NPR story on RN's in California

  1. WOW! I just heard a story on NPR about the nursing shortage in California. The reporter stated that California has passed a law that requires all hospitals to have one RN on duty for every 6 patients, no exceptions. So, hospitals are scrambling to try to hire additional nurses. California, the reporter said, is the state with the worst nursing shortage in the US and is already having a hard enough time finding nurses without the new law going into place. Apparently, the hospitals have to be staffed by January 1, 2004.
    They talked to an agency who is doing business in California and is trying to recruit RN's from all over the place. They cover from the state line of Oregon all the way down California to Tijuana. (sp?)
    Anyway, the stunning part to me was the pay scale they are using! They are paying $55/hr for RN's. If you work 12 hour shifts, you get $65/hr. If you work holidays/evenings/weekends, they are paying $90/hour!
    They also talked to a few hospital administrators and the like who each explained what they are doing to attract and retain nurses. Some are offering moving expenses, apartments with free cable free utilities and fully furnished, vehicles for the nurses to use free of charge and huge sign on bonuses starting from $7K and up.
    I know there is a downside to nursing and this post is not about that or even asking for any responses related to the downside etc etc. Please, save the flaming for someone else. I was just amazed at the $$$$ and the lengths employers in California are going to.
    Man, I knew I should have listened to my mom when she said to finish RN school. :chuckle
  2. Visit txsugarlvn profile page

    About txsugarlvn

    Joined: Feb '03; Posts: 87; Likes: 2
    Auditor for HMO; agency staff nurse

    12 Comments

  3. by   Repat
    I heard that, too! Now we need the rest of the states to jump on board. It will be interesting to see if it all makes any differences to outcomes, employee satisfaction, etc.
  4. by   911fltrn
    Its amazing that these stories never come with details. I sure would like to know where i can get a deal like that. I would travel for the cash posted above. I only work nights so I would rake it in! Please post name of agency!
  5. by   Repat
    Go to www.npr.org. click on Morning Edition, latest show, and you can hear the whole report. Pulse Healthcare Staffing is who they spoke to!
  6. by   Brian
  7. by   indie
    It's these sort of stories that tell me that this is a very opportune time for RNs to advance into Independent Contractor status, earning the $$ directly without going thru an agency.

    Facilities desperate for staff will listen to creative staffing options from individuals, not just agencies. Many RNs are already in 'business' for themselves - not running a nursing related business - but doing what they have done for years as an employee - just this time getting paid directly and making personal choices about how many hours to offer, when, and what medical plan/insurance etc. to choose.

    It works for many of us. Check out independentrn.com.
  8. by   -jt
    <California, the reporter said, is the state with the worst nursing shortage in the US and is already having a hard enough time finding nurses without the new law going into place. Apparently, the hospitals have to be staffed by January 1, 2004.
    They talked to an agency who is doing business in California and is trying to recruit RN's from all over the place.>

    But they do things backwards. Theyre waiting for nurses to come to them but they have a whole pool of potentially available nurses that they could be aggressively targeting - but arent. Youd think theyd go thru the rolls at the BON & contact out of state nurses who already hold valid CA licenses. Im in NY but my CA license is active & well-utilized whenever Im in LA. Yet, I havent heard from any agency or hospital looking to make it worth my while to relocate or even come back temporarily. The state & employers should be more aggressive in reaching out to those out-of-state nurses who are already in their system instead of waiting for agencies to find other nurses.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    shortage......what a catchword these days.

    there is no shortage in cali or anywhere......just fewer nurses willing to break their backs and dangle licenses over the fire of unsafe staffing and insufficient safe equipment availability.......

    they voted with their feet and the echo was deafening. wonder how it will take for their echoes to be heard elsewhere...

    excellent points, as usual, -jt
  10. by   RNKPCE
    I live in California and have been getting mail from independent recruiters who are hiring for hospitals every week in the last month or so. I didn't know they were paying that much!

    Well I already have a job I am happy with, but maybe when we start contract negotiations next spring the ratios will help with getting a good contract.
  11. by   Todd SPN
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    shortage......what a catchword these days.

    there is no shortage in cali or anywhere......just fewer nurses willing to break their backs and dangle licenses over the fire of unsafe staffing and insufficient safe equipment availability.......

    they voted with their feet and the echo was deafening. wonder how it will take for their echoes to be heard elsewhere...

    excellent points, as usual, -jt
    Read an article last month where the head of a nursing union of one of the East Coast states says if better ratios was the law the nurses would come back and there would be no shortage in her state. Anxious to see what happens in Cali.
  12. by   sharann
    I live and work in California and personally know of at least 5 nurses who refuse to go back to nursing until they SEE that patient safety comes first. If I know 5, how many other nurses are there in Calif that can work, but do not or will not....With all the pros and cons of ratios, I am for it. When I saw my med-surg/onc co-workers just yesturday struggling with 9 patients, no LVN, No secretary and one aide for the floor (Of 18), I said "I can't wait to see the ratios in effect!"
  13. by   cannoli
    Well, as far as the money goes, look what they can do when they have to.
  14. by   ANnot4me
    I live and work in CA and the ratios are coming. Where I work, they were already in use (for the most part). I have been out here for 2 years and work in a large university-affiliated hospital. While staffing is better, the politics are unbelievable, the patients are at the bottoms of the priority list, with nurses one notch below the patients. They find ways to get more out of you. Support staff and systems is key to a nurses satisfaction and we don't get any. I don't think the ratios will casue people to flock to CA. Even if they did come, many wouldn't stay. California is very expensive, dirty and crowded. The culture here can be very superficial (look at who they elected governor) and "Me give me mine" oriented. Everybody is in a union and it takes an act of congress to get anyone fired.

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