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May 29, 2008

Is the Nursing Shortage Easing?

Question72x521 I just read an interesting article in the May 12, 2008 Daily News that got me thinking about the nursing shortage. I'd like to learn what is happening in other areas of the country.

Recent nursing stats from the U.S Dept. of Labor:

* Average salary in New York State for nurses is $66,390

* Nurses working in NYS (2006): 164,970

* Nationwide working nurses : 2.5 million

* Average age of nurses : 47 years

* Expected nursing shortage nationwide by 2020 : 36%

These figures are staggering and somewhat frightening, don’t you think? I admit it’s not a bad salary, but the average age of nurses being 47 years old is downright bothersome, troublesome, annoying, vexing, worrisome… All my colleagues are in the age range of 40 to 48 years and they can’t wait for retirement. Some have begun their countdown to age 55 already! I think I’ve been counting silently, hoping to enter another career or hoping that the workplace environment will improve somewhat. But neither is occurring.

There seem to be no solutions coming from Obama, Clinton, or McCain, let alone any politician. The one politician who has spoken out about healthcare, Ted Kennedy, is on the receiving end of healthcare now after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Nurse travelers are being used extensively by local hospitals in my area. The current trend here in NYC appears to be one of hiring travelers first and dismissing long-time per diem nurses. Is this the right way to go about solving the acute shortage? Will the recession bring more future nurses into the field? Should we be hiring more travelers? Or retaining more of our own nurses? Every week I seem to be bombarded by emails marketing "Come Travel with Us." May be I should now?

Any advice? What’s occurring in your area?

May 29, 2008 in Beka | Permalink


This is a great blog. I've read some other blogs concerning also about nursing. I just wondering why nurses profession getting number of shortage nowadays. But then there are other nursing profession like Certified Nursing Assistant(CNA)exist. They offer certain classes and training course actually if you are interested in the said CNA professions. As what I have read trainig courses lasted only in weeks as fast as compared to Nursing that you take for almost four years.

As a suggestions don't take this as a problems seriously, nursing profession still exist such as CNA or certified nursing assistant. YOu can try to take this course if you want and they are offering good salary depending on your experience. You can find different CNA schools to enroll if you are interested. More http://www-nursing-careers.com/cna/cna-classes.php here.

Posted by: CNA Classes | Feb 18, 2009 1:11:35 AM

Sorry...the last post was me...DRice/LVN

Posted by: Drice | Jul 14, 2008 6:05:39 AM

I agree with you Beka...mgmt may be reading, but they're not talking nor defending their nurses. Money talks. I can only speculate in these difficult times that they want their jobs, too. They probably have higher standards of living to pay for of which they are most accustomed to. It would be difficult for them to take the risk and stand up for what is right for the patients as well as us nurses.

Perhaps, it would only be convincing to the powers that be (shareholders and executive boards) if they were given an opportunity (God forbid on anyone) to be a patient. Then they could discover first-hand at ground zero what healthcare is REALLY about or should I say NOT ABOUT. This did happen to a CEO in a hospital I was working at. The CEO got special treatment, a private room which became an office with a bed, and only certain nurses. In other words, the CEO was catered to, and not treated like other patients. The CEO's door was shut at all times, too. Hmmm....hiding from the truth?

It appears to be every man for himself (or nurse) trying to get in a lifeboat (survival in healthcare), but finding one can't escape the sinking ship (unless one does a job change). Why, there is even a hole in the lifeboat! Will someone please toss me a life preserver!!

Posted by: | Jul 14, 2008 6:03:47 AM

I can empathize with the majority of opinions expressed in this blog. I have been a RN for26 years. The shortage is real, the expectations are impossibe to meet on a daily basis, management is unrealistic. I love the work of nursing, I detest the environment of nursing. I continue to nurse because I have an innate drive to serve.

Posted by: andi | Jul 10, 2008 3:42:41 PM

I hear you all. Continue to speak out. I know of several Hospital Administrators and Nurse Managers who should be reading these comments. Are they? Instead they turn a blind eye towards current nursing situations, not even bothering to respond to nurses' concerns, their emails, voices, or unhappiness with working conditions. They seem to exist in varying degrees all over the country in small and large medical facilities.

