Thursday, January 12, 2012

the nursing exodus

There is a nursing shortage coming. Its not coming because of an increasing number of patients. It coming because nurses are going to start leaving hospitals. Its inevitable. Its already happening.

The conflict between dealing with an increasingly demanding and difficult patient population and hospitals emphasis on patient satisfaction will drive the exodus. We are expected to kiss the butt of every patient who comes in the door. We are expected to understand the stress patients are going through and "de-escalate" situations and put up with verbal, and sometimes physical abuse, as "part of the job".

Young nurses are going to get out. They already are. Almost every new nurse I know is going back to school in order to get out of the hospital. They don't want to work in an environment like this. I say more power to them. I would do the same if in their shoes. I would advise new nurses to look at the wide variety of options available to nurses. Don't settle for the hospital environment. It is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting and nurses who work there should be making twice what they do for the stress they are under.

So, young nurses stay out of the hospital. You may be tempted to work there because it pays the best. Its not worth it. Its too hard and getting harder. Be an NP, CRNA, nurse clinician. Those jobs pay the same, or more, as a hospital and you will have a lot more control over your practice. I say this as a nurse who has worked in a hospital for many years. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have stayed.


Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

From a patient perspective: hospital nurses have the worst jobs in the joint. You all run around with WayTooMuch to do and WTManyPatients for health and safety of you and of me. I wouldn't be able to do it and I wonder how anyone else can ...

Thank you and I firmly believe that you and teachers should be making what this f'ed up society pays professional athletes.

nursingboards said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rnraquel said...

It is truly depressing how many smart young nurses are going to CRNA or NP school, and I don't blame them either. Morale is in the toilet all over the hospital. Infighting is at an all time high due to stress, high acuity patients, mean painkiller addicted patients, and crazy shifts/overtime, etc. Things are bad.

Wenikio said...

I think one of the most frustrating parts for me as an ICU nurse for three years and the wife of an active duty serviceman is the feasibility of doing school. I wanted to get out of the hospital almost as badly as I want to be a CRNA, but it's nearly impossible without sacrificing more family time than we already do. In the end, I'm sad to say I chose to give up my career so that I can be there when he's home without being driven insane by work. I'd like to be able to continue being a good ICU nurse, but the stresses of the hospital just aren't worth it.

Anonymous said...

Hate to agree with you, but you speak the truth. I have been a nurse for twenty-one years, and exactly three of those were at the bedside in a hospital. I was getting fed up in the nineties, cannot IMAGINE how horrid it is now, after HIPAA and EMLATA and every third person on narcotics!

Case management, home care, hospice, and now a nursing instructor. Pay is not as good, but I have a life (or I will once I get done with this MSN I've had to get to keep the job!)

Hugs out, sister...

Pattie, RN

Anonymous said...

It's true. 18 yrs as an RN here and I sat slack-jawed through a meeting with a Senior VP today where they wanted us to brainstorm how nurses could make things easier for doctors. My hospital was just audited by the state- the STATE said nursing had too many forms to fill out now. But they want us to deliver lunch to the docs. I don't GET lunch 1/2 the time- but I'm supposed to find time to run to the cafeteria for a doc?

I applied for a non-bedside job this afternoon. Peace out, and good luck patients- the nurses with clinical experience are fed up.

I am really curious about what the FL board of nursing person posted!!

girlvet said...

People who have web sites will make a comment with a link so they can advertise

Anonymous said...

I clicked on their name and saw the "FL Board of Nursing" info. Didn't see a sales pitch. Didn't notice they had been on blogger for a month with one post. Lame of them. But tired me surfing on a phone fell for it. ;).

Nurse K said...

The case managers where I work make $8/hr less than their union nurse counterparts. That's a big difference. Most people can't just take that much of a paycut unless their significant others are independently wealthy or something.

And, sorry, NPs with no relevant hospital experience are just plain useless unless we're talking the clinic in the pharmacy for flu shots and Z-packs.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the NP's for the most part....I've had rotten luck with as a patient (missed a 12 cm ovarian mass )and for a brief period working for one (ink wasn't dry on her internet NP, but she loved barking orders and treating nurses like SHIT as if she were a surgeon circa 1974).

Nurse K, the union may be the big distracting variable where you are. I have never worked in a state with unions, and usually my pay was not THAT much less than bedside nurses. (ie, 1998-2003 I was a discharge planner at a HUGE level one hospital with 8 community hospitals in Florida. I was making around $18/hr for dayshift, 90% weekdays; floor nurses that had been there about as long were making $22/hr. Of course, there was also a 15% add-on for evenings, 20% for nights, and 10% for weekends, all of whcih could add up fast....especially with overtime.)

And my DH teaches fifth grade, so there was no corporate salary to boost mine. But at the time I had kids at home and could not handle the bedside bullshit from patients and clipboard nurses and have two teenagers making me nuts at home!!

Pattie, RN

girlvet said...

I work with some great NPs in our ER. I also know some great NPs who work outside hospitals. Stop bashing them. Thats the problem with this profession, always bashing on each other.

We should be celebrating nurses who choose to go for more education and practice more independently. This kind of shit just fucking irritates me.

Sorry but the money you make in the hospital is not worth the stress to your life in the long run. But, hey, knock yourself out.

Anonymous said...

Damn straight, some of us NPs did do our time bedside. I had 5 years bedsie before I gave up and went back to school to be a NP. I couldn't take it anymore and I don't blame any nurse who wants to get the fuck out!

Anonymous said...

Sorry,but the quality of NP's took a nosedive when the degrees could be obtained over the internet. Twenty or even ten years ago, the NP's I ran into were awesome ladies who knew their stuff. They had spent SOOO much time in school and in the hospital they had fluoresent light tans. [Ditto for PA's btw.) They had many years of nursing behind them and lots and lots of clinical time learning the new ropes.

Now, for all too many, they have five years total as an RN, apply to some degree factory, and it is all bookwork except for a tiny, brief clinical stint. Then WHAM...out to practice they go. I have no issue with distance fact, that is how I am getting MY MSN...but mine is NOT CLINICAL!!

I don't buy into bashing anyone, but I will not join in on a group hug for unqualified practioners of any kind, shape, or form. There needs to be some minimal time functioning as a CLINICAL RN before starting an NP program, and the clinical education needs a major boost. IMHO, this an initial RN...should ONLY be available the old fashioned way.

Pattie, RN

Anonymous said...

I guess I just haven't seen those NPs your speak of as I got my MSN from an actual brick and mortar school with an above average amount of clinical hours for my state. And most every nurse I know going for a NP is going to a brick and mortar school. But maybe your area just has crappy schools.

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