OR Nurse Shortage Expected

  1. 2
    Ambulatory surgery centers should get ready to face a harsher climate in nurse recruitment over the next few years.

    Severe shortages of nurses peaked several years ago. Severe nursing shortages of the mid-00s were neutralized by the recession, which reduced demand and brought retired nurses back to the workplace to supplement their family incomes, says Bill Heller, president of RN Network, a nurse recruitment company in Boca Raton, Fla.

    Full story at:

    http://www.beckersasc.com/asc-turnar...t-tougher.html
    GadgetRN71 and lindarn like this.
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  3. 22 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    Interesting article. I think the inroads made by Scrub and OR techs is a direct result of the "you must first do med-surg" mentality. While nurses are being forced to do the one year on med-surg, techs are receiving their one year of training. Then the nurse who gets into the OR needs about a year of training. Way cheaper to hire a tech at this point. Again nursing, not smart. Nursing continues to give away ground based on outdated thinking.
    HazelLPN, netglow, CCRNDiva, and 4 others like this.
  5. 9
    There is no nursing shortage yet articles like this permeate the media.
    whereslilly, lindarn, HazelLPN, and 6 others like this.
  6. 1
    There will not be a shortage until the economy in general improves. All the old OR RNs will just keep on keeping on.
    lindarn likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from bsnanat2
    Interesting article. I think the inroads made by Scrub and OR techs is a direct result of the "you must first do med-surg" mentality. While nurses are being forced to do the one year on med-surg, techs are receiving their one year of training. Then the nurse who gets into the OR needs about a year of training. Way cheaper to hire a tech at this point. Again nursing, not smart. Nursing continues to give away ground based on outdated thinking.
    Scrub and or OR techs have been around since WWI and WWII, and were created in part to address the shortage of professional nurses in the military. Drafted from the ranks of corpsmen (Navy),and Medics (Army) OR techs allowed more efficient staffing of the limited supply of professional licensed nurses.

    After the Korean war civilian hospitals experienced a shortage of qualified OR nurses and thus the former military OR techs were brought in. Originally they often circulated with the RN scubbing, however around 1965 the roles were firmly set that a RN ciruclates whilst scrubs could be a RN or tech.

    As for the one year of med/surg experience, IIRC some hospitals then and now take new grads into OR training programs. Difference is back in the day with so many clinical rich programs students often had greater experience on both the floors and units,thus were deemed "ready" for the OR right after graduation.

    Considering the training and length of time it takes to produce a good OR nurse, hospitals want to make sure those taken on have the basics down pat, and or won't bolt for the doors/require dismissal for poor performance. In short a bit of time on the floors allows observation of skills and also allows a new grad to build up the same.
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 2
    Quote from *LadyJane*
    There will not be a shortage until the economy in general improves. All the old OR RNs will just keep on keeping on.
    Think what the article was getting at is that there aren't or won't be enough qualified OR nurses to supply both hospitals and the many ambulatory surgical centres popping up.

    OR nursing isn't for everyone, and those that have a nice gig often stay put their whole careers. So absent vast numbers of hospital closings (shhh forget I said that), there doesn't seem to be anything in place to train the numbers that will be required. You can't get hospitals by and large to hire new grads as it is, so why would they assume the cost of training OR nurses they aren't going to hire/don't need?
    lindarn and MombearNurse like this.
  9. 7
    DoGoodThenGo,
    I don't disagree with you. My point is that nursing has allowed the techs to become a staple in the OR. Nursing schools barely give exposure to the OR and most nurses, even some recruiters, discourage the OR because it limits the nurse they say. The OR should be a valid option for nursing students, not just something that one happens upon or decides to go into despite everyone elses' urgings. Also, it is good that many hospitals are moving towards hiring the best candidates for the best unit match, but the med-surg myth is still alive among nurses. Med-surg first would be OK, but is it necessary? I don't think so. Nursing should make an effort to reclaim the OR; otherwise things will dwindle to a surgeon and a bunch of techs.
    Meriwhen, lindarn, netglow, and 4 others like this.
  10. 2
    Quote from bsnanat2
    DoGoodThenGo,
    I don't disagree with you. My point is that nursing has allowed the techs to become a staple in the OR. Nursing schools barely give exposure to the OR and most nurses, even some recruiters, discourage the OR because it limits the nurse they say. The OR should be a valid option for nursing students, not just something that one happens upon or decides to go into despite everyone elses' urgings. Also, it is good that many hospitals are moving towards hiring the best candidates for the best unit match, but the med-surg myth is still alive among nurses. Med-surg first would be OK, but is it necessary? I don't think so. Nursing should make an effort to reclaim the OR; otherwise things will dwindle to a surgeon and a bunch of techs.

