Addressing the Predicted Nursing Shortage - page 3 staffers were recently fortunate to interview Audrey Wirth, MSN, RN-BC, CVRN-BC adjunct clinical instructor at Aurora University's School of Nursing and Allied Health. She has published... Read More

  1. by   DowntheRiver
    I am obtaining my BSN for two reasons:

    1. I signed a contract at my current employer stating that I would obtain my BSN within 3 years of hire. They pay up to $20,000 for school, and I will have only used $2,000 when I finish my BSN. The MSN program I plan on attending is approximately $19,000 so I'd only have to pay $1,000 out of pocket over two years. I would like to teach and/or be a nurse educator so I need to attain higher level degree(s) in order to be able to do so.

    2. I need at least a Bachelor's degree in case I choose to pursue a career outside of nursing. I'm having major back problems due to my medical history and back injuries both on and off the job. Many of the jobs I see outside of nursing, such as medical sales or pharmaceutical sales, require at least a Bachelor's degree in something. This is my back-up plan in case nursing education doesn't pan out.

    I don't think everybody needs to obtain their BSN. My nurse mentor has worked as a nurse for 31 years - literally as long as I have been alive - and going back to school at her age when she's going to retire in 5-10 years AND is maxed out on salary is kinda pointless.
  2. by   OldDude
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    There is no nursing shortage, Predicted or otherwise!
    Well there IS a nursing shortage! But that burden is carried by and experienced only by those nurses busting their chops on floors where the hospital won't hire and retain adequate staff. There are plenty of competent nurses available for hire; especially now that so many states participate in the license compact.
  3. by   CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    I got my BSN 5 years ago from Clarion University its a Pennsylvania State School. My employer paid $5K annually towards the tuition and I picked up some OT to foot the rest of the bill. I graduated 12 years ago from Community College. This is not ancient information and the pathway is still in use. As far as economics in my backyard. Those are the only ones I'm responsible for, can control and therefore care about. If a nurse goes to a private school and racks up a crushing debt load to get a BSN and then can't get a job in her chosen market perhaps she should have paid a little more attention to backyard economics. Then perhaps she wouldn't be unemployed with thousands of dollars in student loans she has no idea how to pay.
    What you're saying makes no sense. If a nurse is unemployed or underemployed (ex. b/c of precarious employment conditions) and cities/states are swelling to the brim with qualified candidates competing for a consistently small pool of contract/per diem jobs, how is that any nurses' direct design? So, we're asking for it? What you're saying is equivalent to people who victim blame/shame sexual assault victims for wearing "too short a skirt". but i digress... I have nurse friends who have relocated only to experience the same negative paradigm shifts in other cities/states/provinces.

    I'm not saying you're responsible for others' backyards, however I am holding you accountable for pontificating to the state of things as a generalization based on your own exclusive experience when it isn't so in most places. Just an FYI. In Canada, we don't have private intuitions that offer Nursing education. Here, Universities and Colleges are public institutions, and although they receive funding from the government they are still allowed to set their own price tag on educational fees. We have no choice. If I had an option as sweet as yours, I would've taken a less expensive route, and many others would have, too.

    For the record, I have my RN-BScN, my RPN-Diploma and 2 other degrees as well. I also have a cushy nursing job, but I will still advocate for others because what is happening is a not right and is a detriment to this profession. I will never be complacent or complicit.
    Last edit by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN on Jan 10
  4. by   Katillac
    Thank you traumaRUs for your time putting together this post. And with all due respect for Audrey Wirth, MSN, RN-BC, CVRN-BC adjunct clinical instructor at Aurora University's School of Nursing and Allied Health's credentials, I'm disappointed she didn't challenge the premises that the costs of education and lack of BSN prepared nurses are somehow critical pieces in the predicted shortage of nurses at the bedside. There isn't, and I doubt there ever will be, a shortage of nurses per se; there is a shortage of positions and conditions attractive enough to get and retain nurses at the bedside. Though I can understand that someone employed by a business that in essence sells degrees would see value in more people buying the product, the answer doesn't lie in graduating more nurses when half of qualified nurses aren't employed at their first job after a year and another third leave the profession entirely in the next five years.

