– During the internship period, you observe the situation in the health system. I and several of my fellow students have seen nurses and doctors crying into a bucket at work, Maria Knudsen (26) tells Dagbladet.
She is a second-year nursing student at the Norwegian University of Applied Sciences in Bergen.
But Knudsen is clear she doesn’t want to work as a nurse when she graduates next year.
– I want to start law after studying nursing. There are various reasons why I don’t want to work as a nurse, but it’s not a profession I can work in until I retire, she says.
Health and Care Minister Ingvild Kjerkol (Ap) announced in a speech in January that hospitals must tighten their finances in 2023.
The government has repeatedly warned there is a great need for student nurses, but at the same time Kjerkol is asking hospitals to consider cuts to some treatment services and drastically reduce the use of surrogates .
Ida Gerø (33), who works as a nurse in the cardiology department at the Rikshospitalet, tells Dagbladet that the current situation in the healthcare system is bad publicity for the profession.
– It does not make sense that on the one hand you say you need more nursing students, but on the other hand you reduce the staff. It is simply bad publicity for the profession.
– Will do something else
Knudsen’s curriculum means that about half of the study time is practice time. After the experiences she has gained, she realizes that she wants to learn another skill.
– Working in health is fantastic, but the conditions and the surrounding environment must be adapted so that you can practice your profession in the best possible way, confides the 26-year-old young man.
Along with her studies, Knudsen is a member of the student council of the Norwegian Nurses Association and she feels that nursing education is underfunded.
– As a student, you are not sufficiently prepared for what awaits you in professional life. Many of my classmates are clear that they want to do more than nurse. Many finish school but retrain later, she says.
according Statistics Norway one in five nurses leaves their job within ten years.
– This is a very sad trend. Many also disappear into other professions after their studies. Many people are probably skeptical of the profession when they see how nurses feel. You may feel like you’re not enough, Knudsen says.
– That’s a shame
Sigrid Husøy Larsen, student leader at the Norwegian Nurses Association, agrees that you need nursing education that prepares students for what they will encounter in professional life.
– It is important that the transition to professional life is discussed during the studies, so that they do not abandon the profession as new graduates, she explains to Dagbladet.
Larsen, who is a trained nurse herself, says there are several nursing students who think like Knudsen.
– Many are worried about the future and several students think that they will not grow old in the profession, she says and adds:
– It’s really a shame that people drop out, but the profession can be a fierce combination with private and family life.
The number of applicants for nursing studies is declining and, according to Larsen, there may be a causal link to cuts in the health care system and the pressure nurses are under.
– We are hopeful for the future and you will not find many people who regret having finished their studies. It really is the best job in the world, she says.
– Must prioritize correctly
In an email to Dagbladet, Minister of Health and Care Ingvild Kjerkol (Ap) writes that nurses are doing important work.
– We need those who are currently following education. The efforts of professionals are fundamental to having good health and care services across the country, writes Kjerkol.
Additionally, she writes that you need to retain qualified professionals.
– We must ensure the proper use of expertise and professionals, more full-time and the proper distribution of tasks between all groups of professionals. This is work that we are currently doing. We need to prioritize correctly, use technology where it’s appropriate, and bring about better interaction and a more complete organization, she writes.
In addition, Kjerkol points out that the government has proposed a plan to strengthen full-time and quality staff in the care service.
– We want to help municipalities solve the shortage of professionals in the short and long term. These can include the distribution of tasks, shared positions and the right to full-time employment, she writes.
Kjerkol stresses that the government is keen to maintain and develop a good offer in hospitals and the health service. They will also facilitate good working conditions for employees.
– As you know, we will offer increased allocations to hospitals in GNI, but we know that there will still be a need for adjustment in many places. This is necessary both to return to operating conditions consistent with the pre-pandemic period and to create room for different priorities in each hospital, she writes.
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