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Nursing Shortage
Old 12-17-2007, 08:11 AM   #1
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Nursing Shortage

Another shortage we need to be concerned about is RN's .A lot of the early baby boomers were from the age when women became teachers ,secretarys or nurses and now we are retiring in droves .Some hospitals are offering $10,000 bonuses to any trained Operating Room RN and it's just going to get worse .

<LI class=textn>In the January/February 2007 issue of Health Affairs, Dr. David I. Auerbach and colleagues estimated that the U.S. shortage of registered nurses (RNs) will increase to 340,000 by the year 2020. Though this is significantly less than earlier projections for a shortfall of 800,000 RNs which was made back in 2000, the study authors note that the nursing shortage is still expected to increase by three times the current rate over the next 13 years. The study is titled Better Late Than Never: Workforce Supply Implications of Late Entry into Nursing. http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/26/1/178
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:15 AM   #2
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The reasons for the shortage are not what most people think. Generally thre is a shortage of classes for students to enroll in to become nurses. Nurses do not get paid as well to teach nursing, so the system can't train enough nurses.

Florida Monitor: Florida Can Use Several Strategies to Encourage Students to Enroll in Areas of Critical Need - Education Publication

"The nursing student loan forgiveness program offers substantially larger awards, but is used primarily to attract and retain nurses to underserved areas rather than to increase the number of students going into nursing. This is because student demand for nursing programs exceeds available slots at both the community college and university levels, and expanding these programs is hampered by shortages of instructors."

E"ven if strategies to increase nursing and teacher preparation graduates are successful, demand may continue to exceed supply unless steps are taken to reduce high turnover in these professions. To resolve these problems, school districts, hospitals and other employers may need to implement strategies to better retain their employees."
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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We have one school in the area with an RN nursing program and the waiting list for admission is several years.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:58 AM   #4
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As mentioned, one of the big problems in the shortage is the lack of classes to train nurses. Not only are salaries for those teaching nursing low, but the same retirement problem plaguing the general nursing ranks is even worse when you look at those teaching nursing. Large numbers are retiring but only a trickle of experienced nurses are willing to give up relatively large salaries to teach.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:52 PM   #5
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Nurses, respiratory therapists, medical technologists, hospital pharmacists....all graying and getting harder and harder to recruit.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:10 PM   #6
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Large numbers are retiring but only a trickle of experienced nurses are willing to give up relatively large salaries to teach.
Maybe they're reluctant to be accused of leading more lambs to the slaughter...

You raise a good point, though. Rich_In_Tampa is able to enjoy a fairly well-admired reputation within the institution as a teaching doctor. I used to have to listen to a lot of guidance shoveled out by the military's high-ranking doctors, too. But what about all the nurses on this board? Does the medical or hospital system do the same for nurses? Where are the military's high-ranking nurses? Where are all the TV dramas about "teaching nurses"?
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:12 PM   #7
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Don't get me started. This is an physically challenging job and health care facilities could lessen the amounts of RN's leaving by recognizing the fact that fifty something year old women have no business lifting and transferring adults bodies. Have no business rotating shifts. Have no business working forced overtime because of staffing shortages. Being pulled from one unit or another regardless of training. In a word if the working conditions were better maybe a lot of us would have stayed.

This is old news. I had 32 years in, my sister is still at it at 36 years in and counting, my mother retired fifteen years ago after working 30 years in the profession. Conditions have been like this for a long as I can remember however. It falls on deaf ears thus nurses are voting with their feet and quitting. Lets not even talk about the nurses still working who down shift to part time status. The nursing shortage could have been solved a long time ago. Health care facilities want it this way. It is used as a excuse to force nurses to work ridiculous workloads. "Hey it's not our fault your killing yourself out there its the nursing shortage you know." When DH and the financial guy told me I could FIRE it took me all of 30 seconds to make the decision. Two hours later my resignation was in the DON's hand, I went in on my day off to give it to her. Three weeks later I was a free woman and have not looked back.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:25 PM   #8
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Don't get me started. This is an physically challenging job and health care facilities could lessen the amounts of RN's leaving by recognizing the fact that fifty something year old women have no business lifting and transferring adults bodies. Have no business rotating shifts. Have no business working forced overtime because of staffing shortages. Being pulled from one unit or another regardless of training. In a word if the working conditions were better maybe a lot of us would have stayed.

I think you covered it .Thanks Cattusbabe !
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:25 PM   #9
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Why would you teach nursing, when you can get $32,000 to give a mamogram. That seems like were the real money is
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:25 PM   #10
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:13 PM   #11
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This is an physically challenging job and health care facilities could lessen the amounts of RN's leaving by recognizing the fact that fifty something year old women have no business lifting and transferring adults bodies. Have no business rotating shifts. Have no business working forced overtime because of staffing shortages. Being pulled from one unit or another regardless of training. In a word if the working conditions were better maybe a lot of us would have stayed.
Let me start by saying I agree it is a physically demanding job and they do not receive enough pay to do it. I must take issue with the portion of your statement that reads, "...that fifty something year old women have no business lifting and transferring adults bodies. Have no business rotating shifts. Have no business working forced overtime because of staffing shortages. Being pulled from one unit or another regardless of training."