    CaffeinePOQ4hPRN and others have said most of what I would say about the systemic problems in organizations where nurses are employed far better than I could. But I take particular issue with the trope - by no means originated by Ms. Wirth - about nursing as a calling. Perhaps I am overly sensitive to the phrase having worked in an organization whose leadership in their own words sought nurses for whom the work was a calling because in management's minds those called nurses would be less concerned about salary, working conditions, and expectations. My experience is that nurses who see their work as a calling often have issues with setting appropriate personal and professional boundaries. Come to think of it, is there any male dominated profession - other than the clergy - that would seek to place that requirement on its ranks?

    And seriously, the idea that any health care organization would show by its compensation structure and working conditions that nurses in management are far more valued than nurses at the bedside who are actually providing the service for which the business is paid AND THEN wonder why said nurses are leaving the bedside. . . well, they need to go back to business school.
    Last edit by Katillac on Jan 10 : Reason: Hit submit too soon.
  5. by   Jedrnurse
    What does EBP say is the best anti-emetic for the inevitable nausea that comes when one reads about "the nursing shortage"?
  6. by   CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    Quote from Jedrnurse
    What does EBP say is the best anti-emetic for the inevitable nausea that comes when one reads about "the nursing shortage"?
    A plane ticket to Turks and Caicos? A winning lottery ticket, and permanent fast-track to retirement?
    Last edit by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN on Jan 10
  7. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I'm not from Canada. I've never sexually assaulted anybody nor in anyway do I condone or excuse it in any form. However, if a person invests many thousands of dollars and years of time studying to gain a position in a profession and does not look at the economic return on that investment given their particular situation (more backyard economics) shame on them.
  8. by   Katillac

    Quote from CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    I'm extremely passionate about having shelter and sustenance, so I'm not about to martyr myself anymore to participate in job market peek-a-boo with the Emperor's New Clothes.

    (rolling on floor laughing kicking my feet scaring the cat)
  9. by   OrganizedChaos
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I started as an LPN because hubby was active duty and we moved every 2 years. However, I quickly realized that I was very limited in my scope of practice and job opportunities were quite limited also. So, back to school. As an ADN grad (I graduated in 1994), an RN was an RN. However, nowadays with the continued push by hospitals for Magnet status and the emphasis on having a BSN as entry level, it is becoming harder for ADN RNs to advance past the bedside. Nursing is a second career for me - I graduated when I was in my early 30's and thought I would be a bedside nurse forever - absolutely loved it. However, I found (as you too might find) that as I got older, it was a lot harder. So again, back to school for more options.
    I have no desire to get anything above an ADN. I see all the stress & bs being a manager brings. That's a HARD pass! So what will getting my BSN get me? Debt. That's about it. There is no requirement at my hospital for RNs to have their BSN so I have no reason to get it.
  10. by   CeciBean
    I agree pretty much with everything that has been posted. I'm retired now, but the "nursing shortage" was predicted many years ago when I was in school.
    So was the BSN-only. And my thoughts about that, after 30 years in the field, 28 active, are this...I trained an awful lot of brand new BSNs, and they mostly came out with heads stuffed full of book learning and not one clue about how to take care of a patient. Oh, I'm sure they could write a beautiful care plan, much better than mine from my ADN school days (I remember mine, they were full of red ink when I got them back!), but when it came to putting that into practice, most of them hadn't the first idea where to start. The exceptions were those who had worked as CNAs, and those were darn few. They had watched and listened, and they knew nursing from the ground up. Now when young people ask me about nursing, I tell them to try CNA work first, or maybe even EMT if they're really gung ho, and they if they still like it, go on and get their ADN and *then* work while they get a BSN, maybe even online. A BSN is a nice thing to have for advancement, but not necessarily a good thing to have for a starter. You don't learn how to take care of patients in a BSN program. You learn how to take care of theory. The last place I worked had a good partnership with the state university in town so that your work counted as clinicals. They also reimbursed you if you got a B or better in your courses from anywhere.

