Recently, I read an article by an ICU nurse that discussed the disturbing trend of replacing seasoned nurses with inexperienced ones in the name of cost-cutting. This issue is not limited to the ICU but is rampant in every area of nursing.
As a psychiatric nurse with 45 years of experience, 35 of which were as a board-certified psychiatric nurse, and a former mentor and preceptor, I have witnessed the impact of this trend first-hand. After a merger, our nurse manager, who had a dual master’s in nursing and administration but no experience in psychiatric nursing, replaced the previous manager. The new manager brought in nurses from other departments who were not properly trained. This led to many of our seasoned younger nurses leaving to become NPs.
I asked to be a preceptor for these new nurses, but my request was denied, and as a result, the new nurses were not properly trained. One new nurse with a military medic background and three years of nursing experience was hired as a unit supervisor. Unfortunately, due to a lack of training, he could not handle a crisis situation properly and was ultimately terminated, with the hospital even attempting to take away his license. With my support, he could keep his license, but the injustice he faced is a stark reminder of the dangerous consequences of cutting corners on nurse training.
I entered the nursing profession in the 1980s with a love and passion for it, but over the years, I have seen it become increasingly politicized and driven by money. I retired early due to unjust treatment, and I can only imagine that I was replaced by two young, inexperienced nurses who desperately needed the guidance and training of a seasoned professional.
The shortage of experienced nurses in the ICU and beyond is a dangerous trend that puts patients at risk. Our healthcare system is out of control, and we must prioritize proper training and support for our nurses instead of cutting corners in the name of cost-saving.
The author is an anonymous nurse.