Another thread based on a conversation with a young person

  1. I have a second cousin who was starting her second year of nursing school in 1995. She changed her major on the advise of her college advisor. She was told that there would be a glut of nurses for many years to come and she was lucky she still had time to do something else. As you all know, this was totally incorrect info and by the time she would have gotten out of school the job market had opened up. This story brought to mind how I was told all through the '70s that I better get my RN because LPNs would soon be obsolete. Once I got my RN I immediately started to hear that I had to have my BSN by 1985 or I would be out on the street. I heard many, many years ago that Diploma programs were dinosaurs and would soon be gone. Yet I continue to meet people who are graduating from diploma right now and doing great. Is there any other field where there is so much bad info along the lines of career advice given out? There are people who have not taken so much as one nursing class asking if they should or should not go into nursing based on what conditions are right this moment. The only thing I can really say for sure is that I have seen many changes and expect to see more. What those changes will mean four or five years from now I have not a clue. Beware of anyone who tells you they know for sure based on demographics or anything else. Yes demographics perdict a continuing shortage. However, healthcare has been and continues to phase out RNs and replace them with non professional staff. This in spite of evidence that this is a bad idea. How this will all end I do not know.
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    About oramar

    Joined: Nov '98; Posts: 7,097; Likes: 5,234
    returned nurse


  3. by   colleen10
    Hi Oramar,

    I always pay close attention to your posts because we are both from the 'burgh.

    I just wanted to let you know that as a young person (27 years old) that when I met with my Nursing School advisor last January 2002 she told me that I should not even consider getting an LPN because they are being "phased out". I have heard this from a number of other people too. I decided that I would go straight for my RN because of this. I had originally considered working as an LPN while going to school to become an RN but because of all the "bad press" decided against it.

    Also, another Nursing student in my Micro class this semester was told by a Nursing Advisor at a rather expensive University program that she should hurry up and get her BSN right away because 1) she will have better offers and more choices with her BSN and 2) In the next 2-3 years after she completes the BSN program there will not be enough nursing jobs and if she has a BSN she'll have a better chance of getting hired compared to a person with an Associates Degree.

    Now I know in Pittsburgh that we have a large number of Nursing Programs and so I suppose when you look at it that way the competition for jobs may be rougher than other areas with less programs. But, I find it hard to believe that Pittsburgh will not have a need for New Nurses when you consider that we have the second largest elderly population in the US, only behind Dade County Florida and in general, the bulk of the population (Boomers) are getting older.

    At first I got really worried when this other student told me what the advisor at the other school had said, but I have since learned to take it all with a grain of salt, and it appears she did also. She has decided to go through a local hospital's 2 year Degree Program.

  4. by   sjoe
    oramar--yes, this same hit-and-miss information is rampant in other industries, particularly the computer/high tech industry. It is mostly guesswork to begin with, in addition to the fact that the individual giving advice is usually just trying to support his/her own past choices, theories, and/or business. Nuts, I know.

    I am, however, glad to hear that diploma programs are still operating. I thought they had all closed down many years ago.
  5. by   ceecel.dee
    Now this is depressing.
  6. by   BadBird
    I too work in Pittsburgh, I went full time Agency 2 years ago and I can tell you that all hospitals are in need of nurses, I do not see any end to the shortage. After a few years of working under your belt I don't see a difference in Diploma, ADN or BSN nurses, we all do the same things, most hosp. do not pay more for BSN. The VA does and I think some UPMC hosp. pay $0.50/hr more. thats it. Many that chose the BSN route prefer management and go on for MSN, that is my observation anyway.

    I think that as long as there are different programs there will be many who will steer you toward their preference, I don't see LPN or Diploma nurses going away. There is a great need for all. I think with the shortage we will see a increase in LPN's but again that is just my 2 cents.
  7. by   oramar
    There are some real interesting responses to this post. Thank you everyone. It is also amazing to hear that people are still being told that LPNs are being phased out. I worked for short time last year at small hospital and it just so happened the nurse manager hired five right out of school. The most important part of what I said is, "I have seen many changes and expect to see more". Just remember that academians and advisors have very poor track records when it comes to perdicting future. The longer the time frame the more inaccurate their predictions seem to be. Even demographics can't be trusted because their are other factors like cost cutting that have been more important in the past. The young person who caused this thread to be written was somewhat bitter against the advisor who gave her what turned out to be the worst bit of advice she ever got in her life. I told her to stop looking back and start doing something about her dreams if that is what she really wants.
  8. by   Vsummer1
    A CNA asked me whether or not going to LVN school would be a "waste". I told her I felt that education was NEVER a waste!

    However, since her goal was an RN, she should consider just going for her RN. To do it step by step (CNA, LVN, RN, BSN) was just adding extra years to her final goal. I also told her that it was great she already had a CNA because I did not and wished I had before I started!

    I hope I gave good information...

    But to try to predict whether or not LVN school would be a "waste" as far as jobs go, I dont' know. I only knew that to do it the way she was suggesting would add an extra year to her school time.
  9. by   MK2002
    I watched the last major shortage and the response to it about a dozen years ago. The same thing is happening all over again. Nursing schools are being flooded with applicants. Once again the schools have had to increase their entrance waiting times to one year or more. Some schools already have a required waiting period of a few years--just as happened in the last shortage! A few years later the next phase in the shortage arrives with more applicants than positions. When that occurs you can expect no significant salary increases for years to come because management knows the supply of new graduates is never ending.

    Unfortunately, few people look at the situation from a larger prospective. They only look at the shortage and predictions, having no idea of what makes a labor market. As for demographics, I agree completely that one should definitely not base their occupational strategy on this factor. Just think of the many working nurses who left their career. They too knew that there would be an increased demand for healthcare in the years ahead.