Survey: Would there be a nursing shortage if...

  1. Here are the results of last months survey question
    Would there be a nursing shortage if nurses were paid better and had better benefits? :

    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 Apr 2, '03
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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,431; Likes: 16,403 founder; from US
    Specialty: 18+ year(s) of experience in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele


  3. by   llg
    I believe there would still be a shortage because of the complex demographics that are contributing to the current situation. However, it might be less severe.

  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    i think there would be, because nursing is just not something anyone can do "just for the money."

    But there might be less of a shortage, and more talented people would be attracted to the field with better pay and benes.
  5. by   NurseShell
    Ok here goes...I'm not becoming a nurse for the money...although it will be nice to get a paycheck. It doesn't matter how much you pay or how "good" your benefits are...if you treat me like crap I'm gone!! Having worked in healthcare the majority of my working life I think that's the issue. Nurses are often treated like "doormats" - I've seen it - I fully expect to have days like that in the future...BUT!! I truly feel "called" to nursing, I'm good at definitely takes a certain type of person to be a good/successful nurse!! There are several people I know that just aren't cut out to be nurses and I keep wondering when they are going to figure it out. They don't like the tasks, they can't understand the theory, they "suck" in clinicals...clue phone, it's for you!!

    Anyhoo, IMHO, it's not the pay, it's the atmosphere that is causing the "shortage".
  6. by   Liann
    Better pay and benefits might help recruit more nurses, but they wont STAY if the working conditions remain unbearable.
  7. by   kaycee
    Originally posted by Liann
    Better pay and benefits might help recruit more nurses, but they wont STAY if the working conditions remain unbearable.
  8. by   Hardknox
    Well said, Nurseshell. It's definately NOT about the $. Many complex issues. You have new nurses coming on a job with BIG bonuses and making almost as much as the veteran nurses. Most leave within a year. What does that tell you? NO ONE LIKES TO BE TREATED LIKE CRAP! And with liability issues so prevalent it is a loose/loose situation.
  9. by   Brian
    I knew this was a loaded question when I asked it, but..... I know that issue is far more complex than just one aspect like $$$, but I just thought it would make an interesting discussion.

    I would agree that most people, if not all, do not go into nursing for the $$$$$. But after they become a nurse and realize the work it entails and the poor working conditions, they start to think "I don't make enough to put up with this".

    I also think that many nurses are leaving the profession because they may be looking in to the future at their long term/retirement years and seeing that their retirement benes are not great and they are looking for a more stable future.

    I also tend to think that there is not as much of a "nursing shortage", as there is a shortage of nurses willing to put up with the working conditions, pay and benefits and leaving the profession.

    I dunno.... I definately think that $$ plays a bigger role than most nurses say. It seems that there is a stigma that if you ask for more money, your a bad nurse, because nurses should be doing what they do for a warm fuzzy feeling, not for a fair wage??? Just my $0.02
    Last edit by brian on Mar 3, '03
  10. by   NancyRN
    I think I earn good money per hour because I do agency work. I don't have the stamina to work more than one or two days a week. I'd work for less money per hour if the work wasn't so brutal; I could work more days and not spend my days off recuperating!
  11. by   eltrip
    The working conditions, management, and treatment by physicians all factor into the exodus of nurses leaving the bedside setting. Money is a contributing but is, by no means, the only one.
  12. by   wv_nurse 2003
    IMHO--more money and better benefit are tried and true ways NOT to try to fix the nursing shortage. The last "shortage" was treated (at least in my area) with large pay raises, and increased benefits--
    Yes, on the short term it attracted more people into the field--but for all the wrong reasons. These people quickly grew tired of the work, and responsibility--for what was (at least to them) still not enough money.
    More money and benefits is never a BAD thing--but its like throwing a glass of water on the towering inferno....
  13. by   SandyB
    Ditto to the above posts. Its' not the money as much as the working conditions that chase nurses away.
  14. by   Going80INA55
    I also think it is more about the money than most are willing to admit. I say this because the majority of us went into nursing with our eyes open as to the burden of responsibilities of the job.

    We knew we were going to care for patients, have stress, possibly have to work nights, weekends some holidays etc. However what most of us didnt expect (speaking for myself and many nurses that I have spoken to) is that after years of experience we would only be making a small amount more than we did as a new grads.

    (A new grad gets 20.00 in my area, an experienced nurse gets 24-25.00 an hour.) I know two these nurses, the NEW GRAD GOT $20.00 and the nurse with 20 YEARS experience got $25.00. So EACH year of experience was worth a whopping 0.25 CENTS!!!.

    Most other professions reward longevity by better pay and benefits while ours does not. We all know that when we leave bedside nursing that most of us take a CUT in pay. That is our reward for years of experience.

    I expected my job to be demanding, frankly that is one reason I chose nursing....for the challenge. I expected to work hard, take care of my patients, get respect and be taken care of by my hospital. By taken care of I mean...a good salary with good benefits. It has been very disappointing how nursing is treated.

    As for the working conditions, of course they contribute to the problem. Some of the conditions that drive nurses away can be changed by the nurses themselves.

    Whoever is the leader on their floor has the responsibility to set the positive work together,
    not eat our young,
    not eat our fellow workers,
    help each other out,
    STOP competing with one another and
    STOP gossiping about one another.