Yes, I have worked in hospitals like that, in Oregon, where we started each day at report by being told that we were lucky to have jobs, that there were nurses being laid off all over the country. The least senior people were always getting sent home early, even though supposedly they had been hired for 40 hour workweeks. (Read my letter I wrote in "burn out in the O.R".) to hear more sordid details.) Two solutions: form a union, and make sure that union works for you and earns the dues money you pay them. In California, no one is ever sent home early: CNA would call that "involuntary lay-offs" and absolutely not allow it. Also, you could quit and try registry or a travel assignment. When you do a travel assignment, your hours are guaranteed; most places, if they tell you, "the traveller," to go home early--don't argue--quietly do it--you will get to go home and kick back and still get paid, because your hours are guaranteed. Caution--before you take a travel assignment, go onto a travel nurse bulletin board or chat room site and solicit opinions from thiose people who have been where you might be thinking about going. They can fill you in on their experiences there; at a lot of places, the staff are intimidated by travellers, mostly, I believe, out of jealousy, because they knoew you have to be confident and highly skilled to work as a traveller. Oftentimes you get thrown in with the dooctors that the staff people can't stand to work with. But who cares? It's only temporary, some of the money is tax free, and hey!! you might even like the place enough to keep extending, or even go on staff there. Again, a caveat--some of those places offering huge bonuses, and are CONSTANTLY advertising in the journals such as AORN with big full page ads--there is a reason they need travellers or people to relocate. They are such miserable places to work, and they can't hold onto their own staff, because they treated them so badly.
The place where I used to work is now offering a $6,000 bonus to any RN who will come work in the O.R. there--but no one in town will sign on, since the hospital has gotten such a bad reputation as to the way they treated their own staff (i.e., constantly sending us home early.) It is now a classic example of "what goes around, comes around--" they are forced to run the O.R. MOSTLY with travelers now, as they can't attract new staff. They have gone through several O.R. supervisors as well. Just remember--OR nursing is a highly skilled specialty, and they should be grateful they have us. If you are not treated like a professional in one OR, don't put up with it--because I guarantee there are places that will be thrilled to have a skilled OR nurse join their staff, even temporarily, as registry or as a traveller. Good luck, e-mail me if you want to and I will tell you where to stay away from in Oregon.