New grads vrs renewed oldies

  1. Why are there so many new bills and pushes by state nursing associations for increased education of new grads when we all know that there are thousands of seasoned nurses out there who choose not to work under current conditions. Seeems to e that it would be cheaper to improve conditions to get the already educated nurses back in the profession than to educate more. In addition we are sending new grads out into a work environment that has already proven toxic. It is a sure bet that a high percentage will leave the profession, and we will be right back where we started.

    The ANA and state associations all support these bills though. They are trying to haul water with a leaky bucket.
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    About canoehead, BSN

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  3. by   PhantomRN
    i am not so sure it would be cheaper to correct the things wrong with nursing. i personally think they are taking the cheap route ie grabbing new grads at a lower rate toss then out on the floors and burn them out in a few years.

    sadly, i think management feels that if a nurse quits there is always one around the corner who may work cheaper to take his or her place.

    i had one manager tell me years ago....."recession is a good thing because the husbands get layed off and it brings nurses back to work." now that is pathetic. however, is it not true. how many posts have we all read lately about nurses wanting to come back to the bed side?

    i know i have read many.

    and really why do the hospitals care anyway? there is now a media focus on the shortage of nurses, so soon we will see an upsurge of students going into programs.

    i suspect they are beginning to feel a win-win situation coming on. let us soon see the reduction of sign on bonuses and other incentives to lure in nurses.
  4. by   canoehead
    In my state they found that the education programs were full, so even if more high school students chose nursing, or even if they provided loans/grants they would not be able to up the final number of people graduating. So now they will either have to import foreign nurses or improve nursing conditions to get people back in the profession.

    I guess my question was why are the organizations that are supposed to advocate for nurses looking to infuse money into getting new people in the mix when the workers that are already qualified and working are saying the problem is conditions- not educational needs. Are they not listening to their own members?
  5. by   CaronRN58
    It does seem that some good refresher courses for Rn's that have not worked for several years would make sense. Have not seen this suggestion anywhere lately. Taking a refresher course got me back into the workforce about 20 years ago. Was only going to work for a couple of years and ended up working for over 20. Seems worthwhile to me.
  6. by   Jenny P
    Here's something to think about: in 10 years, half of the nurses in my state will qualify for retirement. In 5 years, I will be able to retire according to my contract. The baby boomers are beginning to retire now; and they were the largest generation in the history of our country. As we age and enter the period of our lives when we will require the most medical attention, who will care for us?

    I really think that we have to address both: recruiting new people to the profession and getting nurses to return to the profession. ANA and the state nursing associations ARE addressing both issues. Try a few of the websites and see what they contain. The states that do collective bargaining are empowering the staff nurses to take control of their workplaces and their lives: limiting or prohibiting mantadory overtime; better salaries; better staffing ratios; etc. I'm sorry that I don't know about what happens in individual right to work states, but ANA supports workplace advocacy in right to work states and established a workplace advocacy program and a commision at the last convention (go to and then type in "wpa" or "workplace advocacy" in the search slot or window or whatever it's called.

    My other belief is that to change an organization, one needs to join it and BE INVOLVED! If you don't like the way the organization functions in your state; change it from the inside! Did you know that you can nominate yourself for an ANA election or appointed position? When you figure that only about 10% of an organization is active, your voice DOES count IF you use it! If you think that your state association is made up of nurse managers or educators, get a core group of staff nurses together and take over the system yourself. Just do your homework first and find out what ANA and your state associations ARE doing before you throw them out. Maybe your professional associations are doing more than you are aware of. See what is happening locally (at the districts), regionally (at your state) and nationally and internationally before you trash something that may already be working for you.
  7. by   canoehead
    So still, the number of places for educating nurses doesn't begin to accomodate the people that are applying. Maybe the scholarship money would be better spent creating new spots for nursing students in existing programs.

    I think the ANA sold out on us when they agreed to promote bringin gnurses in from overseas. Nothing will change with a ready supply of cheap labor.

