Addressing the Predicted Nursing Shortage - page 7 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   Oldmahubbard
    It's been 20 years, but what I recall from my BSN program is a couple of good, nursing-related classes, and a bunch of ridiculous filler. Fortunately, it was not that expensive, partly because I already had a bunch of credits from a previous Bachelor's degree.

    I have a couple of rotten supervisors and co-workers from my early nursing jobs to thank for my NP career. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If bedside nursing had been tolerable, I would still be doing it.

    To paraphrase a previous poster, there is no real nursing shortage, but there will always be a shortage of people who enjoy being treated like crap.
  2. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I loved my job as an ER nurse & would have been happy to retire as such. I got that job with an associates degree. So what drove me to continue my studies to BSN then DNP? Economics. I'm old and have to think of my pension which is based on our base salary. Our NPs make about 1/3rd - 1/2 more than our nurses. Now I could quickly close that gap through shift differentials and strategic OT. However, that gap would not be closed in retirement which I hope to draw for many years. My employer also footed most of the bill for my educational efforts. Does this sound like a cold and calculated business decision and not a response to a "calling" or trying to better my profession as a whole? You betcha it was. I think if more nurses only did what made sense for them the profession would actually be better across the spectrum. If a job presents unacceptable working conditions quit or unionize (another discussion entirely). If something doesn't seem to make sense it probably really doesn't & more BS needs to be called. If there is any shortage for anything markets respond. Our market is slow to respond because nurses get treated like crap and put up with it and do things for reasons that have no tangible benefit for them
  3. by   sallyrnrrt
    My humble diploma program,, afforded me the exact same day of graduation, as charge nurse in CCU, of same diploma hospital program,
    My humble diploma preparation afforded me assistant unit director, in several major teaching hospitals,
    Cvicu, CCU, and ER
    ER supervisor in Wash. DC

    Worked as "nurse clinician, doing all H&Pat a VA hospital, long before concept APN......

    Then several stents at various DON

    What I graduated with was experience and theory.....

    In 45.5 years my diploma program, has never held me back.....
    Last edit by sallyrnrrt on Jan 13 : Reason: Text
  4. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
  5. by   ThePrincessBride
    Quote from Tacomaboy3
    I don't quite understand the dissident when it comes to pursuing a BSN, or at least increasing the proportion of BSN-prepared RNs. Does it make you a better and more skillful registered nurse? That's debatable, but the commenters on the post seem to think not.

    I think pursuing higher levels of academic education is a great thing, and it's really only those who do who really impact the profession in nursing research and policy.

    Mad about wasting your time on unnecessary classes? Big whoop. You think lawyers and physicians are better in their fields because they took an Underwater Basketweaving class in undergrad? No. But those are the academic hoops you gotta jump through. EVERY SINGLE person who's earned a bachelor's degree has likely taken a course unrelated to their major or profession of choice. Pull up those big girl panties. Nursing school isn't trade - it's a profession.
    I am going to disagree. Nursing is indeed a trade and this anti-education sentiment that permeates much of the "profession" is proof. Most nurses are chronic hourly workers. We punch in a clock, have strict dress codes and lower educational requirements. We have far more responsibility than PT/OT/Speech Therapy, but those professions require a MS and have more stringent standards. Very few diploma mills to be found in those professions, unlike nursing.
  6. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    As much as I'd like to I can't fully disagree. Lets face it "professionals" aren't made in 13 months at community college like me. We can't have our cake and eat it too. If we are going to be seen and treated as professionals we need standards that will allow us to be seen in that light. I think nurses can be developed into professionals and be damn good at what they do regardless of education level. To do this we need stringent educational and qualification standards that in no way what is going on in BSN land. Nurses mock getting their BSN because many of the programs are mock-worthy and teach them no tangible information. Further, many don't translate into higher earnings at the immediate level or ever for that matter should a nurse decide to stay bedside so when they say its not worth their effort and money they are right
  7. by   lindahartford
    Quote from LibraSunCNM
    Research, communication and leadership are USELESS for the bedside? Do you really believe that?
    This is extreme but it does make a point that the BSN is not sufficient to develop well-rounded nursing practice.

    Communication, however, may be the most important part of nursing. Not just between the administration and other staff but even more between nurses, each other, and their patients.

