VCR Alert: Nursing Shortage on 60 Minutes - page 2

60 Minutes Sunday: December 29, at 7 p.m. ET/PT As over 120,000 nurse positions go unfilled in the U.S., recruiters must seek nurses in countries like South Africa, which can ill afford to... Read More

  1. by   Carleigh
    Just finished watching it and it burns me up that instead of trying to do something about the working conditions here for our nurses, the hospitals are using these recruiting companies that promise the moon! The salaries will never go up because our wages look like a million bucks to someone coming from a third-world country. Brings to mind the U.S. businesses that knowingly use illegal immigrants to avoid paying proper wages and benefits. Not to mention that it seems unethical to pull the best nurses from their own countries who need them so badly. Grrrr!
  2. by   NurseDennie
    Carleigh - it was frustrating, wasn't it? Seems like it was a rerun - it seemed familiar.

    And they came -----THIS------- close to going the right direction, didn't they? Kind of showing the stress that a nurse goes through... But no - back to "attracting new nurses" "pipeline" etc., etc., IT'S NOT THE BLEEDING PIPELINE THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!

    pant, pant, gasp, hack.... Whew... But I really thought they were going to do it right for a minute there.


  3. by   funnygirl_rn
    Yeah, I thought it was disappointing as well. NurseDennie, I too thought they came "SO CLOSE"...really thought they were going to say...let's fix this crisis in our country & do it now!! we seen let's go to a 3rd world country & buy a nurse. Agh!
  4. by   fab4fan
    Except for the intro and conclusion, it was just a repeat (does this really surprise we're important enough to warrant two separate shows).

    This really gives the public the wrong impression. Instead of worrying about whether or not there will be a nurse to answer their call bells, they'll figure these "highly skilled" foreign nurses will be here to take the jobs that whiney American nurses won't take.

    It would have been great if they'd have let the prof. from U of P REALLY talk, and spent more time in American us Americans who are being affected by a lack of nurses, instead of guilt-tripping us by showing how much worse it is elsewhere.

    I loved that recruiter's response..."someone is going to do it, so I might as well." That's like saying, "Someone is going to mug you, so I might as well do it."
  5. by   2banurse
    I caught it and like you all, I was disappointed. Is there anything that we can do to let 60 minutes know where they fell short?

  6. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by 2banurse
    I caught it and like you all, I was disappointed. Is there anything that we can do to let 60 minutes know where they fell short?

    Go to here:

    Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link marked: Feedback.
  7. by   MishlB
    Sounds like the typical fix in the US. Hire non-US citizens to work in this country because they will more than likely not complain about the working conditions, long hours, and low pay. Like the program tried to convey, these countries are losing critical employees that are invaluable to their medical profession.
  8. by   funnygirl_rn
    Stargazer...I immediately went to the CBS site after watching "60 Minutes" & emailed my comments. I am thinking if more of us will write our comments to them regarding the show...just maybe...a follow up will be televised. Wishful thinking at least.
  9. by   Stargazer
    I agree, funnygirl. I'm going to wait and watch the piece again before I respond--it's not on for another hour on the West Coast.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Just sent some feedback to CBS. How about you guys doing it too??
  11. by   amy
    I too sent my spin on their story...wondering what will come of it. will let you all know what happens! I feel the same as previous posters that said they felt 60 Minutes came close to touching on the real subject. Incidentally, I just left ER nursing 4 mo. ago to work public health as a home care nurse... how's that for a change of pace?

    Missing the "drama and the trauma" terribly, Amy
  12. by   Stargazer
    Here was the email I sent:

    "Just watched your piece on the nursing shortage and I must say I was disappointed. After getting off to a promising start--describing impossible working conditions, insufficient pay, and a persistently poor public image of nursing--the 60 Minutes piece seemed to veer off into a different story, discussing the ethics of "stealing" nurses from other countries experiencing their own shortages.

    Why not discuss the ethics of U.S. hospitals that are willing to spend millions of dollars recruiting, sponsoring, educating, testing, licensing and housing foreign nurses, but will not spend a fraction of that money making bedside conditions (staffing, scheduling, hours) attractive enough to lure nonpracticing licensed U.S. nurses (and there are many) back to hospitals? Why not discuss hospitals willing to pay millions to strike nurse agencies rather than negotiate in good faith over working conditions which they know are untenable? Why not discuss the fact that hospitals are cutting costs by reducing ancillary staff--respiratory therapists, pharmacists, phlebotomists, EKG techs, Central Supply staff, housekeeping, security--thus forcing the few RNs left at the bedside to take on all these tasks as well as doing direct patient care?

    I am a registered nurse with 7 years of ICU experience who left the bedside 8 years ago because of inflexible scheduling, mandatory overtime, an unsupportive manager and hospital administration, and critically unsafe staffing levels. I miss critical care nursing--and there's no question that I am desperately needed. I would love to work part-time. But I will NOT return to hospital nursing as long as the conditions which drove me away remain. And there are hundreds of thousands of nurses in the U.S. just like me.

    The next time you do a piece on the nursing shortage, I hope you'll concentrate on the problems here at home. I trust that members of your viewing audience would find their own inability to get safe nursing care at their local hospital a much more compelling story.

    Best Regards,
  13. by   howie122832
    I'm sorry that I missed the show.... But, I can figure out what it was about. I found the problem to be that the US doesn't have the schools to educated those who want to be nurses, and those who are already nurses are treated so unfairly (ie.. poor working conditions...etc...) so lets fix it the way we fix everything else in this country..... lets bring people in the country to do the job, and promise them the world, and pay them cr@P!
    Now I'm done.... will someone please kick my soapbox out from under me!!!!!