Nursing shortage critical part of rising health costs - page 2

There are several reasons for the continually escalating health care costs: The increased development and use of clinical and operational technology. Higher employment costs due to the shortage... Read More

  1. by   oramar
    Increased wages might not cure the problem but would certainly help. Six months ago it was apparent my facility was falling behind on wages as compared to other city hospitals. Instead of facing up to the situation they gave a list of reasons why the lower wages would not affect our nurses.(stupid stuff like 'our nurses are so loyal' HA HA!) They also went on a cost cutting binge and hastled people about minor things like 15 minutes overtime. In six months we have gone from a seven percent vacancy to about a 25 percent vacancy. Money would have prevented it, money can cure it. More than likely the morons will increase recruitment and pay of new nurses and NAs without increasing compensation to existing staff. The bleeding of experienced staff will continue because people can get big raises just by going down the street just like they have been doing all along.
  2. by   rickprn
    Quote from llg
    No ... I believe there is an actual shortage. Many of those people who have RN licenses are elderly and it is not realistic to expect them to actually work a floor any more. Others are middle-aged and financially secure (e.g. married well) and have no intention of working again regardless of what happens. These people keep their licenses, partly as a source of pride, partly to help maintain their identity as a nurse, and partly "just in case." Therefore, they are in the numbers as "available nurses", bBut it is totally unrealist to expect them to work.

    Similar things can be said for many of the people in school. They intend to work full time (or even at all) only as long as they have to for financial reasons. If they have a husband who can provide sufficiently financially, they will choose to stay at home and raise a family -- or work only the amount to generate the income they need. Many others are planning to practice at the bedside only as a stepping-stone to another career. They have no intention of having a long-term career at the bedside -- or perhaps, not even a long-term career in nursing.

    The numbers are actually much more complicated than they might at first appear. You have to account for all of that sort of thing hidden within the numbers. You can't just take them in at face value in such a simplistic fashion. There are complex social trends at work behind the numbers that must be taken into account.
    llg
    I quite agree with you, It is much more complex an issue than Mr.HOLZ's statement. There is a supply/demand component to it but there are many more variables than just that. Anectdotally speaking, in the community in which I live many more positions exist in hospitals than we have nurses to fill for several reasons, expansion of of need (more demand, more positions), lower nursing student enrollment, attrition, and of course wages are a factor as well. Mr Holz seems to think that throwing money at the problem is the total solution. I believe that is not necessarily true. While all of us would like to have megabucks. That is not the main issue that most nurses complain about. Working conditions such as Nurse-Patient ratios, better benefits, and etc other things took precedence over pay.

    From the website: < http://www.healthleaders.com/news/fe...ontentid=54400 >

    To assess the current state of nurse satisfaction with their current employment situation, Press Ganey Associates conducted a study of 4,699 nurses working at 36 hospitals in 2003. The hospitals included were predominantly urban, nonprofit hospitals. Approximately half were non-teaching hospitals, while 25 percent were major teaching hospitals and the rest were minor teaching hospitals. The hospitals ranged in size from 48 to 765 beds, with an average of 277 beds. the chart below shows the nurse satisfaction results:


    Note that pay was the least important issue to satisfaction in this study...
    Nurses are not just the money grubbers that some would have us believe. It isn't all about "What's in it for me?" Although there is obviously some of that too.

    It is interesting that we did a study at our small hospital (107 beds) and had similar results. We have increased wages significantly and decreased our nurse patient ratios and still have issues with recruitment of new nurses. We have improved in nearly all of the areas listed in the chart above. Along with these issues, we have had expanded need for nurses in our area. Two large prisons open in last ten years and some nurses left for those jobs, sevral clinics and other employers have moved in. We ahve alocal junior college that generates about 40-60 nurses per year and that has not filled the demand. Our nursing population is aging and attrition is playing a role for us here as well.

    We are using every trick in the book. We are in the development stages of a program to train paramedics to be RN's, we have an LVN to RN program as well.

    So based on our story...is there a nursing shortage? I would say definitely. We have positions open that we can not fill. We fill them with travelers and registry nurses at a huge expense that we as a smalltown hospital cannot afford to pay but we have no choice. That extra money could be paid for better conditions or even more $$$ for our staff if we had our full compliment of nurses. I have not been duped by the administrators into believing all of this I see it on a daily basis. It isn't that simple Mr. HOLZ.
  3. by   Sheri257
    Quote from rickprn
    Note that pay was the least important issue to satisfaction in this study...Nurses are not just the money grubbers that some would have us believe. It isn't all about "What's in it for me?" Although there is obviously some of that too.
    While I agree that money isn't the only issue, I wouldn't go so far as to say that nurses aren't "money grubbers." Half the nurses in my area fight horrible Southern California traffic and freeways to make a few extra bucks, even though there are plenty of nursing jobs here. And higher paying positions are always filled more frequently than lower paying positions, at least in my area.

    There's no question that nurses love money. As one recruiter told the San Diego Tribune not too long ago:

    "At a certain price point ... there are nurses."