    Older nurses have a great deal of experience that could be shared with new nurses but that is not a policy that hospital administrations care anything about. Their focus now is just the bottom line. Money. Period
  8. by   SpankedInPittsburgh
    I don't think it extreme at all. I'm not sure most BSN studies lend much to nursing the way they stand. I believe it an attempt to give us more credibility as a profession bit the actual educational experience really has little meaning. I don't think many are fooled
  9. by   SobreRN
    Well said and too true. In California new grads are not getting jobs, we may have tons of FTE positions but they are filled with contract/temp/PD (which I did for a number of years as that was job I could get.)
    There is one huge HMO having hospitals which dot the landscape from Riverside to San Francisco which uses contract for half the staff and always will; they may have taken over every other workplace as cheap insurance but they sure avoid providing their staff with anything.
  10. by   CaffeinePOQ4HPRN
    Quote from Oldmahubbard
    If bedside nursing had been tolerable, I would still be doing it.
    To paraphrase a previous poster, there is no real nursing shortage, but there will always be a shortage of people who enjoy being treated like crap.
  11. by   kbrn2002
    Any nursing shortage, real or imagined, now or in some projected future seems to be very regional. I read tons of posts here and on other nursing related websites from nurses both new and experienced that are having difficulty finding a job at all in an over saturated market regardless of the degree they hold and I also read posts from nurses in underserved areas that work for facilities that are trying some quite creative incentives to hire nurses that they can't seem to find. I have to admit though that there are far more posts from frustrated nurses looking for work than there are from nurses that are trying to convince other nurses to come and work where they live because of a nursing shortage.

    Wages and benefits, or lack thereof seems to be a primary factor in the so called nursing shortage. Wage compression is a very real thing, many experienced nurses and some not so experienced nurses are in a position of needing to "job hop" to gain a higher wage. Hourly wages are starting out higher to get nurses in the door while those that have been employed for years are seeing insignificant raises or no raises at all. I know I don't make very much more than a new hire and am unlikely to see more money from my current employer as my years of service find me maxed out on the wage scale and sadly the top end of that wage scale doesn't compensate the experienced nurse nearly enough in comparison with the new hire. If I wasn't receiving so much vacation time to offset that wage disparity I'd be looking for a job that pays more for sure.

    Don't even get me started on the crap benefits. Health insurance is becoming a joke with crazy high premiums and crazy high deductibles that a generally healthy person will never meet during the year. I'm paying about $500.00/month for insurance for my husband and myself that I will most likely not see any benefit from unless God forbid something catastrophic happens. Retirement benefits are lousy, many if not most companies offer a 401k plan but many if not most of those employers don't offer any kind of meaningful company match of 401k funds. If you plan to retire someday with a decent income you're pretty much on your own in financing that retirement plan. Remember a few years back when the stock market crashed and so many people lost their retirement accounts? Many, many people with plans to retire had to change those plans and keep working as they could no longer afford to retire. Through no fault of their own the so-called retirement benefits they had became essentially useless.

    I don't think the ADN vs BSN debate that inevitability happens in threads like this makes a bit of difference to most nurses. If you are an employed nurse whatever degree you hold chances are pretty good you'll be able to remain employed. If you are a student or prospective student the BSN route is preferable if it makes financial sense for the student and the regional job market requires it. It's not a cookie cutter one size fits all decision.
  12. by   adnrnstudent
    Quote from traumaRUs
    However, it will make you more employable as more hospitals seek Magnet status. The MSN on the other hand, does add to your solid nursing education. Again it makes you more employable.
    The is no requirement for BSN to obtain magnet status. It is 1 of the biggest lies in nursing next to Joint Commission caring about having a closed bottle at your workstation.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The coming "Shortage" will be exacerbated by several things. Smart, intelligent, forward-thinking millennials who see bedside is a way to burnout and moving on the advanced practice quickly and the mass exodus into retirement, in the next decade or so, of Gen X and Boomer nurses. Also, the ever-increasing sheer numbers of older, fatter, diabetic, multiple organ system failure, multiple-morbidity populations who need lots of care and are "heavy care" to boot. Another problem? Hospitals, in particular, keen to save money---- NOT offering full time, benefitted positions but PRN or Part time with less benefits. Not attractive to the up and coming nurses who, like everyone, have bills to pay and families to feed, clothe and house, and get medical care for.

    The whole notion that nursing is a calling is going the way of the dinosaur. People see its ugly underbelly and all the things happening now----- and are not keen to stay in horrible, high nurse-patient ratio, dead-end work that breaks backs as well as banks.

    I don't see it as much as a problem of not enough people coming into nursing but enough staying for the ever-worsening conditions faced by the average bedside RN. Many are smart and already taking action to avoid that trap.

    It's a perfect storm. And it's looming so close, we can see it. I am worried for all our futures, as nurses and future patients.

    My only defense as a rapidly-aging nurse? Losing weight, eating better and paying much closer attention to my health so I can avoid being one of the masses who are "heavy care" and wind up in LTC where care is abysmal.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jan 16