Lowering Nursing Salaries - page 14

Have any of you got news of them lowering salaries due to the shortage? There had been talk of the new hires salaries being lowered.... Read More

  1. by   KyPinkRN
    Quote from lindarn
    I will again repeat my mantra: hospitals, and the "powers that be", do not want to recruit and retain more nurses. They want nurse to go the way of elevator operators, and just go away. Or have enought of them leave so that they can petition Congress to allow more foreign nurses, and pressure the State Boards of Nursing to allow more de-skilling of the profession.

    The writing is on the wall. If there was really a shortage of nurses, there would have been an overall massive increase in our pay and benefits. In fact, as evidenced above, and in the thread concerning the lying about the nurses shortages in the NHI in England, there is a movement to turn new grads away, and they are hiring foreign nurses at the lowest level they can in terms of pay. That, to some extent, is happening here.

    It is not in the best interests of the insurance companies, hospitals, and the Hospital Associations, to encourage nurses to stay. It is much more in their best interests to keep nursing a "revolving door" profession. And we allow it to go on, by not sticking together, not unionizing, (which allows for a united and powerful voice to face administration), and makes our voices heard.

    I will also again say, that nursing is the lowest educated member of the health care team. It is reflected in ojr paym benifits, and lack of respect. There is minimal reward in bedside nursing to earn a BSN, and that is exactly what the hospitals want. We are playing right into their hands, in not demanding that the entry into practice be a BSN, and rewarding the nurse how have BSNs with higher pay. If there were rewards for education, more nurses would earn a BSN at the outset, and more BSNs would go back to earn it. We gain nothing by continuing a spintered entry into practice. And continue with "tiered" level of education. I will again say, that the time of the LPN/LVN has come and gone, and needs to be eliminated.

    Yes, hospitals and nursing homes can have an all RN staff, with reasonable ratios. RNs can and should be hired to replace ALL OF THE POSITIONS THAT WERE HELD MY LPN/LVNS, in hospitals where they have eliminated LPN/LVNs. Nurses need to come together and demand it, as the California nurses have done. They accomplished it, and it works. If it doesn't and the hospitals are not complying, or eliminating support staff, where is the voice of the nurses who are working there? Where is your backbone? Why do you put up this? You have the ratio law on your side.

    Nursing will be a thing of the past if the hospitals, and the hospital associations, have their way. Militancy needs to be taught in nursing schools, as well as assertivness skills. Assertive nurses are being selectively screened out of nursing, and "weeded out", as the more assertive, and outspoken nurses leave in disgust, to work in more satisfying careers, out of bedside nursing. Nurses need to be taught how to go to the public, and the media, and present the case for better staffing, patient ratios, how our presence at the bedside is important for patient safety and satisfaction.

    Just recently there were commercials on TV for the Air Traffic Controllers. In the past decade, the numbers of Air Traffic Controllers have been cut. The commercial shows a man, who is supposerd to be an Air Traffic Controller, jugging air small air planes, obviously, props. But the message was clear- not enough Air Traffic Controllers, can lead to disasters. More recently, there is a commercial about Pharmacists. How the pharmacists, assist patients with their medications, and how their job enhances patient safety, why the public needs pharmacist, etc. Why do I never see commercials concerning a nurses place at the bedside, and how we enhances patient safety and good outcomes? All I see are the commercials from Johnson and Johnson, with their "feel good", nancy nurse, image. While it is a start, it falls short of what is needed.

    Nurses need to go out to the public, push for "whistleblower protection", learn to watch their backs while at work, and be more proactive, in their practice. Write abusive doctors up, send it up the chain, send it to the State Medical Board, keep a copy for yourself. Start a "paper trail", against nurse managers, abusive physicians, and poor, unsafe, hospital policies and staffing. If you are caught in a situation with retaliatory discharge, you have your "evidence", as such, to prove you case. It is essential that nurses not be intimidated into not protesting staffing issues, etc. If a situation blows up, poor staffing will not protect you in a lawsuit, unless you "punted the problem", up the chain of command, to someone with more authority than you to take the heat. Document poor staffing situations, etc, and take the heat off of your self.

