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

Nurses General Nursing


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?

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.

If that is the case, who will teach the young nurses? I'm not sure in my region that is a typical thing.

I got a $15,000 sign on bonus to help my unit when I started working again.

They needed experienced people.

Specializes in Acute Care Psych, DNP Student.
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.

The hospitals in my big metro area are only hiring experienced nurses now, since the economy has tightened up. New grads are having a terrible time and are not getting jobs.

Specializes in Cardiac.

It's quite the opposite where I work. We are hiring the best people that we can, mediocre people are not being hired, and dead weight should be minding their P's and Q's.

Yes. This has happened at some of the facilities I have worked at. Scary for the patients, and scary to a newer nurse such as myself. I love the old-timers, love having them around, and love being able to trust that they know what they are doing and I can go to them for guidance. The thought of the experienced nurses not being around terrifies me.

Specializes in IMCU.

I do not like that at all. One thing if performance is not up to scratch, but then it shouldn't be a surprise to the person in question.

There are all sorts of awful employment practices out there not just in nursing. Like someone else said...if they want rid of you they can just go the write up direction.

Specializes in Utilization Management.

It's important to remember that some of the more experienced nurses have other benefits besides salary. Yes, the new grads make about $5 less / hr than I did, but when I started, I might have profit-sharing or be vested sooner, or even something as simple as having overtime after 8 hours. The health insurance plan went from great to so awful. Usually, companies (and this goes for all of them, not just healthcare) don't like to have older employees hanging around reminding the newb's what they're not getting.

I wound up leaving the bedside rather than see my benefits taken away. There were other reasons as well. I wasn't forced aside, but when the economy tanked I could see it coming. I have since heard that 2 nurses and 1 aide have been fired from the last unit I worked.

No idea as to why, because I wasn't there, but I have seen this type of thing happen. If they want you out, they'll figure out a way.

Specializes in OR, transplants,GYN oncology.


when money gets tight, nursing is the first area targeted (both staff & leadership, to be fair). i have been in this industry long enough to have been through crises like this at least 4 times. i never panic anymore, because it always blows over eventually and so far i can count on my hands the number of weeks in almost 30 years that i haven't had all the work i needed. i have always been a staff nurse.

that said, i worked at a place in new england that went through a tough time around 12 years ago. their brilliant solution was to offer irresistable early retirement packages to staff who were close to retirement, but not quite there. so...we lost our most experienced staff, the hospital erased their top of the scale salaries and benefits, and you guessed it...within a year we were hiring completely inexperienced rns and training them ourselves to be or nurses. what a bargain! you can imagine the stress of working on a unit with a hugely disproportionate percentage of inexperienced staff.

so, if your institution comes along with an early retirement windfall and you don't qualify, you may want to head for the hills rather than deal with the consequences down the road.

good luck to everyone during these uncertain times.

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