Working in two NY hospitals, one union and one not I do have a real perspective of this, although I don't work a floor. Although there is a shortage, there is little being done to recruit experienced nurses at a competitive rate (I took a $4 per hour cut in pay, to work in a higher cost of living, higher taxation state!!!) NO sign on or retention bonus like the southern states, same work load.
So if this shortage is real... and it's slowly getting short like down south, the facilities in a 90 mile radius in my area are doing NOTHING to recruit or retain.
Plus, if we as nurses are accepting a 15 patient assignment, the only ones to blame are ourselves for not standing up and saying Assignment under protest, or simply NO! If we keep working it..we will keep working it..."Look, the nurses CAN take 15 patients, lets hold off hiring that agency staff..."
We can do so much more to educate ourselves as to what actions to take, and make an investment in educating the community.. our patients, to not accept anything less from their health care dollars than safe and qualified care.
just my worthless 2 cents, complacency as well as my bad spelling, is killing us! I know I'm preaching to the choir here :chuckle