Nursing Shortage

Nurses Activism


With so much discussion about the impending, critical shortage in Nursing, it seems to me that one answer would be to come up with some creative programs, and/or take a new look at the course/curriculum requirements for nursing. IE: Do I really need Phys. Ed. courses (bowling, archery, modern dance etc.) in order to become a nurse? What about life experiences or accelerated programs for current LPN/LVN's that would provide more incentive to return to school? What about online programs that would provide LPN to RN status? Frankly, I don't see a lot of differences, particulary in clinical environments, between RN's and LPN's. I started out as an LPN and and the absolute only differences (I worked in a hospital) between RN's and LPN's was that an LPN's did not start IV's, and LPN's could not hang the FIRST bag of chemotherapy drugs. LPN's could hang all subsequent bags. I don't have all the answers, but I think it may take some innovative programs to help ease the impending shortage. I'm certain that other people may have some good ideas.......Please share!

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

I would have even liked some work credit experience when I went back for my bachelors after being an RN for 14 years I had to take alot of junk courses that I aced. I am now in the masters program and taking alot of junk and acing it again.



335 Posts

So true! I would like to return for my Masters, but I can't stand the thought of wasting time and money (both in extremely short supply) with 'busy work' classes. I remember them from my BSN, which I did as a 'retread' (a returning student with credits from another degree) - my other credits still didn't protect me from the dross.


1 Article; 5,758 Posts

Do you think frivulous courses are to keep professors working? Nursing classes are fairly expensive for university to operate. Do you think they make some of it back on basket weaving?


691 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Risk Management.

Way back in the '80's (some of you remember them...some of you may not), I was in college the first time around. I was studying for my BA in English. My minor was in German. I was planning, at that time, to become a librarian. I remember hearing from students of every discipline, "Why do we have to take _______?" We won't need it in our field of study. Of course, I had a few thoughts along that way when I studied College Algebra, Biology, & Physical Science, among other topics.

As I've grown older (and hopefully matured), I have seen how some of my classes that I questioned at the time have been useful to me. I took a number of electives that had nothing to do with my major. Those, along with the general required courses such as the phys. ed. classes have provided me with opportunities and a perspective that I probably wouldn't have had otherwise. My one computer class gave me the courage to teach myself Lotus 1-2-3 when I started a job in '85. I can watch a golf match on TV because I took the class in college & learned to play. I even enjoyed playing golf when I learned.

The classes are there to help round out one's education. That's part of what a degree is about. It's not all about preparing for a specific job. It's about being able to see other perspectives & broaden one's knowledge base to make it easier (and possible) to be a lifelong learner. Having a knowledge of other disciplines gives me something else to think about other than Nursing when I'm not at work...and even a different way to think about things in general.

I'll now step off of my soapbox & put on my flame-resistant garb.


346 Posts

Specializes in burn, geriatric, rehab, wound care, ER.

I agree with eltrip - its about getting an education, not a training. Human beings are educated, animals are trained.

I don't think the theory I learned in school would "click" without the training? Have you heard of "Book smart, street dumb?"....

Just my $0.02.


6,620 Posts

I just don't like the idea of making training or educating nurses easier or shorter because of a shortage. I have never heard this suggested from other professions. I think a lot of people want to have the job without going through the time and effort it takes to get there.


784 Posts

from the perspective of nurses such a shortage is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure that most of you would agree that given the choice of a shortgage or over abundence the former is preferable by far. Indeed, as nurses it may be in our best interest to perpetuate, and exasperate that shortgage by pushing for higher educational standards, and fewer substitutes (to hiring sufficient nurses) by health care providers. Consider, that the "shortage" could probably be ameliorated if the average "salary" would jump by 25% to 50% percent.

Now if I was a political canidate, or a hospital administrator my perspective might very well be different. However, instead I am a nurse (or more correctly an aspiring nurse in the midst of getting my BSN). Therefore I will advocate the position most beneficial to myself, and my family. This is how our country operates like it or not. Various interest groups (nurses, Dr's, Lawyers, teachers, and politicians) COMPETE for precious resources via a plethora of methods. These methods can range from PR, and unionization to legislative lobbying, to more subtle forms such as raising accredidation standards for professional schools (as has been recently witnessed with pharmacists where the standard has become a six year Pharm D degree as opposed to the previous five year one). If nurses are to prosper they too must "play the game" in the most expert manner possible. It's just capitalism.

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Alan I agree. I was offered a full time job today as an RN Director making 15.50! I was floored. Needless to say I declined.



415 Posts

Looks to me like you are getting some free advertising here. Guess that's why I always considered head-hunters to be sleeze.

You want to advertise your company I suggest you pay for it like reputable companies.


310 Posts

I also agree with Eltrip-- when I went back to school to get my BSN I too was wondering "why do I have to take these stupid general education classes?! They did give me insights into other areas of life, and it was worth the time and expense, after all.

I also second the sentiment that the purpose of school is to give us an education, not just training!

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