What can we do to recruit more nurses?

  1. I am in my last semester of and AD program. We are doing a project about the nursing shortage. I just wonder if there is anyone who would have a few ideas of how we could help the shortage and recruit more nurses? I work as a patient care technician now and see how the nurses are frustrated and overworked? I know that that is the road that my class members and I will be walking come June! What do you all think? How can we make nursing look so attractive that all sorts of people will want to join the overworked, tired, not getting to spend quality time with our families, profession? Any suggestions?
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    About RN student

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 4
    patient care technician


  3. by   Miss Mollie
    Part of the problem is that there are so many more attractive career options- IT, and such for everyone today. But one of the things that I see that irritates me is that initial pay is appropriate and generally pretty good for a new nurse. Then it never really increases that much. Case in point- a nurse with 8 months in the ICU is making 16.00 an hour. A nurse with 2 yrs exp in the same place is making 16.30 an hour. A nurse with 12 years experience in that ICU makes about 18.00 an hour. Pay is not commensurate with experience.
  4. by   fergus51
    Make the starting pay higher too. Tons of new grads from my province go to the states every year because of the huge salaries. The only way to improve working conditions is to have adequate staffing and the only way to achieve that is to pay higher wages so nurses come and stay. We also need for people to know what nursing really is. Half of my friends thought nursing was this no-brainer job where you just wiped butts and did whatever the doctor tells you to do. The profession just doesn't have the status of doctors or lawyers.
  5. by   RN student
    What else besides money would help get more nurses do you think? What would help recruit more men? My husband doesn't have any degrees and he makes what a nurse makes as a supervisor over a construction crew? What else do you all think?
  6. by   fergus51
    RESPECT!!! The image of nursing needs to change. Men aren't going to go into nursing in huge numbers when if they do they are either gay or not smart enough to be a doctor.
  7. by   Genista
    I think the more important question is , "How do we keep the nurses we have?"

    You can offer thousand(s) dollar bonuses all you want to get some new hires, but will that be enough to keep these people in nursing? The nursing shortage is a national problem. At the heart of the problem is poor working conditions. Who wants to be a nurse anymore? Even the most passionate nurses are fed up and talk about leaving the profession.

    Nurses are burnt out from working extra shifts, staying overtime, missing breaks, and generally burning the candle at both ends. Staffing is terrible at many facilites! Often, you can't give the care you should, and many put their license at risk. Many acute care RNs change careers, or move from job to job...looking for the elusive "greener pasture."

    Most Rns I know went into the field because it interested them, and they truly enjoy "helping people." I think if you gave a nurse a reasonable/safe work load; made sure he/she had a lunch break, pay a decent wage/benefits, and staff adequately...then you would have no trouble attracting and keeping nurses.

    Sign on bonuses are only "quick fixes." I have several RN friends who were lured to hospitals by the big sign on bonus and wages, only to learn it was a hospital from hell, with nightmarish staffing and crummy, burned out staff.They moved on to other jobs as soon as it was possible.Nursing is one of the first departments to get its budget cut, but it's the most important.We need to let the public and media know how we as nurses (and furture nurses) see it, and make some changes in our health care system.
  8. by   RN student
    I think you are right. But as for sign on bonuses, I know it is a quick fix and I talked to my supervisor about a sign on bonus after I graduate. She said that they were not giving bonuses to new grads. I think that is kinda crappy too. If other hospitals are giving them, then it is no wonder the turnover rates are so high in hospitals that aren't giving them. I appreciate your comment
  9. by   bbnurse
    This isn't an easy topic, nor is the answer a simple one. Multitudes of opinions and as much variety of answers as we have personalities. Here are a few I think might help with recruitment AND retention.
    Stop the fighting with each other.
    Earn the respect of our patients, our coworkers, the physicians and the hospital.
    Set a better example by not tolerating the verbal abuse of new nurses (new grads or just new to the area).
    Stop the abuse and the response it gets.
    Make nursing appealing by speaking out about the rewards--the small ones are really BIG ones. The feeling deep inside when you help that patient with his/her problem.
    Walk the walk of pride and joy.
    Speak to children about your joy at schools. Encourage children to do well in math and science because it is the understanding of these skills that provides the basis for the "job" we do.
    Stop "eating our young" and stop placing blame on others.
    Take small steps everyday towards making a difference in nursing.
    Get involved in POSITIVE actions.
    Make the committment for change within yourself and keep the momentum going by living it in little ways all day, everyday.
    Join in with a solution that you believe in and accept the support.
    Be cautious of anyone telling you "this will solve all our problems". There is not one solution that will do this unless you could say our own individual practice can...
  10. by   fergus51
    I couldn't agree with you more!!!
  11. by   RN student
    I think a solution to the shortage is making the nursing curiculum more nursing focused and not having all these stupid classes like humanities and speech. We were talking about this in school the other day. If it is just the smallest bit easier in school, then maybe there would be more graduates. I know from first hand experience that alot of the extra papers and reports that we do as students take up valuable time that could be spent studying for the fluid and electrolyte test that everyone in my class failed. THese extra papers and reports that we did and are doing haven't counted toward our grade but if we didn't do them, we got an unsatisfactory in our clinical which resulted in failure of the class. I know of one girl who turned in the same nutritional analysis twice and nothing was ever said. I know that all the nurses out there have had horor stories of when they were in nursing school. DO you all not agree with me that if we didn't have to do all these little extra's that it would have been easier. OUr class started out with 50 probable nurses and after a year and a half, there are only 19 of us. I know that one report I worked on, I spent 20 hours on it in a weekend and got a big red checkmark as did several of my classmates but no points were ever found for any of us when it came down to one point needed to pass and we had all done the papers. I don't know, it just seems that if nursing school was just a little more easier, then maybe more people would be interested in joining. I know that all colleges and all degrees make students take humanities and other classes, but if it is a national crisis, then maybe exceptions need to be made and classes like AMerican FOlklore would not need to be taken.
  12. by   res04lly
    Nursing shortage has always been a problem,I feel that the reason we have one is that their are so many other jobs that pay more,have less stress, and more advancement. Why do you think the agencies are doing so well, More money,some offer benefits just as good or better than the hosptial ect. In other jobs you really don't have to worry about exposing your family to diseases that you bring home on your uniforms, HIV and Hep
    C exposures, the stress from work, ect. If i knew 16 yrs ago what i know today i probably would have gone into another profession but since this all i know i am here for the long haul. Until things change and we become a respected profession again-this not to make anyone angry but the media has made us look like incompendent, sex kittens whose only goal in life is to get a Dr or resident in a linen closet somewhere,or the blunt of a comedians nasty foul joke-we will have this problem. What postive thing do we have, Long hours, less than adquate pay for what we do. we are verbally and sometimes physically abused, exposure to disease, back injuries and such, along with nursing schools who don't have adquate clinical time due to the DRG's. That teach the students that we eat our young,or the nurses out on the floors will train you. You have instructors that degrade and berate students infront of hospital staff, the ones trying to come back into school, to Get their ADN, that have been liscensed for years are treated as if they are idiots (i know How that feels) and try and bounce you on anything. Now the Positive side to nursing is the care of the patients, the respect from the families of the dying, the experience to see new life brought into the world, to make a pediatic patient feel okay about a procedure or surgury,send a burn patient home with hope that reconstructive surgury will help their appearance, getting a kidney for someone in renal failure, or see a lung reduction on someone with COPD and know their life has been lengthen and they now have a new lease on life. To comfort a mom who has lost a child or a baby. These are the reasons i stay in this field because i want to make a difference in someone's life....