Many are the times when a person chooses a career without carrying out an conclusive career evaluation to determine whether one fits properly in the career chosen or rather whether the career fits the an individual. As Corey and Corey pinpoint, the process of choosing a career is not a onetime task but rather an ongoing process that only ends when one thinks that he or she has self actualized and has reaches the highest attainable level that he or she was ordained to reach (23). In most cases there exist a number of significant factors that impede effective career evaluation and career definition, of which some are related to the individual, commonly termed as internal constraints or better known as inefficiencies, while other the second group is called external constraints. The internal constraints are those factors like skills, intrinsic motivation, aptitude and ones moral, social and economic values among other factors. External constraints on the other hand include factors like salary, job availability, job security educational requirements, promotional opportunities and other benefits like allowances, insurance, just to mention but a few. According to Brown, these constraints are experienced by virtually every individual, only very few enjoy unrestricted choices (101). For this reason Corey and Corey advice that one should at least hire the services of a practitioner be able to make in order to make commonsensical career choices, though one should know that the final decision can never be arrived at by the practitioner since the relationship between such an individual and the practitioner is analogous to that one of a counselor and a client seeking guidance and counseling (Corey and Corey 23). Logically, due to the factors mentioned above, there are a number a majority of people usually pick on careers for the reasons, only a small percentage of career choosers settle on careers with guidance from the right reasons.
This section discusses in-depth the causes on nurse shortage in the world- the principal reason behind the admission of money driven nurses into the nursing profession.
Nurses, just like doctors, are of much importance in a hospital, therefore, their numbers in count with regards to healthcare. The deficit of nurses is profoundly attributed to increase demand for nurses while there is a reduction in the supply of nurses though partly the complication is as result of complex changes in most aspects of our society (Feldman 3).
Firstly, the decrease in the supply of nurses can be associated with the reduction in enrolment of students pursuing nursing in the universities and colleges (Andrist, Nicholas, and Wolf 65). Gyulai writes that the number of the number of enrollments in General and Vocational College diplomas and university programs has risen by 34% over the last five years although the shortage of nurses is expected to decline further in 2011/2012 academic year (1). The decline in enrolment of nurses is due to the ‘outdated perceptions’ about the nursing profession and increase employment opportunities for women (Feldman 58). Besides, universities and colleges training nurses do not have the capacity to train nurses as fast as possible to meet this high demand, a demand that rises by the day. Again, many school counselors do not recommend males and females to pursue nursing as a career subject.
Secondly, another leading cause of the nursing shortage is the aging population, particularly the nurse population. Reportedly, the average age of nurses in US is about 44 years (Gyulai 1; Andrist, Nicholas, & Wolf 62). Nurses in their fifties (approaching retirement) outnumber nurses in their thirties and under (Gyulai 1). In Quebec, for example, the number of registered nurses (RNs) under the age of 30, according to a survey, was found to be slightly above 11000 compared to 60000 plus nurses above this age. Since 1991, as sour the number of nurses under the age of thirty has declined by a percentage of over 40%. Moreover, the number of elderly people is constantly on the increase. These are the people who are prone to illness due to the increase in life expectancy, who undoubtedly experience the grim effects of nurse shortage. In addition, many people find it difficult to pay for medical insurance, which makes it a routine for them to visit the emergency rooms in a hospital frequently. This imbalance is expected to widen in the coming years if nothing is done fast to reverse the situation.
Public hospitals seem to be the worst hit by the ongoing nurse shortage. A nurse in a public hospital earns $21 per hour compared to the $40 per hour earned by a nurse in a private hospital (Gyulai 1). The increase in the $21/hr that a public nurse earns does not seem to rise. In regards to Lambert of Lakeshore General hospital who alleges that she used to earn $15 per hour as an entry salary thirty years ago, the rate of nurse pay rise is disheartening, which can also be the reason as to why many people shy form this profession (Gyulai 1).
According to AACN (2004), the profession is characterized by dissatisfaction of nurses which professionals call ‘nurse burnout’ (as cited in Andrist, Nicholas, and Wolf 450). As a result, many people shy away from this profession opting for other professions that they deem to be better than nursing. In a nutshell, there calls for a need of an expedient solution to this shortage if at all health care has to be enhance. This can be done through; sponsoring pursuing nursing, reducing the tax burden of nurse, writing off government loan to nursing student, improving the working condition of nurses, among others. The overarching idea in the above listed endeavors is creating a positive image of the nursing profession.
