full time RN's getting the shaft, and I dont mean the "cool" shaft either!

  1. take a glimpse into my horrible terrible no good very bad day! okay so its not that bad but I am in a quandry of sorts.
    I am a full time RN and I'm going back to school part time (only one day a week)
    I told the scheduling committee that as of sept 1 I can no longer work thursdays or any wednesday night shifts.....the disruption to my full time schedule ends up being 2 definite shifts per month missed (as I work every other thursday only)
    and then 1 wednesday per month that will either need to be converted to dayshift or swapped to a friday.
    You would figure this would be no problem, and that administration would applaud nurses wanting to further their education and better their practice. however I have gotten more stress about the schedule part of my going back to school than any other aspect...
    I spoke with my unit administrator who stated that she was happy for me and that anything she could do to help me on my endevour she would,and then in the same sentence says "and of course you realize we still expect a full time committment from you"
    to which I explained the shifts I will need to be switched and the fact that I would pick up two shifts on my days off to make up for the two thursdays a month I'll miss out on....she seemed fine, the staffing committee went on their way and started doing my shifts up for the next tour of duty and then whammo the U/A comes in and tells them to scratch what they have written that I owe it to the unit to work weekends (those weekends that I am normally off) because those are the unit needs and if they are facilitating the fact that I am going to school then I need to give a little too.......I spoke with some senior nurses about this who say this goes against our union agreement in that full timers are to be given every other weekend off and those slots are to be filled by the part timers. where I work the part timers rule the roost, it seems all assbackwards to me, so my question is, do I query this by going forward and asking human resources and the union about what my rights are with respect to having to give up my entitled days off or should I just see how it plays out
    I'm all worried and stressed now, because in my opinion I did meet the units needs by offering to work on my other days off during the week....
    blah I was starting to question if I've taken too much on my plate or not ,but this is something I really want to do..........
    *Heavy sigh*
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   BadBird
    Remember one thing, the management is not your friend only you can look out for your best interests. Go to the union and demand your rights, don't back down, no apologies needed if you are fulfilling your obligations. Be strong, good luck.
  4. by   azgirl
    I was working for a bank and a nursing home when I got accepted into nursing school. I had thought that my job that would allow me to attend college would of course be the nursing home. NO!! It was the bank that readily agreed to change my schedule and the nursing home was so rigid I had to leave that one to go into nursing school. Strange world.

    Your situation Wendy makes so much sense to me. Don't know why it doesn't to your schedulers.
  5. by   cbs3143
    Hi Wendy,

    BadBird's right. The administration looks after itself first and foremost. They see only what "you owe the unit and facility" You owe them an honest day's work for the pay you've agreed to. You don't have to feel guilty for trying to improve yourself at the expense of creating a ripple in their scheduling plans.

    If it were me, I'd cut back to 80% while I was going to school. It's really difficult to work full time and still have adequate time for attending class and spending an adequate amount of time studying.

    It's sad that the administrative types applaud your efforts to improve your professional standing, yet throw roadblocks across your path. You have to do what's best for you. The hospital administration isn't looking out for anyone but themselves.

    Best of luck with your continued schooling. Don't let them get to you.

    Chuck
  6. by   Maula, RN
    You know what you will find alot of hurdles on your journey to furthering your education. Do whatever you have to do but don't let your education fall by the waistside. Also talkk to the union because it sounds like you are being punished for going back to school and that sucks.
  7. by   canoehead
    I would think that by offering to take, say, every Friday you would be allowing for some long weekends that other staff would be happy to get.

    But if you want to eliminate two days a week from their scheduling and get your weekends off too, they are only left with three days to put you on, and have to work the schedule completely around you. So you'd be doing the three empty weekdays one week and then the weekend the next week, alternating.

    I see both sides, and wonder if there is a compromise available. Like working extra shifts the week of your study break, if you get one. Or splitting the difference you work one extra weekend shift a month and they give you the other off. Sucks, I can't think of anything better. Or if you intend on not taking vacation days this summer they have more leeway in granting to other staff- if you are in school all summer you could use that as bargaining power.

    If they are going to require you to work more weekends are they willing to pay for your books/tuition? Sometimes they have money to throw at a problem but not staff.