Have they really forgotten floor nursing?
3 Fresh Open Hearts - unsafe, unsafe, unsafe...I'd leave the place sick from fear of missing something clinically with this sort of assignment. A big liabilty issue that could give the facility a good legal punch from a knowledgeable family, especially one who has members working within the health system today.


Posted by: beka | Jul 7, 2008 8:11:28 PM

I have been a nurse for 6yrs. And boy, have I seen changes in those 6 years. . This proffession is not easy. Sometimes I wish I had continued on to Law School, and I might do that in the future. Other times I really like it. I float throughout the hospital,PACU,MI and CCU,SICU,ED,CTICU,L&D,MEDSurg,Stroke, Rehab Vascular,Ortho,Oncology,Cardiac. I have met so many unhappy nurses. I guess floating is the only reason why I am still in this proffession. The managers of these units don't support their nurses. Sometimes, the nurses work supper short. where there can be only 3 nurses for a 26 patient assighment70-80% fresh postop. The CTICU nurses have to tripple up with 3 fresh hearts. These conditions are unsafe, the managers know that. Not only they dont back up their staff, but they get on them if they forget to fill in a stupid Q 1hr check sheet. Although difficult, I am so glad that I float, or I'd leave this proffession a long time ago.

Posted by: Rachelle | Jul 6, 2008 10:55:13 PM

I have to agree that caring does not come CHEAP. But how can we provide proper care if linen supplies run low, there are no soap bars , shampoo available for patients... How many of you have bought powder or lotion in for your patients? Razors? Time for another blog....


Posted by: beka | Jul 2, 2008 9:37:31 AM

I am a Jesuit BS prepared RN class of 1980 with 20 years of adult intensive care experience (12 of those years at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.)I am a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu which is a Jesuit honor society. For those of you who don't know Georgetown is also a Jesuit institution. I went above and beyond what was expected of me and provided outstanding patient care.My evaluations were always outstanding or above satisfactory. I often was in charge of the MICU-CCU.
When my second child developed special needs, with the approval of my NC I cut my hours in the perdieum pool to stay home with her. I never received a warning that I was not working enough by anyone at the hospital. About 8 years ago I received a termination letter in the mail from Georgetown. Outraged and confused I inquired and I was told that a new nursing supervisor decided to terminate nurses that had not met the JCAH education for the year. I was told that I could definitely reapply to be hired back to Georgetown University Hospital and my positon would always be available.
Now I ask what sane RN who was disposed from an institution like a piece of trash after years of dedication would consider going back.
I marvel at the advertisements they paste across the TV about a need for good nurses and constantly hear about how I should return to the profession from doctors and nurses.
Because of any ethical decision I chose not to have a legal battle with this institution and chose to have an attorney draw up a paper to have my termination changed to my resignation.
I saw many excellent nurses who were educated in top nursing schools in the United States abused in other ways by the changing health care system.I was told that the benchmark of quality care was to be changed to standard of care. BS and MSN prepared nurses were replaced by employees coming from central supply, ground crew and even out of gangs. They were given minimal training and were to assist the RN in the daily patient care.
Nurses need to acknowledge the downward trend of patient care. That heparin mistakes are not soley the fault of the mispackaging of drug companies. It is the result of poor education in the Nursing profession, many english as a second language nurses that are recruited from abroad.The insurance companies, health system who run the health care need to realize that their most valuable resources are excellent educated nurses. We are the ones who decrease the hospital complications, minimize patient hospialization and law suits.

Posted by: | Jun 30, 2008 2:15:29 PM

I have been a nurse for 33 yrs. What a profession! We certainly work hard and care much or we would not continue in our chosen field. One thing evident to me is that nursing requires it's own separate retirement system, not unlike teachers. Working 30 years is enough for any individual in a field like ours. Twenty five years would be splendid with the right investments. This change would encourage nurses to remain in the field.

