Letter to the Editor on "The Nursing Shortage: Is This Cycle Different?"

The Nursing Shortage: Is This Cycle Different?

March 10, 2004

response by Carolyn Christine Tinglin to topic The Nursing Shortage: Is This Cycle Different? (Jan. 31, 2001)

Dear Editor:

I write in response to the topic of the Nursing Shortage. It is unfortunate, but I realize I have become a statistic. I have been a nurse for a mere four years, and I'm ready to leave the profession. Nursing recruiters are quick to highlight the fact that nursing is a profession with plenty of openings and opportunities; but they fail to mention the reason why the supply of nurses doesn't keep up with the demand.

I know, I know, the analysts have found that the shortage occurs partly because older nurses are opting to leave their careers early. However, what really needs to be analyzed is the area of retention - specifically, the retention of new nurses. I've observed that within the first 6 months of breaking into their chosen career, new graduates are feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, and exhausted. The romance can only last so long under current working conditions, so they say.

I must say that I, too, have felt underappreciated, overwhelmed, and exhausted for the past three and a half of my four years of nursing. It's a shame. I could have really contributed, and even uplifted, the nursing profession. Each one of us nurses has the ability, talent, and know-how to make nursing stronger and more respected. There just aren't enough of us who can hang in there long enough for better days to come.

Carolyn Christine Tinglin, RN
Greensboro, NC