Survey: What do you believe: "Nursing Shortage" Crisis or Opportunity? - page 5

Here are the results of last months survey question What do you believe: "Nursing Shortage" Crisis or Opportunity? : Please feel free to read and... Read More

  1. by   Brownms46
    I agree with those who wrote that this is a crisis and an opportunity. I recently started a temp to hire contract here in Southern Oregon. Oregon in the past has had few travel nursing opportunities, but not it is wide open. I recently got a last minute appt with the VP of nursing here, and she not only took the time to talk with me, but gave me her undivided attention! She also immediately was willing to give me any open RN position in the hospital! Yes believe me there is a shortage of nurses either availaible or willing to work in the clinical setting. This hospital has 21 open nursing positions, and is offering temp to hire contracts for nurses to come an take a look at their hospital. They're willing to pay for relocation, just about anything to find nurses! The other hospitals, clinics, and LTC facilities are just as short or shorter here, and are for the first time using every avenue they can think of to find nurses.

    I have never been courted and or pursued as I have since I arrived here! I even had a faulty member offer his 3 bedroom rental home, for any nurse wanting to come here on a assignment! I have been taken to lunch by my NM to a very nice resturant, and not the cafeteria! I have been asked by doctors how I'm liking it here! And get this! Every day that I have worked with a different doctor, they make sure they express their thanks for my working with them!!!

    I have went to different depts in the hospital and been treated to a tour and an indepth info about the unit, staffing, pt/nurse ratio, floating policies ...anything I wanted to know when I have just showed up and request it.

    So YES I definitely consider the "shortage" an opportunity, and as for GA/Atlanta or Texas not experiencing the shortage...I would sure like to know where they're not! Someone needs to tell all those hospitals that are constantly begging for travelers, that there isn't any"shortages"! :chuckle

    But I also realize that anytime hospitals are this desperate for help, that care has to be suffering also! As someone who only gets to see those hospitals who are in crisis, I know up close and personal just how bad it is out there, and few areas have escaped the crunch! And just because there are nursing schools in an area, this doesn't protect any area from feeling the "shortage". There are two nurses school here in this very small town, but it hasn't helped them a bit!
  2. by   TiddlDwink
    Replying to StephRN:
    I'm in Birmingham, Steph. What you said makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! You say there is a dire shortage of nurses to the point that you are required to work all these 12-hour shifts day after day after day... yet, administration says, "If you don't like it, LEAVE?????" Excuse me, but if one nurse leaves, can the hospital stay open? What if one nurse (who is vital for everyday 12-hour shifts) gets sick, or worse yet... drops dead from exhaustion... what in the world will the hospital do? Close? Yet they invite y'all to leave if you don't like it? "Our way or the highway" "You can be replaced" "Work half your life or don't work here at all" Do you see the oxymoronic message?

    You did make my point, however. Apparently the shortage isn't dire enough to give nurses decent benefits... or pay... or TIME OFF! I don't mean to get personal, Steph, but it sounds like the message to nurses from your hospital is, "Y'all are about a dime a dozen, so you are NOT indispensible!" (Just like the hospitals here in Bham.) So, about a dime a dozen is just about what the paycheck ends up being, doesn't it? I was making $23/hour in Bham (night shift, weekends...I had another full time job outside of nursing so I could feed my family.) That's after differentials and a little more to be flexipool, and with a little more for 25 years' experience. On a full time basis, do you know what that turns out to be annually? $47,840! Granted... slightly more than a teacher who works only about 7 1/2 months out of the year (my mother taught in the Bham schools...annual salary $52,000 after 23 years and at retirement 10 years ago...can't really say what it is now, but she always taught summer school), and about twice what a policeman makes to start, but only about 1/5 or what the average MD makes, and about 2/3 of what the average physical therapist makes, as well as about 1/2 of what the average hospital administrator makes!

    Well, enough of this soapbox...I have another soapbox to mount!
  3. by   TiddlDwink
    To AbrenRN:

    If your IQ is above about 110, then yes... you are too smart to be a nurse. If your IQ is above 115 AND you are a nurse, then I guarantee you are a miserable human being! A moron can take this screw and put it in this hole. A person with an IQ of 80 can usually read and write, so can be a nurse... read the doctor's order and match the words on the order sheet with the words on the pharmacist's baggie... (it's important to also match the name on the order sheet with the name on the MAR with the name on the armband).

    Nursing tries to glorify itself, but after all is said and done, we are nothing more than waitress technicians. We need a new paradigm... I was revuing some nursing diagnoses over the holiday for an article I'm writing about just that... I thought of DISCOMFORT. So... what are the actions? Well, first give the ordered pain med, or the patient will be impossible to work with. Then... nursing actions: elevate the part... warm compresses... immobilize the part... of course, depending where, kind of pain, cause of pain, etc, etc, etc... But the truth is, the patient wants the pain med, and anything else the nurse tries to do (assuming, of course, that the nurse has time to do anything else at all) is many times bothersome or even downright obnoxious to the patient. And this business of nurses trying to talk patients out of pain medicine is both ludicrous and cruel, just like the cruelty of asking a grieving family for the dead patient's body parts before they get cold! Oh, we have dozens of ways of torturing people, we nurses do. Some subtle, some not so subtle...

    So, AbrenRN, I hope you go to medical school. I hope you get to be a caring, compassionate, kind physician who does not rip off Medicare and Medicaid, and who spends a little time with patients... because sometimes they have something to tell you!
  4. by   Kaleigh
    From where I sit, there is no shortage, just a distribution problem....
  5. by   abrenrn
    Kaleigh --

    Finally someone did hear me.