    Yep, I am an ANA member- but they cut me loose when Maine left the ANA- even though I sent my $ to the national office.
  8. by   NRSKarenRN
    i guess my question was why are the organizations that are supposed to advocate for nurses looking to infuse money into getting new people in the mix when the workers that are already qualified and working are saying the problem is conditions- not educational needs. are they not listening to their own members?

    go back to wildtimes post;
    what do you think a ceo or aha think about pending legislation?

    and my response under "understanding the nurse reinvestment act "

    sec. 861. developing retention strategies and best practices in nursing staff management.

    funding allocation: $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2003 and may be continued.

    (1) a maximum of $200,000 for a facility with less than 100 staffed beds.
    (2) a maximum of $400,000 for a facility with less than 400 staffed beds.
    (3) a maximum of $600,000 for a facility with 400 or more staffed beds.

    (g) use of funds- an eligible entity that receives a grant under subsection (a) shall use such grant funds to do one or more of the following:

    (1) improve the quality of the health care facility work environment, including improving communication and collaboration among health care professionals.
    (2) initiate or maintain aggressive nurse retention programs, including other initiatives as deemed appropriate by the nurse retention committee at the health care facility.
    (3) reduce workplace injuries.
    (4) reduce rates of nursing sensitive patient outcomes.
    (5) provide high quality evaluations of the cost-effectiveness and patient-outcomes of best practices, to assist health care facility decision-makers in determining appropriate nurse retention strategies.
    (6) promote continuing nursing education and career development.

    part k--national commission
    sec. 865. national commission.

    national commission on the recruitment and retention of nurses

    (1) strategies necessary to address the nursing shortage in the long term;

    (2) best practices in the recruitment and retention of nurses and the impact on patients and staff of employing participatory, collaborative, and patient-centered models of nursing care, which shall include the examination of--

    (a) reasons behind low nurse vacancy rates and turnover in the workplace;

    (b) practices that are not effective in recruiting and retaining nurses and why;

    (c) how successful recruitment and retention practices work, why they are successful and how health care facilities with lower than average retention rates can improve their working conditions to improve their retention rates, including an examination of hospitals and other health care facilities with higher than average retention rates, and the role of different stakeholders in the workplace, such as nurses, doctors, other health professionals and employees, and management at all levels;

    (d) factors that influence career satisfaction for nurses;

    (e) to what extent successful recruitment and retention practices are unique to a particular situation or applicable across the field; and

    (f) the effectiveness of best practices for recruitment and retention for different populations of nurses, such as nurses who choose nursing as a second career, nurses from various racial and ethnic groups, male and female nurses, and nurses with varying ages and experience levels;

    (3) the facilitation of career advancement within the nursing profession;

    (4) attracting middle and high school students into nursing careers; and

    (5) attracting individuals who may pursue nursing careers after they have pursued other careers.

    passed the senate december 20 (legislative day, december 18), 2001.

    ana helped draft this legislation and it's members helped push to get this law passed, now we got to get it signed by the pressident

    what has ana done for us lately?:

    september 2001 highlights:

    convened a meeting september 28-29, 2001 in crystal city, virginia of the constituent member association (cma) lobbyists from 19 states to develop a "2002 nationwide legislative/regulatory strategy" to improve the practice environment for nurses. the cma lobbyists identified issues and developed strategies for implementation for the 2002 nationwide state legislative agenda:
    **to pass legislation/regulations which will incorporate national/valid safe and appropriate staffing. (this priority incorporates the priorities of the 2001 agenda including whistle blower protections, mandatory overtime and nursing quality indicators.)
    *to obtain funding for nursing education. (this priority incorporates collection of nursing workforce data from the 2001 agenda.)
    *to explore the development of legislative/regulatory approaches which provides incentive to facilities that reach ancc magnet status.
    *to maximize lobbying efforts.
    *to advocate for resources to increase the capacity of nursing to respond to national disasters. (i.e. biological, chemical and nuclear.)
    identified the next step by taking identified priority issues and strategies back to individual cma leadership to decide what issues each respective cma would address. ana and the cmas will also decide on the strategies that ana will work on to support the agenda. the final determination of the work will be decided via conference call on january 4, 2002.

    october 2001highlights:
    nursing shortage - ana actively addresses the complex factors that affect the supply and demand for nurses. ana is initiating strategies to retain and recruit nurses by improving work environments, increasing educational opportunities, increasing compensation and advocating for laws that strengthen the profession.
    president foley presented keynote address entitled, "nurses make it happen" at the wyoming nurses association annual convention on october 6, 2001 in casper, wyoming.

