bert0206 971 Views
Joined: Apr 4, '06;
Posts: 2 (50% Liked)
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I just wanted to reply to several of these posts. First of all I am a North Carolinian living in Michigan. I have been hearing from my sister who is a public school art teacher about how dire things are in my home state. Since we have been in recession here in Michigan for about 7 years as opposed to the two years for the rest of the country, I have a great deal of empathy for what all of you are going through. Our unemployment is up to 15% as of May(highest in the nation) but I know southern states are not far behind us. I work as nursing faculty for a small private college here in Michigan and the interesting thing is our overall collge enrollment is up. Mainly because many people are receiving $$ through No Worker Left Behind programs and other state and federally funded "back to work" initiatives. This has had a great impact on our college in that we are financially stronger than we have ever been. In fact we are moving into a brand new health science building in the fall since we are rapidly outgrowing our old facility.
Our applicant pool for our nursing program has doubled which is a good thing because in recent years we have had just enough applicants to fill our 60 seats. This means that all applicants have gotten in not just the best. This has impacted our attrition rates since more students are finding it difficult to complete the program. and failing out. We had our highest number of failures this year that we have ever had.
However, our graduates are finding it much harder to obtain their first job. So far we have been able to place everyone this year. Many are going into LTC rather than the hospitals. The hospitals up here have been hurting for awhile since the auto industry downturn started several years ago and people up here have not had insurance for quite a while. Our hospitals are trying to maintain theri nurse extern and nur residency programs but teh numbers of students and grads who are being taken into these programs has been severely reduced. I agree with the writer who suggested that nursing students complete a CNA course, that is a great way to get experience with alll types of procedures. Fortunately the program I work in is an ADN school so our students get tons of hands on practice--our clinicals are all 5-9 weeks long, two 6-9 hour days each week, with direct patient care in each one. But I do see a distinct difference between our ADN program and the BSN program at our local university. Lots of observing there much less patient care.
As for students going into the profession for the money, that is also true for us. With an added reason, this is one area that they can still get a job of some type. Maybe not the job of their dreams but at least a job. That is precious to everyone up here. The point about needing to make money to pay for student loans is also true. While the back to work programs help with some college costs, students still come out with huge loans and need a way to repay them.
Finally a comment on nursing faculty. Our workload is horrendous(60-70 hours/week). Our pay is horrible($50,000/year tops). We recently did a market study of our own to try to convince our college to increase pay and got laughed at. But I cannot think of another place I would rather work. I have a great team of colleagues to work with(I consider myself fortunate) and an eager group of students to guide. I also work as a perdiem nurse educator for a small local hospital and the difference is night and day.
I believe we have to be patient in these times, try to instill as much professionalism as we can in our students, provide them with as many opportunities for learning as we can and hope for the best.
Robbi in Michigan
I teach in an ADN program at a small private college. We have no components of ACLS built into our program. Our students have expressed concern that they do not know what to do in the event of rapidly deteriorating patient conditions which may lead to a code situation. We are trying to put together a series of learning modules which will start with our Fundamental students and advance in complexity through each term of our program. We applied for a grant to purchase equipment such as a defibrillator, IV pump, cardiac rhythm simulator, etc. but we were turned down. I am wondering if anyone out ther has found ways to integrate this information into their curriculum in an inexpensive way.
Thank you for your suggestions
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