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COVID-19: Nurse Shortages

Disasters   (1,736 Views | 22 Replies)

LucilleBluth has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER Overflow, Outpatient CM, formerly Acute.

134 Profile Views; 4 Posts

As our frontline nurses are increasingly exposed, how do you think potential shortages in nursing staff will be addressed? Do you find this solution viable and reasonable?

In Texas:

Quote

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday he would waive certain regulations to allow nursing students and retired nurses to easily join the workforce, as the need for medical professionals grows during the novel coronavirus crisis.

He said the state would allow graduate nurses and vocational nurses who haven’t yet taken the licensing exam to receive temporary permit extensions allowing them to practice. Students in their final year of nursing school can more easily meet clinical requirements. And nurses with inactive licenses and retired nurses can reactive their licenses.

Coronavirus updates in Texas: At least 325 cases reported in state; Gov. Greg Abbott moves to bolster number of practicing nurses

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248 Posts; 10,720 Profile Views

So, the Gov in our state said the same thing on Monday. He stated that there was a dire shortage of nurses. Sooo, I looked to see who was hiring. And, zip. I don't see anyone hiring due to the virus. So I began to wonder why he would say that and if he was looking to hire nurses. I went to state government sites, and no, they were not hiring. Then I began to wonder what was happening on the front lines HERE, from fellow nurses. Not news outlets. Not politicians. Not doctors trying to get their '15 minutes of fame'. What I found here is that hospitals have been running at 50 to 70% capacity. This was backed up by the numbers of available beds in ICU and ISO. Also, many said their ED's were noticeably less full/hectic than normal.

Now, it could be the lull before the storm and nurses will indeed be needed once our country catches up with tests, beds, PPE's etc, but even then, I heard from nursing saying that they would simply be too busy to precept a returning nurse. So I don't know. Seems to me that there is no place for this to happen. Though I would be happy to be proven wrong as I know many nurses that would love the chance to get back in.

Can't wait to see how others respond.

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Rose_Queen has 15 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

12 Followers; 4 Articles; 9,472 Posts; 110,160 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, LockportRN said:

So, the Gov in our state said the same thing on Monday. He stated that there was a dire shortage of nurses. Sooo, I looked to see who was hiring. And, zip. I don't see anyone hiring due to the virus. So I began to wonder why he would say that and if he was looking to hire nurses. I went to state government sites, and no, they were not hiring. Then I began to wonder what was happening on the front lines HERE, from fellow nurses. Not news outlets. Not politicians. Not doctors trying to get their '15 minutes of fame'. What I found here is that hospitals have been running at 50 to 70% capacity. This was backed up by the numbers of available beds in ICU and ISO. Also, many said their ED's were noticeably less full/hectic than normal.

Now, it could be the lull before the storm and nurses will indeed be needed once our country catches up with tests, beds, PPE's etc, but even then, I heard from nursing saying that they would simply be too busy to precept a returning nurse. So I don't know. Seems to me that there is no place for this to happen. Though I would be happy to be proven wrong as I know many nurses that would love the chance to get back in.

Can't wait to see how others respond.

This is what I'm seeing as well. Most of my county's patients are at home. We are using maybe 2% of the areas set aside for COVID patients and our overall census has dropped from 88-102% down to 25-30%.

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248 Posts; 10,720 Profile Views

That's even a lower number than what I have been hearing about. So I do wonder, why the call for nurses to return?

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LucilleBluth has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER Overflow, Outpatient CM, formerly Acute.

4 Posts; 134 Profile Views

I’m not in Texas and our state has not yet called for assistance from non-direct care nurses or retired nurses.

However, what I’m hearing from healthcare colleagues in Louisiana is that the facilities in and around New Orleans are running at a much fuller census. I’m hearing that the problem is bed management/availability versus nursing staff but I’m curious to hear from others.

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LucilleBluth has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ER Overflow, Outpatient CM, formerly Acute.

4 Posts; 134 Profile Views

Quote

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health President and CEO Warner Thomas said today about 60 Ochsner employees have tested positive for COVID-19, and approximately 300 employees have been quarantined.

https://wgno.com/news/health/coronavirus/ochsner-60-employees-test-positive-for-covid-19-300-in-quarantine/?fbclid=IwAR0KHtOxSdGkYJbyM8AfX9bLTQDsHRdOv9YhQB0fV3dzywpKK8qMZGBwDA4

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2 Followers; 875 Posts; 5,701 Profile Views

The federal government is recalling retired nurses too. I'm thinking they're expecting a surge of Covid patients and maybe want to hire nurses and ICU/vent train them before the storm.

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Silver_Rik has 1 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Perioperative / OR Nurse Intern.

136 Posts; 2,264 Profile Views

Right now we are low census and looking at cutting hours (if not doing it already) and asking people to re-deploy off their home units. On the other hand, in anticipation of a Covid-19 surge we are setting up a 400 bed field hospital in a nearby sports facility (we have 945 beds / 150 ICU currently.)

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by 2Ask Member

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California:

On March 30, 2020 Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-39-20, authorizing the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to waive any of the professional licensing requirements relating to healing arts licensees in Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, and any accompanying regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, the examination, education, experience, and training requirements necessary to obtain and maintain licensure, and requirements governing the practice and permissible activities for licensees.

The Board of Registered Nursing is working closely with the Department of Consumer Affairs to determine which licensing requirement waivers would allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic and allow licensees regulated by the Board of Registered Nursing to maintain and renew a license and remain employed.

Current waivers in place are:

  • Examination and continuing education requirements for current healthcare licensees.
  • Reactivation requirements for inactive, retired, or canceled licensees.

A full list of waivers will be placed on the DCA website as they are approved.

The Board of Registered Nursing encourages licensed Registered Nurses to be part of the workforce to support the medical surge during this time of need. The state is in need for help at quarantine sites, testing sites, and medical surge facilities and needs assistance with pre-hospital triage and pharmacy services.

Interested medical and health care professionals are encouraged to visit covid19.ca.gov/healthcorps/ for more information and to register for the California Health Corps.

The Board of Registered Nursing thanks licensed Registered Nurses for doing their part during the COVID-19 health emergency.

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265 Posts; 1,444 Profile Views

I believe it's "the calm before the storm" in many areas. The surge is going to hit every community at different times. Bigger cities will see it first. I live in a mid sized Midwestern city and our surge began just this week. We are behind Detroit by 1-2 weeks. Nurses are getting stressed and worried here now.😖

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kathompson3207 has 1 years experience.

5 Posts; 10 Profile Views

Hi

I am a relatively new nurse with a few months inpatient and now doing some home care. I thought this would be a great opportunity to help and get some experience, even if to backfill. There is so much talk about the shortage but is is so hard to figure out where the jobs are!!

I have looked on DPH, HHS, hospital sites, ANA, state sites (I have a MPH). Travel nursing recruiters seem to be hiring quite a bit. My sense is they are price gouging.

Does anyone know where to look. I am licensed in 2 states. There seems to be a lot of retired nurses being asked to come back. I would think they would also be looking at registered nurses in the state and doing outreach there.

Just does not make sense to me....

Would love folks thoughts and suggestions.

K

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248 Posts; 10,720 Profile Views

On 4/4/2020 at 9:10 AM, NurseBlaq said:

The federal government is recalling retired nurses too. I'm thinking they're expecting a surge of Covid patients and maybe want to hire nurses and ICU/vent train them before the storm.

You would think that this would happen but it not only isn't happening but many hospital nurses are being layed off and they are bringing in travel nurses instead. Or even using volunteer nurses.

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