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

The Nursing Shortage: Is This Cycle Different?

March 10, 2004

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

Dear Editor:

I live in South Africa. For the past two years I have been looking forward to joining the nursing profession. Sadly, due to lack of funding, I have not yet been able to fulfill my dream of helping others. I have been reading the issues raised in the Nursing Shortage topic of the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. It saddens me to find out that there is a shortage of nurses in a first world country. It seems that this shortage is due, at least in part, to the many nurses who have lost the love of what I believe is a calling, because they are feeling so overworked.

The purpose of this letter is to inform the rest of the world that in South Africa there are many others like me who would love to join the nursing profession, both to help patients and to bring down the stress levels of nurses who are overworked due to staff shortages. However, this goal seems like a dream. For example, the college that had promised to fund my nursing education informed me one month before I was scheduled to enroll that it would not be able to provide any funding for me. This college had just learned that its source of funding, for students such as myself, had been withdrawn. This did break my spirit; but where there is a will there surely is a way. I, unlike many of the other hopeful students, managed to get myself a job as a call centre agent, working in the evening to save enough money to go to college to study as a nurse. I am doing this to fulfill my dream of helping others and decreasing, at least a small percentage, the stress levels of nurses who have lost their love of a blessed calling.

Zamandosi Cele
Johannesburg, South Africa