Published May 18, 2002
Legislators hear testimony on nursing shortage
05/17/2002 08:51 AM EDT
Nurses and hospital officials agree there is a statewide nursing shortage, but they disagreed yesterday about how to solve it. At a joint legislative hearing, nurses said working conditions and the ratio of nurses to patients must improve or health care will suffer. "Industry rhetoric that we can't afford nurse-to-patient ratios and other workload standards has turned reality inside out," said Ann Twomey, president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, which has lobbied the state for legislation setting nurse-to-patient ratios in all hospital departments.
Hospitals acknowledged the problem, but complained that government programs such as Medicaid did not reimburse them enough. "We simply cannot compete for nursing staff," said Paul Langevin of the Health Care Association of New Jersey.
New Jersey's shortage is more severe than the national average, with 13 percent of nursing jobs vacant, compared with 10 percent nationwide, according to Colleagues in Caring, which analyzes nursing issues.
Don't have the money huh? Thin out the administratvie areas. Have those making 500,000 a year plus perks take a 25% pay cut. If you can't live on that there is something seriously wrong with you. It is time the suits tighten their Gucci belts and get real!!
As much as this GALLS all nurses and many others in the health fields, I feel that we need to persist, in educating the public, writing our legislators, submitting articles, letters to editors. No health care professional who truly feels passionate about his/her profession can afford to stand idly by and complain about conditions. If we take a passive stance, and don't stand up for our patients and ourselves, we will be seen as weak-minded, NON-professionals, when we know that is far from the case. Again, the 'suits' and big business will 'win'.
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