I am currently doing some research on the nursing crisis. I understand that the main problem of the nursing crisis has been addressed, the need for younger nurses. How in your opinion could a hospital recrute a younger nursing staff if the younger staff is slowly diminishing?
I think a great way would be to start at a young age and address teens who are looking for careers and colleges in their high school years. Around the time of their Junior and Senior years, start implementing ROP classes that address nursing. I don't beleive it should be the dirty work (cleaning bed pans) at a voluntary basis to be in the program, rather I think they should engage in cleaning bed pans and furthing their education to the more serious issues of taking vitals, watching and being tested on the basic techniques of nursing (how to deal with patients, and their families), when and how to adminster drugs, etc. With this basic ROP class and guide to what the nursing field entails, I believe we would find more young adults in the nursing profession.
I agree incentives such as higher pay are critical as well, but not always the answer. That is why I think this program should be implemented, but how will it be funded? That is a major question that I pose to you.
How will hospitals get their well deserved nurses? In the articles that I have read by Lee Hickling, some nurses are getting a $500 bonus for recommending a new nurse to their hospital. Instead don't you think that money could be used as financial support to the proposed ROP programs?
How could this program be implemented in communities across the United States? Would hospitals have to donate money individually, or would local and federal goverments support the program as well?
Perhaps there could be incentives for the hospitals that donate funds to the program, they get the students (if the hospital chooses too) from the ROP course once the student has successfully cmpleted an RN program.
I would really like some feedback on this issue. I am just proposing one way of decreasing the nursing shortage, but if you have any other programs or alternative suggestions they would be much appreciated for the research I am conducting.
Thank You Very Much For Your Time,
Feb 21, '01
We have had medical magnet programs in high schools here for at least the last 5 years. When the students come to my floor for their clinicals, the learn things like taking VS and their meanings, patient/family interactions and follow a nurse to see med admin and other aspects of patient care. I don't see that it had increased enrolment in our nursing schools here. By now we should be seeing the results in graduations from ADN programs but we haven't. Seems like a good idea but we aren't seeing it here.
Feb 21, '01
Check out Senator Tim Hutchinson's website for further info. Also, check out ANA and other related sites to see what the gripes are and why > 1/2 million licensed nurses are not practicing. Long hours and lots of stress. Do not expect hospitals to pay anything until they are completely depleted of staff.what are the nursing unions saying about the shortage? I think young people resist the profession because it has long hours, stress, dirty work and they can make more money doing other things with a college degree. After several years, I too am looking for a way out.
Feb 21, '01
I agree with the above posters. We have a lot of different programs for high school students to come and work/volunteer be mentored in our hospital. They come, and see what the reality is, and choose a different profession. I have had so many tell me that they would rather not do what they see me doing, especially after they interact with an unhappy family member/patient.
I do not believe that the need for younger nurses is the main problem. There are so many liscenced nurses out there who do not practice nursing because it is so stressful or difficult to them. You recruit them, but they do not stay in nursing.
I get 1000.00 for referring an experienced acute care nurse that then takes a position at my hospital. I don't think thats a solution either...One thing that they are working on at the hospital I work for is a retention bonus, so much for each year of service. It is a new idea, not many hospitals have it- but remember it does not good to have a bunch of nurses who will not stay in the profession. I'd rather recieve a bonus for staying put- therefore requiring no orientation etc (saves a lot of money-look at the cost to orient a new grad RN, it is astounding).
Feb 21, '01
WHOA! It just about killed me to hear you suggest that nurses should give their recruitment bonus away. What are you saying? In the first place, nurses deserve more money for their everyday contributions in the workplace to begin with...if they can influence a fellow nurse to hire on at their workplace--that is a HUGE savings to their employer and the nurse SHOULD be rewarded. If ANYbody should be giving this "ROP" program cash to keep it going--it can come from those institutions requiring the expertise of nurses to turn a profit or to keep their businesses afloat. In the second place, I agree with the other post--our "crisis" in nursing is more about retention ultimately. After all, how cost effective is it to get young people excited about the work of nursing by spending money enticing them through these"ROP" programs then providing financial assistance through grant monies etc. for a college based nursing education--only to have them leave the profession in a few years from burn-out and reality shock. I encourage you to focus on nursing retention issues if you want your research to reflect the heart of the problem. Giving nurses more control over their work environment--guaranteeing them exceptional rewards financially during their working life--and securing a primo retirement for them as a reward for their long careers in the service of humanity--would be an excellent start. By the way, what does "ROP" stand for?
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