    informed the nursing community on nurse shortage issues through media exchange and periodicals:
    *facilitated interview for president mary foley on the nursing shortage on "making a difference" on wdca-tv (set to air nov. 4).
    *facilitated interviews for first vice president underwood in the philadelphia magazine (no print date given) and self magazine (to be published in the november issue).
    *featured article on federal funding for nurses to repay their loans while working in underserved areas in the "washington watch" column in the october 2001 issue of ajn..

    *provided background information for stories to appear in nurseweek (no print date given); kansas city star (no print date given); nursing spectrum (article slated for november); u.s. news and world report (article ran oct. 29); and the associated press (no print dates given).

    keynoted on the national nursing shortage at the kentucky nurses association annual convention on october 18, 2001 in louisville, kentucky.

    appropriate staffing - ana leads the way in research, policy and practice, and workplace strategies to ensure that the number and mix of staff are appropriate - protecting both patients and nurses.

    provided services and informed the nursing community on nurse staffing issues through the following mediums:
    facilitated download of 4,800 copies of the staffing survey results for registered nurses for the month of october.
    distributed news release entitled, "ana hails federal grant to study nursing, work hours, fatigue and patient outcomes," to trade and consumer media on october 16, 2001.

    presented ana's perspective on utilization of the forces of magnetism as a strategy to reduce the long term care staffing crisis to an interdisciplinary audience during the american public health association's annual meeting on october 20, 2001 in atlanta, georgia.

    workplace rights - ana protects, defends and educates nurses about their rights as employees under the law.

    informed the nursing community on nurse staffing issues through the following periodicals:
    featured story on unionization of nurses for forbes magazine (ran oct. 29).
    featured story on nurse salaries for advance for nurses (no print date given).
    featured story on salary differentials for american medical news (no print date given).

    workplace advocacy programs

    workplace advocacy links


    united american nurses, ana's labor arm, is working within each unionized facility to improve conditions.

    now, what has the other 1.5 million nurses done to improve workplace conditions?????

    within my home care agency, i co-chair our safety committee and are now at the field test part of our safer syringe/needlestick campaign. helped revise oasis, admission assessmsent and plan of treatment forms reduced from 25 pages into a 14 page check off booklet to save time and frustration yet meet medicare and jcaho guidelines. i keep sending vp of patient services emails and updates re info affecting staffing and healthcare legislation----identifyed need for laptops due to all the da.. homecare documentation....she was able to convince ceo last year of the need and it rn position now posted to impliment.

    it is up to each one of us as professionals to push our institutions for change. no one hands it to us on a silver platter.
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    i think the ana sold out on us when they agreed to promote bringing nurses in from overseas.
    not true , not true!

    check out mary foley ana presidents remarks!

    statement of the american nurses association
    before the committee on education and workforce
    on the nursing shortage: causes, impact and innovative remedies
    september 11, 2001

    selected parts....


    ana is working to address current nurse staffing shortfalls, to improve the work of nursing and to encourage more young people to enter the profession of nursing.

    adequate staffing
    the safety and quality of care provided in the nation's health care facilities is directly related to the number and mix of direct care nursing staff. more than a decade of research shows that nurse staffing levels and skill mix make a difference in the outcomes of patients. in fact, four hhs agencies - the health resources and services administration, health care financing administration, agency for healthcare research and quality, and the national institute of nursing research of the national institutes of health - recently sponsored a study on this very topic. the resulting report, released on april 20, 2001, found strong and consistent evidence that increased rn staffing is directly related to decreases in the incidence of urinary tract infections, pneumonia, shock, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and decreased hospital length of stay.

    a recent ana survey reveals that 75 percent of nurses feel that the quality of nursing care at the facility in which they work has declined over the past two years. out of nearly 7,300 respondents, over 5,000 nurses cited inadequate staffing as a major contributing factor to the decline in quality of care. more than half of the respondents believed that the time they have available for patient care has decreased.

