Here is a question I would like you all to ponder. Maybe I am just so very jaded after all my years as a nurse, but I think not. (I am more than confident that this group of varied individuals will let me know if I should just be happy and "sho' me the money")
Here is the situation. Our hospital just announced today that they are going to give all nurses an across the board raise of 28% over the next 3 years. Now here is my feelings on this subject. I think this is great news for all those nurses who have worked at the hospital for years and did not receive any raises or a minimal raise for the last 10 years. But I just feel that this is a steri strip on a gaping stage 4 decubitus. (oozing with purulent and foul smelling material of course).
How is this going to help in the long run with the nursing shortage??? We have had one large city hospital close in the last year. The staff was mostly absorbed at RGH and it's subsidiaries. (I hate that health care is now a business) We still have an overall 11% need at any one moment for nurses in our hospital alone. So where are we going to get them from??? We have tapped our area. We are seeing declining enrollment in nursing schools, is 15 scholarships going to solve this problem??? Ok, so if the nurses from the other area hosp. decide to move to RGH, how is this helping our community as a whole when there are only some many nurses to begin with????
Do not get me wrong, I am not bemoaning the raise--it is greatly appreciated and about time. What I am afraid of is this-- how is the public is going to view this. It has been presented in a fashion that makes it look like all nurses are going to be earning 60-70,000/year. (I think not) Now if we as nurses decide to try to unionize or try to get the public to appreciate and support our worth, they are going to say we are ungrateful. The image in this city of nursing is fair at best.
I am so ambivalent about this situation. It is definately a great thing for the staff. It will bring some new blood to the hospital and even to nursing. But--it will not make a difference in the long run. All the nurses who are ready to retire in 10 years or so--are still going to retire. All the young students out there are still going to choose high tech informatics over high stress patient care. I do not want to work with a nurse who went into the field only to earn the "big bucks". I would like a caring individual who sees me for me if I ever become a patient. I would bet that most of you here on this bb went into nursing because you wanted to help others. I know that is why I did. The nursing shortage is not only about our pay---it is about being able to do the things for our patients that we used to or want to do. (like hold the hand of dying patient, or give that back rub)
I am afraid this is going to become an issue of just money. I do not want to see this. I want it to be an issue of quality care. Am I being ungrateful??? My hubby is sitting shaking his head--"I am only getting 3% if I am lucky." etc etc. What do you other nurses think, am I being ungrateful????
ViaHealth Takes Steps To Relieve Nursing Shortage
Rochester, NY - A local health care company believes it has the answer to the nursing shortage in Rochester.
At a press conference on Thursday, ViaHealth officials announced a three-step plan to lure nurses to the Rochester area and keep the nurses we already have.
ViaHealth officials stated that effective immediately, nurses' starting pay will increase by 18 percent; already employed nurses' income will increase by 28 percent. Some RNs could now earn between $60,00 and $70,000 annually. Rochester General Hospital will also offer 15 nursing scholarships.
ViaHealth CEO Sam Huston said, "Rochester is historically a low-pay area. Nurses are paid $5,000 less here than in Cincinatti and $8,000 lower than in Kansas City. So obviously we have some catchup to do here."
The raises and scholarships will come out of the hospital's operational budget.
When asked how ViaHealth could afford the pay increases in light of the recent closure of Genesee Hospital, Houston said the company "couldn't afford not to do it" and that "quality of health care is paramount."
(I just stuck this smilie in cuz it is so cool)