There is no nursing shortage. There is a shortage of nurses who are willing to work in the present conditions for the pay and benefits that are offered. Either the conditions need to change or the pay needs to change. Hospitals are hoping the conditions are temporary and are thus hesitant to raise pay ranges. Hospitals are not complacent, they are complicit in the shortage.
There is no nursing shortage. What we have is an abundance of hospital administrators running departments with the minimum amount of staff possible in order to increase their revenue. There’s an abundance of greed and a lack of unification among us nurses who are so used to being shorted changed and work like dogs for the financial benefit of institutions.
Yes there is nursing shortage. There are multiple reasons for it. Some people who graduate don't like the 24/7, weekends/holidays part of things so move onto ancillary RN positions. Yes some people go back to school to get advanced degrees, taking them out of the hospital pool. And then there are the one's who are choosing to travel (lots of $$, poor benefits). But we are truly not graduating enough Rn's. There are not enough schools, partly because there aren't enough instructors with the experience and knowledge base to teach. And that's because the pay stinks. The longer you work in nursing the more you get paid and the salary of a nursing instructor is sometimes half what you make in the hospital, which is not a living wage.
And yes - we need management to care more for their staff. I've been doing this for 40 years and while the $ is good, that is not what keeps people. They need to know that they are appreciated and supported, which means different things to different people. Of course, they are not asked what would be meaningful for them.
I wish I lived and worked in 1 of these states y’all are speaking about that do not have a nursing shortage! There is absolutely a devastating nursing shortage in many states in the USA which will double if not triple within the next TWO years! Andy Beshear ,Kentucky's governor declared the state's chronic nursing shortage to be an emergency Thursday! The state of Kentucky is projected to need more than 16,000 additional nurses by 2024, to help fill gaps caused by retirements and people leaving the profession. This has been trending for many years but no one seemed to actual care until a pandemic happens and people are worried they will not hav eaves to care! The AVERAGE AGE of a nurse in the United States is 48-50 years old!! NEARLY HALF of ALL nurses are OVER the 50 YEARS OLD. More than 1/2 of the RN population was reaching retirement age 2 years before the pandemic and I can not blame them for taking their leave during this madness to leave the profession However, this left a devastating crevasse in the already strain RN shortage. The bedside and critical care conditions of ONE N95 mask issued per 6 months and patient care load responsibilities in the hospitals are terrifying and criminal! There were times even during this pandemic where I was expected to take a 16-20 patient care load on my licensure and expected to not have any concerns and threatened to be charged with patient abandonment by administrators when expressing concerns for these patients health and safety. The nursing shortage has nothing to do with hospitals not wanting to pay more experienced nurses; it’s because nobody in the right mind would want to go into a profession where you get treated like trash; NEVER get paid what you are actually worth; have bosses and administrators whom are not healthcare providers and haven’t spent more than 15min on a hospital unit ,make decisions about how you do your job; spend all day either getting cussed out by either a doctor, patient, and patient family members; being mandated to work over time every week because there is NO staff; and not get that 5 cent raise at the end of the year because you clocked in 1 min late 3 times in 12 months. If the entire healthcare culture does not swiftly this shortage will effect the entire USA and access to healthcare will become even more of a burden than it already is. I left bedside nursing to become a nurse practitioner before COVID19, with the nursing shortage so dire straits I was forced back into bedside nursing to work the covid units for the past 2 years, and I would Not allow anyone I cared about to go to school to be a nurse. I use to love what I did 10 years ago, but back then I never dreamed I would ever have faced the inhumane horrific treatment that has become a part of daily life for nurses every shift.
As a nurse who has been nursing for 20 years, there has always been a shortage. I would see nurse leaders use a staffing matrix to call off nurses from work because the census is low. Regardless of patient acuity. I have seen ICU nurses caring for my father in the CVICU have 3 and 4 patients and God knows how many errors and times I saved my father's life
Not because of lack of desire to provide the best care, but because patient load had them set up to fail. Yes there is complacency because there has always been and there always will be a nursing shortage. In the past the shortage was manufactured in order for predatory administrators to make thier bonuses and meet quarterly quotas for share holders. Until there is INCENTIVE for there not to be a shortage this shortage will continue until our health care system collapses.
Complacent or burned out? Feeling hopeless about it, feeling powerless. Travel nurses grind down budgets and morale on units, high performing nurses get same pay as poor performers. I think we are so afraid of not having staff we put up with bad behaviors and the consequences to that is suboptimal patient care. Staff nurses expecting managers to work the unit, while also being held accountable for leadership responsibilities. It’s ugly out there.
Many of you may not like my answer however the truth is the truth. The reason why the nursing field is like this is because we nurses do not stick together and when we don't stick together a lot of things happen. During covid, many nurses showed their true colors as well as the union. You worked tirelessly during the pandemic and when the vaccine mandate rolled out what happen? Many nurses were divided on the jab and cause the unvaccinated nurses to lose their job causing more shortage. Up until today, many nurses have not got their job back nor backpay and the union remain silent.However, in the male dominated profession such as cops and firefighter they kept their jobs and the union were strong. They were not fired or if they did they got their jobs back with back pay. Vaccinated or not those male dominated profession stick together. The reason why the nursing field is like this is because it women dominated. When you suppose to think logically you think emotionally. If the nursing field want to change you need a stronger union with nurses sticking together better.