What does being fifty something and a woman have with doing the job. Either equality for everyone in all jobs or equality of no one in any job. If I understand you correctly you think fifty something year old women should not have to do that type of work. If it is acceptable for a fifty something year old man to do it why shouldn't a fifty something year old woman have to do it when employed in the same position? Am I misunderstanding your statement?
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:13 PM   #12
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The reasons for the shortage are not what most people think. Generally thre is a shortage of classes for students to enroll in to become nurses. Nurses do not get paid as well to teach nursing, so the system can't train enough nurses.
That is primary reason for the shortage.

My DW retired as an RN this last July.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:09 PM   #13
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Let me start by saying I agree it is a physically demanding job and they do not receive enough pay to do it. I must take issue with the portion of your statement that reads, "...that fifty something year old women have no business lifting and transferring adults bodies. Have no business rotating shifts. Have no business working forced overtime because of staffing shortages. Being pulled from one unit or another regardless of training."

What does being fifty something and a woman have with doing the job.

The thread is a discussion of the nursing shortage. Women make up most off the profession. Men at last count are about 3% of working nurses. Thus my emphasis on women. Women leave the profession or reduce hours at the fifty year point for lots of reasons. Work load and the inability to keep up with it safely counts heavily in this decision.



Either equality for everyone in all jobs or equality of no one in any job.

Don't be naive. Nice union slogan by the way.


If I understand you correctly you think fifty something year old women should not have to do that type of work.

Correct. Not with out some sort of recognition that there may have to be modification to the workplace and how the work is done to retain older nurses, most of which are women. Much of the resistance to this review is lack of interest, care and concern by those who administer health care facilities of the special needs of older health care workers.


If it is acceptable for a fifty something year old man to do it why shouldn't a fifty something year old woman have to do it when employed in the same position?

I never said that it was acceptable for a fifty something man to do this. I will let you in on a secret. The number one complaint of Male nurses is that they are constantly called to assist with lifting and transferring patients by their female co-workers. I do not blame them for not wanting to be used as beast of burden. In other professions there are assisting devices and protective equipment to help workers move heavy loads. Health care administrators resist providing enough of these things because of their expense.

Am I misunderstanding your statement?

You are. A way to lessen the nursing shortage is to retain older nurses. Looking at and making accommodations in the workplace to assist them is staying on the job would go a long way in making that happen.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:07 AM   #14
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Perhaps there should be an effort to recruit more men into nursing?

1. Fix shortage of training resources (personnel and facilities) with government $$$.

2. Recruit men into the profession.

So many of the better paying jobs for men in manufacturing, the trades, etc., have disappeared, I'd think there would be some interest in going into nursing or the medical technician fields.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:19 AM   #15
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My wife is a RN just put in 35 and loves her job. She wants to put in at least another 5. Im not sure where other people have worked. But at her hospital they have what is called lift teams. People who move patients for them. As for pay she will make around 120k this year with not much overtime. As for benefits she will get a non cola'd pension at retirement and a pretty big size lump sum. Also her hospital will pay 30000 for health insurance at retirement.

5 weeks vacation a year , pretty good pay and outstanding benefits. I dont know if that is fair or not. Im just pointing out that is pretty good compensation for a job she loves.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:20 AM   #16
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Nursing compensation varies from state to state. I was paid well in Pa. cross the border to New Jersey, not so much. The lift team is the kind of thing I am talking about. Giving some thought to what nurses need to stay on the job if they choose to. I also agree with recruiting more men into the profession . Some of the best nurses that I have had the pleasure of working with and, on those occasions when I was hospitalized and needed care myself, were men. Men do not get enough credit for their care giving abilities.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:04 AM   #17
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Cattusbabe--I'll go down your responses one at a time.

1. If the women you are talking about are leaving because they feel they can no longer do the job, my opinion is that is a good time for them to leave. However if they still want to do the job, why not go into teaching it instead of the heavy lifting. Maybe that is where the push should be, hiring retiring nurses to teach classes for the nurse trainees. It seems to be the natural movement for the physical jobs, when one can no longer do the physical stuff they move to less physical aspects of it.

2. I come from a background of working in a typically male dominated workplace. The people I worked with are not fully trusted until they had physically proved themselves, this includes women. I have seen just a many women take down 300 lbs drunks as I have men. There is no affirmative action when you are in a fight, either you can physically do the job or you can't. To you my statement is a "union slogan" to me it is how I survived.

3/4. I agree with your statement that nobody should have to do the heavy lifting by themselves without the benefit of some assistance whether it be a person or device. A girlfriend of one of my co-workers used to work as a nurse in a nursing home. She injured back while moving a person and was unable to do the work any longer. She sued the nursing home for not providing proper assistance and protective equipment. At first she was offered a settlement of $500,000, but because she still needed to work to pay her bills she went out and got a job as a waitress. She would fill herself up with pain killers so she could lift the food trays and do her best. The nursing home hired a private investigator, who took pictures of her hefting the food trays around and rescinded their offer and replaced it with a much lower one. The point is if there are injuries incurred because of unsafe working conditions then the management will change policies.

