Future Shortage in Bedside Nurses - page 6

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... Read More

  1. by   cdsga
    Seeking career advancement in nursing is always a plus. Management is tough especially when you become distanced from the actual work at the bedside. The balancing act of a nurse manager is to be able to relate and support the bedside "foot soldier" who in the trenches is the best evaluator of process improvement and work flow issues. There will always be a need for the bedside nurse, though the nursing schools need to do a better job of preparing the student for reality. There is sacrifice involved and there's not always another job down the street. The staffing situations in hospitals now does not adequately provide nor should be 100% responsible for the continuing education for the novice nurse. Especially in areas outside of big city institutions. There is a big disconnect that should be addressed immediately to enable the experienced nurses to be able to adequately and productively precept new nurses.
  2. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from westieluv
    I can't think of a single nurse with their MSN who works on the floor either
    One of my coworkers is a floor nurse with a MSN degree. She has never worked in management, has spent an entire career as a floor nurse, and is honestly not managerial material due to her lack of leadership qualities. However, she is a darned good nurse who can rock it on the floor.

    One of our frequently-posting members (♪♫ in my ♥) is a second career nurse with a MSN degree who works in a bedside position.
  3. by   neverbethesame
    A couple of comments:

    I went back to school for my RN in my early 40's after working in another field where a BS and a license is needed so I have some life experiences behind me. It was "interesting" to hear the very young girls talk about the kind of RN they wanted to be while still in school. They had definite opinions of a hierarchy in which certain kinds of nursing were "lesser" in their mind. They never stopped to think that nurses in every aspect of nursing are (hopefully) there because it is where their gifts and talents are, it is where their ability to care and apply their clinical skills are best utilized. If I recall one conversation correctly, they were looking down their nose at nurses who work in GI-related fields and I remember thinking, "If I had a loved one with GI issues I would sure would want an RN who wanted to be in that field and was good at his/her job." I sure as hell wouldn't look down my nose at that RN feeling sorry for them that they are not a critical care nurse.

    I don't believe that there are "better" than others in realm of healthcare. I was watching one of the Sunday morning shows where they were talking about the shortage of PCP's coming up and lamenting MD's going into more specialized and higher paying fields rather than become a PCP. While there is a med school price tag vs. income levels of these MD's which is a completely other issue, in terms using gifts and talents where they are best utilized is key to good care, happier MD's, more satisfied patients, and of course, the almighty higher Press Ganey scores.
  4. by   nursel56
    It's disheartening to hear that kind of value judgement coming from people who've yet to set foot in a room with a real patient in it. I can only hope experience and maturity will have them someday cringe at how they viewed their fellow nurses.

    One thing the Institute of Medicine of 2010 report repeatedly pointed out was the trend toward a patient population that lives longer and thus spends potentially many years of living with chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis, CHD, etc., and the trend toward community based and outpatient surgery centers. It's probably best to make up your mind that you will learn something unique and valuable with every job you take. Sometimes finances and job availability will dictate that you don't end up with a lot of choices in that regard.
  5. by   Toni82
    I had to take organic chem for my BSN program. Actually all the schools in my area(San Diego) require it.
  6. by   cdsga
    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".
  7. by   Guttercat
    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.
  8. by   cdsga
    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.
  9. by   fiesty_red_head
    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.
  10. by   cdsga
    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.
  11. by   symplicated
    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
  12. by   tokebi
    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.
  13. by   ThePrincessBride
    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.