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Why Nurses Are Leaving the Bedside In Droves

Nurses   (122,897 Views 183 Comments)
by panurse9999 panurse9999 (Member)

1 Follower; 1,796 Visitors; 193 Posts

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We can all agree that in most areas of the nation, there is ample supply of nurses at the bedside, and in many areas, supply has well exceeded demand. Why they ask , are nurses always leaving the bedside? ANSWER: we didn't. The profession left us.

We can debate the why's, where's,  how's , when's of the toxic culture in many hospitals and nursing homes. More work, less support staff. More work, less pay. Too many patients. Higher acuity, more orders, fewer nurses being hired. My boss is dumb. My boss is toxic. Yes, its a BIG factor in a nurses decision to leave. We hate drama. We want to do our jobs in peace. But those are just workplace semantics. There is drama in every workplace, wether in nursing, retail, law enforcement, food services, housekeeping, gaming, farming, hospitality, transportation, or basket weaving.  Yes, its there now, and yes, it was there 50 years ago.

Truth be told, years ago, before corporate mergers/ takeovers/ acquisitions became as simple as buying pizza, we had hospitals and nursing homes. Today we have hospital systems and nursing home chains. With these corporate conglomerates at the helm, our profession was taken away. We lost our voices. We lost our sanity. We lost our zeal. Same thing happened to the banking system in the 1980s. Local stand alone banks were bought up, one by one, until we had 6 or 7 worldwide megabanks. 

Corporate mentality stole the nursing profession and burned it at the stake. What used to be patient focus, is now billing focus. Today we do not have patients, we have inventory. Some generate substantial money, others are a drain. This is why, when and how "staffing to census" began rearing its ugly head. Back in the old days, there was no such thing as staffing to census. Nurses were hired on certain units, and that is where they stayed. Some days were super busy, others were not. 

Staffing in hospitals and nursing homes today is soley based upon inventory (patients) and money (acuity). Not enough inventory in the burn unit? Float the nurse. Not enough inventory in L & D? Tell the nurse to stay home. Too many nurses on telemetry? Send 2 home, or let them work as techs on med-surg. And the list goes on. 

What used to be paper documentation by exception, became EMR to generate maximum amounts of reimbursements from medicare, medicaid, and insurance. This is why we have box checkers (formerly known as nurses) spending 75% of their time at computer stations, and 25% of their time at the bedside. If you're lucky. So the next time your wife, husband, brother, sister, friend or companion starts mocking you for being a serial job hunter/ hopper, send them to this article. Spread the word. Nurses didn't leave the bedside, the profession left us. 

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1 Follower; 1,796 Visitors; 193 Posts

Join in and tell us all why nurses leave. 

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NICU Guy has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

1 Follower; 31,208 Visitors; 3,324 Posts

They never wanted to be bedside nurses to begin with. Their plan after nursing school was to get the minimum amount of experience necessary and start on their Masters for NP. As soon as they are done with orientation in their first nursing job, they are signing up for NP classes. 

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RosesrReder has 13 years experience as a ADN.

26,104 Visitors; 8,402 Posts

Nursing clearly isn’t what it used to but neither are the person going into nursing. 

So many are getting non nursing graduate degrees and then getting that RN just to add to the collection. No bedside will ever happen or is desired.

classic example of the new hybrid leadership of the mega hospitals I have worked for.

Nursing is mission impossible these days. You can’t even be guaranteed get your hours at work. Everyday you risk being cancelled, sent home early or told how business is not well despite CEO making millions.

 

its devastating. I don’t think we will ever get our profession back. We need to nurse in other ways and the hospital is not it unfortunately.

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1 Follower; 1,796 Visitors; 193 Posts

29 minutes ago, NICU Guy said:

They never wanted to be bedside nurses to begin with. Their plan after nursing school was to get the minimum amount of experience necessary and start on their Masters for NP. As soon as they are done with orientation in their first nursing job, they are signing up for NP classes. 

I've heard that the corporate hospital systems are pushing the BSN-MSN-NP on all nursing staff. Its part of the systematic moving the goal post to the right, and embroiling the nurse into constant higher education, while working full time, for which there is never an increase in pay once attained. The pay rates are exactly the same for an ADN, BSN, or MSN who are bedside nurses in a hospital. I have speculated that the ultimate goal of the corporate hospitals is to have every nurse who works in the hospital be an NP, so they can cut out RNs entirely, and combine the NP job into one. 

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1 Follower; 1,796 Visitors; 193 Posts

5 minutes ago, RosesrReder said:

 

Nursing is mission impossible these days. You can’t even be guaranteed get your hours at work. Everyday you risk being cancelled, sent home early or told how business is not well despite CEO making millions.

 

its devastating. I don’t think we will ever get our profession back. We need to nurse in other ways and the hospital is not it unfortunately.

I gave up on hospital work more than 10 years ago, due to the extreme toxic environments, nurse bullying, the cancellations, and then the last straw was eliminating the per diem pay rate and forcing the per diems to change their status for a $25.00/ hr cut in pay. It was a classic bait/ switch scheme to get nurses to come on board for this bogus inflated pay rate, then turn the tables 90 days later, and take it or leave it. Now trying to get back in is impossible. ADNs in my area are locked out, in favor of new grad BSNs. 