5. When I was in the military a lot of the innovation was developed by the younger troops. Just because the boss does not give you the proper tools does not mean you cannot informally develop procedures yourself. In nursing it seems to be the lift teams. It does not require any more outlay in money and the job gets done. I don't know how the people do it where you work, but if a woman nurse comes out and requests assistance with moving a patient then is content to stand by and take care of the lighter duties, I would seem to always be very busy and no I would not help. If, however, she's in there attempting to help with the heavy lifting then I would have no problem assisting. My position is I will ASSIST you with your problem, I not going to take it over and do it for you.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:48 AM   #18
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Cattusbabe--I'll go down your responses one at a time.

1. If the women you are talking about are leaving because they feel they can no longer do the job, my opinion is that is a good time for them to leave. However if they still want to do the job, why not go into teaching it instead of the heavy lifting. Maybe that is where the push should be, hiring retiring nurses to teach classes for the nurse trainees. It seems to be the natural movement for the physical jobs, when one can no longer do the physical stuff they move to less physical aspects of it.

That is a good idea however nursing instructors require at least a Masters degree and in some cases a PhD. There are programs that assist nurses in funding that advanced education. This is one of the places where the storage is and why there are not enough instructors. RN's with less that that can train nursing aides so long as they have gone through train the training certification.

2. I come from a background of working in a typically male dominated workplace. The people I worked with are not fully trusted until they had physically proved themselves, this includes women. I have seen just a many women take down 300 lbs drunks as I have men. There is no affirmative action when you are in a fight, either you can physically do the job or you can't. To you my statement is a "union slogan" to me it is how I survived.

I do understand what you are talking about. I have a sister who is a fighter fighter and one who is a police officer. They had to qualify just as the men did when it came to the physical part of the job. That is only fair. When they could no longer do the physical part of the job and they had enough time on went inside and are now on desk duty. That said you are not going to tell me that men who have paid their dues out there do not move to less physically demanding jobs and let the younger guys do the heavier jobs. I have a brother who is in construction. When he was younger he was a laborer, now that he has more skills he is not out there digging ditches like he did when he was in his twenties. His forty something body cannot do the same things it could when he was a young buck.
With nursing unless you can replace most the the fifty somethings with younger people, which is not happening, then you have to work with what you have. Thus it makes sense to look at what is needed to retain the workers you have.

3/4. I agree with your statement that nobody should have to do the heavy lifting by themselves without the benefit of some assistance whether it be a person or device. A girlfriend of one of my co-workers used to work as a nurse in a nursing home. She injured back while moving a person and was unable to do the work any longer. She sued the nursing home for not providing proper assistance and protective equipment. At first she was offered a settlement of $500,000, but because she still needed to work to pay her bills she went out and got a job as a waitress. She would fill herself up with pain killers so she could lift the food trays and do her best. The nursing home hired a private investigator, who took pictures of her hefting the food trays around and rescinded their offer and replaced it with a much lower one. The point is if there are injuries incurred because of unsafe working conditions then the management will change policies.

That sound about right. The powers that be are not exactly looking out for you.

5. When I was in the military a lot of the innovation was developed by the younger troops. Just because the boss does not give you the proper tools does not mean you cannot informally develop procedures yourself. In nursing it seems to be the lift teams. It does not require any more outlay in money and the job gets done. I don't know how the people do it where you work, but if a woman nurse comes out and requests assistance with moving a patient then is content to stand by and take care of the lighter duties, I would seem to always be very busy and no I would not help. If, however, she's in there attempting to help with the heavy lifting then I would have no problem assisting. My position is I will ASSIST you with your problem, I not going to take it over and do it for you.

I have already FIRED. When I did work we also assisted each other. You are correct, nursing can come up with ideas on their own. They do. The trick is getting the buy in from Administration. That is always the trick. However not all solutions are cheap and sometimes Administration is going to have to invest $$$$$ in their employees.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:01 PM   #19
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My wife is a RN just put in 35 and loves her job. She wants to put in at least another 5. Im not sure where other people have worked. But at her hospital they have what is called lift teams. People who move patients for them. As for pay she will make around 120k this year with not much overtime. As for benefits she will get a non cola'd pension at retirement and a pretty big size lump sum. Also her hospital will pay 30000 for health insurance at retirement.

5 weeks vacation a year , pretty good pay and outstanding benefits. I dont know if that is fair or not. Im just pointing out that is pretty good compensation for a job she loves.

Where is your wife working $120k might bring me out of retirement .
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:28 PM   #20
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Where is your wife working $120k might bring me out of retirement .
Hi Moemg,

California within the Sutter health system non union. She has mentioned many nurses coming to CA from different parts of the country. I realize the cost of living is more here that skews the wage. However you can make a good buck here then move out of the state to a cheaper COL area.
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