Senator addresses nursing shortage

  1. in a letter to the ny times, sen. dick durban (d-illinois) says the u.s. is complicit in the sad state of health care in the third world, blaming the lure of the u.s. for draining those countries of needed health care professionals. he was responding to this depressing article:

    "[color=#004276]where life's start is a deadly risk" ("death in birth" series, front page, may 24)

    every year, the united states lures thousands of health care professionals from the developing world. they come for the same reasons as my immigrant mother's family and supply our growing appetite for medical care. meanwhile, we regularly turn away qualified nursing school applicants for lack of faculty and clinical opportunities-all while we face a nursing shortage estimated at more than 100,000.
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  3. by   Ginger's Mom
    Very interesting, it does sound like he is going to be supporting nursing immigration.
  4. by   Moogie
    I took it that Durbin is trying to discourage nurse immigration from those countries that are experiencing their own shortages and that he proposes to increase funding to US nursing schools in order to increase access to those schools.
  5. by   Vito Andolini
    If anyone here is represented by Sen Durbin, please find out what he is saying. Also, let him know we do not need to import nurses. We need to make working conditions here such that nurses who refuse to work under intolerable conditions will be willing to come back to work. Please do this STAT.
  6. by   Anxious Patient
    Isn't he on the U.S. nurses' side when he says:

    We must do two things: Expand our health care capacity by giving American nursing schools the resources they need to hire educators to train the next generation of nurses. And we must help the growth of health care in developing countries.
  7. by   doesntlookgood
    And just prior to that nonsense, he stated:

    "Meanwhile, we regularly turn away qualified nursing school applicants for lack of faculty and clinical opportunities-all while we face a nursing shortage estimated at more than 100,000."

    Actually I agree with some of what he says...but it seems that he covers all bases.

    Never calls out Health Care Corporations for out-of-control nurse / patient ratios, and declining health care quality.

    Nope, that's too much of a mine field. Covers as many bases as he can, with NO advocacy for the Nursing profession.

    What good are additional resources for Nursing education if newly-minted Nurses keep getting screwed?

    Yeah, it'll be real helpful to train the H-1B imports! I've seen it before and I've said it before...

    "The insourcing will begin soon..."

    Of course, HIS health care coverage is first-rate, I'm certain.

    This dude is an empty suit with nothing of substance to say. I personally wouldn't let him put gas in my car.
  8. by   ImStillStanding
    Senator, nursing shortage? REPEAT, after I graduated from nursing school (a class of 62 nursing students) eleven of us remain and completed the program. We were told that we could not take our nursing exams because we would never pass it, and our names were put on all state nursing boards NOT TO LET US TAKE OUR NURSING EXAMS. Our school was located in California and had graduated many of nursing students before. The only way I was able to take my exams was after a lot of prayers, earthquakes, firestorms, $10,000 student loan, ect. I PASSED my nursing LVN the first time I took it and it only took me less than an hour. I ran into one of my fellow nursing student from the original class of 62 on my way across country and she said she passed. Yet we both at sometime had to supervise nurses that had taken the RN exam over and over from other countries. SO PERSONALLY I FEEL that many states especially CALIFORNIA (schools and hospitals) are very racist when it comes to educating and training AFRICAN AMERICAN nurses. We are experiencing the same problems NOW years later while trying to get training , education and work on our RN. Most schools will not accept our credits because they are too old and the waiting lists are long, and many classes that we need are full or reserve for students in the nursing program. It is very hard to get a full time job in a hospital, because one nurse told us, that Sacramento had put our names on a list. Now if you go into many hospitals in California you can't even count on one hand the number of African American nurses born in America. HOWEVER we are going to press on until we finish no matter what. California is getting worse and worse at educating AFRICAN AMERICANs in the nursing field, some people call it subtle racism of Sacramento.
    Last edit by ImStillStanding on Jun 1, '09 : Reason: word left out
  9. by   Castymiss
    OMG, you HAVE to be kidding. There are many educated black nurses in Calif. What are you even talking about. With your attitude its no wonder you are not getting a job or being accepted to a school. Blame it on race why don't you....Maybe you should get into another field where it will be easier for you to pass the exams.
  10. by   Castymiss
    Vito I totally agree with you. I have left the hospital setting, NEVER to return. I do work as an RN but in a very cool setting. THAT is why America has to import nurses from other countries. Hospitals treat their nurses horribly. Why would we want to stay? You are so correct.
  11. by   John20
    Huh? "The man" is trying to keep African Americans out of the nursing field? I don't believe this. I can only speak for Michigan but we have a lot of African American nurses (I'd estimate over 1/3 of my hospital).

