nursing shortage? Where? - page 2

We keep hearing in the media about nursing shortages. In our town of 30,000, we have a hospital of about 500 beds. Our casual staff are complaining they are not getting any work. (RN's and LPN's... Read More

  1. by   JMP
    Big shortage in Ontario of RN's. They continue to educate RPN's (LPN's) but there are NO jobs for them since many of the hospitals have phased them out in favour of primary care.

    In Ontario you can go just about anywhere and get what you want- if you are a RN. The shortage is just going to get worse with RN's retiring and now, degree as entry to practice ( now 4 years to be a RN).

    Last summer our hospital closed beds, not yet this year as the hospital was quite aggressive with a recruitment and retention program in the last year.

    It is a struggle.
  2. by   Derick
    the uk is loosing its nurses in favor of good money and working conditions. they go to the usa which i am planning too since
    i have passed my cgfns. its the work load and cutbacks not to
    mention forced overtime which is not safe

    rex of uk
  3. by   dianthe1013
    $14 canadien is about $9 US, NOT 21, divide by the exchange rate, don't multiply
    You know, Kewl, I did that... Then I sat there and said, "Nahh, nine bucks CAN'T be right..." Hee. So I attributed it to an early morning brain malfunction on my behalf and switched the calculation around, but it seems I was wrong.

    Gahh. How do they expect anyone to work for that?

  4. by   Maula, RN
    In Minnesota, you can basically make your on contract. They are offering anything from tuition reimbursement and student loan repayment to $5,000-$10,000 sign on bonuses. There was even an ad last week for a nurse and it included a 3 bedroom apartment. So the shortage is real and all you need to do is study the small print and figure which one will benefit you the most.
  5. by   jurbyjunk
    Dianthe, the fact is, the Quebec Minister of Health, expects nurses to work for that rate. And he, like all the other health care ministers, believes that nurses should count themselves lucky to be getting even that.

    I work in British Columbia, and am at the "top" of the wage scale (we only get paid for 9 years experience, despite the fact that I graduated from university in December 1965). I make $32.50C/hour (in April 03, I will get a $.41/hr raise, whopee) + $100C/month for my MSN. I get a $.90/hr shift differential + $1.25/hr "in charge" pay (when I'm in charge, of course, works out to $32/2 weeks shift diff + whatever for being in charge. My gross income for 2001 was $49,200C. Try converting that into US$.

    In summer of 2001, BCNU asked for $42C/hr for "top level" (RNs at St Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Wash were getting $29.50US/hr), with the argument that BC nurses here in the lower mainland were "going across the line" to work. The idea was that, by basically matching the "across the line rate", more nurses would stay in BC.

    The head of the Hospital Employers Association of BC (HEABC), Gary Moser (with whom we bargain), led a well-planned smear campaign, referring to RNs as "greedy", etc, etc, etc. Mr Moser released "an information sheet" stating that "top level" RNs make $103,000C/yr.

    This was based on factoring in, and I kid you not, the cost of replacing "me" for using all of my vacation time, sick time, a maternity leave and being off on Workers Compensation (let's see, in one year I had to have taken all of my vacation, been off sick, been pregnant, and been injured at work). And boy, did the public ever buy into that. Let alone that I don't even make what an auto mechanic makes, I'm "greedy" according to public opinion.

    Eventually, we had the contract we turned down by 96.6% legislated in by the provincial legislature. We were given a pay raise to match Alberta's, but all of our benefit improvements we took in lieu of pay raises since 1995 were rescinded.

    Since then, our "forced down our throat" contract was declared "inflexible" by the provincial health minister, Colin Hansen, and it was touch and go whether our raises would be rescinded. "This province cannot afford" our raise. MSP premiums were increased by 50% "to pay for nurses raises". According to Bill 29, nurses can be moved to any hospital within a 50 km range, for up to 7 days. We can also be moved anywhere in the province, for up to 30 days 3 x year. And we are expected to pay the added expenses out of our own pocket. If we refuse to be moved, we are considered to have resigned "immediately". This is Colin Hansen (that biblical name for a donkey + dent in the dirt)'s solution to the nursing crisis.

    In fact, according to both Moser and Hansen, it is the union and our licensing body (RNABC) which is responsible for the nursing shortage here by 1) RNABC refusing to grant licenses to ALL foreign nurses, no matter their educational background, and insisting that they take and pass an English proficiency exam, and 2) BCNU insisting that Canadian nurses be offered vacant positions ahead of foreign nurses.

    The provincial government also killed the Health Labour Accord Act, which, among other things, provided funding for specialty courses. In BC, if you have a "specialty certification" (OR, RR, SCN, emerg, OB, renal), which I have, you get $50/month. The employer does not re-imburse you for the cost of any courses that you take, either for a specialty or a BSN/MSN. They don't pay for any conferences, etc, either. We once had to have a bake sale in order to send just 1 staff member to a 1-day conference.

    New grads/new "to BC'ers" are only offered "casual" work, no full or part-time positions, even though we have unfilled "lines". Casual work means no benefits, no pay raises.

