Quote from Sour Lemon
I've only had two employers in Southern California, but they both seem(ed) "terrified " of being out or ratio. You might have better luck elsewhere.
They're not "terrified" of the ratio law.
They're afraid of two things:
1. The CNA. The RNs and others covered by them grieve the most minute infraction, and drag management into quagmires. FOR NOW, the CNA is powerful and can get things done. Management is afraid of the union, not the ratio laws.
Before you get all flamey-pants, I am PRO UNION. I am PRO RATIO. You asked a question, and I am answering.
2. The income/salary disparity in California from SoCa to NorCa is breathtaking. Higher COL in SoCal, but they make almost half of what a NorCal RN makes. It's obscene. And the RNs know it. The NorCal RNs turn a blind eye, and even encourage the retaliation against RNs who won't "go along to get along" with the "hush money" being paid to the Central/North areas.
They routinely remind the RNs of their precarious place if they complain, in the SoCa area. These RNs have families and homes and careers---and where will they go? NorCal is the hardest market to break into---as the NorCal RNs keep it "all in the family". I worked at a place that hired husbands and wives ON THE SAME UNIT. Only friends and "trusted circle" are hired. They will get second and third PRN jobs, keeping other RNs from out of the area---out of the area.
SoCal is different---they offer crap wages, with a "union" to give lip service---and dare the RNs to either rock the boat or walk away. Either one, they won't work in Ca again. It's a "who you know" racket.
About the CNA being powerful. FOR NOW, I said....because the Janus decision will cut the union off at the knees, and I give it maybe 2 years before they are rendered toothless.
The decision made union dues OPTIONAL....but the union MUST continue to protect the RN. They are members...for free.
The union reps go around and flog it that the union dues are "tax deductible". Does that pay the electric bill or the kids' orthodontics bill? Nope. So people will get it into their heads that the union dues are OPTIONAL and the union is still forced to protect them.
The union is strong because of one thing. Money. Take away the funding, and the union goes to crap. Look up the history of union busting, if you don't like what you are reading. It's factual, not opinion.
The arrogance and entitlement of the CA nurses is pretty astounding as well. They do believe that because they are paid more and have union representation, that this makes them better nurses. Nothing is further from the truth.
The CNA will be out of the picture soon enough---and the management of these wonderful "uber nurses" facilities that pay "stupid money" will be on those stupid money salaries like flies on crap.
The ratios are a good idea, and I am all for them---when they are utilized intelligently. But for the most part, they aren't. They are a vehicle for cliquey Charge RNs to assign highly acute patients to the "non favored" and light assignments to their friends.
If a facility breaks these ratio rules, you have to consider your options carefully in CA. You rock that boat, be prepared for the end of your career in that state, without recommendation. In fact, I've watched some of them maliciously go after RNs who rocked the boat and left, calling other hospitals in the area to prevent the RN from getting hired.
Figure out if you want to win the battle, or the war. Ratios in CA are not there because of concern for patient safety. Every "good thing" that is given, usually has a root to it. Hospitals retaliate where they can.
Short staffing, "emergency" clause like OP was talking about, mysterious "call outs" at the last minute. I've watched senior staff nurses come in, get an assignment, and a half hour later, some other RN get approached with "you are taking so and so's patients, bc she has to do education". The senior RNs, the "in crowd" sit in the locked management offices and watch the board explode.
Then...the surveillance nurses, who are paid to do nothing but spy live time on your charting, write you up for the inevitable mistakes you make---because you are overwhelmed, no help and rushed. The ones they like, they allow to get away with anything. They select for the ones that will not rat the hospital out.
So. You make up your own mind. Wanna die on that hill for an imaginary "high salary" (CA taxes knock you down to median average anyway?
My advice? Stay away from CA and their "high salaries". With the crap living conditions, the meth/drug/crime problems and the taxes....you will most likely spend that "high salary" to get the hell away from the area every chance you get. Better to stay in a solid job, work your way up and get off the floor. Enough RNs get smart and get off the floor....the more hospitals have to pay overtime and for travelers, the more likely it will be that these facilities will start voluntarily easing up on the 8 patients per RN on a step down unit.