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
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.