Nursing crisis looms over Iowa - page 2

A shortage of nurses has caused concern among elected officials and health care analysts for decades. At least two Iowa governors have convened task forces to investigate the problem and offer... Read More

  1. by   dionnedillon
    i vote for working conditions-nurse/pt ratio, stress, low pay
  2. by   ANnot4me
    OMG, I made $19/hour twelve years ago in Chicago and that sucked then (considering I had a student loan of $60k). As I said before, I would bet you work like a dog too. Truthfully, I would consider a low paying job if I could go home at night and feel like I had been able to be a great nurse. Money was not the reason I entered nursing and it isn't the reason I left it either.
  3. by   GeorgiaK
    I'm ready to move.
  4. by   eriksoln
    Quote from brian
    would love to hear from actual nurses in Iowa (boots on the groun) to get their perspective of the nursing situation.

    I spoke to a cousin who is a fairly new grad in Iowa a few weeks ago, she said almost all the hospitals have a hiring freeze right now. She luckily got a job in a hospital before the freezes took place.

    Iowa Nurses, speak up
    Yep to that.


    OP. Don't believe it every time you hear someone say there is a nursing shortage going on. There is not. Most hospitals either have a hiring freeze in place, a wage freeze or are still in the "everyone else is laying off, we are not, so be grateful and hush your mouth about ratios" phase. This includes Iowa and Texas and all the other pockets of the country where people insist jobs are plentiful (yet, GN or experienced nurse applies for a job and is told the facility is not in a position to hire).

    They are trying to do to nurses what was done to Electrical Engineers many years ago. I'm sure everyone remembers that little pocket of time in the late 70's and early 80's when there was a great demand for people with this background. Then, schools started pumping out grads in the field like mad. Eventually, the field was saturated and wages dropped significantly. Corporations and CEO fat cats were tired of having to pay for their Elec. Engineers, so they pushed for legislation to saturate the field and bring wages down.

    There is not shortage of instructors either. The problem is not that there is no one qualified to do it. The problem is, no one who is qualified would be bothered doing it. You cant get full time, the pay is very low and it takes a lot of personal finances from the individual to fund the education to qualify to do it. The positions are not attractive at all. That's why so many of them are still not filled.

    On the other hand too, schools are graduating plenty of new nurses. The problem is, they are not graduating enough to saturate the field and bring wages down like the powers that be want to. That's why "elected officials and public servants" focus so much on increasing the number of instructors. They want to make nursing like Elec. Engineering........saturate it to the point that anyone in the field has to beg for a job and has no options. Then, nursing homes with ratios of 40 and 50 will be able to fill their positions.
  5. by   Moogie
    Quote from Tanzanite
    I think a huge problem is that floor nurses are getting paid more than nurse instructors and professors, which isn't that much to begin with. Why get your Master's degree to work for less than $20 something an hour? I have a couple of instructor friends who quit teaching at my local C.C to go back to the hospital because of this very reason.
    Keep in mind, too, that a MSN is not necessarily a terminal degree if you really want to teach nursing. Most baccalaureate programs prefer doctorally prepared nurse educators and, if one does get into the system with only a MSN, there's tremendous pressure to go on and complete the doctorate. Community colleges and tech schools aren't quite so rigid about getting doctorally prepared faculty but they do insist that their instructors have master's degrees in nursing. Even a master's in education doesn't cut it for most of these programs anymore. It has to be a master's in nursing----even if the emphasis was on something other than nursing education.

    And then the powers that be who AREN'T in nursing can't figure out why it's hard to get nursing instructors?
  6. by   nicurn001
    As this thread shows it does not matter how many nurse instructors you have , or how highly educated they are , the number of vacancies there are will not appreciably change because in economic conditions ,as at present the employers will not hire . In better a better economy , employers will hire ,but because pay and conditions of work are not improved , nurses will not stay in the profession , so healthcare can never have an adequate number of nurses .
    Employers will always do what they can to make nurses think they are a dime a dozen , whilst trying to make legislators believe it is necessary to increase the output of more nurses , to fill this ficticious nursing shortage .
  7. by   feralnostalgia
    Quote from chigap
    I have to say that there is a bit of schadenfreude for me. I have had years of being ignored and told "If you don't like it leave." I left. Now whatya gonna do?
    hahaha, too right.
  8. by   EmilyLucille523
    I live in southeast Iowa. I work as an LPN in a nursing home making $13.37 (+1.00 diff for 2nd shift). I will graduate from RN next week. Most of my classmates do NOT have jobs. Most of the hospitals in this area including University of Iowa are on a hiring freeze or laying off their current nurses. The recruiter from U of I just told us last week that she cannot hire anyone until the state does their budget first and then she may have some openings. Nursing homes also have few openings. Overall the economy is hitting all states pretty badly right now so this article is just plain "bullsh". I am tired of everyone saying that nurses are needed and that there is a shortage, blah...blah...blah. If that was the case, then why isn't anyone calling our new grads??? (By the way, I just found out that if I stay at my current place of work I will be bumped up to $18.96/hr plus differential. You may think that is low, however, my living expenses here are much less than they were when I lived in Massachusetts, so I guess it will even out.)
  9. by   Midwest4me
    [quote=emilylucille523;3610518]i live in southeast iowa. i work as an lpn in a nursing home making $13.37 (+1.00 diff for 2nd shift).