Posted by: Carol | Jun 27, 2008 6:26:21 PM

OK. her's the deal-e-o for the nurses out there: CARING doesn't come cheap! That's what we do- be the tool or the resource conduit, the answer-man, the cheerleader, the teacher, the mentor, the hard-nosed nurse who refuses to enable, the nurse who knows nursing, the go-to on each unit/division who knows the way to get the answer. Trouble is, folks, there just aren't enuf nurses out there. We are caught in a quicksand of not enuf of just about everything except certifying entities.
What to do?? Boy. I wish I had the answer to that one!! Don't we all?
I started down this path in 1967 and I remember hearing talk about surgery without incisions-endoscopic techniques have brought that to fruition. I wondered at the concept of need-less injections- the power gun wasn't exactly the be-all we'd imagined but the needles have gotten smaller and the need for injections has shrunk while the routes and accessories to get there have blossomed. We have beds that alternate pressure, wew have pumps to increase safety and efficacy. We have so many heroes to assist our patients who work so hard. OUr physical work has lessened-not disappeared but we also have opportunities to work so much smarter. We have ever so many more types of people in so many diverse roles healthcare delivery. Our tools, techniques and information systems bring so much more to the tasks. So what is the problem, boys and girls? Why isn't this working?
Damned if I really know.
But here's what I do know. there are more people than there used to be. There are more diagnoses. There is so much more to know and moreways to put those ingredients together. Patients don't come with a diagnosis anymore- patients have deficits,disabilities,more complex inter-related health issues, more expectations put upon them simply by living day after day, let alone responsibility for their own care- we say patients are the captain of the team, the most integral part of the plan. It's hard tho' for the patient because we don't do a real good job of getting to them while they are healthy so that they can learn how to be the manager of their own health, or how to most effectively take advantage of what is out there.
Years ago our nursing day took place in a small area. Now nursing encompasses so much in so many places.
All these pieces of the puzzle are greater than the whole. It still comes down to the poor soul who is sick or scared-usually both.
I understand that it is not rational to expect a person to spend so much money for an education when that income is limited. The 24/7 need is special and the fatigue factor notwithstanding, our psyche takes a heck of wallop most days because of that CARING thing.
OUr world has gotten so busy and fast and expensive and spooky that the simple everyday is exhausting sometimes and always vital. I used to laugh when people suggest making a to-do list;prioritize, they say. Trouble is, nursing winds up with a lateral list- everything is a priority!
We do shoot ourselves in the foot and can be our own worst enemy sometimes. Nurses need to learn more everyday-we need to seek it out and figure it out and grow in our own knowledgebase as well as our ability to grow our individual practice. On line offerings abound and there can't be too many of us without personal internet access. We must do good better- that's part of being a nurse. We need to dig down within ourselves- not to take a deep breath to keep on plugging along. No, we need to be the person who is a great nurse.
Money can be made in nursing. You can be a player on state, even national levels, if that's what you want. You can be an educator, a political player. You can be anything you want, but it doesn't come easy. What does in life? We chose to be nurses; let's choose to be teriffic at it NO MATTER WHAT. I do think that our nursing organizations can be powerful and purposeful. To say that it costs too much, well haven't we all squandered a few hundred dollars most years? Becoming active members of anything has a price. Pay up and grow up. Lead, follow or get out of the way.
I can't answer for everyone, but I know that nursing brings out the best in me and I know that my patients benefit from my ethic,understanding and skills. I benefit from my self expression, self growth and passion for life lived. My tears tell me I am in touch and willing to share our collective humanity. I'm one of the luckiest workere bees in the hive. Sometimes I'm the queen bee, and that's gratifying, sure. I am in the right place doing the right stuff and I am not alone. Neithere are you, fellow nursing colleagues. Remember, we function as if the other guy is us and at any given moment we are or could be. I expect the best all the time from all of us -patient, nurse, parking attendant,-all of us. Life requires that and then we have the life worth living. Otherwise we are the also-rans and that's a personal life choice I won't be making. How 'bout you?
I must mention that while we are answerable for our practice, I am getting a snoot full of the certifying bodies that charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell us how to do our jobs. Who makes JC the godhead? Could it be the self-regulating insurance enterprises who spawn these " inspectors "that chelate our healthcare dollars...hmmm
We are accountable for our actions, folks, I agree. But who the hell are they to take my precious time away from nursing to jump thru the hoops that don't really mean a thing except to say "yes we did that" as if writing it down makes it so. perception is not reality. I just think we have thrown out the baby with the bathwater and the baby is our patient and our nurse.