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1 Follower; 1,796 Visitors; 193 Posts

Probably could be a topic in itself, but my experience has been when the recruiter/ hiring manager is toxic, so is the job. Some of the people who "onboard" new hires have been not just rude, but downright abusive. I have seen this new norm as the market gets more saturated with nurses. One place I worked (lasted a week) actually had an entire "onboarding" department, (separate from Human Resources) to handle the constant hiring needs, since the place was a literal revolving door of staff. It was a pesky corporate behavioral health facility. Its a little ironic that their jobs depend on constant employee turnover, otherwise there would not be a need for an onboarding department. Myself and 4 others left within the first week due to the abusive behavior of the "onboarding deaprtment". 

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1 Follower; 1,796 Visitors; 193 Posts

The charting systems now days take an enormous amount of time, and make us check off things we did not do. check, check, check....it becomes autopilot. Just read the thread about the Vanderbuilt nurse. Wow. How sad. 

https://khn.org/news/death-by-a-thousand-clicks/

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

2,989 Visitors; 280 Posts

In encouraging my son to become a nurse I told him four basic truth's about the profession that still apply:

1. Bedside nursing is often, a miserable, high stress profession. Thus, even when there is transiently an "oversupply" this evaporates (at least for experienced nurses) because few in their right mind want to stay in that position for very long.

2.  Nursing will be one of the last professions to fall to our AI enabled robotic overlords because of the intrinsic combination of manual skills, combined with knowledge, judgement, and human interaction required.

3.  The world and especially America is getting older. The baby booming hordes have yet to reach their morbidity potential, but they will.  

4.  If you go on to get your nurse practitioner degree and open a practice in an independent practice state all the better.  This is especially the case if you can have a practice open evening and weekends when traditional physicians have traditionally been reticent to work.  Better still if you can offer home visits.

Of course I also paid for bartendiing school as a "back up" profession given that if you hate nursing you can still earn enough money working a few double shifts on the weekend to go back to school and try something else.

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1 Follower; 1,796 Visitors; 193 Posts

5 minutes ago, myoglobin said:

In encouraging my son to become a nurse I told him four basic truth's about the profession that still apply:

1. Bedside nursing is often, a miserable, high stress profession. Thus, even when there is transiently an "oversupply" this evaporates (at least for experienced nurses) because few in their right mind want to stay in that position for very long.

2.  Nursing will be one of the last professions to fall to our AI enabled robotic overlords because of the intrinsic combination of manual skills, combined with knowledge, judgement, and human interaction required.

3.  The world and especially America is getting older. The baby booming hordes have yet to reach their morbidity potential, but they will.  

4.  If you go on to get your nurse practitioner degree and open a practice in an independent practice state all the better.  This is especially the case if you can have a practice open evening and weekends when traditional physicians have traditionally been reticent to work.  Better still if you can offer home visits.

Of course I also paid for bartendiing school as a "back up" profession given that if you hate nursing you can still earn enough money working a few double shifts on the weekend to go back to school and try something else.

I am often mystified at why people "encourage" others to go into this profession, knowing full well what the profession has to offer 1. stress 2. back aches 3. bullying 4. required re-education out of pocket 5. corporate slavery ie..taking on more and more, and more until one explodes, without extra pay 6. A paycheck that subjectively shouts minimum wage for 4 jobs rolled into 1 job. 

No disrespect at all...just curious, and wondering if the bartending remark was tongue in cheek. Having a back-up profession is needed , and especially for males, who I have personally witnessed to have endured the worst bullying and mistreatment that the nursing field has to offer. The male nurse sabotage syndrome (I developed an acronym for it a while ago MNSS) is alive and well in nursing. I can go on and on about that topic, all by itself. 

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RosesrReder has 13 years experience as a ADN.

26,104 Visitors; 8,402 Posts

My best friend recently made a career move from her well-paid, well-respected, cushy profession.  She said she felt unfulfilled.  I personally think she was just bored however she transitioned into nursing.  The first month into it, she is miserable and upset all the time.  Still wants to do nursing but now is going to use all her advanced degrees to transition away from the bedside.  Possible future manager.   Lover her to death but this scenario happens daily and then they become the leaders of those who have a gazzilion years at the bedside and continue to struggle.  

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2 minutes ago, RosesrReder said:

My best friend recently made a career move from her well-paid, well-respected, cushy profession.  She said she felt unfulfilled.  I personally think she was just bored however she transitioned into nursing.  The first month into it, she is miserable and upset all the time.  Still wants to do nursing but now is going to use all her advanced degrees to transition away from the bedside.  Possible future manager.   Lover her to death but this scenario happens daily and then they become the leaders of those who have a gazzilion years at the bedside and continue to struggle.  

I am a second career nurse whose first career was lost to automation. I was offered a job at half my pay, or a severance package. I took the severance , and was accepted into an ADN-RN program 20 years ago. My life has been far worse than I have ever imagined it could be, and I regret not taking the paycut and moving over to a different job within the company. Regret, regret, regret. My student loans long since defaulted because I never made enough money. 

I paid my dues at the bedside for years on end, and I have 2 other advanced degrees, but those degrees never transitioned into any type of leadership role, because I could never get my feet planted anywhere long enough to advance. Always wiped out for the next nurse who would work for $1.00/ hr less. Corporate greed killed nursing. 

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