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The Nursing Problem: Eating the Young


For quite a long time the profession of a nurse has been plagued with the problem of the experienced nurses, who mistreat the nursing students (new graduates) placed under their custody. They do this by being harsh to them and some are even un-responsive, when asked questions. This has led to many upstarts in this field to quit altogether, bringing in the problem of a shortage of nurses. This has to be changed through such ways, as making nursing to be a lifelong learning profession, so that the experienced nurses become updated of the new information, which can help them to answer questions posed to them. On the other hand, things such as social activities need to be introduced in order to accommodate the new graduates, so that they will have a sense of belonging as well.

The Nursing Problem: Eating the Young

The profession of a nurse is one that is essentially and solely rooted to the aspect of providing care to. However, almost all nurses complain of having been mistreated by their “mentors” (old veterans), while they were being trained into nursing. This is what has come to be the old cliché; “nursing eats its young”. Basically, the veteran nurses, who should be mentors to the young nursing trainees, have been dealing roughly and poorly with them. The experienced nurses do not have time to answer the questions posed to them or to help others to become the great nurses.

One may wonder why this practice still exists. The exact reason that compels old nurses to be treating the upstarts this way has not been established yet. However, most trainee nurses have attributed this to the general shortage of this type of personnel. This understaffing has led to the overworking of the nurses; thereby, denying them sufficient time with the trainees. Unfortunately, this has further discouraged the new entrants in this field, forcing others to quit the profession altogether.

Therefore, this factor should be controlled.  According to Vickie Miracle (2005), nurses should be encouraged to take the new challenges. Then, someone should be assigned to be there for them. Afterwards, the trainees should be praised, because this helps to boost their morale. The trainee nurses should also be advised to join the social activities. Such activities make them to feel welcome and become a part of the group. Ultimately, this creates a sense of belonging, and eventually togetherness and cohesiveness is established. The trainee nurses have to feel free to ask questions and will graciously accept the help and knowledge. On the part of the mentoring and teaching nurses, lifelong learning should be encouraged. This will help to keep them abreast with the new information and constantly changing patient data (Rubenfeld, Scheffer, 2010). In today's healthcare climate things change rapidly. New medications and treatments are always on the forefront and all staff must learn them. This will provide them with the appropriate answers to the questions that maybe posed to them.