Future Shortage in Bedside Nurses - page 8

by westieluv

21,958 Views | 117 Comments

I have been an RN for 22 years. In recent years, we all know that the trend has been for acute inpatient facilities to try to hire BSN nurses as much as possible. However, another trend that I am seeing, both here on these forums... Read More


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    It takes time for people to find their niche in nursing. Thank goodness not everyone likes the same type of nursing care. I know I'm not "cut out" for certain types of nursing, not that I can't do it, just that I'm not attracted to it. If I got a good job offer in a field that was not my first choice would I take it if I needed the job???? You bet. There is something that can be gained from doing, observing, putting yourself in areas that are a bit uncomfortable to you-you learn quite a bit about the area of work, and about yourself, not to mention gain confidence. Each step you take is a building block for a more gratifying role in nursing. You just have to try, and in this profession, we sometimes have the opportunity to branch out and do different things. That's one of the attractive characteristics of the nursing profession. Surprise surprise, you just might like something you thought you might not. To paraphrase Abe Lincoln, "People are about as happy as they set their mind to be".
    prettymica and roughmatch like this.
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    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I don't think anyone is ever criticized for wanting to learn more, understand better or grow. The people I've seen criticized for wanting to leave bedside nursing are those who have made the following comments:
    "I'm only here to get my one year of experience so I can go to anesthesia school and make lots of money." (At lunch, halfway through her orientation to the ICU)
    "I didn't get a degree to wipe butts. How soon can I get an office job?" (On her first or second day in hospital-wide orientation).
    "I'm the RN, I don't have to wipe butts. That's for the techs." (On her first day in the ICU)
    "I'm going to be an NP, so I don't have to learn that." (About anything that involved getting her hands dirty.)
    "Bedside nursing is for lazy people who lack ambition." (As she sat at the desk and did her nails, relying upon her orientee to do any and all patient care -- without guidance.)

    I've noticed that too many people who seek higher degrees lack respect for those nurses who don't seek higher degrees and/or are happy at the bedside.

    I enjoyed graduate school -- it was far more fun than anything else I could do with the time or the money at that point in my life. But I have the utmost respect for those nurses who, for whatever reason, have chosen to continue at the bedside without additional education. In fact lately, I have MORE respect for nurses willing to stay at the bedside despite the fact that the job is getting more and more difficult.

    I think you've hit the nail on the head right there.

    My choice to go back to school is that after twenty years in direct patient care, I'm ready for a new challenge as I head into my later working-life, and to serve my patients in a different role.

    That, and I love the whole process of learning in a college environment.
    prettymica likes this.
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    To those people who have said those things truly got into nursing for a different reason than the creed they took upon graduation. There are those who tenaciously seek to better themselves to know themselves better. That mirrors Maslow's acme-Self Actualization. Those folks have used the building blocks of experience, continual education, honing skills and assisting others in learning-passing on skills and knowledge to grow the profession.
    To those who strive for self-actualization rather than self gratification get my vote of confidence with or without obtaining higher degrees. It takes a strong person to be honest with themselves and continually evaluate the why's of getting into a truly service profession.
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    I am finishing up my Bachelor's degree now, and it is not to necessarily move up the ladder. A lot of hospitals in my area only want Bachelor's degrees for any units. I graduated in 2010 and feel that to be an effective manager someday that I need to have many years of bedside nursing under my belt. So for right now bedside nursing is the path for me. P.S. I currently work in a long term care facility, which is ok, but I feel like a lot of my skills are not being used.
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    I don't think there is anything wrong with doing what is going to be the expectation-which entry level nurse at BSN level. I think it should be applauded. What I do think the initiator of the blog is stating is true. There are x number of management positions. But there are many more needs for bedside nurses. There is NO room at the table for people to openly criticize either choice. We are too venomous with our fellow nurses. We should support our colleagues endeavors. It doesn't matter what the motivation of that person is. It does matter when the manager with minimal experience does not respect nor provide critical support of their direct reports. Working with others for the greater good is what is needed. All I ask of my managers is to listen to what I have to say, solutions that I bring to the table; weigh them and articulate clearly the final decision with a rationale attached. We have earned the stripes to be respected in that manner. The bedside nurse is the very heart/pulse of the profession.
    silenced, SE_BSN_RN, and rnfostermom like this.
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    I am a BSN who has been nursing for a little over 2 years and adores bedside nursing and "working in the trenches". That being said, I also come from a generation and a family background where continuing to reach for new goals and achievements is something to be admired.