    the university of pennsylvania research shows that 70-80% of more than 43,000 registered nurses surveyed in five countries reported that there are not enough rns in hospitals to provide high quality care. only 33 percent of the american nurses surveyed believed that hospital staffing is sufficient to "get work done." this survey reflects similar findings from a national survey taken by the henry j. kaiser family foundation (1999) that found that 69 percent of nurses reported that inadequate nurse staffing levels caused great concern for patient care. we should all be concerned that more than 40% of the responding nurses in the ana survey stated that they feel that the quality of care has suffered so severely that they would not feel comfortable having a family member or loved one receive care in the facility in which they work.

    in addition to the important relationship between nurse staffing and patient care, several studies have shown that one of the primary factors for the increasing nurse turnover rate is dissatisfaction with workload/staffing. adequate staffing levels allow nurses the time that they need to make patient assessments, complete nursing tasks, respond to health care emergencies, and provide the level of care that their patients deserve. it also increases nurse satisfaction and reduces turnover. for these reasons, ana supports efforts to require acute care facilities to implement and use a valid and reliable staffing plan based on patient acuity. in addition we support efforts to enact upwardly adjustable, minimum nurse to patient staff ratios in skilled nursing facilities.

    mandatory overtime
    nurses across the nation are also expressing concerns about the dramatic increase in the use of mandatory overtime as a staffing tool. we hear that overtime is the most common method facilities are using to cover staffing insufficiencies. employers may insist that a nurse work an extra shift (or more) or face dismissal for insubordination, as well as being reported to the state board of nursing for patient abandonment.

    the use of mandatory overtime is not as uncommon or isolated as some would have you believe. in fact, the term 'mandation' has been coined by the health care industry to describe this staffing tool. a recent ana survey (sample size of 4,826) revealed that two-thirds of nurses are being required to work some mandatory or unplanned overtime every month.

    our concerns about the use of mandatory overtime are directly related to patient safety. we know that sleep loss influences several aspects of performance, leading to slowed reaction time, failure to respond when appropriate, false responses, slowed thinking, and diminished memory. in fact, 1997 research by dawson and reid at the university of australia showed that work performance is more likely to be impaired by moderate fatigue than by alcohol consumption. their research shows that significant safety risks are posed by workers staying awake for long periods. it only stands to reason that an exhausted nurse is more likely to commit a medical error than a nurse who is not being required to work a 16 to 20 hour shift.

    nurses are placed in a unique situation when confronted by demands for overtime. ethical nursing practice prohibits nurses from engaging in behavior that they know could harm patients. at the same time, rns face the loss of their license - their careers and livelihoods - when charged with patient abandonment. absent legislation, nurses will continue to confront this dilemma. for this reason, ana supports legislative initiatives to ban the use of mandatory overtime through medicare conditions of participation.

    we are working through the medicare system because we believe that the abusive use of overtime promotes poor patient care and therefore is a matter of public health safety. just as limits on work hours for airline pilots and truck drivers are enacted through transportation law, we believe that this matter should be handled through health law. on a more practical level, we also believe that medicare provider contracts cover more nurses in more facilities than an amendment to the fair labor standard act would.

    health and safety:
    as this committee is aware, nurses are also leaving the profession due to avoidable injuries sustained on the job. this committee took the lead last year in addressing one of the most devastating threats facing nurses and other health care workers - the threat of infection from contaminated needles and sharps. your support and hard work on behalf of the needlestick safety and prevention act will save the lives of countless nurses and health care workers. an ana survey of nearly 5,000 nurses that was released last week reveals that 80 percent of facilities are now providing safe needle devices for injections, iv insertions, and taking blood. this represents an incredible accomplishment for such a short period of time. ana is confident that we will reach full compliance in the near future. on behalf of the 2.6 million registered nurses in america - thank you.

    i wish i could report that our concerns about workplace health and safety are now solved. unfortunately, the new ana survey shows that health and safety concerns continue to play a major role in nurse's employment decisions. in fact, 88 percent of the nurse respondents reported that these concerns influence decisions about what type of nursing work they will perform. the top-ranking concerns are focused on the acute and chronic effects caused by overwork and fatigue, the risk of a disabling back injury, and the threat of sustaining an on-the-job assault. government statistics show that nurses are more likely to sustain back injuries than heavy construction workers. in fact, studies of back-related workers compensation claims reveal that nursing personnel have one of the highest claim rates of any occupation or industry. three of the top seven occupations at greatest risk for musculoskeletal disorders are health care occupations where the workers perform repetitive patient handling tasks.