    wow that pay is so sad! because iowa is near and dear to my heart (it's where i was born ....and where i want to semi-retire in 7-8 years),i was hoping that the wages/salaries had increased. obviously they have not. here on the west coast(no, not in ca) we make considerably more....at my hospital my base salary(as an lpn at the top of my pay scale) is $3880/month; add another $200 minimum in shift differential for noc shift. the hourly wage works out to be around $22-23/hour. but the cost of living is so much more out here too. it's a great thing that you will earn another $5.60/hour once you get that rn behind your name!
  10. by   fayejum48
    I work as a home health nurse on night shift. I love it. It is so easy only one patient to take care of. I worked in a nursing home before which is a lot harder and I worked at a hospital and when a nurse is out more patients on you. HHN is a great job.
  11. by   eriksoln
    Quote from EmilyLucille523
    I live in southeast Iowa. I work as an LPN in a nursing home making $13.37 (+1.00 diff for 2nd shift). I will graduate from RN next week. Most of my classmates do NOT have jobs. Most of the hospitals in this area including University of Iowa are on a hiring freeze or laying off their current nurses. The recruiter from U of I just told us last week that she cannot hire anyone until the state does their budget first and then she may have some openings. Nursing homes also have few openings. Overall the economy is hitting all states pretty badly right now so this article is just plain "bullsh". I am tired of everyone saying that nurses are needed and that there is a shortage, blah...blah...blah. If that was the case, then why isn't anyone calling our new grads??? (By the way, I just found out that if I stay at my current place of work I will be bumped up to $18.96/hr plus differential. You may think that is low, however, my living expenses here are much less than they were when I lived in Massachusetts, so I guess it will even out.)
    Exactly. It just............boggles the mind how people, even those in the field, can be so gullible and believe it when some detached public official says we need more nurses.

    A great many hospitals are on hiring freezes, a great many more have salaries frozen, I hear stories of new grads right in the area I live in not getting hired (some in here since mid 08), I've known people who got laid off and hear about them in here and vet. nurses are being asked to not "stick around". HOW IN THE FACE OF THIS DO YOU SAY THERE IS A NURSING SHORTAGE?

    I'll say this much though. In a few years, when things improve, people are going to find out what a nursing shortage is. I know many a nurse who has become so disenchanted with nursing because of the treatment we are receiving now..............once the economy gets better, they are GONE, DONE, DON"T CALL ME I'LL CALL YOU. I'm not one of them, but I can name ten people off the top of my head who feel this way and will truly do it. Once opportunities to do something/anything different comes along or the economy is such that retirement is possible, so many nurses are going to walk right out of their positions all the while thumbing their nose at the people who work so hard to make things so undesirable.
  12. by   ANnot4me
    Quote from eriksoln
    Exactly. It just............boggles the mind how people, even those in the field, can be so gullible and believe it when some detached public official says we need more nurses.

    A great many hospitals are on hiring freezes, a great many more have salaries frozen, I hear stories of new grads right in the area I live in not getting hired (some in here since mid 08), I've known people who got laid off and hear about them in here and vet. nurses are being asked to not "stick around". HOW IN THE FACE OF THIS DO YOU SAY THERE IS A NURSING SHORTAGE?

    I'll say this much though. In a few years, when things improve, people are going to find out what a nursing shortage is. I know many a nurse who has become so disenchanted with nursing because of the treatment we are receiving now..............once the economy gets better, they are GONE, DONE, DON"T CALL ME I'LL CALL YOU. I'm not one of them, but I can name ten people off the top of my head who feel this way and will truly do it. Once opportunities to do something/anything different comes along or the economy is such that retirement is possible, so many nurses are going to walk right out of their positions all the while thumbing their nose at the people who work so hard to make things so undesirable.
    I don't even think it will be a few years. Sooner or later, all these people who have no insurance or are underinsured are going to flood the system. Should the economy begin to improve at the same time, it will certainly have an effect. But for all the complaining here, the situation has not really changed much since my graduation in '95. Then two it was hard for a new grad to get a job, but I had worked for a year as a student and got a job on my floor. Within two years, I had injured my back, had nerve damage in my right hand from opening/spiking antibiotics and IV fluids. I was also on antidepressants and very overweight. I was so unhappy and had lost any hope I had ever had of having a career in nursing, but everyone around me just said, "You should be happy we hired you; so many new nurses can't find jobs." Friends, "I could never do your job, you are such a special person." I had to leave for a while as I nearly lost my mind.
  13. by   eriksoln
    [quote=chigap;3611779]I don't even think it will be a few years. Sooner or later, all these people who have no insurance or are underinsured are going to flood the system. Should the economy begin to improve at the same time, it will certainly have an effect. But for all the complaining here, the situation has not really changed much since my graduation in '95. Then two it was hard for a new grad to get a job, but I had worked for a year as a student and got a job on my floor. Within two years, I had injured my back, had nerve damage in my right hand from opening/spiking antibiotics and IV fluids. I was also on antidepressants and very overweight. I was so unhappy and had lost any hope I had ever had of having a career in nursing, but everyone around me just said, "You should be happy we hired you; so many new nurses can't find jobs." Friends, "I could never do your job, you are such a special person." I had to leave for a while as I nearly lost my mind.[/quote]

    There are a lot of nurses hanging on to undesirable positions right now who feel the same way as you did then. The economy though forces them to stay. That is a scary thought in and of itself, people staying in nursing only because the economy forced their hand. What then when the economy no longer can force this on people? Just as you did, they will move on. That is when people will really understand what a "nursing shortage" is.

    I predict nursing homes more than any other section of healthcare will suffer. A great many of my friends are like me and would change careers before even considering a nursing home position. Even with a bad economy most of us wont go anywhere near them. Can you imagine the downfall they will take when other/more options are available? In a couple years it'll be back to nursing homes having to rely on agency/travelers to stay afloat. Not sure even that will work the second time around. When I was traveling, I knew more than a few travelers who would not even apply for nursing homes.

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