Do facilities sometimes try to get rid of more experienced, more expensive nurses?

Nurses General Nursing

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I've heard this claim from various quarters, including nurses who say they've been pressured out of their old job to make way for cheaper new grads. I'm always suspicious of this claim because sometimes the person making it might have some obvious personal shortcomings that I suspect might have contributed to their previous job struggles.

On the other hand, I've heard about this tactic in various industries. After all, a nurse with 30 years experience usually makes a significantly higher wage. It makes sense for unscrupulous managers to try to go after these people in favor of nurses with less experience.

Does this make enough economic sense to be a real threat to older nurses? Does anyone have personal experience with this type of scenario?

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Yes, I believe this happens more often than we would like to admit. The hospital that cleaned house where I used to live had major panel ads in a major newspaper within a few months of getting rid of employees with seniority. If you can't afford to pay Nurse Jane in March and have to get rid of her, then why are you looking to hire new grad Nurse Suzy in October? Same thing happened with me when I got downsized, within weeks my replacement was happily working, although they had no money to pay me or the others who got laid off.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

This can't happen where I work because we are unionized. If we were laid off they have to call us back first before hiring other staff.Lay offs are done according to seniority so the old gals are the last to be laid off.The young new nurses are first to be chopped.

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.
This can't happen where I work because we are unionized. If we were laid off they have to call us back first before hiring other staff.Lay offs are done according to seniority so the old gals are the last to be laid off.The young new nurses are first to be chopped.

Management has ways to target certain employees, go through the required 3 write ups and counseling sessions before firing someone. They know how to get around union contracts.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

My DOCS told me that they had several methods of going around the union to do what they wanted and nobody was the wiser. I believed every word she told me.

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Well I sure hope you guys are around to orient me!!!

This deal is common though in the rest of the working world. Ridiculous in healthcare!

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Oh sorry. I thought the OP was referring to lay offs not firing. I know if they decide to target you they can do that easy enough. Lay offs are harder to fidle with.

I have seen this happen at my work place but it was because of a personality clash not trying to save money. The RN in question grieved it to the union and got her job back anyways.

Specializes in Cardiac.

On the other hand, I've heard about this tactic in various industries. After all, a nurse with 30 years experience usually makes a significantly higher wage. It makes sense for unscrupulous managers to try to go after these people in favor of nurses with less experience.

Does this make enough economic sense to be a real threat to older nurses? Does anyone have personal experience with this type of scenario?

Hmmm...this is interesting. What I've heard over and over again is that the Nursing field tends to pay its new grads a very decent wage in comparison to other professional fields but as time goes on an experienced nurse's wage tends to plateau; after a certain amount of years a nurse reaches the ceiling of what he or she can earn.

I've also heard from several (disgruntled) experienced nurses, that a new grad's salary wasn't too far from what they (the experienced nurses) were earning.

So, if we look at the Midwest, for example, is the salary of a nurse who has around 1-2 years experience significantly lower than that of an experienced nurse with around 10-15 years experience?

I'm curious because what I've heard a countless number of times is the exact opposite of what the OP has stated.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

I think it happens ... but not as much as some people claim. Some people will SAY that's why they were fired when there were really some serious problems with their practice. Few people believe they actually deserve to be fired.

People who are near the top of the pay scale are vulnerable simply because they are near the top of the pay scale. Employers want to see that those "expensive" employees are worth the extra money. If the employee is not "above average" in their performance, they make it hard for the employer to pay them more than the other nurses who are doing a better job. Thus making themselves even more vulnerable.

I think the truth is often a combination of the two forces -- an employee who is earning more than average whose performance is not equal to her compensation -- and an employer who doesn't want to pay above average compensation for anyone, much less to a below average performer.

The dynamics of any particular case get complicated. But yes, I do think that sometimes, an employer simply gets rid of the most expensive nurses to keep whether they deserve to be fired or not.

joannep

439 Posts

Specializes in Community, Renal, OR.

Well, I have been layed off, and yes I was in a senior position earning a lot of money. My position stayed vacant for 6 mths, then readvertised at a lower pay. So they saved 6mths worth of money and rehired for the same job at less pay. No, it wasn't done on performance issues, I was awarded employee of the month 2 mths before being laid off.

kemper1974

47 Posts

Specializes in ortho/neuro/ob/nicu.

The hospital system I used to work at closed our unit to make way for more med-surg beds to accomodate our growing ER. We were all able to transfer to another hospital in the system, after we re-interviewed at the new place for the same positions we were in. Nurses with seniority and higher paychecks were the last to be chosen "we cost too much" for the new units to want to absorb us. Probably 75% of us were not working for the old hospital system within 6 months. We do not have a "u...n"or are we allowed to mention that word.

IndianaHH

74 Posts

Yes! It happens/ has happened again. Myself and 2 other experienced nurses were given the pink slip from the homehealth agency I have worked for four years.

The reasoning? Money. Plain and simple. Management was so brass as to admit removing the experienced RN's so LPN's could be hired in our stead.

Nurses are not unioned in Indiana, no recourses available.

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