    Remember, poor staffing, low salaries, and benefits, are the primary reason that new nurse run for the hills after graduation. It contributes the the overall number of nurses who are leaving bedside nursing. Foreign nurses brought in, do depress wages for ALL NURSES. I am not slamming foreign nurses, and yes, after they have been here awhile, and learn the ropes, their salaries equal the US nurses. The initial effect is the lowering of salaries and beneifts and fueling the exodus of American Nurses. Ask the computer programs who lost their jobs to foreign workers, and other occupations where large numbers of foreign workers have been brought in because of an alleged "shortage" of qualified workers.

    Nurses here are a dime a dozen. Just look at the total number of nurses here in the US. Hospitals only have to wait for the next group of suckers to graduate from "ABC Community College". There is no incentive to retain the experienced nurses. And the public is suffering from having "amatuer nurses" providing for their care. Nurses who have no been properly oriented, and just thrown to the wolves, in a "sink or swim" environment. And too many of them are sinking.

    And the overall effect is the depression of salaries, and benefits for nurses. If the had to wait four years for a nurse to graduate, we wouldbe more valued, there would be a far higher emphasis on retention, higer salaries, benefits, etc, and more unity, when nurses have been classmates for four years, not two. As it stands now, there is no incentive for hospitals to focus on retention. "Revolving door" employment is what is most advantageous for hospitals.

    Please spare me the sob stories about the nurses who wouldn't have been able to become nurses if they had to go to school for four years. And yes, you did take the easy way out. Other professions have gone to Doctorates as entry into practice, and they have record numbers of applicants, who manage to find the time, and money, to attain their degrees. The individuals who have the lower degrees, and are grandfathered in, and given a certain amount of time to complete the higher requirements.They manage to accomplish it without the complaining and excuses that nurses give when presented with the same task. I think that it says alot about nurses, and the predictment they are in, in terms of shrinking pay, benfits, and prestige. These other health care professionals are leaving nurses in their dust in terms of pay, benefits, respect, and prestige. They put nurses to shame. For those of you who maintain that it would have been impossible, so be it, find another career that you can attain in one or two years. You are dragging the profession down. JMHO again.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    First of all, for many of us who are on our second career choice our financial situation and obligations at home prohibit us from being full time students for 4 years. It is difficult enough to make it on one salary for 2 years. Second, the most important learning that is done in nursing is not in the classroom, but in the patient setting. You can sit at lecture after lecture and review as many concepts as you want to but until you learn how to apply it, what you learn means very little. I have been in healthcare as an EMT for 7 years and I am currently a nursing student... there is most definitly a shortage of nurses. What there is not is a shortage of people like you who think they can solve all the problems in nursing just by writing your opinion in a forum. As for people needing to be militant... how about doing our job to the best of our ability and remembering why we are really in nursing. TO TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS! Too many of us are too worried about all the politics and what is going to happen several years away. Worry about the here and now and take care of your patients...a good nurse who provide top notch care is worth more by far than one who is so concerned about changing policy and practices. If you are that disgruntled with your choosen profession you should do something else...and don't cause more trouble for the people who really want to be nurses.

    O.K. I'm done now...
  2. by   lindarn
    Quote from JennyLR
    First of all, for many of us who are on our second career choice our financial situation and obligations at home prohibit us from being full time students for 4 years. It is difficult enough to make it on one salary for 2 years. Second, the most important learning that is done in nursing is not in the classroom, but in the patient setting. You can sit at lecture after lecture and review as many concepts as you want to but until you learn how to apply it, what you learn means very little. I have been in healthcare as an EMT for 7 years and I am currently a nursing student... there is most definitly a shortage of nurses. What there is not is a shortage of people like you who think they can solve all the problems in nursing just by writing your opinion in a forum. As for people needing to be militant... how about doing our job to the best of our ability and remembering why we are really in nursing. TO TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS! Too many of us are too worried about all the politics and what is going to happen several years away. Worry about the here and now and take care of your patients...a good nurse who provide top notch care is worth more by far than one who is so concerned about changing policy and practices. If you are that disgruntled with your choosen profession you should do something else...and don't cause more trouble for the people who really want to be nurses.

    O.K. I'm done now...

