It's a nurse's market

  1. Here's what I don't understand...Every hospital in this country is short staffed and BEGGING for nurses to come and work at their facility. Yet, we are working in the worst possible conditions nurses have ever seen. The pay sucks!!! You would think that it was the only job we could ever get with the way we are paid. I went looking for jobs in my area, and all the other hospitals pay 5-6 bucks an hour more than the one I work at (CHW and non-union). Why are we putting up with this? It is our market and we should be making demands.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   bestblondRN
    I would agree with you about it being a nurses' market right now, and I certainly agree that we are worth more than we are paid for. Has anyone out there ever tried being an independent contractor? One of the things I see as a problem is that we are chronically stuck with the belief that we have to work FOR an organization or someone else. That alone limits the ability to command the salary and benefits we are entitled to--independent contracting seems to be an alternative that few nurses have really explored. I would be curious to hear how others have done it and what their experiences have been.
  4. by   susanmary
    Are hospitals aware that it is a NURSE'S MARKET -- it seems as if it is a HOSPITAL'S MARKET. I work on a specialized surgical telemetry unit -- charge nurse (no extra pay), preceptor (no extra pay), full patient assignment 1:6 D/E, BSN (just graduated last week after going part time for years! -- no differentials for BSN). My facility is offering bonuses if we refer an RN, yet we are offered no perks to stay. We've just reorganized -- which pretty much means more work for us. Without sounding too much like a martyr -- I come in early, rarely take a break/lunch, and always stay late to finish paperwork. The funny thing is -- I'm organized -- just trying to do 10 hours of work in an 8-hour shift. What IS keeping me at my facility is the extraordinary and kind staff -- although it seems as there has been an exodus off all med-surg floors (including mine) at my facility -- going to ICU or leaving altogether. I just finished my BSN, and am wondering what my next career step should be -- I'm burning out & there seems to be more and more asked of us on a daily basis. Do I love being a nurse: YES. Am I happy when I leave work: NO -- I feel as if there is so much more that I wanted to do for my patients. Yes, there is a nursing shortage (hospitals know why but don't admit it) -- we need better benefits, improved work environments. I just don't know what to do next.
  5. by   PPL
    Hey everyone, have you been receiving phone calls, emails and mailings from recruiters? This has been happening to me, and I wonder how much of this is going on. I'm afraid to answer my door, they might try to DRAG me to a job! By golly; I won't go without a fight!
  6. by   nursedude
    Want a raise?

    Try the two most powerful words that hospitals hate to hear (but won't admit):

    "I quit."

    Then go accross town and get yourself a job at a competing hospital...
  7. by   aussie_RN
    Originally posted by susanmary:
    Are hospitals aware that it is a NURSE'S MARKET -- it seems as if it is a HOSPITAL'S MARKET. I work on a specialized surgical telemetry unit -- charge nurse (no extra pay), preceptor (no extra pay), full patient assignment 1:6 D/E, BSN (just graduated last week after going part time for years! -- no differentials for BSN). My facility is offering bonuses if we refer an RN, yet we are offered no perks to stay. We've just reorganized -- which pretty much means more work for us. Without sounding too much like a martyr -- I come in early, rarely take a break/lunch, and always stay late to finish paperwork. The funny thing is -- I'm organized -- just trying to do 10 hours of work in an 8-hour shift. What IS keeping me at my facility is the extraordinary and kind staff -- although it seems as there has been an exodus off all med-surg floors (including mine) at my facility -- going to ICU or leaving altogether. I just finished my BSN, and am wondering what my next career step should be -- I'm burning out & there seems to be more and more asked of us on a daily basis. Do I love being a nurse: YES. Am I happy when I leave work: NO -- I feel as if there is so much more that I wanted to do for my patients. Yes, there is a nursing shortage (hospitals know why but don't admit it) -- we need better benefits, improved work environments. I just don't know what to do next.
    That's easy - DON'T come in early, DON'T stay back late, DO take breaks you are entitled to, and DO document your actual working hours if you do overtime. We all stay late occasionally, but if it is your regular custom, hospital management will never realise how many extra hours you are putting in. This cycle only continues because of our "guilt" complex and "martyr" mindset. If you only work the hours you are rostered and paid for, it won't take long for someone to ask why things aren't getting done on time - then you have the power to say that you can only do so much in 8 hrs, and need more staff/equipment/resources in order to get it all done. ASK what your employers can offer as incentive to stay - it is not fair if only new staff get a bonus - maybe an allowance for extra credentials like yours? I know it is harder than it sounds, but too often we don't ask for what we need/want, so we don't get it. Communicate your frustrations to higher management. Good luck.


