Date of Original Version
This document is a compilation of empirical, anecdotal and economic research from various authorities in the arenas of nursing and academia. The focus of this writing will be limited to the hospital setting for purposes of my personal experience as well as the interminable sources of data. The profession of nursing has always been considered by many to be one of great nobility and respect. Dating as for back to the mid 1800’s, Florence Nightingale was the pre-eminent pioneer of nursing and advocate for the sick and injured. Since that era, and mindful that nursing is now in the midst of the most profound of its periodic shortages, it has evolved into a uniquely challenging livelihood, one blending a vast array of duties into a single career. Cognizant of the fact that this occupation incorporates attributes of other professions such as teaching, counseling, crisis intervention, service attendance, parenting, and mentoring, it is undeniably one of the most stressful careers in today’s society. This certainly appears to align with the term “multitasking”, and nursing has been accomplishing just that even well before multitasking was recognized. A typical RN in a hospital setting will render direct patient care by cleaning and turning patients, resuscitating patients, assessing vital signs, starting intravenous lines, administering medications, taking verbal telephone orders from physicians, charting and documentation, teaching, answering telephones, and transporting patients to other areas of the hospital only to cite some of the major tasks. Such has been the case for decades, which clarifies the position that nursing is by far one of the most demanding and sometimes unrewarding professions of all time. As I will elaborate on throughout this writing, the challenge of nursing, accompanied by a myriad of other causes, is merely one of the reasons that have contributed to the shortage.