    As far as a shortage, maybe if our workplaces treated us better, there wouldn't be one. I saw so much when I was a traveler that really made me sick and disgusted with the whole business. I could write a book about it, and maybe I will someday What I will say is that the best place I worked had a CNO who had literally risen through the ranks....started out as an RT, went to nursing school and worked the floors, eventually got the advanced degree and went into management and rose to CNO. The nursing culture was completely different at that hospital, and I believe it was *because* they had a CNP who knew what it was all about, from the bottom up. Would that it were like that elsewhere.
  11. by   CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    Quote from SpankedInPittsburgh
    I'm not from Canada. I've never sexually assaulted anybody nor in anyway do I condone or excuse it in any form. However, if a person invests many thousands of dollars and years of time studying to gain a position in a profession and does not look at the economic return on that investment given their particular situation (more backyard economics) shame on them.
    The problem you're overlooking or refusing to acknowledge is that economic and employment trends change quickly, often while students are in school or (for some) promptly after graduation. We're still weathering the effects of the Great Recession. Holding nurses accountable for the penny pinching actions (which have had disastrous ramifications for health care and other industries) of bean counters is not logical, rational. As tax paying citizens, we're entitled to expect something in return from our government, and employment should not be a fleeting concession. It's sad to see such a huge population of educated professionals not able to enjoy the same economic/employment opportunities as their parents, grand parents... how can you blame people for having the rug pull out from under them? A growing population of the "working poor" didn't chose to be assigned to lifelong social and economic inequality. Where is your compassion, empathy? You're a nurse? Your sentiments infer that nurses should be held accountable for the negative effects of wayward government decision-making. Amazing

    People certainly should be responsible and research their chosen professions prior to making the investment and sacrifice. Nonetheless, we're talking about people who have acquired education in sensible fields with applicable trade skills (nursing, engineering, etc). Nothing against the liberal arts but, for previous generations, it used to be rational thinking and a rational expectation that a nursing major would fare better in the job market than say someone with a BFA in dance, painting, sculpture, etc. Nowadays, I've seen people from varied educational backgrounds working in clerical/customer service positions to make ends meet.

    "My metaphor is an escalator going down faster than young people can run up, no matter what adaptations they make," said Paul Kershaw, a University of British Columbia professor and generational equity expert who founded the group Generation Squeeze. "They go to school longer, they work longer hours, they delay starting families. But those adaptations aren't enough to sprint up faster than the escalator is going down."

    Companies exploit this generation or workers, and pushing nurses toward potential poverty. Unlike previous generations, people entering or surviving the current job market since the recession "ended" are diving without a parachute, and burdened by the bad decisions that have created the rise of the so-called "gig" economy.
    Last edit by CaffeinePOQ4HPRN on Jan 10 : Reason: typos
  12. by   she244
    Thanks for all the comments on here about getting a BSN degree. I am 61 years old looking to retire next year. I have a ADN degree and have been looking at getting my BSN just so I will be able to work part time to keep my license. I have spoken with my DON about should I get the BSN would it increase my pay and she said No. I do encourage young people to get their BSN just so they will have more options. One thing I have noticed at the place I am employed is the new BSN nurses that have been hired and trained by the older nurses are doing classes on line, letting the company pay for them so they can leave for a better position elsewhere. I kind of find it ironic. Since there is no way to move up or obtain another position than what they are hired for. I may have to work in long term care or work for an insurance company and that's okay. I have a lot of experience to offer so hopefully someone will need us older ADN nurses at least part time.
  13. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    Yep. That's a shame if macro-economics go south then there is not much an individual can do except go for the ride. However, once again I'm not from Canada and can't really address that. I can only comment on what I've seen and experienced in my job market. Here you shouldn't break the bank to be a nurse. If you do you've made a poor economic decision unless you have lots of time to recoup your investment & even then it's not necessary. I'm far from the only nurse to have climbed an educational ladder using an employer's financing and not jumping into a deep financial hole to get a job that graduates from a Community College can qualify for in about a year for less than the cost of a descent used car.