Salary is always an issue but being overstaffed and underappreciated really cuts into your attitude about being a caregiver. Nurses should be more involved in policies regarding these issues. The people who make decisions (and aren't nurses) have no idea what your job is really about. I believe that is why we have retention problems. It is exhausting to be on the giving end all the time. Even a dog gets a pat on the head sometimes. When I am made to feel appreciated I BLOOM. Even cacti bloom occasionally.
Feb 25, '01
Hi!I am from Moncton,New Brunswick Canada.Ditto with BC RN.The best part is our grads leave for BC for their pay!Until they realize the cost of living in comparison to the pay is the same.Anyways,low staffing and lack of support are two big issues.No one seems accountable for "situations" because management can blame nursing office and vice versa.We are fortunate to be unionized.So,for every incident....short staffing,untrained staff to our area etc a work situation report is filed.You note the shift, time,nursing supervisor aware etc.Then,your manager,your nursing supervisor and ADN must reply in writing directly in relation to the situation.As well,each month our local union reps sit down in a proffesional practice meeting and present them again,ie;peds had 4 c/o's short staffing,L&D had 15 again this month and so on.I got involved and became VP in our local.I resigned after a year because when I tried to specify the c/o's and address the big offenders I was told that's not how it's done!Reading numbers each month with no solutions reached was a tremendous waste of my time.I am disheartened but I still fill out the forms,something is better than nothing!Good luck on your project!
Feb 25, '01
Lack of control over practice environment, to me, is the thorniest problem we nurses face. As the frontline health care providers, we have tremendous responsibility and accountability. However, nurses are often disenfranchized from involvement in vital decisions that dramatically affect the patient care environment in which we practice. Nurses often lack a collective voice and political clout. Even under the most optimal circumstances--adeqate staffing, safe nurse-pt ratios, fair benefits and salary--all of this can change drastically overnight without warning. We are subject to the whims of the marketplace, governmental cutbacks, or the latest "in vogue" cost-cutting schemes. This lack of security and ownership is why nurses seldom stay in the same practice environment for more than 5 years.
Feb 25, '01
Joy, I think you hit the nail on the head. Ditto from Michigan.
Feb 26, '01
As a class project and of interest to my group, we would like to get a discussion going about the working conditions of nurses; not only in other states (we are in California)but also any international nurses.
What are some conditions you are facing and what are some solutions you and/or your facility have come up with to combat those conditions?
Feb 26, '01
Understaffing is the single most difficult situation to deal with because when you can't provide good care you leave work feeling completely demoralized. I moved to a floor that had a lower pt to nurse ratio.
Unfortunately it has been insanely difficult to recruit and retain nurses. I am in BC, Canada and we only graduate about 50% of the nurses that we need each year. The rest have to come from other provinces and other countries. The problem is our wages stink so we lose nurses to the lucrative salaries offered in the States every year. I know you all don't think of your salaries as "lucrative" but here a starting nurse can expect to make 35-40 thousand canadian (about 25 thou USD) so starting at 40 thou USD is lucrative for us. Not to mention the fact that our taxes are twice as high.
Without higher wages we can't recruit enough nurses, without enough nurses we work shortstaffed and can't provide appropriate patient care. We are unionized and our contract negotiations are starting again. The biggest demand is for a salary hike so we can retain our nurses. I believe that is the only solution.
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