    I DID leave and do something else, as have thousands of other nurses. I was so disgusted with attempting to be a good critical care staff nurse, trying to take care of patients with less resources, more responsibilty, and ending up being the "hospital whipping boy", for their negligent staffing and employment practices (that I had no control over), that I finally left bedside nursing, (and also got tired of being paid HS drop out wages for my education, experience and expertise), that I now exclusively do legal nurse consulting. I charge a three figure salary that rewards my education, 30 years of experience, and expertise, something that I am unable to find as a staff nurse.

    It is YOU who don't get it. I would like to see where you are in ten years. I hope that you are not taking responsiblity for the legions of unlicensed personnel, and medication aides, who the hospitals and nursing homes are trying their best to replace us with.

    There is no nursing shortage. There are 500, 000 nurses, who, like myself, have left the profession, or at least bedside nursing. We left because of unsafe staffing, low pay, no respect, the list goes on. The solution is not to continue the revolving door of the nursing profession by adding more and more nursing students to the nursing pool with no effort to retain the ones who are already here. As it is, the ones coming out of school are being thrown to the wolves, and left to sink or swim. There are fewer and fewer experienced nurses to mentor and assist the new grads, and this has caused a high rate of burnout amng new grads. Just look through the threads on this listserve, and you will find a plethora of threads on the subject.

    I suggest that you re- evaluate your comments after you have been a nurse for a couple of years. I hope that you don't end up as one of those new grads who are so burned out, disgusted and disillusioned after 2- 3 years, that they also leave the profession entirely. The fact is that male nurses leave the profession within 4 years, and female nurses, within 5-6.

    There is no effort to retain nurses because the hospitals know that every six months a new group of suckers (new grads), will graduate from, "ABC Commmunity College". Whereas, for pharmacists, and physical therapists, they have to wait 8years for them to complete their doctorate program. Here in Washington State, a hospital in Yakima if offering **$20, 000 sign on bonuses for physical therapists. The ad is in this Sunday's Spokesman Review paper. How much of a sign on bonus are you expecting from a hospital as a new grad? I rest my case.

    I am sorry that you are a secong career individual, and do not want to go back to school for four more years. Believe it or not, law school is a very common second career choice for people in many different professions (including nurses). I don't think that the State Bar Association would allow you to take the bar exam with only a two year paralegal degree, just because you don't want to go back to law school for a three year law degree.

    I will be interested in hearing you opinions in a couple of years, post graduation. By the way, I was originally a diploma grad (1975). I went back to school to get my BSN within 4 years of graduation. It didn't take me long to figure out who was at the bottom of the food chain in the hospital. It was the nurses with their diplomas, not the therapists, who at the time had a Bachelor's Degree as entry into practice. It wasn't the nutritionists, the social workers, etc., who all had four year college degrees.

    You are essentially, on the out side, looking in. Talk to me in a few years.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  3. by   KyPinkRN
    Quote from kadokin
    If they can't safely staff, they shouldn't BE OPEN. This is a natural consequence of the lasseiz-faire (sp?) philosophy of economics. If you can't compete in the marketplace, you go under. Right? Corporate welfare, anyone?
    lasseiz-faire is french...it means literally "leave it alone" hence if we ignore there is a problem maybe it will just go away
  4. by   grace90
    Quote from JennyLR
    First of all, for many of us who are on our second career choice our financial situation and obligations at home prohibit us from being full time students for 4 years. It is difficult enough to make it on one salary for 2 years. Second, the most important learning that is done in nursing is not in the classroom, but in the patient setting. You can sit at lecture after lecture and review as many concepts as you want to but until you learn how to apply it, what you learn means very little. I have been in healthcare as an EMT for 7 years and I am currently a nursing student... there is most definitly a shortage of nurses. What there is not is a shortage of people like you who think they can solve all the problems in nursing just by writing your opinion in a forum. As for people needing to be militant... how about doing our job to the best of our ability and remembering why we are really in nursing. TO TAKE CARE OF PATIENTS! Too many of us are too worried about all the politics and what is going to happen several years away. Worry about the here and now and take care of your patients...a good nurse who provide top notch care is worth more by far than one who is so concerned about changing policy and practices. If you are that disgruntled with your choosen profession you should do something else...and don't cause more trouble for the people who really want to be nurses.

