There is no nursing shortage

  1. This is what my teacher told us. She said there are plenty of nurses out there to take care of the future rising amount of patients, its just that they are not working. They have quit (more than likely) because of the poor treatment they received as employees. I would love to stand on my soap box and say "come on you guys if we stick together we can make them change" but I am still a student so my option in null at this point. I have wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember and it is my entire life. I just hope I am not setting myself up for disappointment. I do plan on becoming a CNM so I am not sure if that is any better. How many of you right out of the nursing school shoot are thinking this is not what you signed up for?
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    About HeartsOpenWide

    Joined: Jul '05; Posts: 3,067; Likes: 2,036
    "Birth Center" Staff Nurse; from US
    Specialty: Ante-Intra-Postpartum, Post Gyne

    18 Comments

  3. by   jov
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    This is what my teacher told us. She said there are plenty of nurses out there to take care of the future rising amount of patients, its just that they are not working. They have quit (more than likely) because of the poor treatment they received as employees. I would love to stand on my soap box and say "come on you guys if we stick together we can make them change" but I am still a student so my option in null at this point. I have wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember and it is my entire life. I just hope I am not setting myself up for disappointment. I do plan on becoming a CNM so I am not sure if that is any better. How many of you right out of the nursing school shoot are thinking this is not what you signed up for?
    All I can suggest is you could start thinking more independently than just believing whatever your teacher says.
    "no nursing shortage, the nurses are just not working." Can we be any more irrelevant here?

    most jobs turn out to be not exactly what we thought/hoped for...but those who survive/thrive learn to roll with the punches.
  4. by   locolorenzo22
    What else would you expect as a nurse? If people can't handle it, I'd rather have them not working on real people. There's a shortage of QUALIFIED nurses. Some of the nurses I work with...well, let's just say I wish I could send them back.
  5. by   RNLifesaver
    I definatly believe that your instructor is not quite accurate. There is a nursing shortage. It may very well be that one of the reasons there is a shortage is because many nurses are not working. I do see a few things.

    1. There are many nurses that are nearing retirement age or have past it. Often times these nurses are still working, even if just part time. (These nurses are a wealth of information! Learn from them!!)

    2. There are many nurses who are also wives/moms/single moms/ etc who do not want to work full time and opt for part time or per diem hours.

    3. A lot of nurses are also entrepreneurs. The two qualities tend to go hand in hand. I know so many nurses that end up having some sort of business.


    Based on that, I can see where that would account for a shortage.
  6. by   Sheri257
    Actually ... you're teacher is right, at least to some extent. There are currently 500,000 licensed nursing who aren't working. That means 17 percent of licensed RN's choose not to work.

    In California where we have a ratio law that's greatly improved working conditions only 6 percent of licensed RN's choose not to work. If you could cut the number of licensed non-working RN's nationwide down to 6 percent like California has then, you'd have about 300,000 more RN's in the workforce and could probably end the shortage.

    However, it's not that simple. There are still shortages in California, but mostly at hospitals that don't pay very well. So, naturally, they have staffing problems. When hospitals do pay well and deliver good benefits, the shortages drop significantly.

    So ... there are many factors at play but, lousy working conditions is a big part of the problem. All you have to do, really, is read the new grad forum on this board. The heavy patient loads are killing them.

    :typing
  7. by   Bonny619
    Also a shortage of programs and instructors. A 2 year wait list to get into a program tells me we have people wanting to become nurses.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    If you go by numbers, it may be correct that there is not a shortage, but, if you count the bedside nurses, I would say that there is a severe shortage. I have a friend that is a Master's Degree nurse, and she told me that what happens once a person as their BSN and MSN is that there are more choices open, and what reason would a nurse who killed herself through school turn around and want to risk her license at the bedside? Therefore, she stated, many of them go into administration, supervision, research, and the patients are still suffering. I just became an LPN (not going to be an RN), and I am working in a hospital clinic, after having 2 months of med-surg. With all of the mess that I saw happening on the floor, I told myself that I may just remain a clinic nurse and leave that mess to the wind. It's not that I want to, but, as the original poster stressed, this is not the ideal world.
  9. by   WDWpixieRN
    Whatever....I've heard she's got a point about the number of nurses not practicing....but tell her to have one of those many nurses tend to her when she's sick....