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Sep 6, '04
  4. by   Rep
    If there is no nursing shortage, how come American hospitals are busy recruiting nurses here in the Philippines.

    I have read so many articles on the nursing shortage in the USA and in Europe. In America alone, 500,000 registered nurses are not working anymore because of "poor working conditions and low salary" or has gone to high paying, non-stressfull jobs. Surely, with this number not working, definitely there is a nursing shortage in America.

    I believe there are other factors involved contributing to the shortage aside from the working and salary situations mentioned above.
  5. by   Rep
    Quote from lizz
    Well, I'm tired of the "there is no shortage" mantra too. It's not that simple.

    There are 500,000 licensed nurses who aren't working but, 70 percent of that population is older too. Retirements and deaths jumped to 175,000 in the last workforce survey, up from a relatively stable 25,000. If the average age of RNs was 25, I'd agree with you, but it's not. The average age is 47. Certainly an aging workforce is part of the problem.

    Not to mention an aging baby boom population. Do you realize that another 11,000 nursing vacanies are projected for just this year alone? 800,000 in the next 15 years. Why? Because of aging baby boomers and the fact that half a million nurses are expected to retire due to advanced age.

    I agree that salaries are a problem, although they actually haven't been declining. Nursing salaries have been stagnant, only increasing with inflation. But this has been a problem for the entire American workforce, not just nurses.

    Finally, even if the pool of 500,000 licensed, non-working nurses increases to 650,000 in the next 15 years (at the same rate that pool has increased in the last decade) ...

    And even if all them could and would return to work ... it still won't come close to filling those 800,000 projected vacancies, unless nursing school graduates, foreign nurses or some other element on the supply side increases substantially.

    Maybe there isn't a "real" shortage right now, but there is substantial evidence that there will be a "real" shortage in the future.

    From a foreigner point of view, your post is well thought and said. I totally agree with you.
  6. by   oramar
    There must be a zillion nurses like me out there that work like I do, in casual pools and part time. The reason we do not go full time are well documented on these boards. We probably could end the present shortage right now if we would go just full time. The job is just unbearable for me on a full time basis but taken in small doses it is managable.
  7. by   barefootlady
    We can chat on a BB like this one until the moon turns to cheese, but nothing is going to get any better for nurses and health care until the administrations in facilities stop treating us like we are replacable. We are not the most costly of expenditures, bigger and better machines are. I am so sick of being labeled a "money hungry" witch because I want to decent wage to match my job description. Sure I know money is not the whole answer, working conditions are the pits, equiptment not being replaced timely, lack of supplies, the list could go on and on. But, I still think good money and a decent schedule with adequate staffing would cure a lot of ills.
  8. by   Sadie04
    Quote from barefootlady
    We can chat on a BB like this one until the moon turns to cheese, but nothing is going to get any better for nurses and health care until the administrations in facilities stop treating us like we are replacable. We are not the most costly of expenditures, bigger and better machines are. I am so sick of being labeled a "money hungry" witch because I want to decent wage to match my job description. Sure I know money is not the whole answer, working conditions are the pits, equiptment not being replaced timely, lack of supplies, the list could go on and on. But, I still think good money and a decent schedule with adequate staffing would cure a lot of ills.
    AMEN!
  9. by   teeituptom
    Quote from barefootlady
    We can chat on a BB like this one until the moon turns to cheese, but nothing is going to get any better for nurses and health care until the administrations in facilities stop treating us like we are replacable. We are not the most costly of expenditures, bigger and better machines are. I am so sick of being labeled a "money hungry" witch because I want to decent wage to match my job description. Sure I know money is not the whole answer, working conditions are the pits, equiptment not being replaced timely, lack of supplies, the list could go on and on. But, I still think good money and a decent schedule with adequate staffing would cure a lot of ills.

    I always vote for money and scheduling and golf

    I dont worry about supplies and equipment, I know someone else will do a far better job of worrying about it, so why should I.
  10. by   Jessy_RN
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  11. by   Jessy_RN
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  12. by   live4today
    I agree with those who say "There is NO nursing shortage!"

    I'm also sick of hearing about "the age of nurses being a problem".
    Who makes it a problem? Certainly not the ones that are "older" who continue to bust their buns in this high stress job we identify as "nursing".

    If there is a nursing shortage, then why am I out of work? Nuff said. :stone
  13. by   rickprn
    Quote from cheerfuldoer
    I agree with those who say "There is NO nursing shortage!"

    I'm also sick of hearing about "the age of nurses being a problem".
    Who makes it a problem? Certainly not the ones that are "older" who continue to bust their buns in this high stress job we identify as "nursing".

    If there is a nursing shortage, then why am I out of work? Nuff said. :stone
    I can't say that where you live there is a nursing shortage, but nationally there is and even internationally. The question of why you are out of work is one you can probably answer upon reflection of the question. Maybe it is where you live, or other factors that none of us know anything about like your willingness to work the hours that are needed, etc.
    Last edit by rickprn on Sep 19, '04

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