    O.K. I'm done now...
    :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :flowersfo :flowersfo :redlight: Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Some people just don't get it!
  5. by   KyPinkRN
    Lindarn,

    You obviously are a very closed-minded individual if you think that just because you think something it is right. I have been in healthcare for 7 years. That is why I CHOSE to become an RN. I love taking care of people... maybe you didn't. Instead of seeking recognition for all you say you have accomplished you should ask yourself why you became a nurse in the first place. Any other reason than taking care of patients is the wrong reason... if I wanted to make a great deal of money I would do something else. HS dropout wages really? My guess is that unless you are a HS dropout you will never really know how much money they do or do not make. IMO you think you're the be all end all because you went to school for two years longer than someone else.

    If the 500,000 people you say are RN's that don't practice are any thing like you...patients are better off. You fix the things you can and deal with the things you can't and above all be an advocate for your patient...

    In ten years, I know that I will be happy in my career because I'll know that it is what I CHOSE to do...I didn't begin this journey thinking there wouldn't be adversity...I expect it and will perservere
  6. by   nursemelani
    Quote from JennyLR
    Lindarn,

    You obviously are a very closed-minded individual if you think that just because you think something it is right. I have been in healthcare for 7 years. That is why I CHOSE to become an RN. I love taking care of people... maybe you didn't. Instead of seeking recognition for all you say you have accomplished you should ask yourself why you became a nurse in the first place. Any other reason than taking care of patients is the wrong reason... if I wanted to make a great deal of money I would do something else. HS dropout wages really? My guess is that unless you are a HS dropout you will never really know how much money they do or do not make. IMO you think you're the be all end all because you went to school for two years longer than someone else.

    If the 500,000 people you say are RN's that don't practice are any thing like you...patients are better off. You fix the things you can and deal with the things you can't and above all be an advocate for your patient...

    In ten years, I know that I will be happy in my career because I'll know that it is what I CHOSE to do...I didn't begin this journey thinking there wouldn't be adversity...I expect it and will perservere
    Wow, this is getting heated. I think that certainly we should have a passion for taking care of people to go into this profession, but it is not an easy job, and we deserve to be adequately compensated. Here in CA, most hospital nurses are unionized, and they make a very good living. However, some nurses from other states have posted that they make 15 dollars an hour, as an RN ! That is not an adequate wage for the level of responsibility that an RN has.
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from nursemelani
    However, some nurses from other states have posted that they make 15 dollars an hour, as an RN ! That is not an adequate wage for the level of responsibility that an RN has.
    Something I think that is often left out of the "wage" comparison is the cost of living....I moved from So. CA 13 years ago to the midwest. I left a $140,000 house in the Inland Empire. I understand that the same 1500 sq. foot house is now worth as much as $350,000 - 500,000. That's absolutely ridiculous! And one of the reasons we left was the heavy gang infiltration in the neighborhoods.

    My house in the county of St. Louis which we paid a comparable price for, is probably now worth about $200,000 - 250,000 max. It's in a very lovely area where I have been comfortable with my kids getting off the bus and coming home in relative safety and where I sleep well at nights.

    I'm not even in school yet, but I see these numbers thrown around and think that cost-of-living needs to be taken in to account. While I think the argument might still exist that many areas of the country are underpaid, I don't know how anyone making only $90,000/year in the state of CA can pay rent, never mind afford a home, family and other living expenses!!
  8. by   ADDnurse
    Quote from lindarn
    I DID leave and do something else, as have thousands of other nurses. I was so disgusted with attempting to be a good critical care staff nurse, trying to take care of patients with less resources, more responsibilty, and ending up being the "hospital whipping boy", for their negligent staffing and employment practices (that I had no control over), that I finally left bedside nursing, (and also got tired of being paid HS drop out wages for my education, experience and expertise), that I now exclusively do legal nurse consulting. I charge a three figure salary that rewards my education, 30 years of experience, and expertise, something that I am unable to find as a staff nurse.

