Jump to content

Convent Nurse needs a raise

Career   (560 Views 9 Comments)

JensConventLife has 6 years experience as a CNA, LVN.

125 Profile Views; 6 Posts

This is LONG but I need guidance! 

I'm an LVN at a retirement convent in Southern California. I care for retired nuns. It's a cool and weird job that I never knew was a thing, but I absolutely love what I do. The only problem is I am extremely underpaid. I knew when I took the job that my pay was low. What I didn't know was the company I work for does not do annual reviews. Meaning there's not an annual pay raise. I started as on-call/part-time in Sep. 2017. I became full-time graveyards in March 2018 and have had zero increase in my pay, even when I switched from days to graves. 

I have never had to ask fro a raise at any job ever before and I'm also the first LVN they've hired. My direct supervisor is an RN and she works days but doesn't do as much hands-on patient care. She schedules their appointments and procedures, keeps up with their daily vitals and monitors their nutrition and double checks my work on their medications. She even drives them to appointments as only 2 of our 9 Sisters can drive. I don't mean any of this to sound like she doesn't do enough. Without my supervisor, that place would fall apart fast. When I asked her about scheduling my review she told me The Company doesn't do them. I was totally caught off guard. She said she has been there almost eight years and only asked for a raise three times and she's never had a review.

When I started back in 2017, the convent retirement staff consisted of my supervisor and unlicensed caregivers. The caregivers do most of the daily care for The Sisters. Showering, bathing, dressing, feeding, laundry...all that kind of stuff. Right now we have a total of six unlicensed caregivers. Four of them are paid through The Sisters medicare benefits and two are paid by The Company. 

Since I started, I went from being on-call/part-time to full time. I was on days, doing the daily care-giving chores as well as medication administration. Since I switched to full-time graveyard shift, my jobs are more pertinent to The Sisters' health care needs. First, I monitor them through the night.  I am the only staff there from 11pm-6am. If they need anything from water to 9-1-1, I make sure they get it. 

I coordinate all of the travel for The Sisters' appointments through another benefit of their health insurance. The insurance provides transportation to appointments and procedures. I keep a calendar of all of their appointments for the month and am the one who goes back and forth with the insurance and transportation company to be sure The Sisters are picked up and make it to their appointments on time. 

I did a complete overhaul of their medical record filing. They do everything by paper. There is no e-charting here. I re-organized all of their binders and put a new process in place that streamlines the process and makes finding the papers you need much easier. 

I am the one in charge of their medications. My supervisor oversees this. The way The Sisters have asked us to do their medications is to have a monthly pill organizer that has a box for each day of the month. The daily boxes have 4 compartments for pills (AM-Noon-PM-Night) It's totally low tech and I hate it. But I can't change it. Every week I have one 8 hour shift dedicated to pre-filling their med boxes. Depending on the month, I fill anywhere from 5 to 10 days ahead of time. I also note what PRNs will need to be refilled and keep count of meds that shouldn't be missed (think Atvorstatin) and make sure that the pharmacy will be delivering them on time. We have those on auto-fill but we use a small, mom and pop owned pharmacy so they sometimes run out of things. I am able to do all of this through fax/email. 

Finally, here's my question/predicament:
How do I write a letter requesting a raise when the company I work for doesn't understand what I do? All of The Sisters are former educators. Other than my supervisor and myself, all of The Company's employees mainly consist of teachers, teacher's aides, Kitchen staff, priests and nuns. I make so very little and I know I deserve more. But I'm not sure how to ask for it in the right way. I have never had a job where I didn't have an annual review and pay increase so this is completely foreign to me and on top of that, I'm not even sending a request to someone who understands what I do, how much I do or how important my contributions to the convent are.

Okay, that's the end. Any advice on how to go about this is so appreciated as I feel totally lost at this point. Thanks for hanging in there and reading my long post. 🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Followers; 36,925 Posts; 97,881 Profile Views

You were quite clear in your post.  Just put that in your letter and present it to them.  Act accordingly when you get their response.  As far as how your post started out, I have never had annual raises as a nurse, with or without reviews.  Only one employer ever had a pay scale in place and that was because the LVNs and CNAs were in a union.  When it comes to pay, my observation is that one must advocate for oneself.  If you can't convince the company to give you a raise, then you know the answer to that one.  You have to weigh the good points about the job against being taken advantage of wage-wise.  It is apparent to me that you are not satisfied with the status quo, so it might be beneficial to start seeing what else is out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JensConventLife has 6 years experience as a CNA, LVN.

6 Posts; 125 Profile Views

Caliottter3,

i actually LOVE my job. It’s just kind of a weird company to work for, and they underpay. However, I only have 9 patients who are genuinely appreciative of how they’re cared for and they’re all fairly independent. No one is bed bound and only two need help with bathing. They’re a generally healthy group for a median age of 87. 

As for annual reviews, maybe I’ve just been lucky in my previous employment. I’ve worked both in Medical and non-medical jobs. This is my first job for a religious organization and I know they always have different rules. This just wasn’t shared with me until I brought it up. 

As soon as I finished my post I almost finished my letter. Guess I just needed to get the gears going? Haha. 

Thanks! 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NRSKarenRN has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

5 Followers; 10 Articles; 14,614 Posts; 161,133 Profile Views

1 hour ago, JensConventLife said:

Do you get commission? Lol. ;)

Nah,..... I just listen to Mika Brzezinski  (MSNBC Morning Joe) daily talk about this empowering community that she started.....AND have worked with nuns retirement communities as homecare RN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 Followers; 36,925 Posts; 97,881 Profile Views

I contemplated applying for a position in such a facility more than once but deferred on the assumption that the wages offered would be too low and other considerations.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JensConventLife has 6 years experience as a CNA, LVN.

6 Posts; 125 Profile Views

2 hours ago, NRSKarenRN said:

Nah,..... I just listen to Mika Brzezinski  (MSNBC Morning Joe) daily talk about this empowering community that she started.....AND have worked with nuns retirement communities as homecare RN.

Well that helps me understand the link! Thanks for the background and for the info. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JensConventLife has 6 years experience as a CNA, LVN.

6 Posts; 125 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, caliotter3 said:

I contemplated applying for a position in such a facility more than once but deferred on the assumption that the wages offered would be too low and other considerations.  

For me there are lots of pros that also helped me choose this job. My commute is a 10 minute, beautiful drive. There’s a staffed kitchen so when I work days there’s free hot meals. The kitchen staff used to leave me meals in their staff fridge for nights but I asked them to stop because I gained like ten pounds. Lol!

 

I didn’t mean for my post to come across as negative. I was trying to be informative. The Sisters are the best patients and it’s a really unique place to work. But I still need a raise! 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×