From better to nurse

The LA Daily News had an article late last week discussing the shortage of nurses in LA county hospitals, which painted a pretty dire picture — particularly in light of recent disasters in other parts of the country.

“Hurricane Katrina should have been a wake-up call to L.A. County about the critical shortage of nurses in our health facilities,” said Grace Corse, a registered nurse at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. “Do you think we are ready for a disaster the magnitude of Katrina? The answer is no. L.A. County is bleeding R.N.s.”

Over the past few years, the number of nurses employed by the Department of Health Services has steadily dropped to the current 5,700. Last year, the county hired 500 nurses, but 520 left county employment.

The question seems to hinge on how much county RNs are paid versus their private-sector counterparts — on average some $15,000 less a year. Nursing organizations are in talks with county officials. Meanwhile the number of nurses falls while the ratio of patients to nurses continues to rise, despite being mandated at lower levels by law.

3 Replies to “From better to nurse”

  1. There is a also a shortage of nursing schools. UCLA only has a RN-to-BSN program. USC ended their RN program. The Cal States have long waiting lists, with RNs given precedence so as to turn out a BSN in 2 years. (Universities now think of nursing as ‘trade school’ stuff, unworthy of their lofty academic heights.) My daughter wants to be a nurse and her practical options were private school (Loyola, Azusa Pacific) or community college.

  2. Note to Bill on 9/27 comment. Your daughter can receive an excellent nursing education at any of our community colleges. The licensing examination is the same for all ADN/BSN students. The follwing RN to BSN programs come to mind: Cal State Northridge; Cal State Bakersfield (w/classes at Antelope Valley College); and the University of Phoenix. I’m certain there are more.

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