Nurse shortage grows acute; classes lacking

  1. Nurse shortage grows acute; classes lacking


    Had she gone to a private university, Genny Alvarez would already be a registered nurse.

    But those four years were spent instead at Los Angeles Valley College, waiting to get courses in microbiology, anatomy, physiology and other requirements to enter the four-year nursing program at California State University, Northridge.

    "I was already a certified nurse's assistant when I was in high school," said Alvarez, now 24. "I had taken college courses in English and math. I just always wanted to be a nurse and I was lucky that my parents supported me."

    Actually, she was lucky to get into a nursing program at all...

    ... Equally problematic, officials say, is a shortage of instructors to teach those responding to the nationwide demand for nurses....

    http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_5468570



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    About pickledpepperRN

    Joined: Mar '99; Posts: 13,361; Likes: 1,375

    11 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    You know what, this turned out to be a pretty good article. If you take time to read it all the way to the bottom it covers a lot of ground.
  4. by   daisy1972
    in my country, we have nurse shortages not because few take up nursing but because after taking this 4 year course and passing the board exam, nurses work only for 2-3 years just for an experience then they opted to go abroad preferably the US of A to graze in the greener pasture.

    the usual complain is that we are not well compensated here.
    well, i guess it will depend upon one's priority in life.:roll
  5. by   Gromit
    I certainly cannot blame them for leaving and heading here where the conditions are far better. Its a shame that they don't seem to be able to effect change in their own country -but I really know nothing of the dynamics of politics there. I know what its like to have to leave ones' own country, though.
  6. by   anne74
    All of these grants and programs to entice people to become nurses are misguided- we already have enough people who want to be nurses! (Hence all the waiting lists.) Put that money into better compensating instructors! Hello?! I get so annoyed with all the resources going into advertising for nursing students, and then there's no place for them to go.

    Now, I've heard that in Universities, they have to pay all the professors the same amount, no matter what area they teach. So, if they gave nursing instructors a raise, they'd have to get engineering, literature profs, etc., a raise too. But why can't these grants go towards supplementing the salary they get from the school?
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    From the article:

    ...California's nursing crisis began about 15 years ago, when hospitals streamlined their operations to cope with rising health-care costs and shorter patient stays.
    Thousands of RNs lost their jobs as hospitals downsized, and others subsequently left the profession because of lagging salaries, long hours and crushing case loads. ...

    ...Many colleges discontinued their nursing programs a decade ago because of the glut of RNs and are now scrambling to revive the classes...

    ...Even after they graduate, one-third of all registered nurses quit during their first year in a hospital, according to the California Nurses Association, which represents 75,000 nurses.
    "Either they fall through the cracks or end up in a unit that doesn't suit them and they are traumatized," spokeswoman Liz Jacobson said.
    Seeking to stem the tide, the CNA created a mentoring program three years ago that pairs novices with senior nurses.
    "Initial data found that the nurses that went through the program are seven times more likely to stay," Jacobson said...

    ..."I think people don't realize how physically and intellectually challenging it is to be a nurse," Highfield said.

    "They think it's hand-holding and passing out medications. I think sometimes people are unhappy in nursing because they are recruited into believing they will just be doing bedside. But what they don't realize is they will be dealing with very challenging situations, with very sick people, and it's not easy work.

    "But nurses now have many more opportunities," she said. "If a nurse knows herself well, she becomes highly respected."
    http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_5468570.
  8. by   Gromit
    But if a nurse knows HIMself well, does HE become highly respected?
    sometimes I feel like I'm just a well-paid buttwipe.
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from Gromit
    But if a nurse knows HIMself well, does HE become highly respected?
    sometimes I feel like I'm just a well-paid buttwipe.
    Mary Cox, who directs the nursing program at Valley College, needs to remember the many fine nurses who are men!
  10. by   Gromit
    Yeah, but I just like stirring trouble a little. How can I resist the temptation to poke a little fun at the "slight" of overlooking the fact that a field that used to be squarely in the field of the female gender now has an ever-increasing number of males. Wonder if we can claim some of the 'glass ceiling' bit....
    It is kind of a 'turnabout is fair play' bit. hehehe.
  11. by   llg
    Quote from anne74
    Now, I've heard that in Universities, they have to pay all the professors the same amount, no matter what area they teach. So, if they gave nursing instructors a raise, they'd have to get engineering, literature profs, etc., a raise too. But why can't these grants go towards supplementing the salary they get from the school?
    FYI ... Most colleges (at least those in the US) pay faculty members on different pay scales based on their department. People in different disciplines make different amounts. Traditionally, nursing faculty have been among the lowest paid faculty members -- but that has been changing in recent years because of the faculty shortage.

    Another factor that weights heavily in discussions of nursing faculty compensation is the fact that most nursing faculty members have less formal education (and fewer academic accomplishments) than their counterparts in other departments. The nursing faculty members are therefore at lower levels of the academic hierarchy than faculty members in other departments. Most nursing faculty members at the undergraduate level only have a Master's Degree and rarely do research and publish. In some other departments, you can't even get your foot in the door without a PhD and an impressive record of academic accomplishment. So, it's difficult for educational administrators to come up with an equatable solution to balancing out all the compensation packages across all departments.
  12. by   Fiesta Red
    The article references a program that turns RNs out faster. Does faster mean better? The accelerated program that we have here in town, which shall remain nameless, turns out nurses with very little clinical time, marginal skills, and not too much in the way of knowledge.

    Would you want an MD that graduated from an accelerated program?
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    I have had students from the Mount St. Mary's accelerated program assigned to me for clinical experience. They were without exception well informed and clinically capable.
    Of course this is only one program. regular BSN students from this school are also exceptional.

    I know California has strict requirements for clinical experience that some states do not. That is why the Exelcior LVN to RN program is not accepted for licensure in this state.

    Of course the number of hours does not guarantee a quality learning experience. I hope it does for this program. I see they make it clear students cannot work when attending the program.

    I know we need more slots in nursing education. This will have to be a priority to prevent tragic suffering for want of nurses.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Apr 1, '07

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