    Can you figure out where I stand on those two idiots. And I'm an American to boot. And before you ask, my mortgage is finished on Sept 16th.
    Last edit by jurbyjunk on Jul 3, '02
  6. by   DaSuperRN

    I was an Acute Medical Surgical nurse in the government for several years. I think the pay is terrible, but benefits are nice. Now I work in LTC, because I get paid a little more, but I had to take no benefits to make 25.49 plus a 1.00 differential on week days and 1.75 on weekends. I have to drive over a mountain and 40 miles from my home to make that amount. I left the hospital because I got burned out, so I am welcoming this change. I really like this new job it is a very nice place, but I have to drive that hideous mountain everyday just to make a what I do. I really do not care about vacations, since I never go anywhere, but I do need medical insurance, so if anyone knows where I can apply for insurance at a reasonable rate for family please help. I have a son to support.

    Sometimes, I wonder if nursing was a good career choice. I am an RN pursing my BSN, but I am about ready to possibly convert to computer training instead and forget about my BSN. I am just so discouraged with the system. I recently finished a 6 month course in case management, but the thing is I cannot get a job doing case management anywhere around my state. I am just fed up with spending 1000's of dollars to get further along in my nursing career only to realize it will take me forever to pay my loans back, due to inadequate pay per hour and lack of educational assistance at my job.
    I am probably about 18,000 in over my head now, no one offers any educational assistance to you unless it is on their own terms. What I mean is the government where I worked before wanted to help you if you went to Shepherd College, but you would have to go to traditional classes everyday, and I couldn't do it and work fulltime on evening shift, and support my son. Plus, I have Celiac disease and it effects my immune system, so I cannot allow myself to get sick, this would be asking for trouble. I am able to study independently and capable of clepping test, but that was not good enough for them and they denied me any assistance. Right now the the BSN program I am pursuing is one of the online type. I is perfect for my lifestyle, but the catch is you pay and you pay dearly for the classes online, one class cost me over a 1000 plus, it is something like 442.00 a credit. I mean if you are like me you want to get a head, but it seems like I never really do for all my bills.

    Last edit by DaSuperRN on Jul 3, '02
  7. by   oh-agnurse
    I live in Western NY, at our facility we can't fill the job openings, especially on the off shifts and the units. It is hard to go to work on a unit knowing that you will be floated to staff the rest of the hospital. The shortage is now, but in 10 years who will be taking care of our family members. As those nurses in their 40-50's retire we don't have enough coming into nursing to fill their spots. Nurses in education are also going to be retiring---there is a shortage in good professors and educators.
  8. by   fergus51
    Oh no, jurby, that 50% increase in MSP was to pay for doctors' raises. One ob/gyn I know will see his anual income increase by about 100 000$ this year thanks to that. ARGH.
  9. by   jurbyjunk
    Hello Fergus. I stick by my guns. That IDIOT Hansen was spouting the "nurses pay raise = MSP increases" for months. He probably just changed it to "doctors" when BCMA started their job action. Course, bear in mind, I missed all of that while I was in Zimbabwe, being Vancouver Sun/Province-less. LOL.

    Speaking of Zimbabwe, still have 4 more weeks of anti-malarial pills to take. Sigh. A nice "perk" has come my way, however. Was asked to give a presentation to the next "surgical/anesthesia" meeting about my time there. Not exactly sure what they think they are going to hear, but have worked up a presentation using photos.

    My unit manager has said nada about my experience, no enquiry, no nothing. Oh well, have found out that she's 3 years older than I am, so have decided to outlast her in order to go to her retirement lunch. LOL

    Have you decided where to work in the States? I'm from Arkansas myself. Soooey, sooey, sooey.
  10. by   fergus51
    Good idea about the retirement!LOL!

    I am thinking about California or Oregon right now, probably California. I have American citizenship as well, but I only worked in Washington State as a nurse.

    Enjoy the antimalarials. They made me absolutely sick the last time I took them!
  11. by   GailWHNP
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by pfleige

    [B]In Florida the entry level is 20 to 22 dollars. I was making that in California About 14 years ago.

    And I was making that in FL 5 yrs ago and am still making that! Some places in FL entry level is still around $17.

  12. by   soon2bLPN
    where in WV DaSuperRN? I have lots of family there and visit often
  13. by   JellyBean1
    Greetings from BC. Our extended care just gave us RN's a mandate of 1-2 years. That's when they say nearly all of us will be replaced by LPN's. We have had to sit back and watch the med errors mount. Some of them near fatal. We have been told that we will be disciplined or dismissed if we speak out on any matters concerning the facility. Families, doctors and the public are in the dark. Most of the public have no idea of the difference between an RN and an LPN. We are trying to come up with an idea on informing everyone. I for one do not want to be forced in to working in acute care. That is probably why they are doing this. Sadly we hear all too often, RN's are needed in the hospitals. LPN's are more than capable of handling the work in a Long Term Care. Guess they figure all older folks don't have "REAL" medical issues. If there is such a nursing shortage why is BC trying to get rid of us. Must be the only spot on the planet right now dumping RN's.