    the threat of on-the job violence is just as real. more than half of the respondents to the ana survey reported being threatened or verbally assaulted in the last year, 17 percent reported being physically assaulted. unfortunately, emergency department nurses are subjected to the same violence that brings patients into their care, and nurses in psychiatric facilities may be left unprotected from the most unstable and violent patients.

    the public at large should be alarmed that the nurses who took part in the ana poll responded overwhelmingly (75.8%) that unsafe working conditions interfere with their ability to deliver high quality care. we can do better than this. our nurses and their patients deserve more. ana is committed to continuing our work with this committee, employers, and other health workers to find effective, common-sense, cost-effective solutions to these concerns.

    national labor relations verses kentucky river community care
    in this time of deteriorating working conditions and increased stress, it is important that nurses maintain their ability to use collective bargaining to improve their working environment. nurses are using this tool to curb the use of mandatory overtime, stem the inappropriate use of unlicenced assistive personnel, and to improve on-the-job safety.

    ana was disappointed when the u.s. supreme court ruled this spring that six registered nurses at a kentucky facility met the definition of 'supervisor' and are therefore ineligible to join a union or participate in collective bargaining. a split court upheld an the sixth court of appeal's decision that these nurses met the definition of supervisor because they use independent judgment to direct the work of others. ana concurs with the national labor relations board in our belief that the court applied an unreasonably broad definition of supervisor in this case.

    rns regularly delegate certain patient care tasks to lesser-skilled assistants (e.g. assistance with bathing) in order to focus on other tasks that require more advanced skills (e.g., administering iv medication). such delegation is governed by state laws and regulations, federal regulations, and the facility's own policies. the mere fact that a nurse directs these tasks does not mean that he or she has the ability to hire, fire, promote or discipline these employees. therefore, the ability of staff rns to direct the work of others should not be confused with the management-sanctioned authority that true supervisors exercise over the professional lives of employees.

    ana believes that the broad definition of supervisor contained in the national labor relations act will continue to prompt unnecessary litigation and will interfere with the ability of many staff rns to organize. we look forward to working with this committee to craft a definition that contains a more appropriate definition of supervisor.

    the emerging nurse shortage

    traditionally, nursing shortages have been successfully addressed by changes in the market for nursing care. health care facilities have normally responded to such shortages by instituting recruitment campaigns and increasing compensation. these actions served to attract more people into the profession, and to bring back those who had left. unfortunately, the answer is not going to be so easy this time.

    today's staffing shortage is compounded by the lack of young people entering the nursing profession, the rapid aging of the rn workforce, and the impending health care needs of the baby boom generation. as new opportunities have opened up for young women and new stresses have been added to the profession of nursing, fewer people have opted to choose nursing as a career. new admissions into nursing schools have dropped dramatically and consistently for the past six years (the general accounting office reports a 20 percent decline in baccalaureate enrollments, a 11 percent decline in associate degree programs, and a 42 percent decline in diploma programs).

    the lack of young people entering nursing has resulted in a steady increase in the average age of the working nurse. today, the average working rn is over 43 years old. the national average is projected to continue to increase before peaking at age 45.5 in 2010. at that time, large numbers of nurses are expected to retire and the total number of nurses in america will begin a steady decline. at the same time, the need for complex nursing services will only increase. america's demand for nursing care is expected to balloon over the next 20 years due to the aging of the population, advances in technology and various economic and policy factors. in fact, the bureau of labor statistics ranks the occupation of nursing as having the seventh highest projected job growth in the united states.

    the increasing demand for nursing services, coupled with the imminent retirement of today's aging nurse, will soon create a systemic nursing shortage. a recent study published in the journal of the american medical association estimates that the overall number of nurses per capita will begin to decline in 2007, and that by 2020 the number of nurses will fall nearly 20 percent below requirements.

