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[black small square] One resource greatly overlooked for the nursing shortage is the RN who's been out of the field for more than 5 years. After 10 years of critical care nursing experience, I left nursing for 7 years to raise a family. At a job fair recently, I was told (not so graciously) that I'm not eligible to work on a medical/surgical unit without first taking a 6-month course and then going through a new grad orientation period.
I don't want to work full-time, but any hours I could contribute would help with the nursing shortage. Isn't bringing a retired nurse back up to par more cost effective than training a new grad? Why not look into incentives to bring back nurses who are already trained and tap into the large group of nurses who'd like to work and still have time to be with their families?
-PAM FEIS, RN, BSN
[black small square] I'd like to add more icing to the "eating our young" cake. We're also "eating our old." I've been a nurse for 26 years. Yet when I've started a new job, some younger nurses with less experience have treated me as though I knew nothing. If our profession is to survive, we must learn to trust, support, and encourage each other. Period!!
-PATRICIA C. FEDAK, RN, BSN
The comments appearing in this column are excerpted from readers' correspondence. Send your letter, complete mailing address, and credentials to: Letters Editor, Nursing2004, 323 Norristown Rd., Suite 200, Ambler, PA 19002, or e-mail to email@example.com. Please include your e-mail address and daytime telephone number.
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