Nurses who graduated around The Great Recession (2007–2012) or afterwards are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression
, and are still suffering from the effects of it.
Every time I log into AllNurses.com there's always a new post by a user asking for advice on how to cope with the realities of what it means to be nurse, and/or how escape the profession completely. And you know what? I get it! I just had higher hopes, I didn't think I would see things deteriorate this fast in my short 10+ year nursing career. The reality is that the epidemic of poor staffing and doing more with less exists not only in the big, shiny mega acute care hospitals but in the smaller clinics in the private sector as well (where many of us hoped to find refuge). This problem has an impact on everyone in health care, but I am sad to see it happening to what was once regarded a noble profession by the majority reduced to something akin a novelty item.
We have an interesting dilemma in Ontario, Canada right now. As of January 01, 2018 all general minimum wage workers are entitled to $14 per hour (this is up from the previous rate of $11.60); and, these types of jobs don't require formal education or training. I think it's great and about time that minimum wage got a boost, but I wonder why are nurse still being given the shaft?! Meanwhile, a nurse's wage in Canada has remained stagnant for as long as I've been a nurse (i.e. in the high $20s-range for the public sector, and just under $20s-range for private). I understand the capitalistic nature of corporations/business alike to pay the bare minimum to keep operational costs low and increase yielding big profits... but, to try and bargain basement value a profession where people are literally trained to saves lives and keep people alive just seems asinine. A good example: I used to work in a private facility that performed reconstructive/revision surgery on individuals who foolishly sought out bargain basement elective cosmetic procedures (ex. in unregulated clinics in Guatemala). These patients would arrive at our facility disfigured, sometimes with infections and other complications and full of remorse for treating their body to the care of someone who could offer them a good deal. Healthcare is not like retail... you can't just make a return or exchange when you life is at stake. There's a reason certain things should cost more! The price of a healthcare provider should reflect their years of experiences, training, regulation, continuing education, record of safety, etc... so, I am baffled when I still see ads for nursing jobs
for wages as low as "$18.00 /hour". The majority of all other positions offered are casual with no benefits
How is everyone else fairing in the current job market?