NurseRecruiter.com Newsletter: April 2012

Well, nurses, this is a very bittersweet hello to you all. This is my final newsletter with Nurse Recruiter. I have truly enjoyed writing this newsletter the past few years. It has been such a learning experience for me. I have always had a huge appreciation for nurses and have written about some of my own experiences with my nurse “angels”. But the research that I have done for dozens of articles has really opened my eyes to the trials and tribulations that nurses go through. The field is exciting and growing and so necessary. You are an integral part of the future. Keep doing what you love and know that you are making a difference, one patient at a time.

This month I shared some thoughts and comments from actual nurses that I am hoping you can relate to. As I am leaving, I thought it fitting to look into the future of nursing and see what the projections are for the nursing field. Nurses are not going anywhere and I would be proud if one of my daughters entered the field of nursing.

Nurses, remember to believe what you do and do what you believe.

Bye for now… Sarah 🙂

NURSING SHORTAGE IS OVER…FOR NOW

The United States is finally breathing easier, after a nursing shortage that led to a decade-long push for new hires and more graduates, is finally over. That is, until 2020 when a resurgence of retirees will leave a gap for new nurses to fill. The number of full-time nurses grew from 2005 to 2010 by about 386,000, according to a recent report from The New England Journal of Medicine. This increase in the nursing work force from 2005-2010 was the largest of any five year period during the last forty years.

The American Hospital Association reported that hospitals started feeling a shortage of nurses in 1998. Many registered nurses were leaving their profession, citing that they were overworked and underpaid, thus unable to provide quality patient care. Many hospitals listened to what the nurses were saying and began to offer more benefits, signing bonuses, scholarships and tuition reimbursements. The hospitals’ efforts paid off as the number of nursing graduates more than doubled to 161,540 in 2010 from 72,986 in 2000.

The field of nursing continued to grow even when the recession of 2007 began. Many nurses who had left the work force, or were part-timers, returned to work full-time to help with family finances. It had really been a long-standing shortage, says Douglas Staiger, professor of economics at Dartmouth College and the author of the study from the New England Journal of Medicine. “Probably for the first time in memory there were actually reports of nurses having difficulty finding jobs and reports from hospitals of almost a glut of nurses.”

However, as the economy improves, a nursing shortage is expected again as the mostly female work force quit, reduce hours to part-time or reach retirement age. The current median age of nurses is 46 while the largest group is in their 50’s, reports the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The renewed need for nurses may hit just as the demand for health care increases as more Americans acquire health insurance as the US health-care law goes into effect in 2014. It is believed that from 2010 to 2014, 118,000 nurses will stop working full-time as the economy continues to improve. The nursing shortage is likely to re-emerge and nursing will continue to be a great occupation choice for young people.

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF NURSES

Nurses are with patients 24 hours a day, comforting them, helping with their basic needs, dealing with complaints and most importantly, saving lives. Below are some comments from nurses that you may be able to relate to, empathize with or at least share a chuckle with.

*We won’t tell you that your doctor is incompetent but if we say that you have the right to a second opinion, then that is code for “I don’t trust your doctor.”

*If you are laughing and chatting with friends until the minute you see me, I may not believe that your pain is a ten out of a ten.

*Despite the nurses’ best efforts, most hospitals are still dirty and full of drug-resistant germs. I don’t want to even bring my shoes into my house.

*When you ask me if I have ever done this before, I will always say yes, even if I haven’t.

*If you have a really great nurse, a note to her manager will go a long way.

*Never talk to your nurse while she is getting your meds ready. The more conversation there is the more potential for error.

*The sicker a patient is, the less they complain. It is the guy with an infected toe that won’t leave me alone.

*I know that you asked for applesauce but that sound you just heard is another patient’s ventilator going off.

*One of the worst things to say to a nurse is “Your too smart to be a nurse.” I went to nursing school because I wanted to not because I couldn’t make it as a doctor.

*If you were a patient in a unit for a long time, then come back and visit. We will remember you and would love to see you healthy.

*When you tell me how much you smoke, drink or do drugs, I automatically double or triple it.

*A simple thank you can really make a nurse’s day.

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