California's Nurse-to-patient Ratio Law -- Update - page 3

As predicted by many, California's nurse-to-patient ratio law (also known as AB394) may not go into effect after all. Bowing to the serve nursing shortage in the State and at the suggestion of both... Read More

  1. by   -jt
    <There are PLENTY of licensed nurses..........just not enough that will put up with management's shennanigans.>

    Thats it "in a nutshell". The current "nursing shortage" at the bedsides now is not a hoax, its a misnomer. And there is data to prove it. At the urging of the ANA, Congress commissioned a research report to find out if there was really a current shortage & where our nurses were. The report, released last year, found that there are about 500,000 experienced, licensed nurses (18% of the nursing workforce in this country) NOT working in nursing today. Yet there are only about 126,000 vacant nurse positions in hospitals, as reported by the American Hospital Association. The report says that there is not yet a "nursing shortage" because there are so many nurses available but just not working in hospitals. Rather, it calls this a "Maldistribution" of nurses. Meaning what we are calling a current bedside "nursing shortage" is actually a REFUSAL of nurses to work in those jobs.

    The numbers are out there, if even a fraction of those 500,000 came back to work, to end the staffing crisis tomorrow. But if the conditions that keep these nurses away are not rectified, we WILL have a REAL shortage in numbers in the next few years as the majority of us,working or not, begin to reach retirement age en mass.
    Last edit by -jt on Jun 30, '02
  2. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    A "hoax" is a type of fraud.

    That's how I look at the way the hospitals are using the information.

    Anyhoo JT, don't you just looooooove it when your on the righteouse side of an issue?:kiss

    Thank you for those posts. I'll read them tommorow when my eyes aren't falling out of my head!!:stone
  3. by   -jt
    <A "hoax" is a type of fraud.
    That's how I look at the way the hospitals are using the information.>

    Ok I see that point. I agree that the AHA is using this so called "nursing shortage" as an excuse to lobby for Nurse Practice Act changes that will give more of the RNs responsibilities to UAPS, & then hire the less expensive UAPS to provide pt care - as its already trying to convince the legislators, media, & public that these measures have to be taken because "there just are no nurses to be found" - at the same time ignoring the fact that there is a whole ready-made population of 18% of the nursing workforce out there to be recruited from. Its easier & less expensive to just convince everybody that there are no nurses rather than spend money to improve the workplace & attract some of those 500,000 non-working RNs back or stem the flow of other nurses from the bedsides. So yes I guess it is a hoax when the hospitals say "there are no nurses" or there is a "nursing shortage". It would be more accurate for the AHA to say "we have destroyed nurses working enviornment with a decade of cost-cutting, lay-offs, abusive management practices like mandatory ot, devaluation in the form of inadequate compensation, & just plain treating them like theyre a dime a dozen & now, though they are out there, they wont work for us anymore - until we improve things - but we wont spend our profits to do that, so my dear pts, you will have no RN at your bedside".
  4. by   Gomer
    To Jay,

    Yes, Jay, I am convicted that unions never solve any issues and exists only to take $$$ from the people who can least afford to pay. They talk a good game, have "pretty" tee-shirts, and can market themselves very well; but all they are after is the $$$$$. Have you ever heard of a union fighting for patient care issues without adding..."oh yes, we want a raise for all our members too" (of course the dues will go up to!) Maybe if I could find a union that didn't have $$$$ as a main issue, I might respect them. But then that's really all they are about.

    As for having an e-mail address, I feel there are too many spammers and nuts out in cyberspace. Also, some BB sell their members' e-mail address...that's how they pay for these free BB.
  5. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Gomer, Gomer, Gomer,

    Is it not about money? All businesses need it to operate and a union needs it to guarantee its strength to its members. What do you think the hospitals will use to fight unions.................Greenstamps?.............co okie sales?..........Nope, the hospitals have been getting the main source of revenue on the cheap in exchange for the output that keeps its doors open.

