Input re: article about nursing shortage

  1. Hi, I recently sent a letter to the editor of our newspaper responding to their recent articel about the nursing shortage. He replied to me that he would like me to expand my letter so that it could be used in the Sunday Opinion section.

    I stated to him that even though the nursing population is frequently referred to as "aging" many hospitals require us to work 12 hour shifts. Due to hospital cuts we are assigned more patiens and, due to insurance requirements, the patient are much sicker. I stated that in some areas, the person who checks you out at the grocery store has better benefits and gets paid more than nurses. I wrote more but ended my letter by saying that hospitals are losing a wealth of knowledge and experience when they lose their "aging nursing population."

    PLEASE HELP. This is our chance to let the public hear our concerns!!!!

    If you work in a hospital, how many patients are you assigned on a typical day? What is the care level of those patients? How are you treated by the doctors you work with? What duties do you have to do that you don't consider "nursing"? Approx. what is your pay.

    If you can think of anything else you would like put in this article, please let me know. No names will be used in my "expanded letter" so please, be honest.

    I have to have this letter sent to him by Monday, Dec 23, so PLEASES RESPOND!!!

    Thank you...maybe we can make a difference.
  2. Visit ARBY profile page

    About ARBY

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 85; Likes: 29
    RN, part-time


  3. by   2banurse
    Arby, I think that another important thing to mention is that there are many young people that would like to go into nursing but can't get into programs (I believe that Washington State is a good example) because there is a shortage of instructors. What is going to happen is that many of these young wannabees will look into other areas instead of waiting two or three years to get into a nursing program. If the hospitals are dealing with major shortages, they need to take a proactive role and provide some funding for the colleges to hire instructors at a more reasonable salary (I believe I saw a post where an instructor will make 24,000 less than what they can earn elsewhere). It will only be in the hospitals' benefit if there are more nurses so they will get back their investment. JMHO!

  4. by   oramar
    I am a nurse that is hanging back from reentry into the field. The only thing that keeps me from coming back in is work load. I worked(to my shame) with bad pay, poor benefits and difficult doctors for many years with out leaving. Those things contributed to my flight but it was work load that finished the job. Eight to twelve patients on med/surg, six to eight patients on telemetry is just toooo much for anybody especially a person over 50 who has some medical problems. I was a rare bird, a person who actually liked med/surg and telemetry. It sounds to me if the younger crowd coming in is not taking to the hullabaloo of those types of floors very well. I mentioned somewhere else that I tried to go back a year ago but I couldn't keep up and they let me go. I missed somedays during orientation due to chronic health problems and they told me it was no use going on because I was obviously not well enough. I suspect it was also because I made my opinions about patient work load known. They told me it was five but I was not there very long when it turned out to be eight. That was not a suprise, was not like I had never seen that happen before. They had told me five was their IDEAL work load. I knew what that meant, you can't claim you were fooled when you have been in the business as long as I.
    Last edit by oramar on Dec 19, '02
  5. by   2banurse
    Originally posted by oramar
    It sounds to me if the younger crowd coming in is not taking to the hullabaloo of those types of floors very well.
    I believe that a big reason for the younger crowd avoiding med/surg and telemetry is precisely related to what we are hearing, whether on these BB or just in nursing in general. So unless we need to do a med/surg or telemetry rotation prior to getting into a critical care unit, you'll see more people specializing by going into OB, OR, ER, etc. Because of the shortage, many of these special units don't require a med/surg rotation and will accept GN. I personally have a great deal of respect for nurses working on these floors because they seem to have the highest census.

  6. by   fergus51
    I would also mention the difficulty in changing areas of nursing and the increasingly specialized nature of nursing. A nurse is not a nurse anymore.
  7. by   donmurray
    Ditto to fergus. I often bemoan the multiplying paperwork in the UK, but the geriatric thread stuns me with the recurrent themes on MDS and various other acronyms for forms which require filling. Statistician may be another title.
  8. by   Gardengal
    I would add quotes from the ANA and other nursing organization web sites discussing the shortage and impact on care. With credentialed resources you will lend more credence to your article, making the opinions and personal observations more valuable.
  9. by   ARBY
    I just wanted to thank all of you for your great responses. My letter was e-mailed to the editor this morning and I will let you know if, indeed, they actually do use it as they said they would.

    Thank you again for your help:kiss