Posted by: mizmac | Jun 27, 2008 4:34:17 PM

I have been a nurse for 23 years, and I still truly love it. I started out in ICU, and have been in the recovery room for 17 years now. I work with wonderful people..nurses, doctors, RT's etc in a small community hospital in Oregon and our managers are truly awesome. They get in and work with everyone when we are short and are great team members also. Our VP of nurses is an excellent role model and is incredibly intelligent with a lot of common sense (and sense of humor!)and is wonderful to work with at the bedside. We just started having student nurses rotate through our department and I love to be able to teach them and encourage them. I ran into one of my high school teachers the other day and he said "you're just about retired now arent you?" I told him I really liked my job and would probably work until I was 80. Even though I take need to take call, I think good staffing, having wonderful coworkers, and caring management have made the difference for me...probably working part time helps too.

Posted by: Capri | Jun 25, 2008 4:59:59 AM

It is very refreshing to read what others have written, only to confirm what I have felt for some time now. The nursing profession continues to have a shortage. It's funny, I once wrote a paper on this very subject for an English class back in the 80's. Nothing seems to have changed. The profession itself has made many great strides in accomplishing itself since the Nightengale days. However, the profession is now being outpaced and degraded by the healthcare system itself. I was amazed to hear a doctor, on a cable network, give a lecture to the state (CA) about how the healthcare system needed a complete overhaul. He pointed to its eventual financial collapse, its need for doctors and nurses, and the rising cost of doing business.

I am an LVN. I loved acute care, have worked home health (peds), rehab, psych, and most recently worked in a SNF. I was at a university studying for my BSN, but every time I have had to make choices regarding family or finances. It bothered me to see alien students get full financial aid, while I, an American, didn't qualify as I made too much money. Financial aid or reasonable student loans without hoops would be a nice incentive to stimulate advanced education and decrease the nursing shortage. Most nursing students have to work for a living and support families, too. Nursing was to be my second career to complete my working life. I had worked in a non-nursing job for 23yrs ending at $19.00/hr. Almost 8yrs later, I still make only $19.00/hr, have few if any benefits, and work harder than ever. In the SNF I just left, I had about 45 patients at night, no breaks, a working lunch, was often charge nurse, and finished charting without pay after my 8hr shift ended.

Yes, I quit...exhausted after 12-14hr days. I am currently looking for another career, but with regrets. I loved nursing. This is a profession that takes the life and the money right out of you with little in return. The patient satisfaction and the comraderie with my fellow nurses were the only things that kept me going in my last job. I've never made enough to even stay for the money. My heart still longs to finish my RN, and give bedside care, but I am burned out. I never thought I would admit that.

And, yes, nursing does eat its young. I've only recently heard that expression, but have experienced its wrath over and over, not really comprehending what or why. When I look back, it all started in nursing school. Without knowing what it was, I fought it then, but am too burned-out to fight it now. I am 53yrs old. It seems more logical now to think of my Roth-IRA, than a long-term student loan for a BSN. And, would the extra $10,000/yr. as a new RN really be worth it? To avoid burn-out, I might end up using that money on the many vacations I would need to refresh myself to keep going. Actually, my opinion hints of frustration vs. sarcasim.

Nursing is an honorable profession of which I have always been proud to be a part of. It is only recently that I have experienced my own burn-out, and becoming a statistic that adds to the nursing shortage.

Posted by: Drice | Jun 22, 2008 5:58:09 PM

Kudos to You - I can't imagine being a nurse for 44 years!

Anyone seeing the increasing trend of the use of RN travelers in their facilities instead of actual hiring of nurses?


Posted by: beka | Jun 19, 2008 2:48:23 PM

Gosh, I've been a registered nurse for these past 44 years & now age 69 (soon to be 70) & still working two jobs. One in the acute care setting; the other as a "nurse consultant for assisted living". I'm not sure which system is more abusive to nurses.

In the acute arena, I work as an RN Case Manager/Discharge Planner/Utilization Review/Quality Assurance Reviewer & the only raises I get are "cost of living". I'm not paid the same as a bedside nurse ??? Yet I work at bedside with patients & families consistently who most always have complex social issues not to mention very complicated medical problems. Of course let me not forget to mention the majority of the patient population that I work with in this environment are "seniors".

In my role as Nurse Consulant, I work for a corporation who demands that not only do I "delegate nursing tasks" to unlicensed staff, but that I'm "on call" by phone 24 hrs a day x7 days a week x365 days a year !! (for a salary less than what I make in the hospital) I'm told that I "MUST" be physically present no less than 20 hrs a week (not even my choice of hours) & that I "cannot take any days off without finding a replacement" !!!!