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    "Do the best you can, with what you have"
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  8. by   nursesrthebest
    Originally posted by goldilocksrn:
    Here's what I don't understand...Every hospital in this country is short staffed and BEGGING for nurses to come and work at their facility. Yet, we are working in the worst possible conditions nurses have ever seen. The pay sucks!!! You would think that it was the only job we could ever get with the way we are paid. I went looking for jobs in my area, and all the other hospitals pay 5-6 bucks an hour more than the one I work at (CHW and non-union). Why are we putting up with this? It is our market and we should be making demands.
    You know what I don't understand? Since there is a nursing shortage- why not increase the nurses pay, better benefits, and most of all respect- then maybe the nurses will stay, and NO MORE MANDATORY OVERTIME!!! This would save money than having to pay overtime, and the nurses will not be burned out.
  9. by   lsmo
    Originally posted by bestblondRN:
    I would agree with you about it being a nurses' market right now, and I certainly agree that we are worth more than we are paid for. Has anyone out there ever tried being an independent contractor? One of the things I see as a problem is that we are chronically stuck with the belief that we have to work FOR an organization or someone else. That alone limits the ability to command the salary and benefits we are entitled to--independent contracting seems to be an alternative that few nurses have really explored. I would be curious to hear how others have done it and what their experiences have been.
    I absolutely agree with you. I would also like to hear from nurses who have made inroads in this area of independent contracting. It is absolutely crucial to begin operating in this mindset in order to command the benefits and pay and perks we require for a decent quality of life.



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    L.Smo RN
  10. by   PPL
    Has anyone heard of Croden Medical Staffing, and how are they to work for?
  11. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by lsmo:

    Colleagues: It truly is a nurses' market at this time in our history. Though we have had many cycles of shortage/surplus in the past, we are now in an opportunity phase of our professional development. Never have we experienced such a high demand for our services! We have a window of opportunity to capitalize on this increased demand for professional nursing care. Further, never in our history have we had so many options to pursue under the rubric of "nursing". Look beyond the walls of the hospital where you work. There are tons of options for you.

    If you feel like you are "stuck" then you will be. For well over 25 years I have waited for the current healthcare economic situation to occur so I could become an independent nurse. I and 24 colleagues have our own professional practice group and we control our own futures now. We have never been more satisfied with nursing and our careers because we drive the ship. We have used what we know, learned new types of skills and have diversified our efforts to complement the uniqueness in each of us. Yes, most of us perform bedside care, but all of us are moving into new, challenging and exciting areas.

    I read with interest on these boards the amount of frustration that many nurses have with their situations. I, too, was very frustrated for many years. Sometimes more angry than frustrated. But, I realized that I had choices, even if those choices did not materially manifest themselves immediately. I could leverage my intelligence, creativity and passion to help the choices emerge. You can too! For example, I have never taken a position in any area of nursing that I did not negotiate my wage/salary if i felt it was inappropriate for the position. I have never accepted first offer. Now my colleagues and I are in the position to offer our services for a fair price and let others negotiate with us. I long ago ceased feeling guilty about making money. Nurses are economic beings just like every other person in our great country. Altruism, charity and self-giving are great attributes for nurses, but we must understand that if we do not take care of ourselves financially, we can not take care of others. We will utimately run afoul of dissatisfaction and burnout because we toil far too hard for so little.

    I hope this makes some sense to you. I have never doubted that my decision to become a nurse was the best decision I have ever made. I devote my efforts in my career now to helping others find the choices that are available in and out of nursing and champion them as they move toward those goals. Email me if you wish to establish a dialogue.

    Best regards for a Happy and Prosperous Life
  12. by   RNSue
    Charles Smith, RN MS Please e-mail me at dainey@techcom.net I would like to know more about what you do. Thanks
  13. by   Hearts
    I'm a new nurse, barely 4 months old to the profession. I started on a busy 36 bed tele floor, and feel as though I have been thrown to the wolves! I am so tired when I come home at night that I just fall asleep. Someone might show you something once and that's it. Been pretty much on my own, and am very disapointed in my new job so far, as I had hoped to have a mentor. We do team nursing, and the team leaders sit on their butts all day at the nurses station, taking off orders, and the rest of us on the team do the bedside care, and pass meds. We are all RN's and have no CNA's. I do not feel at this point that I am learning how to become an efficent well rounded RN, because if something comes up, it is reported to a teamleader, who then will either call the Dr, or handle it, or tell you to call the dr, or whatever. Shouldn't I be learning to talk to the DR, when to call and what to call for, as well as dealing with the other members of the health care team?? I just feel like a laborer at this point. Advise would be greatly appreicated. Thanks.
  14. by   goldilocksrn
    If the solution to our dilemma was an easy one, then there would be no dilemma. I think we as nurses need to start empowering ourselves and the nurses we work with. We need to be confident that our services are much sought after, and the facilities we work for are lucky to have us. We need to be more bold and stand up for ourselves, write in all of the missed breaks and overtime on our timecards, letting administration know when we are exploring our career options. If they know enough people are unhappy, then maybe they might do something to make a change.

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