    Definitely see what the union says about your rights.
  8. by   hoolahan
    ITA with Chuck. It wouold serve them right to have you cut back your hours. Then to make up the diff in pay, you could sign up for OT...when it is convenient for YOU! Unfortunately, this option may mean a reduction in the tuition assist you get, or may affect your health bennies. Since my husband carries the bennies, this is how I would fix them, but that is not of course an option for everyone. Can you change to 12-hour shifts? It is grossly unfair to have you have to make-up time on your weekends off.

    When my kids were small, and I was PT, I worked q Friday and Saturday night. FT'ers B**ched b/c I didn't have to do sat and sun like them. Hey, I didn't have to work q weekend either, so if I had stopped, and only done my every other as required, they would have to do more weekends. So, when the sup got tired of hearing them c/o and told me I'd have to work q sat and sunday, I transferred out. Then they got stuck doing more Fridays too, which is not great for singles. So, it works both ways as far as catering to PTer's. Maybe you should approach a few of the PTer's to see if they will make a deal w you. I know it was just convenient for me to work weekends, but hubby had to be at work 7am on Monday am, so I just could not do Sunday nights. This whole aggravation actually gave me a lock of gray hair. I had asked the FTer's, so let me get this straight, you would rather lose a IABP and peds cert nurse, and have to train someone entirely new, instead of letting me work q fri and sat? Yes they said, so I said, See ya! When they called me to moonlight, I said no, I gave all my time to the MICU, who was more than happy to have me q fri and sat night!

    My point is, working FT and going to school is hard enough, you need to find a work environment that will support you, they are out there, not try to sabatage you and punish you for trying to better yourself. Look elsewhere, see about a transfer. Screw 'em!
  9. by   oramar
    I wonder if all those academic types that keep insisting we all get our BSN realize what a hostile enviroment to education most health care orginization continue to be. Most people who go back to school experince exactly what you are experiencing. I had hoped things had improved. Believe me I know from personal experience. You tell them you are going to go agency. They can hire you back at $199 an hour. PS Some people have told me they work at progressive places that support education but they remain in the minority. By support I don't mean offering tuition reimbursement alone. I mean other stuff like not dishing out crap when you need time off for class and exaims . PPS I love reading stuff from you Wendee, I love you for always trying to be upbeat.:kiss
    Last edit by oramar on Jun 21, '02
  10. by   mattsmom81
    This is a pet peeve of mine too, when the fulltimers are expected to fill in the slots AFTER the part timers and PRN have scheduled...to me it should be the other way around.

    So sad we are not encouraged to further our education, as Oramar stated.

    Can you go part time or PRN yourself Wendy so that you can schedule around school? And not be so stressed...I don't think I could go back to school AND work FT but you are younger and have more energy than me Wendy...good luck!
  11. by   Aussienurse2
    I may be a bit thick but aren't part-timers supposed to fill the shifts full timers cannot? Thats the way it it here....
  12. by   hapeewendy
    hey guys, thanks for the tips/advice/support
    this topic has been eating at me for a week now but at least I am taking steps to help resolve things and get answers.
    I spoke with a union rep today and was told to write a letter to Human Resources just stating my situation, and that I have offered to compromise (which I have, I Did say that I would pick up fridays, and some saturdays and sundays- just not always sat and sunday in that order) and the response was that I need to fill the unit needs since they are "facilitating" my going back to school.... I dont see how anything is being facilitated but maybe clarity on that subject will come later.
    I have a few options, I Might ask about a transfer if I sense that I'm not being supported, our hospital has great resource pool of RN's that float to other units, you can be full time on the pool and have a little more flexibility with your shifts, I could also always go the agency route or whatever, But I do enjoy where I am and I just feel sad that something I am finding very important and positive about is not being supported by some.
    and part timers in my opinion also should fill the blanks with regards to remaining shifts. But our unit is a freak of nature to say the least. the part timers submit their availability and are placed on the schedule before the full timers, and then they try to fill in the blanks with whomever they can, be it part timers, full timers, pool nurses etc. out of our probably 30 part timers only 2 of them ever do night shifts, and rarely at that, so my unit administrator said she expected me to do mainly nights, which I have no problem with, but I still find it wrong to put me on every weekend because no one else wants to work the weekend and I get to be off every thursday....I GET to be off, like I'm gonna sit outside n catch sun everyday or something! ha
    well I will keep you all posted , and once again thanks for your input!
  13. by   Aussienurse2
    you could always tell them that when you come back you'll be qualified to do their job
  14. by   oramar
    Wendee, if you go float pool or agency you will back at you desk doing what you usually do most of the time I bet. I have had freinds for which it turned out that way.

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