If I did not have an astronomical fee to pay for my medicare supplement ($475 a mont) & a house payment of $650 a month, a car payment, auto insurance, etc etc, I would not work two jobs at the chronological age of 69.

We all know that one cannot live on Social Security income & everyone has high cost living expenses. So what is a seasoned nurse suppose to do in a rural community on the coast of Oregon without more than 3 choices of "where to work as an RN".

All of the blogs I have read say about the same thing...hospitals don't treat nurses well, corporations run the show, dictate salaries & yet tell the public they care about their health care !!! What bull !!

I've been looking to relocate to another area for a long while, but am not sure where to move to & ask myself is it any better any where else ? What do I do to remain a productive individual who is not ready to be put out to "pasture" (who can survive like this).

Does anyone have any "real" answers for this very frustrated & scared seasoned RN & the present health care crisis we are all experiencing in this USA.

I am ready, willing & able to support all other RN's & wish there was a way to get our message across to hospitals, corporations & the general public about why nurses are not staying in the health care arena & who is really going to help us !

Thanks for giving me a place to vent my concerns.

Regards from the coast of Oregon
Barbara, RN
A very frustrated seasoned nurse of 44 years

Posted by: Barbara, RN | Jun 18, 2008 3:07:58 PM

I agree with many of the above comments. I ahve been a nurse for over 34 years; currently, I teach in a community college of nursing and it is the best job I have ever had. I certainly feel I am being hypocritical at times in teaching new nurses about what is really happening in the real acute care setting. I still work as a contingent staff nurse, and was recently dismayed to find out that the hospital had a consulting group in who recommended adding an additional patient to the staff nurses' load. Ridiculous at best--if I as an experienced nurse feel overwhelmed and frustrated with a patient assignment which includes patients with traches, PEG tubes, multiple medications, bilateral amputees, etc., what musat a new nurse be experiencing? Let hospital administrators--both nursing and CEO's spend a whole 12 hours in a staff nurse role shadowing--not just a few minuts here and there. Multiple interruptions, phone calls, equipment not available or non-functional, meds not in the Pxyis--is it any wonder how erros are made? And who shoulders the blame?? I love working as a staff nurse when I am able to perform in my role; what I tell my friends is to 'saty healthy'-- I would not want to be a patient in one of the hospital beds where I work. Much fragmentation and task orientation--and the demands continue to get heaped on--one more form, requirement, task for the nurses to do when no-one else is able to or wants to perform. Clarifying immunization status, admitting medication orders--tons of time on the phone--not nursing work, but secretarial work. Electronic medical records can't come soon enough!! HELP--will nursing administration step up to the plate and advocate for the nurses at the bedside and not succomb to the demands of CEO's who have no clue what happens at the bedside. Patient satisfaction surveys seem to drive everything, and it is so backwords! Fix the problems and inefficient systems, and everything else should flow. These things haven't been taken care of in my 34 years as a nurse, and I worry about the future of nursing.

