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Thinking Nurse

This blog will reflect my interests in learning disabilities, nursing, nursing theory, philosophy and politics and my general interests in the arts and literature. (Nursing is an art as well as a science!) Philosophy and nursing have been intrinsically linked since the days of Socrates, his mother was a midwife, and taught him everything he knew!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Nursing Shortage - RCN

This article on the flight of nurses from the health service suggests that recruitment of Nursing Students needs to DOUBLE to 66,000 a year if present numbers are to be maintained.

It strikes me that if you are pouring water into a bucket with a hole in the bottom, there are two ways to keep the water level adequate - either increase the rate at which you pour water in, or make the hole in the bottom of the bucket smaller! Rather than focussing on the need to recruit more nursing students, surely it would make more sense to try to address some of the reasons why nurses are leaving in the first place?

There are hundreds of reasons why nurses are leaving the profession. It is a tremendous waste of training, knowledge and experience. In the current general election, I have not heard the politicians speak a single word about this issue.

Health policies have clearly not considered adequately the needs of health staff, particularly where they contradict the needs of PFI companies.

The health service's most valuable resource is it's people - perhaps the government and the commissioners of healthcare need to start thinking about this, unless they plan to waste £millions more on training students who also end up burning out and leaving the profession early...


At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Roxanne Nelson said...

I have used the analogy of the bucket with a hole in the bottom to describe the situation in the U.S. All anyone talks about is increasing the numbers of new grads, and virtually nothing about trying to keep nurses on the job. Of course, you don't step on toes here when you ignore the current work environment--it's nice and "safe" to discuss bringing in more students.

The situation here in the U.S. is a mess. Along side the stories of how "desperate" hospitals are for nurses, you read the stories about how they continue to treat nurses poorly.

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At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Gayle Hoffman said...

Finally the world is beginning to wake up and realize that this "projected nurse shortage" is no longer just a "projection".

I will be retiring in a few months after 30 truly rewarding years as an RN.

My project now is to talk to and encourage as many people as possible to truly consider nursing as a life-time career.

Things have been improving for nurses ever since they stopped making us wear those silly white caps. (Yes, I've been around that long)

I hope you will encourage other veteran nurses to jump in here and share their experiences.

Admit it friends. In spite of the sore feet and the 3am codes, nursing has been very good to us.

Through forums such as this, we can give something back.

Thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents worth.

Gayle Hoffman

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