    I have stayed away from these boards for a while as too many people seem to miss the point. Enough get it to make it worth checking now and again.

    Yes, they need nurses but they want us to act stupid. I spent a lot of time applying for jobs in a desperate market but the market expected me to ignore the fact that they should be the ones begging. Nurses must beg to work for those wonderful hospitals.

    Now, they are desparate and they court in some places. Watch what will happen when they get less desparate. Look at history.

    Yes, we are the only ones with a licensed responsibility towards the patient completely and wholly. Hospitals want us to forget that in order to save money; doctors want us to forget that to save their egos. Sorry, I am too busy to waste time trying to convince doctors they thought of something I thought of first. I don't care who thinks of it first, as long as it helps the patient.

    No, I can't go to medical school. Not in such an upside down system. If I do anything, it will be clinical psychology. That's a feild that needs a nurse.

    Sorry for any spelling errors. New keyboard, lazy typist.
  6. by   -jt
    Its an opportunity all right --- for the hospitals to cut their overhead.
    Headlines this month (Nov/Dec) in The American Nurse 2002 - official publication of the American Nurses Association:

    No Shortage of Excuses: Nurse worry that healthcare industry will use staffing crisis to replace RNs


    <<.....The staffing shortage is real.... so are the increasing attempts to assign RN responsibilities to school secretaries, EMT-like staff, and questionably trained medication techs ---- all in the name of "the RN shortage"...... given current hard times, institutions will gain virtual carte blanche to replace RN positions while continuing to ignore the major reasons behind staffing problems. Those reasons include short-sighted restructuring schemes, poor working conditions, and a failure to recognize the important contributions RNs make to the ongoing health of patients, school children, and other healthcare consumers..... Hospitals have had the opportunity to increase pay, make scheduling more flexible, and make the working environment more attractive, yet... the healthcare industry is going back and repeating the same mistake of the late '80's and early '90's by replacing RNs with lesser skilled personnel.....the hospital industry has been advocating for this measure for close to a subsitute RNs with lesser prepared staff - policy makers and others will use the nursing "shortage" as an excuse.....the staffing "shortage" is giving efforts to replace RNs more legs these days.... the hospital and LTC industries are getting the attention of legislators by saying there arent enough people. They want all the hands they can get. We say we need to improve working conditions...... not lower the standards.>>

    The article elaborates on examples. In Nevada, the hospital associations & ambulance companies claimed they couldnt find enough ER nurses & therefore needed to create a new category of lesser paid UAPs to work in ERs to pick up the slack. Despite objections & findings by the Nevada Nurses Association which proved that there WERE enough ER RNs, but that the hospitals just were refusing to hire them, the state allowed the creation of the new ER tech position & the hospitals didnt have to hire the ER RNs who were available. They can now use techs in place of RNs while the RNs are forced to look for other jobs.

    In Tennessee, despite concerns by the Tennessee Nurses Assoc, the state passed legislation to allow school personnel to do accuchecks on their diabetic school children and administer sc insulin and glucagon to them --- even though there was no shortage of RNs who wanted school nurse jobs - the school districts just didnt want to hire & pay for them. They said if the mother can be taught to give a kid insulin, so can the school personnel - they dont need to hire an RN. A similar bill in California was defeated after RNs testified and fought against it --- but it is being brought up before the legislature again at a later time --- even though there is no shortage of RNs who want jobs in schools there either.

    In Ohio, state legislation was drafted to allow med techs in nursing homes to administer oral, topical, and injected medications. State authorities said it was ok because they "hadnt heard of any problems with it so there must not be any". The Ohio Nurses Assoc led a public campaign to fight the bill & succeeded --- for now.

    In NY, pharmacists are pushing the state to allow them to administer immunizations in their pharmacies. Currently, RNs set up immunization clinics in pharmacies -- providing pt education & monitoring along with the immunizations. There is no shortage of these RNs, yet, the nursing "shortage" is being used as an excuse to hand off this RN function to pharmacists. The New York State Nurses Assoc is fighting hard against it & is educating the legislators & public to the truth.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 7, '02
  7. by   abrenrn
    Question: will RNs that work at hospitals with these techs start refusing to allow them to work on their licenses? Only way to make stop. Someone has to have a license somewhere - make them work on management's or MDs.
  8. by   -jt
    true but the problem is that "the state BON of Nevada did not object to RNs supervising ER techs as long as the RN did not delegate core nursing repsonibility, such as evaluation, assessment, and case management". It seems the only ones objecting to the whole thing was the Nevada Nurses Association. Without the support of the state & the BON, the law remains that the tech works under the direction of the RN & she is responsible. The kicker is that the state handed the hospitals the authority to each decide for themselves what job their techs will do at their facilities ---- under the RNs license. And the state BON went along with that, despite the strong objections of the state nurses association. Nice huh?
    They have us between a rock & hard place.
  9. by   abrenrn
    Exactly where they want us, between the rock and hard place. Sorry, not me.

    Impossible to help a patient who doesn't want help. Impossible to fix a system that nobody wants to believe is broken. Despite all the data, nobody has picked up nationally, will not be seen in news. The few who care can not fix this without help.

    I do difficult. I don't do impossible.

    On sabbatical. Permanently, I fear.
    Last edit by abrenrn on Dec 9, '02