The Covid-19 pandemic has caused havoc in hospitals nationwide. They are dealing with a lack of beds and limited protective equipment. Some doctors and nurses are exposing themselves to the virus every day, despite taking proper precautions. It is common for doctors to receive credit for their hard work saving patients. But nurses, nursing assistants, janitors, and those who prepare patients’ daily meals are working hard too, and they are also putting themselves in harm’s way in an attempt to serve and save others.
A nurse who had recently graduated and became licensed wrote to me, describing her concerns, frustrations, and burnout experienced in this high-stress situation. Out of respect for her privacy, I will call her Marisol Bautista. Ms. Bautista described situations I have not experienced firsthand. I cannot independently corroborate what she says or determine whether her experience is typical of nurses in the profession. But this is her story, her truth, and—at least for some—the sad reality of the American health care system.
Bautista told me that it seems like now should be the most suitable time to get into the field. We desperately need trained medical staff, and we are dependent on them for our safety in these uncertain times. “With all of the experienced nurses getting the brunt of the initial consequences that came with this pandemic,” she said, “the nurse turnover rate is steadily increasing. Therefore, the number of nursing jobs should be increasing as well. However, this has been far from the truth for myself and many of my peers in my experience.”
Income for registered nurses ranges from an average low of $48,690 to $71,730 annually, and $104,100 at the high end. In addition to the salary, it is said that it costs from $22,000 to over $64,000 to replace and train new registered nurses. That is a substantial bill for a health care facility to take on. But Bautista sees that as no excuse Newly Licensed Nurses Job.
“There are many reasons why the nursing job market has been challenging to navigate, but the major reason is that most hospitals do not want to spend money training new nurses when they could use that money for more supplies and protective equipment for their current staff,” she said. She added, “Contrary to popular belief, nursing students still require significant training after graduating from nursing school in order to be considered an experienced nurse or a Staff Nurse II.”
She told me that newly graduated nurses can apply for new graduate nurse residency programs, which allow nurses to train “alongside experienced nurses for an extended period of time until they are ready to independently work on their own.” But there are inherent issues with that. “Hospitals normally train two classes of new graduates per year, but when I graduated in May 2020, many hospitals in California decided not to take on any new graduates due to the sudden financial burden that the pandemic brought on,” she said Newly Licensed Nurses Job.
How about the new nurses who do find employment? Setting aside the pandemic and daily stressors such as the potential for PTSD, what issues might they face? “The few hospitals that did hire new grads put them on the front lines almost immediately, leaving them at the mercy of an understaffed, burned out, full-capacity hospital. Despite these availabilities, many people could not afford to accept these positions due to their living conditions, whether they lived with someone immunocompromised or because they were immunocompromised themselves.”
Sometimes it seems that there is a secret campaign to dismiss the contributions of nurses and nursing assistants. But whether it is the result of a deliberate campaign or merely a misunderstanding of how vital these professionals are, Bautista says there are consequences Newly Licensed Nurses Job.
“Those who were willing to move and look for work out of state face another set of problems. Moving to a brand-new state by yourself is a daunting task on its own, but doing so in the middle of a pandemic when socializing is limited to online communication and socially distanced hangouts, it has become exponentially more difficult to integrate yourself into a new community.” She went on, “Because of this, most of my peers who have had to move out of state to find work have found themselves feeling quite lonely, and their mental health has suffered immensely.”
While Bautista’s outlook might seem grim, there’s some hope. “Despite all of these obstacles, many of my cohort members have successfully entered the workforce, including myself,” she said. “I was able to secure a job at a major hospital in the University of California system after a six-month-long search. We are all eager to contribute and offer our help during these unprecedented times.”
I sincerely hope that we will be through this pandemic soon, and the workload will decrease for all our health care professionals. And maybe it will teach everyone a thing or two about the contributions of all the people who are trying to keep us safe.