Is there REALLY a nursing shortage? - page 9

This is an interesting article guys/gals... Here's the letter I wrote to the President, Vice-President, U.S. Congress Rep. and Senator: "I'm an R.N. and I recently started working as an agency... Read More

  1. by   gonzo1
    In triage the other morning I took an axillary temp on a 3.5 y/o who was happily running around laughing, playing games but everytime I tried to touch him he would start yelling and screaming up a storm. Mom says he always get ax temps. He did not feel warm to me at all. Ax temp was 98.2. An hour and a half later the ER director came in to help out 0630 and yelled and screamed at me and the charge because I had done an axillary temp. He made the charge do a rectal and she got 98.8. Found her downstairs in the lounge crying at 0715. And they wonder why there is a nursing shortage.
    I said they hired me to use my nursing judgement in triage and I stand by my action.
  2. by   jjjoy
    Quote from mariedoreen
    It wasn't about the money for me. It was about too many patients and not enough support for a new grad. I would have happily taken less money per hour (blasphemy around here I know) for saner working conditions. I'll keep looking for a position in nursing that doesn't push me to the depths of depression, but if I don't find it so be it. I will not sacrifice my mental and physical health for the working conditions that so many nurses are subjected to. Life is way too short and there is no amount of money they could pay me that would make me want to do that.
  3. by   all4schwa
    Quote from ingelein
    Have you considered that the hospitals/nursing homes want foreign nurses because they will work cheap and wont make waves?
    Quote from Freedom42
    As long as the health-care industry is allowed to rely on foreign countries to supply nurses in large numbers, nurses' wages will remain suppressed and working conditions will not improve. Hospitals don't have to make changes when there's someone else willing to do your job for less.

    You're probably too young to remember the teacher shortage of the seventies and eighties. When that happened, schools didn't turn to foreign countries to supply teachers. They increased wages dramatically. End of teacher shortage.

    Government figures show that we've got 400,000 licensed nurses in this country who've left the profession. Why don't hospitals try to lure them back before turning to the Philippines?
    actually, i had no idea what was going on. this makes a lot of sense, they foreign nurses don't make waves...and i have no idea how much they make, i assumed we all made the same amount.
  4. by   Antikigirl
    Personally I think it involves horrible work policies, patients/families and wages!

    AND the "customer is always right" mentality that hospitals try to pull or patients themselves shoving that in our faces time and time again!

    If more patients and families were respectful and decent acting towards nurses, accepting them as professionals and extremely helpful under some of the worse situations...I would be much happier, and most of nurses feel that way too!

    I mean, you have to deal with management stuff...but to have it come at you from patients and patient families too when you are only doing your best for them, and struggling to make work tolerable as is...well...any sane person would say "why am I doing this???".

    I don't believe in the shortage at all...I do believe in work places and patients that drive nurses out of their minds, and some have to leave to save their sanity and health!

    As I always said..."if the customer is always right...why are they here then asking for our help?".
  5. by   jrussole
    I believe you are all right here. There is no nursing shortage. There are plenty of nurses. There aren't plenty of nurses willing to work on a short staffed unit. I agree with mandated staffing terms placed upon all hospitals. Nursing services should be billed independently. We are a profession not an item like soap and IV supplies. Then and only then will our services be recognized and valued within a hospital setting. And not short changed as far as staffing concerns because unit managers want to meet their quota.
  6. by   chica2
    The literature I have read indicates that the number of nurses either retiring or leaving the profession out number those who are graduating from nursing school. I graduated in 1990. I remember one of my instructors telling us how critical the shortage was at that time. She also stated that it was not going to get any better in the foreseeable future. I have been in the O.R. since graduation. I've worked different areas of the U.S. and it seems, where ever I am, we are always short.
  7. by   terryshots1
    This is my first time posting on this forum, but I was wondering how everyone else felt about this issue? Nursing Shortage vs. Nursing Positions?
    I am a LPN. I graduated in 1981. Have worked in multiple areas of nursing. My observation is that administrators and the "board" forgot that there are two levels of nurses (RN and LPN) Each level has it's own level of educational experience, but we are different. I think that people have forgotten the LPN and what we can do and were taught to do. Each year I read that now we cannot "assess" the patient. How can any nurse do any nursing procedure without a simple assessment? We cannot do this and we cannot do that. Back in the day when I went to school, I went to LPN school to be the "bedside nurse" The RN was the administrative nurse. Why has all that changed and now all that is left is the RNs (THE NURSE) and the staff at a hospital of MA, CNAs and LPNs. We are not classified or allowed to act as a nurse anymore. I think if they let the LPN do what we were trained to do and work beside an administrative RN, rather than beside the med tech, we would find more patient care being given and less shortages on the floors. I think we have to change the way the state "boards" approach this issue. I also think that if there is really a shortage and LPNs are no longer considered nurses that the states develop a grand-fathering clause to let us gain nursing status again.
  8. by   chrisf92262
    This is a great thread....I think hospitals brought the problem on themselves by the way they treat their people. Who wants to work in a place where the manager is ready to pounce on you at any little mistake you make?? Or has rundown rooms and broken beds and equipment?? And dont even get me started about ratios!!!