Posted by: Andrea | Jun 17, 2008 7:09:54 PM

I have been in nursing for 35 years and have found it to be a tough but rewarding life. I am now an assistant professor at a CON as well as a practicing NP. My take on what is happening developed over the years.
1) We like many professions have let untrained managers, manage without benefit of direction. Power questing and poor people skills prevail. Money rather than common sense rule. Non-medical managers are in the upper levels and physicians (also with no management skills) feel they have the right to direct care when they have only minimal clues as to what is happening in the real world.
2) Our nursing leaders, act and probably feel powerless against the "Good Old Boy's Club", with no one stepping up to the plate. I've seen many wonderful leaders cut down because they have voiced an unpopular opinion. We, as a profession, are letting this bullying occur and even encourage it. This is often seen in an undertrodden population. After awhile you figure, "why fight it? Nobody listens anyway!" Our leadership become figureheads only, directed and acting out of a political survival mode. Our heroes are still present but in short supply because "we" don't walk the walk as a group. We bitch and bicker because we feel powerless.
3) Certain employee levels are immune, except in dire situations, to rules of humanity. Physicians and hospital administration are employees too, no better or worse than anyone else. Discipline measures need to be applied evenly across the board. Maybe the AMA and certain hospital administrations should police their own. Until their house is put into order, they shouldn't be allowed to run amuck drafting policies to control nurses, or nursing.
4) Salaries and rewards are not reflected at the level that work is performed. Administration says it's too hard to apply incentive wages. They don't seem to have problems defending their own salary increases. The physicians, mid-levels and nurses that perform back breaking, mind breaking and personality altering work are not rewarded but are told to work smarter with less. They are destined to watch the "powers" rake in high 6 digit salaries and take credit for the what went right and in turn don't get recognized. Our university hospital does not let us celebrate nurses' week because it puts too much emphasis on the nurses but we celebrate "environmental services" week. Interesting, isn't it?
5) We, as a group, don't take responsibility for ourselves and our peers. It's easier to be a victim than stand up and defend outselves and our developing young. We encourage someone to eat them, instead of us. No matter how tacky it sounds, it's time we grow some balls and defend what is ours.
On the flip side, I am proud to be a nurse and nurse practitioner. There can be no finer people around. The public will second that opinion by giving us their overall trust To see the caliber of students coming through the programs is very humbling. It use to be felt that you went through nursing school because you weren't smart enough or had enough ambition to get into med school. These kids are phenomenal, the cream of the crop. I am constantly blown away by their knowledge, skill and problem solving prowess. The only way to go is up because of this potential. I don't want to see it diluted by sticking in nurse substitues or those inadequately prepared for 2 reasons.
1) quality of care will suffer and
2) at some point, my life or the life of someone I love will be in the hands of a nurse - I am selfish, I want the best.
Bless all of the nurses out there!!

Posted by: Mary | Jun 17, 2008 1:21:42 PM

I have been an RN for 14 years, and the amount of petty backstabbing I have seen has been incredible. The phrase, "nurses eat their young" didn't come by accident. Often there is little team work on a unit, as evidenced by one nurse being swamped, and another nurse playing solitaire at the nurses station. Many nurses do not care about the patient, when they leave a patient in need of immediate assistance for the next shift to handle. I could go on, but the point is as stated in previous blogs.........many nurses hate their jobs, but only do it, because it puts bread on the table.

Posted by: Paolo | Jun 16, 2008 9:38:22 AM

I have been a nurse for 3 years now and still every day I go to work with an ill stomach wondering: will I get 2 admissions tonight, have 8-9 patients tonight (which is usual), have 4 pts on alchol withdrawal or critical pts that should not have been sent to a med surg floor in the first place!!
We constantly get admissions on change of shift which is dangerous!! The supervisiors are unfair with the admits and sent 4 in a row to 1 unit where we'll have 8 pts a piece and another has 5 pts a piece.
I truly hate my job most of the time and the only time I love it is when we have 6 patients where that is so much better and manageable.
Thanks for listening

Posted by: Lynn Netta | Jun 15, 2008 8:07:33 PM

I'm a new RN, working for barely 3 months. But these 3 months alone is like hell for me. I find that working is so CRAZY!! Apart from the word BUSY, I can't find any other words to describe. And not only to fight with the busy-ness of nursing ITSELF, we also have to cope with the politics with the seniors and the higher authorities.

Its no wonder that many nurses in my country actually resign after a few years of practice. The remaining who stay, only a handful will say they love nursing. The rest will merely stay on as they've signed a contract and they'll have to pay should they resign. Its sad.

So many people questioned why is it that there's even a shortage when there are so many people who graduate from the nursing school every year (about 800 from my school alone!) But nobody realised that out of that 800, many lost the passion for the course along the way and decide to just get the certification for the sake of doing so with no intention to actually be a RN. On top of that, many RNs have also resigned as a result of all the restructuring. Such things, despite highlighted, are not addressed. Its just a silly vicious cycle, very very silly one.

Sometimes I ask myself if I really chose the right career. Of course I do love nursing, but it is easier to work if I don't have to worry about politics. So so much easier.

If nobody actually do anything about it, its just a matter of time when nursing shortage will worsen. Soon enough, there may not even be nurses anymore. By then, its too late for regrets, isn't it?

Posted by: Cinthia | Jun 14, 2008 12:24:59 PM

This has been a great blog. I have read many of the posts and related to all of them. Essentially, we are all saying the same things. The health care system is very broken. The problems in nursing are so widespread, it is very hard to invision a repair program. It reminds me of the virus I downloaded a while back, but unfortunately, there is no restore point.