    There are schools out there that are not acredited and are basically in business just to collect tuition. Nursing boards will remove accredition when the pass rate is really low from a school. There is no way that any nursing board of any state would look at a school and decide "They graduate too many African Americans, let's prevent them from working."

    If you research the situation with the school I'm sure you will find out that there is no conspiracy against you or your race.
  12. by   HmarieD
    Senator Durbin presented legislation to the Senate in February of this year, called the "Nurse Education, Expansion, & Development (NEED) Act". In a nutshell, it's intended to address the shortage of qualified nursing instructors at colleges and universities by offering capitation grants to nursing programs to improve their ability to accommodate and train more nursing applicants. It is supported by the AACN, ANA, NLN, and other professinal organizations. It can be googled for more detail.

    I think this is a positive step, but agree with some other posters that if working conditions are not addressed so that there is reasonable retention of experienced nurses in the workforce, it will be one step forward and two steps back...
  13. by   pinfinity
    ...The only "shortage" I have seen in my nursing career is a "Hiring" shortage. Here in NC it has pretty much been an openly; however not discussed policy of not hiring nurses when RN's quit.

    You don't dare "refuse" or "respectfully decline" an assignment or you get shown the door...Quick..and your "reputation" for being such a patient advocate follows you as well.

    I have been working for a staffing agency at a hospital that just received their Magnet Re-designation in 2008 and guess what? all our hours were slashed to 1 day a week and the current staff were not happy about it at all. There were days when the only staff people on the floor were agency and those were some scary times.

    I believe the current "nursing shortage" is an overly hyped myth created to lower pt's expectations and feed the hospitals bottom line. Ask anyone who has worked in admin. side of healthcare and they will tell you that they have to fight to keep budget's up for staffing needs. The first place they cut is nursing.Always has been and always will be.

    My last Supervisor was a 23 year old fresh out of school nursing graduate. Yep! why hire 1 nurse with 20 years exp at that level of pay when you can get 2-3 new grads for the same price and a supervisor to boot? yeeehaa!

    As for me, I am currently looking to relocate.

    I guess I can look forward to getting back to the laborous task of the suppression of minorities.

  14. by   ursus57
    ]I am very sorry for any one who has gone through what his poster describes. I hope this can resolve at some point. Many times people get chewed up by the system, we depend on being able to take a lot of wearing down of our pride and having to be under the rules.
    The only thing I know to do is research any school one may consider for training. See if actual graduates from the school are in a job somewhere. Do whatever it takes to get though training. Even after all of this, one can still lose out, depending on each individual situation.
    Most of us won't play the race angle in a public forum, in a complaint, because anyone can find what is said and it can very easily haunt a person. If there is a race element, a person should use the channels in place to address these kinds of grievances.
    I am male and white, and 52 yrs old. No overt discrimination has taken place. Some feel I don't belong in nursing, because I'm male, and it can cause problems for me. I have had no problems that interfere with my current schooling.
    My African American instructor is one of the best nursing instructors in the area, and my class is all white. The class immediately behind mine is 1/2 black and 1/2 white, with no males.
    Nursing is a difficult and demanding job, due to the rigorous training and the demanding clinicals. All professions have some of the 'eat thier young' mentality, nursing seems to be a little worse than others in this regard.
    Knowing all this, nursing is a great profession and it is changing in so many ways.
    Fight through any avenue you have to to get to your goal. It is when you quit, that you fail.
    I wish you success in your goal of being a nurse.