Discussion: Choosing the nursing profession for wrong reasons
Studies, though with conflicting data, varying opinions and findings as to which specific family characteristics influence career decisions, have shown that the family play a critical role in a child’s career development. However, the level of family influence on career path choices has proven technically demanding to measure considering the evolution of the post-modern approaches to career counseling and the constant revolutionary changes in the structure of the family (Husain and Idris 453). Researchers suggest that both parental education and occupation are on the list of the underlying reasons why people choose different professions with the worst hit profession being the nursing profession. Still on nursing, the effect of parental influence is even more pronounced in families where the parents are also in the nursing profession basically due to the reason that these parents are aware that there is a great shortage of nurses worldwide. Hence, most of these parents insist on their children to settle on nursing. Husain and Idris document that in the event that an individual decides on a career path that was not chosen and approved by the family, cases of distress and career uncertainty generated by family conflict are most likely to be reported (453). Disenchantment with the profession is also pervasive among such imposed nurses accompanied by heightened dissatisfaction in the career. Parental influence has, therefore, a gross negative effect on the performance of the imposed nurses despite also infringing on the children’s autonomy as far as career choices are concern. Closely related to family influence is social interaction with peers, teachers and other members of the society, though to a small extent, play part in career development. To adequately understand the effects of the family and the society at large on the career choice and development, Husain and Idris designed a regression analysis model which was aimed at unraveling the impact of the family income and education on career choice and development, a research that provided some enlightening results. They tabulated that findings if this research that targeted 600 participants (300 males and 300 females) from three major colleges in a table. The two researchers determined the mean the standard deviation and the t-value. The standard deviation was just to give the deviation from the mean values while the crucial t-value was aimed at giving an insight on the difference between the groups and the expected effect on career decision. Below is a table of their findings.
It is normal for one to admire a role model and by all means strive to emulate what makes up a particular role model. The concept of role modeling, a facet in social psychology, in its broad context concerns the identification and reference to an individual patterned by the environing structure together with the prevailing cultural definitions of success leading to emulation of prominent figures in the society in terms of behavior and values. While the benefits of having such people in the society maybe immense, there are sometime that these people may not portray what we might be able to achieve. This brings us to the question of personality and aptitude in relationship to career choices.
Conventionally, the key reason behind any employment pathway is to earn sufficient money to take care of one need and also leave one with sufficiently enough money for savings. The principal driving force behind people choosing careers for wrong reasons is the returns that the person will get for the given career path. To Marden, however, accumulation of a lot of money does not quantify success since there are people who accumulate a lot of money and yet fail to achieve higher development and to some extent the object of life (95). Still on nursing for money, there are four major advanced categories of nurses with specific duties prescribed by their specialty with very encouraging pays that make a variety of student and the public at large to be greatly attracted to them (Sacks 27). These are; nurse practitioners, certified nurse, clinical nurse specialist and lastly nurse anesthetics (Sacks 27). What these people do not know is that nurses’ salary if compared to the amount of work that they do, is by far the lowest in the labor market, a situation that has a far reaching contribution to the quitting of nurses from this pivotal health care position by the day to join other professions. In this profession, both the seniors and juniors, according to Booyens, are on virtually the same salary scale- another contributing factor to the high level of dissatisfaction which translates to nurses leaving the profession at an alarming rate and hence the unending global shortage of nurses (471). For this reason Stanz and Greyling carried out a research on the frequency nurse resignation from Gauteng hospital group due to an assorted list of reasons, a research whose findings are summarized in the table below.
The most striking component of the Table 2 above is the heightened frequency at which nurses quit the profession due to discontentment of the salary that nursing offers to them.
Another underlying wrong reason why majority of people have lately developed a scintillating propensity to join the nursing profession is because of the prestige and status that is attached to the nursing profession. In the recent past, the notion that nurses are just subordinate staff to the doctors has vanished with a new emerging notion that nursing, a profession directly linked to divinity and nobility, is an essential profession made up of people with technical expertise that is exceptionally pertinent to the general well being of the society. Huber in his book, calls this ‘external prestige’ though he adds that the nurses have also realized an internal prestige, a realization that indubitably gives an idea of how nursing in its basic form ‘views nursing’ as well as nurses (415). According to Huber, another status issue in nursing is the attire which doubles up as a source of pride and controversy (415-416). Houweling attests the nursing symbolic attire is an identifier solely designed for respectability and soberness together with an extended duty of enhancing the image of a nurse (as cited in Huber 416). Pearson et al also add that the uniforms clearly depict professionalism, authority, modesty and safety (as cited in Huber 416). Truly the nursing attire is one that all and sundry would cherish to put on with in mind that in the current contemporary world, a person’s social position and most importantly intelligence are perceived from an occupational point of view- an assumption that commands a considerable level of pertinence to the members of a society with an added impeccable social standing relative to a good number of other occupations. But this should not be the driving force behind joining the profession considering that there exist a clear disjuncture between the status that accrue to nurses and the dictates of nursing ethics and job description.
Converse to the wrong reasons for joining the nursing career discussed above, I was intrinsically motivated to join the career and the desire to excel is what underlies my every action. In line with nursing as a career, I have put in place compendious career goals that govern my every action and from all indications, I am very contented with being a nurse. This is an interest that I developed from a tender age and I have since kept it burning. I am academically versatile with excellent analytical ability that is further exemplified by my admirable sense of humility- a combination that is of adept importance in the nursing profession. Above all, the nursing profession requires a dedicated team player which concurs with my personal attribute of determination in team play. With an utmost understanding that Career choices are formulated via different processes which can be influenced by a vast number of factors and variables, I began by educating myself regarding the realities the realities of the nursing profession. During this process, little did I know that I have a scintillating desire the help the sick- something that I only discovered soon after joining a nursing institution.
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