No there is no shortage, most hospitals do not want to hire nurses who have more than 10 years of experience. They are bad about aging discrimination. They want the newer nurses so they can pay them less and when the newer ones leave because of burnout, the hospitals don't care and then wonder why they can't get help.
I don't think there's shortage of bodies who passed the licensing exam ..... There's shortage of well trained professionals in our field.
I will never be the one saying that I am the best preceptor or best to train the nursing student but my style of teaching, while on the unit, is intense:
When I have a nursing student (s): I will not waste time teaching them how to use the computer system or how to scan the medication - that's something one can learn at local food market at self-checkout. I will however, explain the basic approach to chart review, lab reviews, basic concept on what kind of meds pt should be on, etc etc. NO ONE will give a med, under me, without telling me mechanism of action, physiology behind it, side effects and of course what the medication is for.
When I'm precepting a new grad, then it is everything above, plus the computer system, hosp policies, scanning meds, etc etc.
Here's the reality - sometimes you have 5 patients and sometimes you'll have 13. It is an injustice, in my opinion, if I don't give the new comer at least taste of difficulty of this job. AND as difficult as I make it to be :)~ I reiterate two simple concepts of nursing care - Nurses provide Dignity and Safety to our patients. UNFORTUNATLY, no one took the time to teach me as such, and I wish I was given the real world view from day one.
That being said, I work with RNs who don't have the basic knowledge of physiology, physical assessment, even a degree of interpretation of what these assessment mean. How can an RN document hear, lung, abd sounds of the damn stethoscope is not even in the building?!
How is it, educators expect, the staff to sit in front of a computer and do a module on a topic and be proficient at it?
For me, it isn't around shortage of bodies, it is insufficient people who are trained, given an opportunity to learn, to ask questions, given time of day or GROW into becoming a professionals and as such are taught to become humbled caring individuals.
Stop the abuse in nursing school. Many want to be nurses and they are abused in school and then abused at work and they burn out. Nurses need to support and be kind to each other from the first day of school.
First, what is the definition of shortage? The reality is there are enough RNs. The question is, do healthcare leaders, clinics, and hospitals want to hire enough RNs? Not having a patient ratio across all 49 states will maintain the shortage. Additionally, multiple healthcare leaders use the analogy of a solution to the nurses' shortage, aka '' having a pipeline of RNs who enter the profession and the ones who leave". However, is the pipeline (analogy) appropriate for maintaining RNs in the healthcare system? Any liquid/ solution needs a exceptional quality pipeline. What quality of job promotion and career development do RNs have? None. Even the clinical ladder proposed discourages staff with exceptional skills from accessing jobs that could further their fulfillment. Additionally, ageism in nursing is appalling. In some units, I heard staff saying:" Get rid of all the old nurses." Then, what are the career plans for the old nurses? None. There will be a perpetual shortage for the next 15 years, which was present 20 years ago, etc.
SNF/LTC nurse here and we have been short staffed long before COVID happened. While there are millions of nurses in this country we are in a shortage situation. All that COVID did was make the cracks in a broken system bigger a more visible. Corporations don't care about staff or patients they care about money. Patient satisfaction scores equal money, good patient outcomes have nothing to do with satisfaction scores. Nothing is being done about the physical and mental abuse these patients are causing to the staff.
There is a bedside nursing shortage because hospitals are looking at the money-making business aspect and forgetting the patients and the safety of the job. In Washington State, last I read, there are over 150,000 active nursing licenses and less than 40,000 work in the hospital setting. And as an instructor in the state and bedside nurse, we are putting out plenty of new grads every quarter. I grew up hearing about how the future of nursing was heading in this direction, my Mom has been a nurse for over 40yrs, and 25 of those years as a travel nurse, and management across the country refused to change their ways. We are human beings being asked to be machines and be abused, mistreated, and paid pennies.
I haven’t been in the hospital in years but as a School Nurse I can say that our leaders are always walking on eggshells because there is definitely a critical shortage of nurses willing to take the disgusting pay cut to work in schools not to mention the constant assumption that we aren’t “real nurses” or we aren’t as skilled as RNs in the hospital. Most of us are burning out but can’t physically keep up with the physical demands of hospital nursing anymore, so we stay and take all the abuse and low pay, but how long is that sustainable and when will we reach the point where the care we provide begins to suffer because of our mental health issues brought on by years of this? The ENTIRE nursing profession needs help, not by hiring more nurses but by changing the system to improve attitudes about the value we bring to healthcare and increase others respect for us (and better pay would be good, too).
There is so much emphasis on recruitment and not enough on retention of experienced nurses.