    As we've all seen in the past few years, the requirements of a career can change so quickly to meet the demands of the market: ADN is no longer acceptable in most hospitals. A BSN or even MSN makes you much more marketable. Nowadays, in a world where even finding a nursing job is so competitive, I think we younger nurses are just programmed to make ourselves as marketable as possible so that we leave ourselves the OPTION to work where makes us happiest.

    I personally would never want to be in management dealing with politics, budgets, and red tape. I also wouldn't want to find myself several years down the road burned out and unable to change my current situation for the better after having dedicated so many years to the field. I have every intention of continuing on to become a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) BECAUSE it lends itself to bedside nursing. I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to grow throughout the course of your career, just as much as there's nothing wrong with staying put in bedside nursing and committing yourself to the very worthy cause.

    I agree with the person who said that there's not room at the top for everyone, and I know many young nurses that have no plans to continue on to management or NP, but those of us who are interested in those things and willing to earn them would love your support!
    Last edit by symplicated on Sep 5, '12 : Reason: spelling
    silenced, SE_BSN_RN, and cdsga like this.
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    Quote from nursynurseRN
    LOL she is right!! I mean why woukd u get a masters to wipe butts?? thats probably a 75000 education!! LOL
    I can answer you for myself. Because I like school AND getting my patients comfortable which include wiping all manner of bodily secretions. I think part of the problem is the judgmental view of what is a menial job and what is prestigious job, and the sense that an expensive education should lead to a "prestigious" position. I like someone's comment about self-actualization. Most of us (can't say all) are in this field because we consider patient care as a great prestige.

    But the main reason is, as repeatedly pointed out already, the working condition that drives nurses away from the bedside. Nurses want to be heard, have a say in how patient care is delivered, participate in decision-making within the organization.
    silenced, bardone, SE_BSN_RN, and 2 others like this.
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    Sadly, this is very true. I am in nursing school, and I hear people who haven't even worked as PCAs or stepped foot in a hosptial say that they want to be a CRNA or an NP. Most, however, will be weeded out in the process or life will get in the way.

    So I don't see this as being a real threat. Not in this economy, anyways.
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    Quote from westieluv
    I have been an RN for 22 years. In recent years, we all know that the trend has been for acute inpatient facilities to try to hire BSN nurses as much as possible. However, another trend that I am seeing, both here on these forums and in the places where I have worked, is that most of the young BSN nurses have no desire to do bedside nursing any longer than they have to. All I seem to hear is that they all want to either move into a management position or go back to school to become an NP or CRNA. Even the ones who haven't voiced those goals have expressed a great contempt for bedside Med/Surg nursing and want to work in specialty areas such as OB. The thought process seems to be that they didn't go to school for four years "just to" care for sick people at the bedside. If this continues, it seems that there is going to be a great shortage of bedside nurses in the near future as more and more of the "old school" nurses retire.

    Does anyone else see this where you work? What happens to the army when everyone wants to be a general and no one wants to be a foot soldier? I'm just curious. I have over 100 undergrad college credits that I could apply towards a BSN, but at this point in my career, I just want to finish out my years as a nurse taking care of people who need help. Never had any desire to climb the ladder whatsoever. Are any of you new grads in the same boat, where you would be contented to do bedside nursing for the foreseeable future, or is being a bedside nurse becoming passe'?
    If I find someone willing to hire me and train me in the specialty I want to be in, I would be content to be at the bedside until I retire! But "we don't hire new grads...." Your loss!
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    Is it wrong for me to wish partly that it would help me to get into bedside nursing. I'd gladly give up my position to get into bedside nursing because really being solely charge nurse is not for me!


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