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Recruiting High School Students To Solve The Nursing Shortage.

1537 words - 6 pages

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 Health Sciences Center states "Middle school is when they start forming and shaping," she said. "If we can get them interested as early as possible, even in middle school, we will have modeled them a bit. So by the time they get to high school, if they're focused, serious, conscientious students, they're already going to know what they want to do." (Larson, 2005). "It might even be worth working with Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops to pique children's interest in nursing while they are young", added Mary Ann Hogan, RN, MSN, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Nursing. Let the kids try out the stethoscopes and other equipment, take each other's blood pressure - it would be a wonderful hands-on experience for them. (Larson, 2005).Additionally, a better job needs to be done to promote nursing as a viable career path for men. It would be beneficial to have male nurses make presentations to students and try to remove this stereotype. A study polled 1,800 school-aged children, 2,000 parents and 350 career coaches and high school counselors. It found a profession that was thought of as weak on men, minorities and opportunity. "Whenever we would talk to young male students, they...

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