    Hospitals need to wake up and realize that any other business run as they are would be out of business!! If people had an option, they would go elsewhere! And I have been in hospitals that have no problem with funding...they still treated nurses like a commodity..if someone got tired of being mistreated and quite, they would be replaced with a traveler.....I was that traveler!! And if they asked me to extend and i said no do you think they cared?? NOPE! They just ordered another traveler to replace me...and they were not even interested in why I wasn't extending..

    I hate to think thats the attitude prevelant in nursing but I think it is.

    I have to say, I worked in places with great ratios, reasonable rules about on-call, call back and overtime. As well as places that remodel and fix the beds. Old beds are ok if they WORK!! well managed hospitals are a joy to work in.

    Hmm i wanted to keep this short, but i just cant..its such a HUGE multilayered issue.
  9. by   nguyen408
    I am a current nursing student going to school in Nevada. After being a clinical setting here in Nevada I have definately observed a nursing shortage. My have been to two clinical settings, a geriatric home and a rehabilitation hospital. In the geriatric home I seldom saw nurses on the floor or in the nurses station. If there were a nurse, it would be an LPN who was busy for the most part. In the rehabilitation hospital each floor consisted of probably two RN's and the other nurses would be LPN's. LPN's have a more limited scope of practice so the RN's were responsible for not only their patients but also the LPN's patients that required assistance a scope of practice from an RN. Nurses on the floor had approximately 8 to 9 patients which is more than the nurse can safely handle. There is a definately a nursing shortage here in Nevada.
  10. by   nizhoni
    The last hospital nursing job I held was in 1988. When I was hired I was 5 mos. pregnant and was promised that I would not become the answer to their 11 pm to 7am shortage, but within a month that's where I was assigned . . . nicely over a barrel because I had to have the job as the family's sole wage earner.

    This for-profit hospital (aren't they all?) employed NO unit secretary and NO housekeeping staff on L&D and Postpartum after 3 p.m. They only staffed for one RN in each of those units, no LPNs, no CNAs. So when a new patient came in, the RN would assemble the chart. When a lady delivered, after the RN transferred her to postpartum it was the RNs responsibility to mop, break down the bed, wipe it down and disinfect it. The RN on those two shifts was expected to care for 3 patients in labor; if a 4th came in, the on-call could be summoned but she could be up to 30 minutes out. I just kept waiting for an abruption to come in with 3 ladies in active labor, or the emergency C with FHTs in the 40s to walk in with a full house, but it never happened, thankfully.

    When laboring women asked me if I would be having my baby there, I must admit I did derive a certain satisfaction from saying, "No, I'm having my baby at home." The supervisor insisted I had to tell patients I was having my baby there but I refused to do so.

    I'm sure more than a few people at the hospital were relieved when I left for maternity leave and didn't return. At that point I did write corporate headquarters a letter expressing my strong opinion that they were a lawsuit waiting to happen. And six months later they magically allotted two RNs per shift, round the clock.

    I have never returned to hospital nursing. NO thank you.
  11. by   flyingsolo
    [size="4"[/size][/color hospitals hire nurses from other countries to come here for the same reason they hire people from other countries to pick the fruit--they expect a lot less and they consider coming to this country as dying and going to heaven. why do beautiful young women from other countries marry fat, bald old guys from the us? so they can come to america. same as nurses and fruit pickers--getting nurses from overseas is no indicator of a shortage. it is showing us american nurses that if we don't take the jobs, someone else will. i was in the med surg unit here last night and there were about two thirds empty rooms--as it gets near the holidays, the large number of medicaid and medicare patients who get the bills paid by the american taxpayers tend to stay home more, and we have fewer "crowding" problems. there is not a nursing shortage, in my opinion, just a lot of bad jobs that no one wants. i just noticed (i tend to miss the obvious a lot) that all of our or scrub nurses are now techs: we are watching our jobs turn into tech jobs, and if we don't do something (what, i haven't figured out yet) there will be one big nurse on every floor and a hundred tekkies doing everything while she manages. as we allow all of nursing functions to be "delegated" we are delegating ourselves out of a job. no one seems to take care of patients anymore--we just give out meds and give assessments into a tape recorder. what is going on here?
  12. by   sayitgirl
    Why not just go back to school and get your RN? LPNs are by law ancillary staff. That is just the way it is. No pun intended, it is the law.
  13. by   tammiefinley
    I think that it is not a nursing shortage but facilities in small towns in a depressed area of the state that does not pay enough to keep nurse's interested in working in the health care field. I know a facility that hire's license practial nurse at 8 dollars an hour. When a facility is not willing or can't pay more than a dollar more than min. wage this makes the nurse wonder why they went to school in the first place and if the facility is paying most of it's older nurse's 11.50 . They to will be looking for other ways to make a living. After all why should they go to school to get the license if they are only going to make 1-4 dollars more on the hour than a person who is mopping the floor.