nursing shortage - page 3

My question is : how severe is the nursing shortage?I know of other universities and collages graduating a good number of nurses and there's still a shortage. Where are the nurses going?What are they... Read More

  1. by   P_RN
    I'd see about a part time job, perhaps there in the hospital or even on weekends in another location.

    A room mate would help.

    You MAY have to extend your two year program into more time, by taking off a semester now and then to earn some money.

    I worked 3 jobs while in school and had 2 kids under 5 at the time. It can be done.
  2. by   live4today
    Originally posted by nurse lady
    I have been accepted into a Diploma Program in Phila., Pa area beginning Aug. 1.
    Grants and loans cover tuition, books & supplies easily but I cannot find any monies for a living stipend!!!!!
    I am 50, this will be my third career, my parents are deceased and I have no spouse or significant other to assist me with my living expenses while in this two year program.
    There seems to be a cap on how much money I can borrow in student loans and that allows only about $10,000 per year for living expenses.
    No one I know can have health and car insurance, rent, utilities, food, etc. on that small amount of money.
    What can I do?
    Any ideas out there?

    Nurse Lady in big trouble!
    Nurse Lady, you didn't mention whether you had any siblings or close friends that you could live with during your time in school? That may be an option for you. You could also offer to do maid service, janitor service in a hospital, be an assisted living aide for the elderly (do their laundry, assist preparing their meals, etc.); you could deliver newspapers morning and night or supervise a newspaper route. You could do ironing in your home for others, if you know how to type you could type term papers for college students for pay. There are so many little things you could do to earn a little here and there. Earn your room and board by being a live-in aide/assistant for a senior citizen. Check your newspaper ad section for these possibilities. Check with the temp agencies for work, too. As for health coverage for yourself during that time, take advantage of the Public Health Department's Healthcare. It is free for your use if you need it, and it will be a temporary thing for you since once you graduate you will be able to have your own healthcare coverage. Don't feel bad about using Public Healthcare assistance since once you graduate and start working, part of your earnings will go for that service anyway (via the taxes you pay). Do whatever you have to do to obtain your nursing license, then you won't have to sweat how to make a living after that. I'm fifty yrs. of age, too, so don't think about the "glass half empty" but instead think about the "glass half full". Lemonade for lemons, not sour taste for lemons. I wish you the best, and I wish I could offer you financial assistance until you graduate but I'm out of work right now myself, but hope to return to nursing within the coming year. I'll keep you in my prayers that something will work out for you. Keep us posted. :kiss
    Last edit by live4today on May 25, '02
  3. by   teamrn
    I don't know HOW to use all the colors of I. rae (tried it once but it didn't work!).We, as nurses are not able to solve the problem by "paying more". We CAN do something to get that respect (be great teachers, work well with and advocate for our patients). However, I don't see how you and I can increase the plight of nurses today by increasing salaries. WITH WHAT MONEY?

    I. Rae, you asked how I would raise my blade, and I realize I forgot to propose a solution in my post. Please forgive. Well, I can't begin to solve the WHOLE problem, but part of it is to increase legislation, and public awareness about a concern that is really becoming a problem.

    Mandatory overtime is only one issue, and in some states it has recently been addressed. How many of you have written letters to legislators who are only to happy to spend $$ to study the mating habits of the spotted owl (or whatever-how about a media campaign re: + aspects of nursing), when those millions/billions could make a HUGE difference in support of our health care system? What happenned to prioritizing?) Many legislators are sponsoring bills to increase funding for nursing education, something that would help in some of the posts I've recently read. However, NURSES NEED RESPECT, not only from patients, but from legislators. There will come a time when someone in their friend/family network NEEDS A NURSE, but guess what? That person will NOT be there' for any of the reasons we've read on the above posts.

