Is the money all we are looking for???

  1. Here is a question I would like you all to ponder. Maybe I am just so very jaded after all my years as a nurse, but I think not. (I am more than confident that this group of varied individuals will let me know if I should just be happy and "sho' me the money")

    Here is the situation. Our hospital just announced today that they are going to give all nurses an across the board raise of 28% over the next 3 years. Now here is my feelings on this subject. I think this is great news for all those nurses who have worked at the hospital for years and did not receive any raises or a minimal raise for the last 10 years. But I just feel that this is a steri strip on a gaping stage 4 decubitus. (oozing with purulent and foul smelling material of course).

    How is this going to help in the long run with the nursing shortage??? We have had one large city hospital close in the last year. The staff was mostly absorbed at RGH and it's subsidiaries. (I hate that health care is now a business) We still have an overall 11% need at any one moment for nurses in our hospital alone. So where are we going to get them from??? We have tapped our area. We are seeing declining enrollment in nursing schools, is 15 scholarships going to solve this problem??? Ok, so if the nurses from the other area hosp. decide to move to RGH, how is this helping our community as a whole when there are only some many nurses to begin with????

    Do not get me wrong, I am not bemoaning the raise--it is greatly appreciated and about time. What I am afraid of is this-- how is the public is going to view this. It has been presented in a fashion that makes it look like all nurses are going to be earning 60-70,000/year. (I think not) Now if we as nurses decide to try to unionize or try to get the public to appreciate and support our worth, they are going to say we are ungrateful. The image in this city of nursing is fair at best.

    I am so ambivalent about this situation. It is definately a great thing for the staff. It will bring some new blood to the hospital and even to nursing. But--it will not make a difference in the long run. All the nurses who are ready to retire in 10 years or so--are still going to retire. All the young students out there are still going to choose high tech informatics over high stress patient care. I do not want to work with a nurse who went into the field only to earn the "big bucks". I would like a caring individual who sees me for me if I ever become a patient. I would bet that most of you here on this bb went into nursing because you wanted to help others. I know that is why I did. The nursing shortage is not only about our pay---it is about being able to do the things for our patients that we used to or want to do. (like hold the hand of dying patient, or give that back rub)

    I am afraid this is going to become an issue of just money. I do not want to see this. I want it to be an issue of quality care. Am I being ungrateful??? My hubby is sitting shaking his head--"I am only getting 3% if I am lucky." etc etc. What do you other nurses think, am I being ungrateful????

    ViaHealth Takes Steps To Relieve Nursing Shortage
    Christine Webb

    Rochester, NY - A local health care company believes it has the answer to the nursing shortage in Rochester.
    At a press conference on Thursday, ViaHealth officials announced a three-step plan to lure nurses to the Rochester area and keep the nurses we already have.

    ViaHealth officials stated that effective immediately, nurses' starting pay will increase by 18 percent; already employed nurses' income will increase by 28 percent. Some RNs could now earn between $60,00 and $70,000 annually. Rochester General Hospital will also offer 15 nursing scholarships.

    ViaHealth CEO Sam Huston said, "Rochester is historically a low-pay area. Nurses are paid $5,000 less here than in Cincinatti and $8,000 lower than in Kansas City. So obviously we have some catchup to do here."

    The raises and scholarships will come out of the hospital's operational budget.

    When asked how ViaHealth could afford the pay increases in light of the recent closure of Genesee Hospital, Houston said the company "couldn't afford not to do it" and that "quality of health care is paramount."

    (I just stuck this smilie in cuz it is so cool)
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    About zumalong

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 395; Likes: 56
    Specialty: 22 year(s) of experience in surgical, neuro, education


  3. by   gypsigirl
    Hi zumalong,

    I am just a lowly student as of now, but I understand what you are saying. I am almost 40 so my eyes are not covered by rose colored glasses quite as much as they used to be. I want to go into nursing for several reasons.
    1. I feel it is an honorable profession and that I can truly feel that I am helping people.
    2. Job availability
    3. Good pay
    4. Independence

    The problem in this area is that there are not enough nursing schools. Many students want to go into nursing, but there is a limited number of students that can be accepted. My college, which is wonderful and recently ranked NO. 1 in the nation for the LVN program, only takes 12 to 24 students each year. There are 50+ who try to get in.

