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The Nursing Shortage: A self-inflicted wound?

Nurses Article   (25,437 Views | 80 Replies | 492 Words)

dzadzey has 19 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Dialysis, Hospice, Critical care.

2 Articles; 5,252 Profile Views; 75 Posts

Much is being made of the nursing shortage, but the sad fact of the matter is that much of this shortage is a self-inflicted wound. "30%-50% of all new RN's elect either to change positions or leave nursing completely within the first three years of clinical practice" You are reading page 7 of The Nursing Shortage: A self-inflicted wound?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Chiggysmom has 13 years experience and specializes in Oncology.

166 Posts; 4,152 Profile Views

I graduated with my BSN in 2003, and I'm looking into accounting jobs right now. I plan to make a career change.

Wow good for you CandiRN! How empowering it must feel to choose not to put up with the insanity of nursing anymore and do something else? If I was younger, I would definitely explore a different avenue as well. Kudos to you.

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Chiggysmom has 13 years experience and specializes in Oncology.

166 Posts; 4,152 Profile Views

OMG MissLiss08, how accurate are your observations of the nursing condition/atmosphere today!!!

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Chiggysmom has 13 years experience and specializes in Oncology.

166 Posts; 4,152 Profile Views

From my persepective, there is both a surplus and a shortage of nurses. It used to be nursing was a career of promise, hope, love, kindness and prestige. Now nursing is hopeless, sad, cruel and looked down upon. They are filling nursing slots faster than you can count, with people who need a job, but necessarily didn't want to be a nurse. The hours are long, the pay is OK sometimes, you work weekends and holidays, and then get ungrateful families and management that just wants more from you. There are lots of nurses, but not lots of nurses that want to work what the job requires. They want no weekends, no holidays, no evenings or nights. They want to be respected for what they do, and they are not. So they leave nursing, after learning it isn't what it is cracked out to be, or they sit on the sidelines working just enough to keep up their license, waiting for that dream nursing job to come. For RN's the job is stressful yes, but so it is for LPN's and other support members. And not all nurses work in just acute care, chronic care ie nursing homes is so short staffed you can't even imagine. But that is often overlooked for the more luxurious positions of acute care. In a nursing home you can have up to 40 patients per nurse, and 20 per CNA. Now think about that. Just because they are chronic care does not mean it is any less stressful. You have trachs, foleys, G-tubes, wounds, IV's and just about anything else you can think of, all to squeeze into an eight hour shift. You leave every day burnt out, hating your job, and hoping things will improve, yet they never do, they only get worse. You wonder if there will ever be a day when you actually feel like a nurse again, rather than working like a dog to make a company money, and a drug dealer with a license. I can't imagine why nurses would leave the profession. It is just baffling. I have worked mostly acute care, my whole 25 yr career, and the stress that occurs there is just as hard. Families and aministration don't care that you had a patient code, one bleeding, pulled out all their tubes, or fell on the floor. They care that they want what they want when they want it, and that is all that matters. The health care system, as it currently stands is hopeless if you care about what you do, and how you do it.

Indeed, I believe it is hopeless. It will only get worst. We as nurses always find a way to make it work, and administration observes this and they reason it we can make this work and acclimate to how bad it is, they can get a little more from us and on and on it goes. We have allowed this to happen to us. Seems the worst it gets, the more paralyzed we become to help ourselves up out of this?

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Chiggysmom has 13 years experience and specializes in Oncology.

166 Posts; 4,152 Profile Views

I agree it will be a problem. This has happened before but not to this degree. I am a little afraid where this will end up when it all comes to a head. Not for profit.....Bah! It just means they get to launder their profits by bait and swtich and not pay taxes.

Yeh Esme12, you are so right about the "not for profit" thing! Not for profit my biscuits! How stupid do they really think we are? . . . Pretty stupid I guess!!!

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Chiggysmom has 13 years experience and specializes in Oncology.

166 Posts; 4,152 Profile Views

My fear us that the PTB, will use this as an another excuse to futher de-skill the nursing profession, and allow more of our professional practice to be taken over by HS dropouts. And erode all of the inprovements in working conditions, pay and benefits that have been won over the last decade.

Is is happening before our eyes as we speak. Wake up, folks, and organize with the National Nurse United!

Teachers unionized years ago to protect their professsional practice, and allow them academic freedom to teach without repercussions.

They now earn more than us, have pensions that they can actually retire on, with medical benefits. They retire after 20 years, while nurses are slaving into their 60's, with lifelong back, neck, shoulder, and knee injuries to put up with the rest of their lives.

And without pensions one can live on, to add insult to injury. They have also had summers and holidays off, while we work day, evenings, and nights for our entire careers.

Teachers have 100% college degrees, most with graduate degrees, while the majority of nurses have only as Associates Degree. LPN/LVNS, have only one year of post HS education. What is not professional about being unionized?

JMHO and my NY $0.02.

Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN

Somewhere in the PACNW

This is ALL TRUE! When will we wake up and protest an end to being treated the way we are? I plan on retiring in 8 years and I would like to be some sort of advocate for nurses! There has to be something that we can do? Why should teachers be treated so much better than we are? My daughter in law is a teacher and soon she will be on her summer break while I'll be slaving away at the hospital. Nurses are barely valued at all. We are not valued by the administrations of the hospital, the physicians or . . . even by society in general. So many families of patients treat us like we're nothing more than glorified waitresses. I have a BSN and I am made to feel stupid, like I'm nothing, quite often. There are times, when I'm outside of the hospital and I'm asked what I do, and I sheepishly reply "I'm a nurse". It certainly doesn't have the proud connotation I thought it was going to have when I was going to school to become a nurse!

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Chiggysmom has 13 years experience and specializes in Oncology.

166 Posts; 4,152 Profile Views

Another 2 years won't be that bad? Seriously?

Maybe you can put yourself in someone else's shoes for a sec.

You are broke.

You already blew 80K on a useless nursing degree that was to be your 2nd career choice.

You aren't a spring chicken, and this 2nd career choice was supposed to be IT.

You have a family to feed.

So with that being said...

I am most certainly not going to be blowing another 3 years of time and money on going in a completely different direction, AGAIN.

I am done with school. They aren't getting another dime out of me ever, UNLESS i actually DO get a job in nursing, and go on to get some masters or NP in my field, i would rather spend my money on my family where it can be better used. God knows i would love to have my 80K back at this point to maybe start a business, buy a duplex and rent it, or anything other then nursing that would generate income.

Plus the way my luck is running, if i choose to go back to school for OT for instance, the instant i graduate from school, there will be a surplus of OTs and i won't be able to get a job.

I thank you for your suggestions. Seriously.

But you should really try to understand where someone is coming from before making suggestions that are realistically not an option at this point.

I understand that you probably thought i was young, with lots of time head of me, but i'm not.

So sorry you were never able to get a job in nursing but maybe you'r one of the lucky ones? You'll never really know, experientially, the insanity of nursing. There are many times, I wish I could still be in my PollyAnna world of thinking that nursing was such a wonderful profession and I would be able to do good things when I was nurse. Ha! I never, ever dreamed a person could be so physically and mentally exhausted almost every single time I go to work. I never imagined that every time I would go to work, it would be like running a marathon and I would actually feel like I had done just that (or was in a heavy weight boxing match and had the living daylights knocked out of me) when I would finish my shift out. Nope, I didn't imagine scenarios like that when I daydreamed about how nice it would be to be a nurse. I honestly wish someone would have warned me about nursing and of course, that I would have listened to them. So-o-o grateful my daughter DID listen to me and DIDN't become a nurse!!!

Edited by Chiggysmom
typo

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21 Posts; 1,899 Profile Views

Wow good for you CandiRN! How empowering it must feel to choose not to put up with the insanity of nursing anymore and do something else? If I was younger, I would definitely explore a different avenue as well. Kudos to you.

Thanks for the encouragement Chiggysmom! I actually wanted to change my major back in college, but I did not want to extend my graduation date. If only I would have listened to my gut back then!

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Chiggysmom has 13 years experience and specializes in Oncology.

166 Posts; 4,152 Profile Views

Thanks for the encouragement Chiggysmom! I actually wanted to change my major back in college, but I did not want to extend my graduation date. If only I would have listened to my gut back then!

I only have about 8 years left in my career (well . . . that's about as long as I can possibly see myself doing nursing, I'll be 60 years old then), so going back to school for a different degree than nursing or even an advanced degree in same, wouldn't really pay for itself. Kudos to you. If more people took a stand and did what you're doing, maybe they would take notice of us and make some changes. But alas, most of us just keep plodding along, waiting and dreaming about the day we don't have to do this anymore. I have the goal of being somewhere on the Gulf of Mexico (Naples, Fort Meyers, Bradenton, St Pete's Beach??) in 8 years and far, far away from the utter insanity of modern day health care and nursing!

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I don't consider myself lucky, but thanks anyway.:)

I was put on this earth to help and care for other people.

I know it's not beautiful all the time, and the reality is crazy, but as long as i am helping people, i am fulfilled.

I used to work 16 hour days, 5 days a week at my old job.

Believe me, i am well adjusted to insanity.

At the very least, i would be doing what i want to do if i had a nursing job.

So sorry you were never able to get a job in nursing but maybe you'r one of the lucky ones? You'll never really know, experientially, the insanity of nursing. There are many times, I wish I could still be in my PollyAnna world of thinking that nursing was such a wonderful profession and I would be able to do good things when I was nurse. Ha! I never, ever dreamed a person could be so physically and mentally exhausted almost every single time I go to work. I never imagined that every time I would go to work, it would be like running a marathon and I would actually feel like I had done just that (or was in a heavy weight boxing match and had the living daylights knocked out of me) when I would finish my shift out. Nope, I didn't imagine scenarios like that when I daydreamed about how nice it would be to be a nurse. I honestly wish someone would have warned me about nursing and of course, that I would have listened to them. So-o-o grateful my daughter DID listen to me and DIDN't become a nurse!!!

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