    All they have left to protect that pile of money now is the loyalty of people like you that believe that union leaders are powerless con-men that just want to part you with your money and slink off into the night.

    If that were true, then where are all the stories about how the unions are just screwing people? I see PLENTY of bad press about the hospitals, but where are the stories about unions that don't do anything?

    All I see is how the unions are getting nurses SOMETHING other than the same old poridge(Oliver Twist reference) they've been told to put up with since they had to stand up when a doctor entered the room and submit to their place on the foodchain.

    If you're a hospital and not a union you could tell an employee that you respect them and know that they gross what you pay in taxes and still turn down a raise request. You could tell the nurses how much you wish those ratios of nurses to patients could improve if you could just keep costs down while you collect your bonus for profits. If you were a hospital you could ask a tired nurse that just gave 150% of their effort to make sure the patients were taken care of in the short-staffed dept. to work a forced shift so you won't have to pay another benefit plan or an agency and make your new budget goal for your bonus. If you were a hospital you could call our present situation a "shortage" so you can recruit nurses from 3rd world countries so you can hold costs down even more and fuel the shotage by driving those "money-grubbing" nurses away from the bedside and put those frightened foreigners in the place of the pro-union nurses.

    Then I guess you can say that the unions are all about the money and handing out t-shirts and they don't care about patient issues or nurses because they have asked "more poridge please"

    Show me some facts Gomer.

    Where's the union money going?

    I can CLEARLY see where the hospital money is going.

    Follow the money Gomer. Follow the money.
  6. by   nell
    Gomer,

    Not all unions are alike. It sounds like you're in the Bay Area - well there are at least 3 hospitals in the south bay that have their own unions:

    Stanford/Packard has CRONA
    http://www.crona.org/

    El Camino has PRN
    http://www.prnatech.org/

    and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has RNPA (no website)

    These unions work hard for their members, not for the $$$
  7. by   Gomer
    I never meant to start a "union vs non-union" fight. My original post was just to inform the readers of this BB that while one union (CNA) had supported the Calif. Nurse/Patient Ratio law, the other (SEUI) had suggested that other professionals be included in the ratio figures. (SEUI represents both RN's and others and wanted to extend its membership; while CNA covers only RN's)

    You want a union...fine...you don't want a union, also fine. Personally, I would never work in a union hospital...but that is my preference.

    And to answer your question, Peeps..."where is the union money going?"...well, how much are union bosses paid?...do they also get bonuses?...I really don't know, nor do I care (any more than I care what my CEO makes). When you chose nursing were you expecting to make millions? Or even 6-figures? We might look at in another way...the law of supply and demand...yes, if there aren't enough RN's willing to work at bedside nursing the hourly rates may go up (nothing to do with unions). But, if our economy/stock market keeps dropping, those who return to the field (to support their families) may find very little if any increase (also nothing to do with unions -- simple economic fact).

    Peace to you, one and all....some of us just march to a different drummer....
  8. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    I'm sure union bosses don't get bonused when the nurses get the shaft. You have a very strange perception of the nursing stuggle as far as I can tell. You seem distant from the issues and as far as I can tell, you are not a nurse at all, but what do I know.

    Union bosses would get bonuses by actualy taking care of the people they represent if that hypothetical actualy existed.
    Don't you think?
    I mean, if the union guys put thier incomes before nurses issues like the suits do I don't think there would be many members to abuse. Difficult to see how they would profit from it. The SEIU is not really a nursing union, so I can see how they could do it.

    The stockmarket is another hoax of big business being used to give an excuse for not raising the living wage to match the cost of living. The hospitals don't sell luxury cars or lavish vacations they sell healthcare at a very steep mark-up. The supply of sick people won't run out because some big companies cooked the books. You don't really believe that "economic downturn" crap do you?

    Uhmmm.........Gomer.......are you an administrator by any chance?