    It seems to me that staff nurses can join the national debate over the nursing shortage, contribute their thoughts to it and not be passive recipients of it. We've taken the passive, submissive role for too many years; that sank us in a hole(handmaiden to docs), that we can only partially crawl out of. The public image has been marrred.
  4. by   fedupnurse
    I agree with you about needing to get respect from legislators, etc. but let's face it. We have a nursing shortage because of the phenomenal amount of money spent on healthcare executives salaries (hospital and Insurance Co. execs.) These grossly overpaid people then in turn hire grossly overpaid consultants who usually leave hospitals in worse shape then when they arrived. If the govt. was to provide more healthcare dollars, it wouldn't be spent by these executives where it should be. The is another post about satisfaction surveys and a responder who works in mgmt. responded with the truth-administration doesn't care about the staff or patients.
    We need to take the profits out of healthcare. It doesn't matter whether you work in a for profit or not for profit, the money all gets funneled into the same place: The suits!
    Just my experience over th epast 14 years in this biz!
  5. by   brassdragon
    Going back to the original question "Is there a shortage"? Here in the boston - north of boston area as a new grad I had no problem getting a job, my problem was where to go. When i started looking for a job on the internet there were thousands of jobs (No joke). I ended up in a small community hospital where they bent over backwards to hire me. They gave me everything I asked for.
    Most of the local hospitals are not running at full capacity with floors closed due to lack of nurses. As if there are not enough nurses going out in the field all ready the state community college in the area are losing 7 of their nursing instructors but the state is only allowing 2 new hires to replace them> This means the program is being cut back 1/3 of students plus they lost state funding for the LPN program for next year. I don't know about the rest of the country but here in the Northeast there is a huge shortage.
  6. by   joannep
    JeannieM, I agree with you. I too have a Master's. I have missed out on too many jobs because I was more qualified than my boss.
    Now, I never, never put it down on my CV. I never, never mention it. I actually have a friend who has a phD in nursing, and she has been down the same unemployment path. She also never, never puts anything other than her initial degree.
    I would guess we have been unlucky, but better employed than unemployed.
  7. by   fedupnurse
    How about all of the hospital diploma programs that have been cut out because they don't make money? If we are really goiing to address this shortage and we have people on waiting lists for nursing schools, why on earth are diploma schools closing? They took the instructors from our hospital based program and put most of them in case management or clin spec roles. Open up the schools again. Apparently, at least in my area, there are people interested and can't get in for 2 years. Then they go do something else.
    Just a thought.
  8. by   l.rae
    teamrn, all good suggestions! however, many of us, including you i'm sure, have been advocating and teaching and putting out 1000% for a long time now. for me it's over 2 decades and i don't see a significant difference. warm fuzzies for a job well done is a true reward but it should not be used as the ruler that marks professionalism in nursing. i believe there is not a shortage of nurses, but a shortage of experienced bedside nurses.......because warm fuzzies are like the honeymoon period in a marraige...the romance wears off and reality sets in. as long as professional nurses settle for the "romance" and put up with "reality" we can never speak with one voice and make the necessary changes. fedupnurse is right-on about the money that is filtered to the suits. in my facility, the ceo makes nearly a million[ a year! is anyone out there thinking "enron" right now? i am. the only difference is that the healthcare organizations are within the leagal boundries when they take home their fat paychecks and cut quality of healthcare to the bone and perpetuate dangerous outcomes for the public they serve. however, imo it is morally and ethically the same thing. i say anyone who says, "the thanks i get from my patients and satisfaction from a job well done is enough," needs to volunteer or be a missionary. my husband is an industrial electritian/computer programer. every minute he trouble shoots costs his company hundreds of thousands of dollars...he is very good and gets a lot of compliments. should he get less pay because his job is fulfilling? in reading some of the other threads, i have noticed a trend that those who are satisfied with "fulfillment" are all female..i frankly find this dissapointing and a little embarrasing that we settle for less in a career that makes a life and death difference, changes quality of lives and deaths and demands so much of the giver. if we can't change this fulfillment mentality, i fear nursing may never change.

    ps.. using the lower case brackets[,] type in color=blue. type inside the brackets prior to written text, don't space after the bracket. at the end of text, without a space type /color inside the []. i also use the bold which is a b in a [] i'llshow you an example using upper case.{color=blue}{b}text{/color}{/b}....i get a lot of eye strain on this board... this is easier to read imho...
    Last edit by l.rae on May 26, '02
  9. by   mattsmom81
    Diploma schools closed because of the politicking of the NLN,(the position paper mandating baccalaureate prepared entry level) TPTB and proponents of university based RN's vs hospital based.

    Still the very best training experience for nurses available, IMHO, my old diploma school closed down due to pressure from TPTB...after 105 years of graduating some of the best RN's in northern Minnesota, IMO. They were trying to merge with or become a bachelor's program....and the universities fought them tooth and nail and won. So unfortunate...and similar things have happened to most diploma schools so they've given up.... Now there are waiting lists for nursing schools.... and during a shortage. Pretty screwed up, isn't it?

