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

  1. Here are the results of last months survey question
    What do you believe: "Nursing Shortage" Crisis or Opportunity? :

    Please feel free to read and post any comments that you have right here in this discussion thread by clicking the "Post Reply" button.

    Last edit by brian on Dec 3, '02
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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,418; Likes: 16,382 founder; from US
    Specialty: CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele


  3. by   2amigos
    What a great article! I really like the focus brought by the "speaker". She's right as well. EVERY choice we make is an opportunity to accomplish something or tear something down. Nursing, (IMHO) is at a cross-roads. The opportunities to achieve lasting change is impressive. I hope that we are astute enough to bring about the necessary changes, what an opportunity we have.
    Thanks Brian for posting the article and the poll!
    Cheryl Moore
  4. by   OB/GYN NP
    Great article! I know we have all heard of the power of positive thinking, and it's difficult to use, but I do believe it works! Most people who have had great successes would say that their success came out of some sort of failure or problem. Unhappiness can be a great motivator, if we look at it as an opportunity to improve our collective environment. Onward March!!!
  5. by   Q.
    I think it's both. It's a crisis, but definitely an opportunity for change, but only if WE take advantage of it.
  6. by   TiddlDwink
    I agree... Great article!!

    Here in Birmingham, AL, there is no nursing shortage. Since we have about a dozen schools of nursing, there is very seldom a shortage here. Nursing doesn't pay anything, either, though, because the market is "glutted". Now, don't get me wrong here... there is a definite shortage of nurses on the night shifts and weekend shifts on med-surg floors. It seems that even new graduates don't want to sling bedpans on the night shift for 15 patients. BUT... I would bet that our seasoned nurses are finding great opportunities in the states that DO have shortages. Many of them are travel nurses, who are going to California or Mass or Iowa and working strikes for really big $$$, and probably twice what the hospitals were paying the striking nurses. (Now... what's wrong with this picture?)

    The people making big bucks here are Physical Therapists. There is only 1 school, and they admit only 20/year. Our PTs make $30/hour to start... and UP really quickly!
  7. by   llg
    I am always frustrated by the perspective (taken by the author) that a complicated issue is an "either -- or" situation. "Either" it is a crisis --- "or" it is an opportunity. Why can't we think of it as both? Are our minds too small and unsophistacated to grasp that a situation can be both? I don't think so.

    Certainly the shortage situation provides us with many opportunities, both as individuals and as a profession. However, we are doing our patients (and ourselves) a disservice by denying the crisis-nature of the shortage. Not having enough nurses compromises our ability to provide high quality care. In order for the public to provide us with the support and resources we need to improve the situation, the public needs to see that the shortage can mean a decrease in the quality of care they will receive. ... i.e. They need to appreciate the crisis nature of the situation in order to be motivated to act and/or change their behavior.

    On the other hand, in order to keep moving forward, we all need to keep the opportunity aspect of the situation in mind. We need to identify those opportunities provided by the situation and take advantage of those opportunities with the positive attitude necessary to bring about the desired improvements.

    In short (or long) we need BOTH views. We should not be short-changing ourselves by trying to oversimplifying the situation. It is complex and should be acknowledged as such. Only with a realistic view of its complexity will be able to deal with it successfully.


    Sorry, SuzyK, your post about it being both was not yet posted when I wrote mine. Had I read your post, I would have supported your earlier one. I guess we are on the a similar wavelength here.
    Last edit by llg on Nov 4, '02
  8. by   oramar
    No doubt there are many people who are turning this situation into an opportunity. Good for them, go for it. However at the same time it is a crisis if you are ill and recieving poor care . This has been said a million times, at present there is a shortage of nurses willing to work at the bedside not an actual shortage of nurses.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I see it as both......a crisis for those needing decent and adequate nursing care....esp the boomer generation coming up......but also as a boon...I wont' be jobless any time soon. I do fear tho, what kind of care will remain when my parents and others l care about need it! Just pray we don't need a hospital or nursing home, I guess.
  10. by   alisinc
    As an aussie nurse it is great to see that finally someone is looking at the "nursing shortage" with fresh eyes. It has often been said that nursing is one of the oldest professions, that of caring. Trouble is that in this current world the idea of caring for others is not considered cool I think it is time for all of us that have stuck with the idea of caring for others to stand up and be counted, let the world know that what we do is important not just for the sick who are directly under our care but also for the way that our world seems to be heading. Taking a positive attitude to our profession is just the start.
  11. by   baseline
    Agree with SusyK Yes its a crisis. Yes it most certainly CAN be an opportunity......if nurses can get together.......
  12. by   enlite
    yes, I certainly can see the paradox here. The crisis has provided many nurses with opportinities. But it has also resulted in low quality and unsafe patient care.

    I work as a Patient Care Technician. Highly worked and highly unpaid, and under valued. So its easy for me to view nursing in terms of potential opprotunities.... increased salary, increased intellutual stimulation, greater autonomity, job security, etc.

    But in spite of these potential opportunities, I'm often flooded by a see of complaints from nurses.... over worked, under paid, etc. But how many of them leave the profession all together? Not many.
  13. by   sjoe
    It is a crisis for patients.

    It is an opportunity for management to get its act together (of which there are VERY few signs.)
  14. by   lee1
    Originally posted by brian
    Survey: What do you believe: "Nursing Shortage" Crisis or Opportunity??

    Please take a minute to answer our one question survey at the bottom of our homepage, Visit:

    After voting, please feel free to read and post any comments that you have right here in this discussion thread by clicking the "Post Reply" button.

    You may want to read the following article on Nursing Spectrum, which spurred this survey topic:
    Someone ask Rita---the author of the Spectrum article when she last worked at the bedside and worked short staffed due to a call out or just not enough staff for the acuity and workload and then we will answer the question.