    It is YOU who don't get it. I would like to see where you are in ten years. I hope that you are not taking responsiblity for the legions of unlicensed personnel, and medication aides, who the hospitals and nursing homes are trying their best to replace us with.

    There is no nursing shortage. There are 500, 000 nurses, who, like myself, have left the profession, or at least bedside nursing. We left because of unsafe staffing, low pay, no respect, the list goes on. The solution is not to continue the revolving door of the nursing profession by adding more and more nursing students to the nursing pool with no effort to retain the ones who are already here. As it is, the ones coming out of school are being thrown to the wolves, and left to sink or swim. There are fewer and fewer experienced nurses to mentor and assist the new grads, and this has caused a high rate of burnout amng new grads. Just look through the threads on this listserve, and you will find a plethora of threads on the subject.

    I suggest that you re- evaluate your comments after you have been a nurse for a couple of years. I hope that you don't end up as one of those new grads who are so burned out, disgusted and disillusioned after 2- 3 years, that they also leave the profession entirely. The fact is that male nurses leave the profession within 4 years, and female nurses, within 5-6.

    There is no effort to retain nurses because the hospitals know that every six months a new group of suckers (new grads), will graduate from, "ABC Commmunity College". Whereas, for pharmacists, and physical therapists, they have to wait 8years for them to complete their doctorate program. Here in Washington State, a hospital in Yakima if offering **$20, 000 sign on bonuses for physical therapists. The ad is in this Sunday's Spokesman Review paper. How much of a sign on bonus are you expecting from a hospital as a new grad? I rest my case.

    I am sorry that you are a secong career individual, and do not want to go back to school for four more years. Believe it or not, law school is a very common second career choice for people in many different professions (including nurses). I don't think that the State Bar Association would allow you to take the bar exam with only a two year paralegal degree, just because you don't want to go back to law school for a three year law degree.

    I will be interested in hearing you opinions in a couple of years, post graduation. By the way, I was originally a diploma grad (1975). I went back to school to get my BSN within 4 years of graduation. It didn't take me long to figure out who was at the bottom of the food chain in the hospital. It was the nurses with their diplomas, not the therapists, who at the time had a Bachelor's Degree as entry into practice. It wasn't the nutritionists, the social workers, etc., who all had four year college degrees.

    You are essentially, on the out side, looking in. Talk to me in a few years.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    Where did you get your facts regarding burnout rates? Secondly there is a nursing shortage! I agree with you that if conditions and salaries improved then some of those nurses would come back to bedside, this is precisely what happened in Victoria Australia, and in California, when the mandatory staffing levels where introduced but even if all those nurses returned to bedside, which they won't, it would not eradicate the shortage. Finally it is easy for you to comment on other people’s career choices, but your opinion is hardly informed, and is biased as a result of your life experiences. To anyone entering the nursing profession, I say welcome, and would advise you to continue your education, but only when it suites you and your unique set of circumstances. Now for my bias, I think that the criteria for any advancement in nursing should be a BSN, which would solve two present day problems in nursing. We would continue to have a supply of quality RN's, and there would be an incentive to further their education, if and when able to.
    Thanks for your time
    Tony
  9. by   IntegRN
    lowering salaries of nurses! well thats one for the books. whoever advised them about that is really good... "in increasing the shortage of nurses even more".
  10. by   10ACGIRL
    Quote from MTBanRN
    Have any of you got news of them lowering salaries due to the shortage? There had been talk of the new hires salaries being lowered.
    Where did you hear this at and in what state are they doing this?
  11. by   SFCardiacRN
    I love nursing and I love my job. When I see burned out nurses I just have to wonder why they don't change specialties. There are GREAT careers out there but you have to find them.
  12. by   steelcityrn
    First off, nursing salaries will only go one way and that is up. Some interesting points here, I can agree with parts of each of them. Not all will make it in nursing, but before you chit can it, I strongly recommend you venture out of the hospital and spread your wings
  13. by   mysticdancer21
    I looked into it in MA. My credits were "too old" to transfer in many cases, and for the schools they were not, the cost was way too much. I was at MCPHS in the PA program initially. I really just wanted to start working (4 years for for my PA license was way too long). I am going to fast track my MSN though.

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