    I am glad the university in my area is finally relaxing some of the 'hoops' diploma nurses must jump to get the BSN...I had a very nice conversation with the RN to BSN Dean at my local university....who assured me my experience would lead to many science and Math prereqs be waived! This is totally opposite what I've heard the last few times I've investigated this option over the years!!!

    So....this is a good thing! And I may finally get that blasted BSN after all...and be able to get a position away from the bedside.....LOL!!
  10. by   JeannieM
    Hi! Just now got around to following up with this thread. Gypsigirl, I'm from down by San Antonio. I hope you're enjoying your school, and I'm glad you have teachers you can admire and respect. Best of luck.
    Speaking of solutions, the S.A. hospital where I'm CNSing has created its own novel solution to the shortage. My boss (I answer directly to the Administrator, who is also a nurse) has come up with the idea of a Telemetry Internship program for new grads. This would allow a nurturing environment with hand-picked, dedicated mentors(i.e. the mentor has no patients of her own). The mentor would work for six months with teams of 3 interns and have dibs on the patient population to allow her to pick and choose what her interns need. In addition, the interns get paid attendance to telemetry, med-surg, basic and advanced EKG and ACLS courses and also get weekly debriefing and educational sessions directly with me. We hope that these interns will beat the eating-our-young syndrome and come out feeling supported, happy, well-prepared and eager to stay! The BEST part (selfishly) is that I get to teach and work with new nurses again. Sorry about the second "sermon on the mount" but we really are excited about this. Now if we'll just get some candidates.... :grin
  11. by   teamrn
    I don't have the energy right now to debate the existence or not of a nursing shortage. There has been legislation and national debate, and that should be enough. Some areasare not affected as much by recruitment/retention/salary issues, so the 'shortage' is not noticeable; and floors are not closed, etc. But, there definitely is a shortage of nurses who are willing to practice as nurses in hospitals or other traditional settings in many others.

    This 20+ year veteran has seen a lot, and yes, I agree that 'THE SUITS' get much more than they ever merit. But isn't this true with many other big corporations? I'm inclined to think that a bit of public outcry over what they see as their birthright will effect legislators and the CEOS.

    I also have an interesting article from a physicians perspective about the shortage of nurses. I don't know how to link in this message board; but it is from an AMA website. Just try cutting and pasting into your browser:

    Now, I'll try the above directions for inserting a hyperlink into my message!

    It is an article "Hailing one of health care's priceless resources-nurses", and hopefully has not been removed from the site since I found it.
  12. by   fedupnurse
    Congratulations! I would love to have a program like yours in place at my facility. We have begged and pleaded and the massive turnover of staff with less than 5 years in the biz still hasn't turned them around.
    Our orientees are mainly now, GN's, in a busy regional referral center ICU. Medical, Coronary and Surgical pts. They spend ions on day shift even if they will eventually work nights and spend a good portion of that time in a class room setting rather than getting the clinical experience they need. They come off orientation, ready or not, and usually get clobbered with horrific assignments. The more senior staff have even uglier assignments and really can't back up the new people as much as we would like. The unit mgmt. is all but worthless when it comes to supporting the new staff. It is just sad! We are supposed to meet once a week to discuss progress, never happens-even when I keep asking. On nights, I have asked repeatedly for over 5 years for us to please be given some kind of update on the orientee prior to them arriving on nights. This has never happened. Yet we have a nursing administration that thinks they are doing a bang up job! I don't know how you got thru to your administrators but you have my utmost respect for having an orientation program like this in place!
    Our hospital dropped its very successful Diploma school because "it wasn't making money". They had the staff to teach the students and a waiting list. Welcome to my world!! Sad thing is most other hospitals in my area have the same mentality!
  13. by   JeannieM
    Fedupnurse, I am just lucky to work for the most progressively-thinking administrator I've ever met. And you're right about the day-shift thing; one aspect of our program is that we have both day and night mentors, and the students will have the opportunity to work significantly on both shifts. One thing I hope will come of this is elimination of the "we-work-harder" syndrome, at least where these interns are concerned. When they see how both shifts work really hard, just differently, they should learn to value and support their peers on both shifts (hey, am I idealistic or nuts!). Allnurse peers, please cross your fingers for us. We're trying this on one pilot unit. If this thing flies and earns back its initial cost, hopefully we can spread it to other units, then other hospitals and see our new nursing peers get the training they need and deserve. Jeannie