Does anyone have any idea why the average RN salary in Montana, particularly in Kalispell, is so poor? That hospital keeps expanding, but can't pay nurses a decent wage or give annual raises that are anywhere near keeping up with inflation.
I wonder how it is possible that there is not a stronger nurses union presence in Montana with the way these hospitals compensate and treat nurses.
I have been an RN for 20 yrs now. For the entire time I think that we (nurses) are just a number. Management takes the attitude that we can get someone else to take your place. Where I work, if you are not part of the management team, you don't mean too much. It's all about the dollar. Take care of the management, but the people that put there hands on the patients (take care of them)are just workers and can be replaced easily if they don't conform to the wishes of the leaders. I work in a small rural hospital where I make rounded off - $30 an hr. We are union here and management will still push things when it comes to pay. Morale is at rock bottom and we have quite a few agency now and management will pay agency instead of staff for say - work extra shifts. Cheaper in the long run for them , but it kills incentive to help (morale) on top of all the politics. Cost of living has gone up considerably here in the past 2-3 yrs also. Nurses for the most part do not stick together as a whole. If we could stick together (100%) then maybe we could change things in nursing that need changing. But, there is always someone in the bunch that is out for right now or themselves in general and defeat the whole purpose of sticking together. For me, if I could find another job where I could make close to what I make now, I would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, nursing for me has simply turned into paying the bills and getting my daughter through high school/college. Part of this attitude may stem from just working where I work which is why when my daughter graduates from HS - I am out of here. Going to go try Arizona or New Mexico just for the change. Pay sucks everywhere for nurses and I don't think things will change unless WE as a whole learn to stick together. If I had only gone to work for GM (haha).
Last edit by nord11 on Dec 9, '08