    I don't know what the answer is. I do know we need more teaching facilities here at least. Our school is ready to start a dental hygenist program, but can't find a teacher for it.

    Certainly nurses should be paid well, and maybe if pay goes up so will the incentive to go into nursing.

    Quality care comes at a price.
  4. by   Anagray
    Hi zoomalong!

    <<<I do not want to work with a nurse who went into the field only to earn the "big bucks". I would like a caring individual who sees me for me >>

    i've been taking some classes with future nurses. Some of them are really great - they've already been in healthecare for years, they know their purpose and their goals and mainly are paying for school themselves. These people are 30 or so.
    then there are other people, who clearly have no idea about what they are getting into. They are thinking about the financial rewards of the job, but are not aware what it takes to become a nurse and when I see what kind of people I may have the pleasure of working with in a few years, I am secretly hoping they will not make it through the first year.
    It is possible that it is wrong to have such ill thoughts, but it is not even about me working with them, but also about all these people who trust nurses with their lives!

    I overheard one girls saying that she can not imagine cleaning up a patient if they had bm or vomited.

    Sorry to rant. I just wanted to say that I comletely agree with you on that subject.
  5. by   live4today
    hmmmmmm, that would be an excellent start for me! :chuckle i mean, i love being a nurse, loved doing patient care, but with all the other bullcrappy nurses have to tolerate on their jobs, a lot of greenback sure would make me whistle a lot more while i worked!
  6. by   thisnurse
    <<<I do not want to work with a nurse who went into the field only to earn the "big bucks". I would like a caring individual who sees me for me >>

    oh here we go again...

    *stepping up to soapbox, clearing throat*

    what makes any of you think that a nurse who enters the profession just for the "money" gives any less in the amount of or the quality of care than anyone else?

    and why does motivation matter?

    who will make the better airline pilot?

    joey: mommy when i grow up i want to fly people from place to place so that i can see the joy on their faces.

    bobby: yeah i cant wait to get me behind them gonna make me some big money yessirrrr.

    what does any of that crap have to do with their ability to fly a plane? and wouldnt you consider joey just a tad fruity?
    you can still do an excellent job AND CARE AND LIKE TO BE PAID.

    this higher power thing is a fairytale passed on to us by the hospitals so we would be HAPPY NOT TO GET A RAISE... forgo the raise in favor of resolution of staffing issues. long as the person im working beside is competent and DOES her job i dont care why she wanted to be a nurse.

    thank you for your attention
    *steps down and goes home to count her "big" bucks...*
  7. by   susanmary
    I'd be happy to get a 28% raise over three years. Happy. Happy. Darn happy. No, the raise would not fix all that is wrong in nursing -- but I would certainly appreciate the money. Nursing is my profession -- I would not be a nurse if I were not paid. On the other hand, I do a great deal of volunteering with the hungry/homeless. My family, one summer alone, grew over 1,500 pounds of produce for two inner city soup kitchens. In sum -- take the money -- you've earned it. And don't be angry at nurses who "do it for the money." There are many reasons why we've become nurses/stayed in nursing -- what matters is that we give the best patient care we can.

    Good thoughts to all.
  8. by   nursejws
    Originally posted by gypsigirl
    Hi zumalong,

    The problem in this area is that there are not enough nursing schools. Many students want to go into nursing, but there is a limited number of students that can be accepted. My college, which is wonderful and recently ranked NO. 1 in the nation for the LVN program, only takes 12 to 24 students each year. There are 50+ who try to get in.
    This is exactly what I've been wondering about. How does a school determine who's accepted and who's not? I don't see a problem with my grades, but that doesn't mean I should automatically assume I'm in either, right???

