My job and my pension going down the drain

  1. I am so disappointed and frustrated. I am a certified gastroenterology RN who works in the endo lab of a large hospital. We have a 4 year old state of the art facility that was built to our doc's specifications. I love my job. I thought I'd found the specialty and the job that I would stay in until I retire.

    Now it seems that the GI physicians group that brings in most of our business is going to open their own free-standing endo clinic. The hospital is in 50% partnership with them which means they'll put up a great deal of the funding and the group won't have to obtain a certificate of need from the state because they'll be affiliated with the hospital. We were told that 80% of our business will go to the new clinic. We were also told that they would obviously be looking to our staff to hire on at their clinic, that the hospital endo staff would be cut drastically and those cuts would be made according to hospital seniority. Endo seniority and GI certification would not enter into the mix. The nurses at the clinic would be employees of the physicians group, not the hospital. So if we go there we lose our hospital seniority and start from scratch on our pension. It takes 5 years to be vested. I'm 49 years old...I really don't have time to start all over with my pension plan. We were told that we would be given the option of "bumping" within our cluster. I fall right in the middle of the seniority list.

    I havn't worked the floor for over 5 years. I love what I do. I can sit on my butt and wait for the next year and see what comes out in the wash, or I can look for a new job and start all over getting vested into another facility's retirement plan. I'm just sick about this. I feel like the hospital has sold us out. If I stick it out and am able to retain my position in endo I'll be working tons of call. If I move on to the doc's clinic I am afraid I'll be working in an assembly line atmosphere for less money and starting over from scratch.

    THIS REALLY STINKS!

    Thanks for letting me vent. I guess I'll just have to take the attitude that whatever happens is what's meant to be.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Anaclaire
    Your situation reminds me of the saying, "When a door shuts, God opens a window." I sure hope there is a wonderful breeze blowing through your window soon!

    I have no advice, only empathy for you. I do wish for you a "sign" that is unmistakable for what you should do. I also wish you peace with whatever decision you make.

    Vent here anytime!
  4. by   maizey
    I like the saying "If God brings you to it, He will see you through it". Life in general is not fair. I'm sorry this is happening to you. Hope everything works out. There are jobs out there that vest you in retirement from the first day. Maybe you will find something like that. The place I just left after 15 years, I had to wait 3 years for retirement, the new job started on day one. Good luck.
  5. by   P_RN
    One thought: Could you stay on at the hospital in a PRN or part-time slot? Would that keep you in the seniority system? It did where I was.
  6. by   GPatty
    I wish I knew what to say...some advice to offer...but I have none...
    just prayers coming your way...
    God still answers when we call...

    Best of Luck!
    Julie
  7. by   Mkue
    originally posted by julielpn
    i wish i knew what to say...some advice to offer...but i have none...
    just prayers coming your way...
    god still answers when we call...

    best of luck!
    julie
    ditto to what julie said !!! best wishes

    julie.. cool pin !!
  8. by   Love-A-Nurse
    i just wanted to wish you all the best. (((((hugs)))))
  9. by   donmurray
    I wish you well in your future. These changes are all about Mammon, and hard, cold cash.
  10. by   Starkid2616
    Dear Patsue, I sympathizw with you and your situation. I was in the same boat, only the hospital i was at was phasing out LPNs and my position. I also had 9 yrs vested, but had to go elsewhere. Now i'm in control of MY OWN DESTINY.
    If you want ot know how email me privately at smallconcepts at cs dot com
    until then take care, keep your chin up
    there is an anwser.
  11. by   tiger
    sorry about your situation patsue. i'm in a kinda similar situation. don't know if it will happen yet. good luck in whatever you decide.
  12. by   nell
    Originally posted by P_RN
    One thought: Could you stay on at the hospital in a PRN or part-time slot? Would that keep you in the seniority system? It did where I was.
    P_RN: Great idea - there are some possibilities with this angle.
  13. by   flowerchild
    patsue53,
    I'm sorry too that you are in this situation. I have been in situations that were similar. Closed my area and lay offs. Turned out for the better, though I didn't realize that when it was happening.
    As I read your post I was seeing alot of positive angles and thought of ideas on how to deal with it. Can't help it, I love to make lemonaide when life hands me lemons.
    Here goes:

    You are a certified gastroenterology RN!!! This gives you bargaining power imo. You have certification!!! Those docs are going to want you! Especially if you already have a good relationship with those docs. If you like working with them and it seems you do since you already work with them.....no fear of not knowing who you'll be working for!

    The retirement fund: Can you roll it over into the new plan? Can you negotiate to have any of the hospitals portion of your money rolled into it too? Or how about a cash payout on that money and then put it into bonds?

    Working in that clinic might be better than you think! Great hours and you'll be working with people you already work with! Docs in that setting reley on the nurses very heavily and I've seen nurses do very well, monetarily, the docs might just treat you better than you have ever been treated before! Demand better PTO, vacation time, retirement bene's, etc. Or at least comparable. Here's your chance to negotiate and bargain for the pay and everything else you want. Go get it!!!

    I doubt the clinic will have you feeling like you are on an assembly line. Have you ever worked in a clinic before? You are already specialized, so you know what it's like to work in an environment that is perhaps not as varied as others. Clinics can be wonderful environments to work in! Sure, you'll have specific responsabilities, but to me, that is a plus....to know what is expected of you.

    Your right to worry about your age and working in the hospital on the floors. Could you do it till you retire? I know I can't. Here is your opportunity to continue to know that you'll have a job that you can work for until the day comes where you can hang your nursing cap, once and for all, and bask in your retirement.

    Lastly, the hospital, if you feel that they are selling you out, why do you still want to work for them??? Up theres! Geesh, they are going to loose you! Isn't there a shortage of hospital nurses? Secretly, maybe they don't really want you to go at all but have an agreement with the docs to supply those GI nurses to the clinic. I'd bet they do. Is there an undertone of this happening? Are the supers asking you to stay with them? Are any of your bosses painting this as a bad picture if you went to the clinic? Just curious cause if they are, they don't really want you to go to the clinic.

    This could be youir opportunity of a life time! Life is what you make it! I vote for you embracing this new opportunity and go have some fun working for the docs at the clinic!

    Good Luck!
  14. by   patsue53
    Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragment and support. You're all great!

    Thanks too for the ideas. My hospital no longer allows PRN employees to maintain their seniority....that was done away with a few years back, but I could possibly maintain a part-time position in the endo lab.

    Flowerchild, you gave me alot to think about. My concerns about working in an assembly line environment stem from knowing the docs that I'll be working for. They complain if they see a couple of nurses sitting at the nurses' station during a lull in the activity and it's only through our manager's sticking up for us that keeps them from running the show at the hospital. They can be very difficult, moody, and sometimes downright nasty. But on a good day they can be fun to work with. They're all good physicians and know their stuff, but it worries me to have them in charge of my paycheck. But then again isn't it always that way? I guess we always have to take the bad with the good. I guess I need to reevaluate how I'd feel about working for them. Some of the more specialized skills that I've attained will stay with the hospital because they have the equipment and it's sad to think I'll be giving up those procedures.

    I heard today that their retirement plan is actually better than the hospital's. I don't know if there's a waiting period before being vested. I guess I assumed everyone had the 5 year rule. It's good to hear that that's a negotiable issue. Ironically, I just recently signed up for the matched savings investment plan so there won't be much to roll over. It was the hospital provided pension plan that I was concerned with.

    Working on the floor until I retire? AYIYIYIYIYIYI!!! My feet hurt just thinking about it.

    Thanks for giving me a different point of view on this issue. I guess it doesn't look as bad as I'd painted it in my mind.

    (((((Big Hugs)))) to all of you.

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