    now is the time to address this impending public health crisis. ana strongly supports the nurse reinvestment act (h.r. 1436, s. 706) and the nursing education and employment development act (s. 721). these comprehensive bills addresses many issues in nurse education and will greatly aide recruitment into the profession. the combination of innovative recruitment techniques, curriculum support, scholarships, and loan repayments contained in these bills will enhance all aspects of nurse education. ana urges this committee to support the further development of our nation's existing nurse population and the cultivation of our youth into this very worthwhile profession.

    ana has deep concerns about the use of immigration as a means to address the emerging nursing shortage. throughout a number of nurse shortages, immigration has been promoted as the standard "answer" by employers who have difficulty attracting american nurses to work in their facilities. we have been down this road many times before without success. there are a number of problems with increasing the immigration of foreign-trained nurses, following are just a few issues:

    the influx of foreign-trained nurses only serves to further delay debate any action on the serious workplace issues that continue to drive american nurses away from the profession. as i mentioned earlier, a presidential task force called to investigate the last major nursing shortage developed a list of recommendations. these 16 recommendations, released in december, 1988, are still very relevant today - they include issues such as the need to adopt innovative nurse staffing patterns, the need to collect better data about the economic contribution that nurses make to employing organizations, the need for nurse participation in the governance and administration of health care facilities, and the need for increased scholarships and loan repayment programs for nursing students. perhaps if these recommendations were implemented we would not be here today. certainly, we will be here in the future if they are ignored. ana strongly believes that we should not recruit foreign nurses when the real problem is the fact that the domestic health care industry has failed to maintain a work environment that is conducive to safe, quality nursing practice and that retains experienced american nurses in patient care.

    there are serious ethical questions about recruiting nurses from other countries when there is a world-wide shortage of nurses. the removal of foreign-trained nurses from areas such as south africa, india, and the caribbean deprives their home countries of highly trained health care practitioners upon whose skills and talents their countries heavily rely.

    in addition, immigrant nurses are too often exploited because employers know that fears of retaliation will keep them from speaking up. there are numerous, disturbing examples from our experience with the expired h-1a nurse visa. the ins chicago district issued a $1.29 million fine against fhc enterprises, inc. for 645 immigration document violations. fhc, inc. fraudulently obtained 225 h-1a visas which were used to employ filipino nurses as lower-paid nurse aides ($6.50 per hour) instead of as registered nurses ($12.50 per hour). the catholic archdiocese of chicago agreed to pay $50,000 in fines and $384,700 in back wages to 99 filipino nurses who were underpaid. in kansas, 66 filipino nurses were awarded $2.1 million to settle a discrimination case in which the filipino nurses were not paid the same wage rate as u.s.-born registered nurses at the same facility. these are just a few of the cases that have come to light over the last decade.

    ana maintains the current nursing shortage will remain and likely worsen if changes in the workplace are not immediately addressed. the profession of nursing will be unable to compete with the myriad of other career opportunities available in today's economy unless we improve working conditions. registered nurses, hospital administrators, other health care providers, health system planners, and consumers must come together in a meaningful way to create a system that supports quality patient care and all health care providers. we must begin by improving the environment for nursing.

    ana looks forward to working with you and our industry partners to make the current health care environment conducive to high quality nursing care. improvements in the environment of nursing care, combined with aggressive and innovative recruitment efforts will help avert the impending nursing shortage. the resulting stable nursing workforce will improve health care for all americans.
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
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  11. by   -jt

    I thought we got that all cleared up for you ; )
    ANA did not cut you loose - your state assoc pulled everyone out. You were a member of ANA only through your state assoc - no matter which office you sign up through. When your state assoc left the ANA, it took every one of its members with them, whether they wanted to go or not. Those who didnt want to go then made up a new state assoc, affiliated back with the ANA & through that you can retain ANA membership. Please dont blame the ANA for what your state assoc members voted to do themselves.

