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The need for nurses: Schools expand enrollments, but shortages expected to persist


Has 5 years experience. Specializes in Infection Preventionist/ Occ Health.

In my opinion the issue of retention needs to be addressed before states allocate any more resources to expanding nursing school enrollment.

I have a few classmates who are already considering leaving the profession even though they have not started working yet. They have seen the kind of working conditions that registered nurses endure, and they have stated that they will most likely not work because their families don't need their salary.

Other health care professions are encountering the same problem. From what I have heard, only half of my Clinical Laboratory Science program classmates are still working "on the bench" (equivalent to at the bedside for nurses) after only four years. Most have gone to graduate school in different disciplines or changed career paths entirely. My brother-in-law stated that the pharmacy profession is grappling with the same issue as more women enter the profession and as poor working conditions at corporate-owned chain pharmacies continue to deteriorate.

Most these articles state something to the fact that hospitals are very supportive of programs that graduate new nurses. This always makes me chuckle because the real reason for this is so that they can abuse the heck out of the people the already have. The place where I work was starting to institute programs aimed at retention. Treating people a little better than they had in the past. All of a sudden they hire a large number of newbies and are regreting the big raises they gave the old times in an attempt to keep them. I notice a nasty turn in treatment toward well paid oldtimers with 4 weeks vacation and a lot of sick time, sick time which has a tendency to get used because we are older.

In Oklahoma finding appropiate clinical sites is very challanging. We also have a limited number of MSN which makes program expandsion very challenging if not imossible

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