1. Section Editor(s): Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN
  2. Zolot, Joan Solomon RPA-C
  3. Nelson-Hogan, Debra


Will we fix it this time?


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nursing shortage was first mentioned in AJN in 1902, and the subject has reappeared in its pages, under different circumstances and with different solutions, nearly every year since. The consistent themes have been poor working conditions, lack of professional respect, and inadequate salaries. In December, AJN will look at the shortage of nurses worldwide; in the meantime, here are some notes from the past.



Nurses, we need nurses-a bleeding, wounded, sick and suffering world is calling. Never in the history of time has the trained woman been in greater demand; never has the skill of a nurse been at a greater premium.



Of the 1,000 [girls who start out together after graduation], 59 drop out before they have completed their first year, 71 more drop out before they have finished two years, and the third year is the most dangerous one of all, with a professional mortality of 91 out of the original 1,000. From that time on, however, the loss becomes steadily less. Nurses who escape the matrimonial perils of the first eight or nine years may look forward with confidence to a long life of active professional interest.



One highly competent observer writes that "conditions of work, salary, and living arrangements, lack of recognition and of flexible requirements (for positions) have much to do with the shortage."



"Low pay has discouraged more girls from becoming nurses than any other one consideration."



We counted over 40 news stories and editorials we'd printed on various aspects of the shortage, recruitment, and working conditions in the past 12 months. It was AJN that broke the "sudden shortage" news in July 1986-one year ago.


FIGURE Faye G. Abdellah, EdD, ScD, RN, FAAN, a retired rear admiral of the United States Public Health Service, will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame this October in Seneca Falls, New York. Abdellah has been recognized internationally for her pioneering work in nursing research and for her work in nursing, education, and health care. She is the first nurse to hold the rank of rear admiral and the title of U.S. deputy surgeon general.

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On August 31, the ANA announced its endorsement of the Gore-Lieberman presidential ticket. Said ANA president Mary Foley, MS, RN, the association is "endorsing Al Gore because he has made health care and the uninsured a central theme of his campaign."