    Check the want ads, Monster.com, nursing magazines, hospital websites....there's a shortage, all right....I won't lose sleep worrying about whether I'll have a job....it's just usually about where it will be!!
  10. by   traumaRUs
    The shortage is acutely felt in the advanced degree ranks - no teachers mean no students.
  11. by   Race Mom
    In most states there is a teacher shortage (and I'm not talking about nursing school, just K-12). Sure, there are many people that live here with a BSN in education that don't teach anymore. Since they don't teach, we have a teacher shortage!! Same things with nurses. Your teacher is just being silly.

    School and I have a love/hate relationship, but I'm glad I am where I am. The challenge is good for my soul.
  12. by   nightingale
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    This is what my teacher told us. She said there are plenty of nurses out there to take care of the future rising amount of patients, its just that they are not working. They have quit (more than likely) because of the poor treatment they received as employees.
    I agree, there is not a Nursing Shortage; just a shortage of attractive Nursing Opportunities.

    Opportunities are there though for those willing to get the best education possible, get your experience under your belt, and remain positive to new adventures.
  13. by   rn/writer
    If you look only at the numbers, there probably doesn't appear to be a shortage. But if you look at the percentage of nursing positions that take months to fill, or worse, sit chronically empty, that's a different story.

    There most definitely is a nursing shortage at the elite end. Bedside nursing at a good hospital with generous overtime and differentials can pay a lot better than many teaching positions. Advanced practice earnings aren't always commensurate with the extra expense, effort, and responsibility they entail, and nurses who are happy at the bedside or in middle management don't see much incentive to leave.

    There's a shortage on the other end as well. Many of the nurses on this board who speak of burnout and quitting are those for whom their job descriptions sound like sentences given for vile criminal activity. The patient load, the toxic atmosphere, the lack of respect, and the disgraceful pay for slave labor mean high turnover in the facilities where they work. In cases like these, the nursing shortage means an insufficient number of people who are desperate enough to stay under such horrible conditions.

    As has been mentioned, there are many nurses who, for a variety of reasons, are choosing to opt out of the work force right now. Smart employers would do well to connect with these people and find ways to offer accommodations that might lure them back in.

    Flexible scheduling. Child care assistance. Refresher courses for those who have been out for a few years or longer. Cross training (by choice) that would allow more options during down times. Pay incentives for additional training. More and better benefit options. Job sharing. Respect. It isn't only about the money.

    When you have so many qualified people choosing to sit out of the work force, it's time to figure out why and make whatever changes are necessary to overcome their resistance.

    Technically--using a numbers-only approach--your instructor may have a point. But reality says that we're going to be seeing classified ads and hiring bonuses for some time to come.
  14. by   Mudwoman
    It is a complicated picture. In certain large metro areas, there is a shortage, especially for BSN and MSN nurses that are certified in certain areas. In some areas, there are too many. Our local hospital has laid off 1/4 of the work force due to budget cuts, not patient cuts. That means that fewer nurses are taking care of the same number of patients. Without the money, they can't keep the nurses. Then we have a small college that pumps out 60 RN's and 60 LPN's a year, and another Univ near by that pumps out another 60 RN's. Our rural area simply can't absorb that kind of work force. Salaries are becoming stagnant. As a news commentator said one day, if you have a shortage, then wages go up dramatically to make up for the shortage. That is not happening in nursing in a lot of places. Also, part of the "shortage" is anticipation of the Baby Boomer nurses retiring. Don't count on it. We will work till we drop. We have to. We don't have the money to quit.

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