive parts of your job?
rewarding at times
decent pay (in CA anyway)
Anything else you would like to share?
It would be nice if you had descriptions of what the different settings & specialties are, all the areas nurses work: acute care specialties like med/surg, OB, ICU, OR, Oncology, Ortho, Neuro, tele,Peds; clinics, homecare, nurse managers, dialysis, hospice, school nurse,nurse educators, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse practicioners.It's a career that offers variety & many opportunities.It's career that can be built upon.