You know, bunky, if I didn't know the state I live in isn't Texas, I'd almost swear we work at the same place. Almost. For years we got measly raises 40-60 cents/hour and we've had people leaving for several years. New hires would stay just long enough to be trained, and then leave for the competition across town. Last year when they gave little raises (the hospital across town always gives one a little bigger), they had a couple of nurses turn in their resignations. They offered these two a larger raise to try to get them to stay, they didn't bite, they left anyway.
But, there is one exception. My employer finally gave the RN's a decent raise. Between charging differential and an increase in my base pay (after 14 years), I got a ~$5 raise this summer (based on experience, certifications, etc). Too bad all the other sh** still happens. They still didn't learn it though, they left EVERYONE else out entirely. So, although the RN's are happier (not happy, but happier), the rest of the staff is pissed, and rightfully so. We just got done with our evaluations this month and I can't wait to see what kind of "bonus" and raise we'll get next month. Although, being down to a one income family, the raise really does help. And, I can take the abuse a little better, with better pay and knowing that no income is an even worse possibility.
Remember, bunky, I said almost. Keep up the good work. I'd tell you to come work with me, we at least get paid a little better. But, not nearly as good as some of the wages I've seen quoted on here.