Suggestions for changing the current nursing situation?

  1. I've read on the board a lot of comments about nursing conditions being in need of change. With the shortage, the baby-boomers coming of age--and old age-- and nurses being a hot commodity, are there any suggestions to help either draw non-practicing nurses back into the work place or ways to elicit change to make the shortage more bearable?

    I'm almost through with a BSN program, but none of the suggestions that have come from my classses seem viable. They just aren't applicable in the real world. I love being a nurse, and I'd appreciate hearing your opinions and ideas on how we can make nursing a truly rewarding experience for all involved, and draw new blood into our forces.
  2. Visit Estella profile page

    About Estella

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 29; Likes: 19
    Staff nurse in a Coronary Care Unit


  3. by   l.rae
    Estells, l am a baby boomer...been at this 22 yrs and l am one that is of the oppinion that there is no nursing shortage,..just plenty of nurses who refuse to work at the bedside any longer...for MANY good reasons. Let me relate it to our present situation....have you seen the recruiting posters now offering $2500 for referral bonus?...l don't even know what the sign on bonus is, or if they are offering one....However, this is just another snub to philosophy of RETENTION.....lately, it is more difficult to get approved time off, we can't give away shifts if a need is on the scheduel...the powers that be know that flexability is a retention and recruitment attraction.....but do we have that?....NO!....The pay is medicore, but thousands of dollars are thrown to recruitment with little or no effort spent on retention once these nurses sign on....Now l used to shake my head and mumble, "they are just too stupid to get it".....l don't believe this anymore.....they DO get nurses at the bottom of the pay scale are cheaper than paying the veterans fairly, giving them better benifits and retirement.....We are in dire need of better security in the ER....more staffing in the PM hours....however rumor has it that a bullet proof shield in the triage area was removed because it was "insulting" to our patients.....and the salary of the CEO to me is considered vulgar in the face of the needs of the staff/nurses....that equals better patient's the least they can do and still get by...wait till JAHCO comes and see how temporarily well staffed you suddenly are......also, next time you hear one of your co-workers validly complaining, ask them..."did you call corperate integrity and make your concern known"...the CI line is annonymous...they say...and supposedly persue these concerns......most will give you the hand caught in the cookie jar look and say.."no"....the other end of the problem is that nurses are just too acepting of this behavior toward them and do not band together for change.....well, l could go on and on.....but l got to go to work......check back with you later...........LR
  4. by   Youda
    That's exactly what Tommy Thompson is doing, too. Get more nurses, train more nurses! All because they don't want to deal with the real problem: corporate greed. Nurses are not a "hot" commodity. We're a disposable commodity, like a used glove.
  5. by   Estella
    I hear you. How do we change things? How do we make our importance known? Without nurses, people die from lack of care, or from the care regime prescribed by some of the doctors if a nurse isn't there to put it to a screeching halt. Most people don't know that. What do we need to do to bring respectability and honor to our chosen profession? How do we go about demanding respect after the past centuries of having little or none? How do we go about making nursing a profession to be proud of, one we can eagerly, happily draw our daughters and sons into without wondering how long it will be before they are burned out and jaded?
    If we have respect from our upper management, and are acknowledged as integral parts of health care, we should be better off. How do we do this?
  6. by   Youda
    Estella, you join your state nurses association. It's that simple. Your state associations and the ANA are fighting hard for you and your patients. Their resolves are all the things you mentioned.
  7. by   Estella
    Hi Youda,
    Thanks for replying.
    My Community Oriented Nursing instructor is a member of the ONA and the president of our district. I attended their meeting just last Thursday with a classmate, who works at the same hospital I do, and one that is in the same network as l.rae. Both of us were astounded at the lack of nurses from our network. However, the nurses that represented the other hospitals in the area had the same complaints. I will speak to my instructo today to get some suggestions from her, and maybe start a fire as to these issues. Do you think one RN can start an avalanche in gaining respectability for our profession? I'm willing to try. I just wish I found some additional supporters and some additional information to use as ammo when I go into the line of fire.
  8. by   -jt
    <Do you think one RN can start an avalanche in gaining respectability for our profession?>

    Florence Nightgale was one woman in England in the 1800s & invented the nursing profession.
    Lillian Wald, RN was one woman in NYC in the early 1900's & invented home care & the Visiting Nurses Assoc --- she also got working women to start organizing into unions 100 yrs ago & even helped invent the NAACP.
    Lavinia Dock, RN was one woman in NYC who helped her.

    Look around you ---- you are not one woman going it alone.

    If you need information before you jump into the line of fire, dont forget to browse your state nurses asociation website - especially the legislative/government affairs pages to find out whats happening with nursing issues in your state legislature & how to push the agenda for nurses. Also look at the Economic & General Welfare pages (collective bargaining) to see what organized staff nurses in your state are achieving in the workplace & what fights they are waging on the issues. You will be armed with a ton of ammo after that.

    In addition, do a search on the ANA website and also this website on whatever topic it is you need more info on. We've got all the ammo you need! And anytime you need some help, stop by here & just ask.
  9. by   lee1
    Someone mentioned this department in their hospital where annonymous suggestion/complaints can be given???
    How does it work? Under whose department is it???
  10. by   Youda
    If you're talking about a Corporate Integrity Agreement, this is a legal document that the corporation has had to sign with the Federal government to keep their medicare and medicaid funding, caused by blatant disregard of patient care. Instead of losing their funding, they agree to be good little boys from now on. Part of that agreement is to make reporting violations to the agreement easier. Check with your particular institution. Many have corporation hotlines to report. Others have other reporting methods.
  11. by   Estella
    In our hospital netowrk we have a Corporate Integrity Hotline and a Corporate Ethics contact person. The hotline allows us to report unethical behaviors we observe in the workplace. I've seen it work, mainly to the benefit of the network, but also as a way to protect the staff. (Working with someone with unethical behaviors can effect one's own job, directly or indirectly. One person I worked with was fired for gross incompetence. Her co-workers were all asked about their ethics: Why didn't you mention something about this BEFORE we got patinet complaints instead of AFTER they came in? This person had been performing dangerously for several years. The whole morale of the unit went up after this person was dismissed.)
  12. by   monikker
    Have recently witnessed a physician taking a young pt for a "needed c section" pt absolutely wonderful fhm strip baby tolerating labor wonderfully the md documented c/s for "non reassuring fetal heart monitoring" the doctor never looked at the strip. Another nurse reported this to the charge Rn and unit manager and were told "oh well" Oh well what! the patient now has to have c/s births of she doesnt want to risk her health. and was denied the chance for her desired birth experience. My friend decided to report the incident to the physcian peer review anly to find herself 3 days later suspended for a HIPPA violation (the chair of Md peer review asked her to fax outline of incident asking why she felt a review was needed. this she did sending copies to unit manager and risk management no dob or mr # was used. Is this not blatant retaliation for whistle blowing!! any ideas out there