The nursing shortage crisis needs to be corrected. Exciting students about nursing is definitely a challenge, however, there are many things that can be done to assist in correcting this crisis. The hospital administrator and the nursing staff can work together to explore and implement ways to recruit nurses.
One of the first things that can be done is to educate the public on who the nurse actually is. Nursing staff and administrators need to start with the client. Since almost all hospital employees wear scrubs, it is important to identify to the client who the nurses are as opposed to the housekeeper, dietary, the aids, the unit secretary, etc. Show the client your badge and show them where to look for the name and license designation, and explain that nurses are RNs and LPNs, and that the nurse or doctor is best qualified to answer their questions about medications, treatments or procedures.
Explain to the client that the aid will be assigned to help with getting to the bathroom, taking vital signs and things like that, while the nurse will be giving their medications and consulting with the doctor about any changes in symptoms. Clearing up this confusion with the client will aid in distinguishing what the role of the nurse is. Many people still believe the stereotype of nurses as women dressed in white, with white caps, working in hospitals, standing by the bedside with the bedpan, and giving bed baths.
Secondly, we need to realize that one of the largest untapped resources for the nursing profession is high school and middle school students. Nursing needs to start recruiting these students and prime them for a career in nursing. Viola Benavente, RN, MSN, assistant professor at the school of nursing at the University of Texas-San Antonio...