Can we expect young nurses to choose gerontic nursing as their specialty?
This is a question we really do not like to ask because it is difficult to encourage young nurses to choose this field.
We have heard all the excuses, we have tried to give grants. We have thought that this area is not covered well enough in schools of nursing. Our efforts to put gerontic nursing into the curriculum, and teaching it in clinical settings did not bring progress. We realized that our efforts are not fruitful and the registered nurse and baccalaureate degree nurse does not come to our field after graduating.
I would like to raise some thoughts that might change our strategy towards recruitment of candidates to this thrilling specialization.
Modern society is characterized by highly sophisticated technology and technical tools that were once used only by professionals, but today are used by every household (eg, blood pressure equipment).
Young nurses, like others in modern society, are looking forward to learning new and challenging fields of interest. We cannot continue talking about humanism when society does not appreciate this product. We should build our area of specialization as a part of developing a career in nursing.
The prerequisites for this special area are important. A nurse should have at least 5 years of experience in any nursing area, preferably in public health services. She should be creative in her thinking, and she must regard aging as a stage in human development; it is her future and her parents' present.
We must challenge well-trained and creative nurses, and develop with them humanistic tools for coping with the health problems that aging brings. Preventive and curative health services should be managed by nurses. Then we, as professionals, will lead and not be led.
This will bring to our specialty the best of the best and will encourage self-esteem and self-image. Through these, we will come into a positive cycle of nurses with high self-esteem, high selfimage, and high appreciation by society.