I write in response to the Nursing Shortage topic. I am a critical care nurse in a large, up-to-date teaching hospital. I want to help resolve this nursing shortage. My immediate concern is that some nursing agencies are going abroad, to other countries, to recruit nurses. This angers me. Why? Because I happen to be at the younger end of the baby boomers in nursing. I say, "Show me the money!" Show me the money and give me the recognition we nurses so well deserve, and I just might work another 10 years (and I know other nurses are saying the same thing). Time is on our side to admit that there is a shortage and give the experienced nurses, the nurses who are willing to stick it out through thick, and thin, what they are asking for, namely more money and professional recognition. And I know there are committed nurses left - I work with them. This past Christmas I promoted the "Spirit of Nursing" in my unit by asking all the people in the unit to share a bit about themselves including what inspired them to go into nursing. Then I started posting these biosketches and their pictures on the bulletin board on fancy Christmas paper. This got the ball rolling; and the poster we made, "Nursing the Heart of Healthcare," kept us inspired throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Would it not be better for all to keep these experienced and committed nurses that we have than to foot the bill to prepare foreign physicians to practice nursing (Purnell, 2002) and/or to foot the bill to prepare foreign nurses and physicians to meet our professional standards for communicating with our patients?
Beth Kramer-Hoopes, RN, BSN
Staff nurse, Surgical Intensive Care Unit
Jackson Health system
Purnell, M. (2002, March 11). Innovative MD-to-RN program could put a dent in nursing shortage. Nursing Spectrum, 12(5fl), 16.