There are a number of things I could add to this, but will just focus on one: the idea that "bad" nurses can't be fired in a union environment. I've had 13 years in management and 12 years as the chief steward for the union at my hospital, and that idea is just flat false.
Here are basic facts: if a manager decides to fire a nurse, they don't have to ask permission from a union to do it - they just do it. Then it's the union's role to attempt to overturn the firing if they think they can and should - sometimes the firing was obviously just and we tell the nurse they need to learn from it and move on - we can't spend our resources on hopeless cases and don't really want to. But assuming we do contest the firing and it's not overturned in the first steps of the process, it ultimately goes to arbitration - a sort of private trial - where the arbitrator applies the tests of "just cause" to the firing: There are several tests, and I don't have them all by memory, but they are things like: Was the offense - or pattern of failure - serious enough to justify firing? Did the employer have adequate notice they weren't doing well? Were they given an opportunity to do better? etc.
Both sides get to present their case and the arbitrator decides.
So a manager who needs to get rid of a failing nurse and wants to make it stick, just has to apply the same basic principles of documentation we all apply to our patient care: Identify how the nurse is failing, let them know it and document that. Give them clear expectations of what is expected and document that. Give them a reasonable time and document their failure to improve. That's all it takes and that's just the sort of fair process any of you would want to have in a choice that might damage your ability to earn a living.
Any manager who says they can't get rid of a bad nurse "because of the union" is really just saying that they are too lazy to go through the proper process to do it right.
Finally: For those who work without a union: Can you honestly say there aren't any lazy, ineffective nurses where you work? Of course there are - for all sorts of reasons - managers who don't want to deal with the hassles of firing, nurses who have managed to ingratiate themselves with a manager who overlooks their failures, etc
Last edit by Chico David RN on Jun 1
: Reason: typos