    You can't sit in the middle my friend. Union or not, the real issue here is respect for nursing as a profession. If you are a nurse Gomer, then the union's fight is your fight too. You don't have to carry a union card to believe that.

    The future of nursing is up to you still though. You can't run away from it. It will eventually find you. Each individual nurse carries thier banner into battle everyday and is just as responsible as the next one for not laying it down.
    None of the banners say "pro-union" or "pro-business" they say......................... "pro-nurse"
    So it's simple you either carry a banner or you don't, but there is no middle ground.

    Yes, I'm going to make a six-figure income someday, but nobody will suffer because I do and I can live with that.
  9. by   ANnot4me
    I am a nurse who lives in California and I still work at the bedside. I am also a member of the CNA. Until last October, I lived in Illinois and left nursing for 2 years because it sucked. nursing here is better, but it could use some serious improvement. We just ratified a 3-year contract and the hospital fought hard against any inclusion of ratios and the CNA essentially caved. I just found out that my Nurse Manger is going to New Zealand and Singapore to recruit RNs.

    I never expected the staffing legislation to be implemented because the corporations own the politicians and run the country anyway. The hospitals will spend tons of money to delay and recruit from overseas until there is no longer a shortage. Nurses will never gain the upperhand because they can't get unified.
  10. by   Gomer
    Ah, Peeps, you are so funny.

    Let's see, so far you've accused me of not being a nurse (x3) and of possibly being administration. Why? Just because I disagree with you? And you seem to favor conspiracy theories..."big business", "the bosses". Even your title (under your screen name)..."Anti" tells a story.

    As I said before...you want a union, fine, good for you, hope you are happy. I don't and that's my right.

    Oh, and this probably wont sound very nursey either...but I'm Pro-Me. I've always felt that too many nurses never put themselves first, were too co-dependent....but then that may be because many women have been taught to put others first...now, I bet you will think I'm not a woman!
  11. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Gomer,

    You said you were anti-union on the first page. You cited being from California as your reason. How could you be disagreeing with me? I'm not against people from California and I really don't have an argument for it.
    I'm sorry that you feel "accused" of anything. That's not why I entered the discussion with you. I did beat around the bush so as not to cast aspersions on you.

    By not answering it, you have said volumes about how you feel about nursing, at least as far as it would have made me feel to have someone thinking that I might be misrepresenting myself.

    Your obviously not "nursey"......and I am.

    "Pro-me" fits you very well...........you should use it for your signature.

    Anyhoo,
    no harm done if we really didn't discuss anything.......right? I don't think we got one important point across to eachother and I spilled my guts while you were just offended of being "accused", or so it would seem.

    We'll just agree that you live in an egocentric vacum and you are self-employed.
    I'm envious
  12. by   mattsmom81
    I'm SO disappointed to hear of the watering down of the California nurse patient ratio mandates....I was really hoping this would be a beacon for the nation's hospitals...and the start of positive changes for nurses.

    When nurses can organize as one voice and lobby and influence like the hospital associations and the nurse executives, THEN we will have a voice in our workplace and a chance to better our work environment.

    Our individual voices will not help us as a group (yes, we can help ourselves personally perhaps....but this does not effect work conditions, MOT, etc...things that are at the core of the 'shortage')

    IMHO, we must organize (and lobby with the big boys) to effect substantial industry change. Gomer, I don't understand your argument against organizing; I see little progress for nurses if we cannot.
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Mattsmom,

    Gomer never said they were a nurse.

    If they are I'm sure thier family doesn't know either............................................ ......................Yes, Gomer may be a "closet nurse".
    Claiming the scrubs in the laundry are just a new fashion thing. Saying it's just for a drug habit when the syringes fall out on the floor.
    Deflecting questions about the vomit on your shoes by saying "I had some bad chinese food".
    Oh, the shame of it all.

    I wonder if this may be our Judas. I mean, maybe this attitude is more prevelant than we could imagine.

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