    Re: Nurse Reinvestment/Education bills:
    <<The ANA and state associations all support these bills though. They are trying to haul water with a leaky bucket.>>

    Maybe you are not fully aware of what these bills entail or all the other efforts the assoc are developing & supporting re: workplace conditions, retention, etc. The much-needed education part of the puzzle is important but besides that, there is a whole lot of other stuff happening at the same time. Check out :

    Legislation Pending That Affects Nurses
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 19, '02
  12. by   -jt
    <Why are there so many new bills and pushes by state nursing associations for increased education of new grads when we all know that there are thousands of seasoned nurses out there who choose not to work under current conditions.>

    Are you forgetting about all the bills and "pushes" by state nursing associations that address exactly what you are asking about re: the non-working nurses, working conditions, and retention?? The education bills are not the only bills being developed & pushed for but apparently, on this site, they are the only ones that ever get talked about.

    Along with those bills to educate new students for the future, (because we will need them there AS we retire - not after we retire,) THERE ARE ALSO bills to force employers to correct the CURRENT WORKPLACE problems, RETAIN present experienced nurses now, and hopefully draw back some of the nurses who are not working today before they also hit retirement age at the same time the rest of us do.

    As many times as this has been discussed here , (the Patient Safety Act, the Nurse Retention - Quality Care Act) why are some people still not aware of the pending legislation that addresses current workplace problems, working conditions, and retention??? Maybe a visit to this thread would be helpful:
    Legislation Pending That Affects Nurses

    Its easy to pass judgement when we are uninformed, but it might be helpful for people to be up-to-date on what the organization is really doing/saying before they draw their conclusions-

    "ANA maintains that the deterioration in the working conditions for nurses is the primary cause for the staff vacancies being reported by hospitals and nursing facilities - not a systemic nursing shortage. Nurses are opting not to take these nursing jobs because they are not attracted to positions where they will be confronted by mandatory overtime and short staffing, etc.

    In fact, data from the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA's) 2000 national sample survey of RNs shows that more than 500,000 licensed nurses (more than 18% of the national nurse workforce) have chosen not to work in nursing. This available labor pool could be drawn back into nursing if they found the employment opportunities attractive enough"........... >>
    Support the Patient Safety Act and the Nurse Retention-Quality Care Act 2001

    Looks to me like the organization is - and has been - saying the same as the rest of us are - by listening to its members. And has submitted legislation to help correct the problems. We all can help by asking our legislators to support it.
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 19, '02
  13. by   -jt
    <the number of places for educating nurses doesn't begin to accomodate the people that are applying. Maybe the scholarship money would be better spent creating new spots for nursing students in existing programs.
    I think the ANA sold out on us when they agreed to promote bringin gnurses in from overseas. Nothing will change with a ready supply of cheap labor>

    Maybe they should create new spots??? Agreed to promote nurses from overseas?????????

    Ok now Im convinced - confusion about all of this happens because people dont have the full information on it before they get into debating it. The facts are:

    The Nurse Reinvestment Act DOES allocate funding for EXPANSION of nursing programs - that means it DOES provide money to "create more spots" to accomodate more students in existing nursing programs. It also will provide funding for experienced nurses to become educators of those programs, and funding for students to be able to afford to attend nursing schools. We have to start building a workforce for the future because soon we & all those other nurses out there who arent working at all will be of retirement age.

    IN THE MEANTIME, other legislation is working to correct the abuses in the workplace. (see previous post). As far as supporting overseas recruitment - on the contrary, the actual ANA statement on that is:

    "ANA condemns the practice of recruiting nurses from countries with their own nursing shortage. The cause of instability in the nursing workforce must be addressed . Over-reliance on foreign-educated nurses serves only to postpone efforts required to address the workplace needs of the U.S. nursing workforce........"

    overseas nurses must be paid the same as the regular nurses at the facility. its against the law for the hospital to pay them less
    Last edit by -jt on Jan 19, '02
  14. by   woo 2
    retention of older nurses seems to be the big issue, we are getting older at at time when the acuity of our patients is getting higher, unfortunaltely nurse managers are not looking at acuity only at numbers, this many patinets get this many nurses, at my facility on a med surg floor an rn can be responsible to cover 12 patients, i would chart on 6 and the lpn would have 6. the acuity of the patients doesnt enter into the picture. also we have a lot of younger staff on our unit, but the experience level also doesn't seem to fit into the equation for management again only the number of licensed staff, the problem seems to be that nurses are the only ones who view patients as sick anymore to administration they are customers or consumers.