    Methinks the expanded use of OR scrub and other techs builds upon several factors. One is the "shortage" of qualified OR nurses. The other is what is the best use of the nurses who staff the OR.

    Scrubbing isn't for every OR nurse, OTHO some aren't too crazy about circulating. However IIRC in many states the later is mandated to hold a vaild RN license. So you have the same situation seen on the floors/units; peeling away of the RN functions to UAPs with the exception of those strictly spelled out by law must be carried out by a license.

    Being as all this may AORN has been advocating for sometime now that more OR nurses scrub. Apparently there is a feeling that the "talent" could be in danger of becoming a dying art as nurses act primarily in the circulating capacity.

    Regarding Med/Surg experience and OR being limited:

    Well yes in way an OR nurse could be limited,but then again as with many other specialties, those in it have found their niche and don't want to leave. *LOL*
    lindarn and Sehille4774 like this.
  11. 3
    Quote from bsnanat2
    dogoodthengo,
    i don't disagree with you. my point is that nursing has allowed the techs to become a staple in the or. nursing schools barely give exposure to the or and most nurses, even some recruiters, discourage the or because it limits the nurse they say. the or should be a valid option for nursing students, not just something that one happens upon or decides to go into despite everyone elses' urgings. also, it is good that many hospitals are moving towards hiring the best candidates for the best unit match, but the med-surg myth is still alive among nurses. med-surg first would be ok, but is it necessary? i don't think so. nursing should make an effort to reclaim the or; otherwise things will dwindle to a surgeon and a bunch of techs.
    with so much diversity in nursing roles...wouldn't it be cool if nursing schools started offering a 'specialty tract' for those that know they want to go into a specific field. still have the general nursing courses for the first year and then those wanting to be or nurses can specialize in those skills, peds nurses go specialize in those skills ect...so that way when you graduate you can come out of the gate prepared and ready to get a job (but still offer the generalized degree for those that want that). who really wants to have to go for more education right away after spending 2-4 years in school? it seems currently that many hospitals, especially specialties like or work, do not consider an rn degree enough to get a job....good thing their is alot of propaganda about a nursing shortage so we all still want to go to nursing school *wink wink*
    lindarn, szeles23, and bsnanat2 like this.
  12. 1
    Quote from sehille4774
    with so much diversity in nursing roles...wouldn't it be cool if nursing schools started offering a 'specialty tract' for those that know they want to go into a specific field. still have the general nursing courses for the first year and then those wanting to be or nurses can specialize in those skills, peds nurses go specialize in those skills ect...so that way when you graduate you can come out of the gate prepared and ready to get a job (but still offer the generalized degree for those that want that). who really wants to have to go for more education right away after spending 2-4 years in school? it seems currently that many hospitals, especially specialties like or work, do not consider an rn degree enough to get a job....good thing their is alot of propaganda about a nursing shortage so we all still want to go to nursing school *wink wink*
    back in the day there were hospital based nursing programs that concentrated on whatever specialty of said facility. lying in hospitals turned out "maternity nurses", male nursing programs produced nurses that did not study ob/gyn or peds (there was nil chance a man would staff such wards so why bother), and so on.

    gradually the push for professional nursing education to encompass all areas of the practice took over and you have the systems in place today.

    it should be said that at best nursing programs cover the basics to assure one is safe to let loose on the floors/units and by extension pass the board exams. it takes a much longer period of time gaining experience post grad before one fully get's it. some do this rapidly, others slowly whilst some (sadly) never do.

    even if one could prepare for the or in nursing school, unless we are speaking of the diploma programs of old with *major* clinical hours am willing to be the average grad still would need seasoning.

    personally think er or ccu experience is better for those seeking to move into or, but that's just me! *lol*
    lindarn likes this.


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