Average age of nurses increases

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    By 2010, the average nurse will be over 45 years old.
    America's hospitals increasingly rely on older nurses who run the risk of back injuries on the job and who may soon retire, one of the nation's top nursing experts said Friday.
    That could pose a staffing problem if more young adults don't go into nursing, said Peter Buerhaus, nursing professor and senior associate dean for research at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn.
    Buerhaus spoke to about 50 nurses, hospital officials and nursing students at Southeast Missouri State University's Glenn Auditorium. The lecture was sponsored by an endowment created by the late Margaret Woods Allen of Sikeston, Mo.
    The average age of registered nurses over the past 20 years has climbed from nearly 38 to over 42. By 2010, the average nurse will be over 45 years old, Buerhaus said. Many of the nurses will be in their 50s.

    Full Story: http://www.semissourian.com/story/1123934.html
    mkrummen and
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  4. 13 Comments so far...

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    In Queensland, Australia the average age for nurses at the moments is about 47.5 years.
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    What gets me is, administration STILL doesn't seem to realize that the nursing workforce is aging rapidly and needs some accomodations made so that we can continue to work. After all, they're the ones who want carpeting in the halls, which makes it even harder than it has to be to push heavy beds (containing even heavier patients) across the floor. They buy expensive lifts that are supposed to help us, but which are so cumbersome and complicated to use that we continue to risk our backs rather than take the time to go GET the lift, find the right-sized sling, and maneuver the patient onto it (which also takes two or more people). In addition, our workloads keep increasing so that we often don't get breaks or lunch, and Heaven forbid we get sick or hurt, because that's when they start trying to ease us out.:stone

    At least, that's how it is where I work, and mine is one of the BETTER hospitals in terms of how it treats its nurses. I can't even imagine what things must be like in poorly-run hospitals and non-union facilities.......all I know is, something's got to change, because there are far too few young people going into this profession to replace us when our bodies can't hack it anymore.:uhoh21:
    cherryames1949 likes this.
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    There is no real need to "recruit" more people into the field of nursing. Vist the the pre-nursing student forum and you will see hundreds of more than willing and qualified candidates who are practically desperate to enter this profession. The reason there is a shortage is not a lack of qualified individuals intrested in nursing. It is the fact that it is slightly less than impossible to get into nursing school. I personally know how it is to feel like a failure because you 3.9 GPA isn't good enough for admission. With the GPA trend the way it is, before long the nurses are going to be leagues smarter than the docs (or perhaps it is that way already:chuckle ). Sorry just a little rant from a frustrated nursing student.
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    There is no real need to "recruit" more people into the field of nursing. Vist the the pre-nursing student forum and you will see hundreds of more than willing and qualified candidates who are practically desperate to enter this profession. The reason there is a shortage is not a lack of qualified individuals intrested in nursing. It is the fact that it is slightly less than impossible to get into nursing school. I personally know how it is to feel like a failure because you 3.9 GPA isn't good enough for admission. With the GPA trend the way it is, before long the nurses are going to be leagues smarter than the docs (or perhaps it is that way already:chuckle ). Sorry just a little rant from a frustrated nursing student.
  9. 1
    Quote from Crystle_clear
    The reason there is a shortage is not a lack of qualified individuals intrested in nursing. It is the fact that it is slightly less than impossible to get into nursing school.
    You got a point there. In my school, there were over 450 students that have applied into nursing school, but only 110 were accepted because we only have 11 teachers, and each can take 10 students. Some students that did not want to wait, have changed their major. Right now in my class, 25% of students are driving 1 1/2 hours one way to school, because they were not accepted in the nearby schools. Instead of recruiting more students, we need to recruit more nursing teachers. That is the only way we can accomidate all those students that want to be in the nursing profession but have to wait several years to get in.
    cherryames1949 likes this.
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    Quote from kiyatylese
    You got a point there. In my school, there were over 450 students that have applied into nursing school, but only 110 were accepted because we only have 11 teachers, and each can take 10 students. Some students that did not want to wait, have changed their major. Right now in my class, 25% of students are driving 1 1/2 hours one way to school, because they were not accepted in the nearby schools. Instead of recruiting more students, we need to recruit more nursing teachers. That is the only way we can accomidate all those students that want to be in the nursing profession but have to wait several years to get in.
    I think they need to go back to letting a Bachelor degree nurse teach. That is when things got bad, and I know some nurses with Bachelor or ADN degrees that could teach me as much as anyone with a masters! Many with a master's are not interested in teaching, with the lower pay it is obviously not the first choice for many.
    KimberlyRN89 and cherryames1949 like this.
  11. 1
    As with everything complicated in life today (which seems to be everything), I doubt there is a simple answer to "enough competent nurses" and quality medical care. I'm a lowly LPN student in a vocational program, with a few baby steps into clinical experience, and already I feel the snobbery of "degreed" people I hope to work with and some anticipatory dread that I'm plunging into a Black-Hole-of-Calcutta calling. There are so many parts to this:

    Not enough qualified teachers (with hands-on skills versus a "book" degree, and a willingness to teach collegiality and cooperation rather than the present model of "trust nobody, help nobody, believe nobody, cover your assets, always be prepared to shift the blame")

    People in it just for the money, or just for the satisfaction of their soul-felt need to help others without a counterbalancing sense of the political realities and how to manage or affect them

    Destructive economic and social policies and behaviors of facility administrations and the profit driven system, from government to drug companies to insurers to doctors, rife with unnecessary surgery and wasteful competition and duplication of facilities and diagnostic toys, who heap on the workload (in hopes of increased profits) at the risk of patients and staff

    Don't tell me there's no such thing as "eat their young," or the kinds of "kindness" and applications of the Golden Rule that you see on so-called reality TV ("Survivor! Emergency Room") and the soap operas beloved of many staff. The Golden Rule says "treat others as you would want to be treated," not "do unto others, then run away"

    The apparent systemic inability of nurses to organize around their putative core principles of providing highest quality care to those in need, taking advantage of the power of numbers and the present relative scarcity of practitioners (though I know what usually happens when workers organize -- it tends inevitably to look more like the Teamsters than the Sisters of Mercy, given the human drive to power and self-advantage)

    As to GPA, hey, I am an older person who was schooled when there actually was a difference between a C and an A and an F, and "effort" and self-esteem were not criteria for grading. There is such a thing as grade inflation, and the spelling and grammar in many posts on this site show that a 4.0 GPA is no guarantee that one is educated.

    So there's the rant of a 3.9 student nurse who will enter the lists early next year with a certificate and license and 800 hours of clinical experience, ready to submit myself to the predatory forces from above and alongside because I am silly enough later in life to feel a calling to help others. God bless all of us, and open our eyes to a better way of relating to our fellow humans and bettering the conditions that affect us and the people who trust us to care for them.
    cherryames1949 likes this.
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    Hi, i am new to this forum, and have got an assessment to put in in 3 weeks time on (the optimal entry and retirement age for nurses) , i will appreciate everyone to discuss and agrue this as i have got to write peoples suggestion.
    Thanks
  13. 0
    So...is this a good thing or bad thing? We're going to need younger nurses, but as a young person, I find it difficult to get into a nursing school because the older students are giving preference over.


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