Professionals or "workers" - page 6

by blackribbon

11,072 Views | 97 Comments

I am attending nursing school in Michigan, a very "union" state. I have recently moved here from Texas, a right to work state. There is a big political issue going on here about Right-to-work. And until people started posting... Read More


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    RNperdiem, I agree this could make an interesting topic of research. Sign me up for that study. I worked in union states and non-union states. Working in California (union state) is bliss. We nurses get much respect and make a good deal of money. The work conditions are manageable. We are valued. Forget all the self-esteem talk. We are proud 'cause management can't push us around.
    nursel56 likes this.
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    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** Seems perfecly normal and right to me. I don't give a darn for the degree. To me what matters is what you know, not how you came to know it. Before I got my BSN I used to regularly precept nurse residents who had MSNs. Sure they had 6 years of "education" vs my 2 years (actually 9 months but it's a two year degree). They were still wet behind the ears know nothing brand new grads who needed to learn basic nursing skills from me. Does that seem wrong to you? Would it be better if the brand new graduate of a direct entry MSN program was supposed to precept the ADN RN with 10+ years of ICU experience? After all the new grad has 6 years of "education" (never mind that the first 4 years could have been in music) vs the experienced nurses 2 years?
    The associates degree PA and the BSN RN both spent about the same amount of time in school learning their trades.
    I'm not sure why a masters-prepared nurse would be working at the bedside (unless they couldn't find another job), but that's another issue. Show me a masters nursing program where your undergrad can be music, and you are done with the masters in 2 years. Please. I'm not sure how you get 2 years = 4 or 5 years as being "about the same amount of time in school." I get that real-world experience is invaluable learning, trust me, I do. But higher education still gives the student more knowledge than no higher education (or less of it).

    I'm not sure where I fall as to the union/right-to-work debate; does it "demean" nurses or not. I think not. When nurses have the same education and professional experience as doctors, engineers, and lawyers, then they can be on that level. I agree that people against higher education should not whine when they are not treated as professionals. In their eyes, this is a trade.

    I would love to have the protection of a union. My place of work isn't half bad though, so I've got it pretty good. I feel for those fighting with unfair working conditions.
    multi10 likes this.
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    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** B.S.! I have never heard any nurse say they are aginst higher education. I sure as heck am not, I have not read any anti higher education message here on AN. If you have please provide a quote.
    That said the fact is that higher education traditionaly has not been rewarded in nursing. Only very recently has there been any incentive at all and that incentive prety much disappears as soon as an RN gets her first job.
    I'm not talking about anything specific in THIS thread, but just read the numerous ADN vs. BSN debate threads. You yourself have said that you won't allow your SICU to hire BSNs because they are not as good as ADNs.

    *Sorry OP, I know this is off-topic. Not trying highjack.*
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    Quote from Ruby Vee
    The person who should have left his or her feelings out in order to have a serious discussion was the original poster who used some mighty inflammatory language, then claimed she wasn't challenging, she just wanted information. I agree with MN-Nurse; RNdynamic is out of line.
    Which portion of the OP's post utilized inflammatory language? I didn't see any words or phrases that were inflammatory. The OP asked a legitimate question.
  5. 0
    It's all about being Respected and Valued as a Nurse and as a professional. We have to fight for our rights. That's where unions come in: To collectively help us construct a wall against management abuse.
  6. 4
    Simply stated: with a Union you have a seat at the "table"
    Without a Union, THERE IS NO TABLE- you will take what they offer or "hit the road"- my Union Dues pale in comparison to that alternative.
    Ruby Vee, multi10, anotherone, and 1 other like this.
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    Many of the positive benefits of unionization have been discussed. A BIG negative brought up was that of TENURE (as opposed to seniority). The negative is that tenure protects the jobs of marginal employees. They become "lifers", who just float along in their positions, barely performing the base requirements of their jobs. No more; no less - just there getting by. And yes, there ARE professional "lifers" in healthcare.

    This brings me to the issue of performance rewards. Where else but in a non-union healthcare environment would 'professionals' be expected to rejoice over 1%, 2% or 3% raise increments?? Newbies, earning say $20/hr, receive a 1% raise. This is a whole big 20 cents/hr. A whole year of experiences with accrued knowledge and skills has earned a big 20 cents/hr. BIG WHOOP!! Go ahead and telll me that 20 cents/hr is worthy compensation for professionals!!!! Healthcare seems to think so.

    I know of those in private industry who received professional compensations of $5000 for successful projects, pro-sport box seats access, stock options and 6 digit figure salaries with a few years longevity/expeirience.

    Unions negotiate decent raises and cost-of-liviing adjustments into their contracts. Other benefits, ie PTO, good healthcare , travel, housing and relocation bonuses are negoitiated. Tuition reimbursement, educational and certification differentials are negotiated. Child daycare, adult daycare benefits... Meal discounts, uniform allowances, ... Workplace environments...

    There are a few non-union facilities (most likely the chains or university/teaching-affiliated) that pick and choose a few decent benes. But they are becoming few and far between.

    Do you think unions would settle for hiring so many workers as PRN or perdiem so benefits could be avoided?

    I think I'd like to be a unionized professional anyday!!!!
    multi10, sapphire18, Susie2310, and 3 others like this.
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    I don't see unionization as degrading the profession any. Many professions employ the use of collective bargaining. Off hand I can think of unions that engineers belong to. Teachers, of course. Airline pilots. Athletes. I believe there are also Physician unions (not sure about that one).
    There has always been a tug-of-war between owners/managers and workers. Management has the power of the paycheck and facilities. Unions (in the modern sense) were created to balance that power by giving the workers the ability to act as a cohesive unit.
    I haven't belonged to a union in close to twenty-five years, yet I am cognicent of, and grateful for the benefits they have helped to create.
    sapphire18 likes this.
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    I believe physicians are prevented from unionizing in many places. i would lol to see that day come and work hours for residents really enforced. nurses are skilled workers for the most part. most nurses and the public sees us that way. i dont think anyone places nurses on the same level as an engineer or physician or lawyer. just how i interpret public perception. i am not too familiar with nursing unions as i live in a pretty anti union location.
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    Quote from anotherone
    I believe physicians are prevented from unionizing in many places. i would lol to see that day come and work hours for residents really enforced. nurses are skilled workers for the most part. most nurses and the public sees us that way. i dont think anyone places nurses on the same level as an engineer or physician or lawyer. just how i interpret public perception. i am not too familiar with nursing unions as i live in a pretty anti union location.
    Your point is taken. I live in Texas so Nursing Unions are not well known here, either. But, what I was getting at is that there are other professions which unionize.
    Last edit by workingharder on Dec 12, '12 : Reason: No reason, I just like the edit button.
    anotherone and nursel56 like this.


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