Posted by: Rosalyn | Jun 14, 2008 9:33:02 AM

Back online again...
Yes here are some that would work on both sides of the Big Pond.


This problem exists in France too even if it's not as acute as in the States (thanks to our Social Security). But as the costs are soaring fewer people can afford a complementary private health insurance police.
The money IS there but the problem is that NO poltician has the guts to do what it takes to take it to mend this situation. The solution is simple, easy to ptu in use, painless for everybody and effective:
Create a tax of 1 or even 0.1 cent on every stock exchange trade and the main part (if not the whole)of the financial problem will be solved.


The same pre-requisite, the same progression in the learning process, the same steps troughout the country.
This would ease the the change from one nursing school to another, everybody would be on the same knowledge level (a common basis facilitates mutual comprehension)...
Only one National Registration Board would make professionnal mobility easier and would give us tools and arguments to effectively and efficiently fight for the promotion of our interests.


Visa application for foreign nurses is blocked; easing their entry AND screening their skills on a less mafia-like basis (do you kow how much it costs to just present the NCLEX?) can help reduce the shortening of nurses?


Just for once, why don't we ALL go on strike? I mean a REAL one: nobody at work, everybody on the streets, blocking the representatives in their offices, homes, etc...
Why not "invading" Congress (the Assemblée Nationale over here) during a debate on health care issues? THAT might give us the visibility we need so much...

Nurses make me think of the Army which is nicknamed her La Grande Muette (The Big Dumb Lady), you never hear them because they never complain.

Posted by: Jean-Claude | Jun 14, 2008 8:42:58 AM

Having graduated my diploma nursing program almost 47 years ago, my observations, and the observations of my classmates, were that nursing administration was an extremely "sadistic" lot. Having watched my daughter go through her own nursing programs, all the way through to her masters in nursing, my observations have not changed in this regard. Nursing is its own worst enemy! Wanting to prove its worthiness as a profession, it somehow abuses its nurses in the process. That is so sad, because nurses like me have been leaving in droves, and they have been doing this for decades. To add insult to injury, facilities are in-sourcing lesser qualified foreign trained professionals, because they can be hired at cheap rates. This demeans the self-esteem of our own home-grown nurses, as it undermines their salary, creating a never-ending "loop" of unhappy nurses leaving the profession!

Posted by: Karen | Jun 14, 2008 1:20:17 AM

When corporate healthcare determines that patients come first, learns that 12 hour shifts cause errors (see the published studies), begins to value their staff...perhaps then nurses will come back to the bedside. Patient care (actual interaction with the patients, not just tasks), continuing education (why is the nurse educator position always the first to downsize), and employee benefits are expensive, but the productivity, patient outcomes, patient and staff satisfaction would make up for it. Let's quit putting money into thinly disguised advertising such as "Magnet Status, Specialty Hospital, etc" (all those fancy accreditations cost big bucks), back our nursing leaders when they actually do something for nursing other than polishing their pedigrees, and get involved. I am 55 years old and have been in nursing since 1974. I refuse to work in a hospital, my wife refuses to work in a hospital, most of my nursing friends refuse to work in a hospital becuase of conditions mandated and supported by the hospital CEO's devotion to the almighty dollar. Maybe someday it will change, but until then I will still be physically present with any family member who is unfortunate enough to be hospitalized, and when asked about nursing as a career, I'll reply, "It's a great career but a lousy job".

Posted by: Terry | Jun 13, 2008 5:46:54 PM

30 years and out as firemen, police, emt's, auto workers, etc., would entice people into nursing. I am 43. I can't imagine keeping the pace I maintain now at the age of 72. Please, someone stop the insanity.

Posted by: Jennifer | Jun 13, 2008 3:20:53 PM

A common theme in this blog seems that a nursing shortage exists, but then why arent WE putting our words into ACTION , forming online petitions about the nursing shortage, making our voice heard,etc .???? Are the Johnson /Johnson Discover Nursing Campaign Ads effective ? I still see side rails down within a perfect-looking environment in the Ads....

Talk is cheap, more so when there is no action taken to improve things...Ideas ???


Posted by: beka | Jun 13, 2008 11:12:03 AM

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