I have 40 plus years in this field and it’s complacent with care .In the old days team work and being accurate was how the job got done. Now it’s how tight is my uniform ,how long is my lashes ,how pretty am I ,instead of care for the patient and the respect for one another as coworkers.
I do believe we have an aging nurse crisis. There are many nurses that are retiring. This does leave a gap in care for our patients. The big problem is the hospitals are not adequately preparing for these nurses that are leaving the profession- whether they are leaving due to retirement or burn out, the predicament remains the same: nurse to patient ratio!
Graduate nurses going through the onboarding process and the preceptorship that follows ends up throwing these graduates in a dangerous position. Either they are not properly prepared for the job that lies ahead or they are put in a ‘sink or swim’ position which is overwhelming This overwhelming situation obviously can lead to medication and treatment errors. Which can obviously lead to great harm or the death of a patient.
Now part of this burnout is related to nurse to patient ratio . When a nurse is in an acute care setting or ICU setting they should e 1:1 ratio. And nothing more.
The shortage is geographic. Big cities yes because it is all about the money and the people. The nursing shortage is related to CEO and other Chiefs length of stay. Many leave after a year because they did not make profit goals. No profit no bonus.
Check states with Unions for nurses. Like the auto industry the unions cause hospitals higher costs which equals less nurses
If you afford the nurses there won't be a shortage. That is the bottom line.
Totally agree with Allison Morosini. I have been away from the hospital setting for 2 years. Still in healthcare just outpatient and crickets. Hospitals don’t want to hire us. What I did notice the calls came to a halt when I had my 20 year RN anniversary… they don’t want to pay experience
Yes of course there is. Congress can change that starting with nurse to patient ratio and providing manditory break relief for nurses. Better pay and benefits..
There is a nurse shortage and a nursing assistant shortage and a bed shortage, and grocery store worker shortages, and supply shortages. There are shortages all around us. We can’t get away from it. What we don’t have a shortage of is people who are needing healthcare in the hospital. Hopefully things will loosen up soon, but for now, burnout and supply chain issues have hurt us all and we just need to do our best.
I believe many employers use the nursing shortage as an excuse to understaff their facilities. They advertise jobs but not in a rush to hire. I know of many nurses who are looking for jobs and getting bounced around by recruiters etc even though they have the experience and no bad record.
Who do you feel is being complacent?
100% agree w below. There is no shortage. I applied at a major medical center w an outside recruiter (she was very young) and had me do all the papers/ testing/ nonsense that u must go threw. And then she called me and told me they have a hiring freeze b/c they’re expanding. Even though they have many jobs listed. - dirty!!
I see a lot of comments about the cost of travel nurses. The reason travel nurses get paid more is no benefits: no insurance, no PTP, no 401k matching. My hospital system has actually added “no travel - travel RN positions” where you get a much higher rate but without benefits. Those benefits have a cost, and if you’re a travel RN you have to supply them yourself. Just something to think about when thinking the problem is another nurse and not administrative or systemic.
I see a lot of comments about the cost of travel nurses. The reason travel nurses get paid more is no benefits: no insurance, no PTP, no 401k matching. Those benefits have a cost, and if you’re a travel RN you have to supply them yourself. Just something to think about when thinking the problem is another nurse and not administrative or systemic.
It's not a shortage. It's just not enough nurses who want to do their job. There's a shortage of experienced nurses, because about 75% of nursing students only want to work in outpatient or some place away from patients. I went from bedside to outpatient and not really by choice. It was the only opening where I transferred. Only myself and one other nurse have ever worked bedside. The other nurses never know what to do when there's an urgent situation in the clinic. They always get us two nurses. Many students come to us begging for a job in outpatient because they never want to work with patients directly. Even as an outpatient nurse, they still list so many things they don't want to do. Nurses there have fought to not help patients in so many ways. They don't want to triage, help give shots, or transfer to ER when necessary. They sit at the desk happy talking on their cell after successful delegating every little thing possible. When they can't delegate, they find a different nurse. Clinic managers now feel we're short staffed because less gets done. .
There is no Nursing shortage, there are too many nurses that are in our field that care more about the money and run to Travel nursing to make and our administration would rather pay the Travelers $80-$110/hour instead of doing anything to keep us staff nurses compensated, all we get are umbrellas, bags, cups, meals, etc….They need to figure out that Travel nurses are breaking the healthcare system. I am one of two Full time nurses on my unit and I am The Charge nurse and don’t get but $1/h extra only when no other management is on the unit.
I think in many aspects what some areas need (NJ specifically) is to have a nursing union. My cousin works as a critical care RN and they have no protections. If they do go to administration about something they get the run around. Her entire management team just got booted out the door a week before we spent vacation together. I told her that here in CA we at least have a union. Of course the hospital tries to intimidate anyone that starts to talk about getting a union but if they kept pushing and got the union in where she works they can’t mess with you especially if you were the one that brought in the union to begin with. Yes, I’m sure they could try to really come down on those involved and could fire them over potential paperwork errors or whatever they want allege but they still have to prove something. Many of these states & hospitals need to allow union representation into their facilities. We have it here in CA.
You completely missed my point