    There are a lot of nursing jobs in Dallas, esp at the hospital I want to work at, in the department I want to work in. With the nursing demand, why are not more classes offered, or more spots available, so more people can get in?
  9. by   RNforLongTime
    I, too became a nurse so that I could "help people". today's world, with people so litigation happy, money is the name of the game. As nurses, we handle life and death situations on a daily basis, deal with a**hole doctors and family members, not enough staff, no time for a lunch break let alone a bathroom break, etc, etc. I think that we are underpaid for the amount and type of work that we do.
  10. by   kdhnursern
    Every time I think about how much plumbers make next to how much nurses make, it makes my blood boil. As nurses, we hold human lives in our hands every day. Nurses deal hands on with life and death every day. A plumber removes plugs from drains (we remove them, too, but the "pipes" we remove them from can bleed and the "housing" can do bodily harm to us!). How do you even BEGIN to compare a plumber's job with a nurse's job--because there IS no comparison! How many plumbers have to worry about malpractice and losing their livlihood/career?
    Higher pay just would mean people value what I do more. Yes, I am a nurse because I really want to do something good for others. But I would like respect for the things I do. Why would I expect anything less?
    Bring on the 28% wage increase! Maybe that will entice more staff. Let's face it, nursing can be a very UNglamorous job so we need all the enticements we can get!
  11. by   kaycee
    Is the money all we are looking for???

    It's what I'm looking for, I just haven't found it yet!!
  12. by   semstr
    Still looking for the money.
    But it is not the reason I went into nursing, would have been a plumber instead, since working mo-fr, 30 hours a week, money has been even worse as before.
    I find it very unfortunate, that we nurse-educators, who did a lot of extra training and wear a lot of responsibility when we go to the wards with our students, don't get a kind of bonus or something like that.
    A well, that's life.!!
    Take care, Renee
  13. by   fedupnurse
    You would be amazed at how the public will support nurses getting paid what we are worth. In late 1993, the suits FORCED us out on strike by not negotiating with us. Their goal was to break our Union so they could merge with 3 other area hospitals. Whatever the issue was on the table, they wouldn't talk. The public thought that the final issue that caused the strike was merit pay. So we looked like greedy uncaring nurses walkng a picket line. You would not believe the community support we had. Most people with half a brain realized what the real issue was and I come from an area where we have a lot of nicely paid business type people. Even they supported us.
    I think hospitals should have to report only the base salaries of the staff nurses, no OT included. They should not throw in any nurse who doesn't do bedside nursing on a regular basis. Take out nursing supervisors, VPs, managers, QA people, case managers. When I hear nurses I think staff bedside clinicians and I think most people think that too. Perhaps we need to educate the communities where we live to this manipulation of the numbers.
    I agree that any raises, although welcomed and deserved, are just a band-aid on a hemorrhaging wound. People are leaving because of working conditions. Nurses are exhausted and demoralized because you just can't do what we were meant to do: monitor and assess patients for potential complications of their illnesses or surgeries. No amount of monitoring equipment can take the place of an experienced nurse with that sixth sense. I also agree that motivation does impact what we do. When people go into nursing not realizing that poop and puke are a part of it, that is a problem. I have seen a huge turnover in the past 5 years in my unit. The newer nurses who have gone into it for the money have rarely lasted more than 2 years. They don't understand or care about the importance of monitoring and assessing your patients. Some wouldn't know a complication if it slapped them across the face. They are there for the pay check.
    Until working conditions change for the betterment of nurses and patients, this "shortage" will only get worse. Healthcare needs to become competitive with "businesses" that offer their employees excellent "reimbursement" packages: salary, perks, vacation and retirement with healthcare insurance provisions (we don't even have the option to buy into our insurance upon retirement for other than the COBRA period of 18 months!), and decent working conditions. A little respect thrown in might not be a bad idea either!
    Originally posted by kdhnursern
    Every time I think about how much plumbers make next to how much nurses make, it makes my blood boil.
    Yes, let's prioritize shall we? Excellent point!

    No, I didn't get into nursing for the money, but it would be nice if I was paid what I think the profession was worth, and if I were somewhere above a plumber on the master salary list. And I don't think it makes a difference in what kind of care that nurse delivers. Nursing school is pretty good at weeding out the people that can't handle it.