Why hosp cannot pay nurses more, according to one CEO...

  1. Yesterday, I had lunch (Yes! actually sat down and had lunch for a full 30-min!) with my manager, who had just returned from a 2-day manager's retreat at a luxury resort a 2-hour chartered bus ride away (where all the managers received optional massages and horseback riding at the hosp's expense, of course!). She was telling me about what the guest speakers' had to say when she mentioned this one speaker who just happened to be the CEO at a rival hospital and his topic of why hospitals cannot afford to pay nurses any more than they do. According to him, the reason people with a BS in Business make more money than people with a BS in Nursing is because people do not mind paying more for services rendered in the business world (he did not get specific re what these "services" were), but when it came to healthcare, people do not want to pay alot for nursing care. I told my manager that was stupid. When I go to a hospital for care, do I tell the hospital/ins co. how much to pay the nurses? When I get any kind of healthcare services, do I get to tell ANYBODY how much I am going to pay for that service? Hell, no! They tell me how much I owe, and if I don't pay it, I get turned over to a collection agency. I told her those kind of comments were a cop out of the hospital "powers-that-be" to blame the public for nursing's inadequate pay, -- blame that should be layed at the ins companies and hospitals own feet!

    Any comments?

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    About st4304

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 233; Likes: 9
    RN, PICC Team
    Specialty: Critical Care, Emergency, Infusion


  3. by   thisnurse
    if it were up to the insurance companies to pay the ceo how much do you think he'd make?

    if a reasonable person had to pay moms nurse or joe ceo directly, who would make more you think?

    and how bout the agency nurses (nothing against them) ...why can the hospitals afford to pay THEM more?

    they have to rationalize something but ill bet he coulda done better than that.

    you had lunch with your manager...wow ...how cool
  4. by   P_RN
    Gee I used to try to go out of my way NOT to have lunch with my manager

    Fair or not the statement that one BS/BA gets paid more than another is unfortunately true.

    My daughter has a Media Arts Degree/Library Sciences and is a thesis away from the Masters degree. For those TWO degrees she has the potential of making a WHOLE 21k...yep that's what a library degree is worth.

    Now a BS engineering degree starts higher than a teaching degree....we all see that.

    This is what happens, not what is fair.

    That CEO was talking through his....a....ooops HAT

    Maybe that is HIS take on it. Now I wonder what the nurses would say about how much HE gets paid.

    My last "raise" I got 7 CENTS/hr. (that was in 1998 I think)
    He got 62,000 a year........hmmmmmm

    I had to PAY for my lunches.
    He has a private dining room with catered meals.
    I go to the zoo for entertainment and drive my old minivan to get there.
    He has an exclusive club membership and a Lexus to get there.

    Worth/Value......bah humbug.
    Smush the nurses underfoot is more like it.

    Nurses save lives.
    CEOs save.....themselves?
  5. by   nightingale
    It is a bunch of bunk to expect us to actually believe that we are not worth what other high paying BS degrees are compensated.

    I do best financially with agency nursing. The time is ripe for this type of "free agent" of health care services.

    Here we are in the glut of a major nursing shortage and we let some BS in business actually make double what we, the professionals, earn.

    Please forgive my blunt approach..... I think we get more bees with sugar then we do with lemon... It is frustrating and complex when discussing nurse pay versus education etc....

    I have very strong feelings (as in the progress of womens rights) the the resolution to these topics are in "evolution not revolution"...

    thank you for hearing me out!


    Stolen from a fortune cookie ------------> "The secret to staying young is good health, and lying about your age."

  6. by   V SPN
    It seems to me that in this culture and most of the 'developed world' your pay is determined by how far up the financial food chain you are.
    If you are a capital generator you will get paid more than if your are solely an expense.
    This is why people who push corp. paper get paid more than nurses or teachers.
    The other factor is supply and demand.
    The type and level of degree you may have is irrelevant.

    But then there is the reward of being able to look yourself in the mirror in the morning, which, as the ads say, is priceless.
  7. by   aimeee
    Just one word: BULLSH**!!!
  8. by   nightingale
    What is so frustrating about this topic is OUR lack of acknowledgment for how much power WE really do have.

    We are part of a major nursing shortage... there is NO management shortage. They can pump out busness majors at a dime a dozen. The only realy decision making they do are what is normally trickled down "from above". I am not saying they are dummies, but jsut compare a science curiculum to business and let's give ourselves credit where credit is due.

    Until we collectively bargain, whether it be via a union or through a united voice... we will continue to make less money then what we deserve....
  9. by   oramar
    Do you suspect your manager told you that story as a way keep you in your place? You know, as a way of keeping you from asking for things, forcing her to acknowledge your value.
  10. by   mustangsheba
    What a bunch of horse hockey! One of the reasons nurses don't get paid what they deserve is because of bureaucracy. Hospital budgets are top heavy and spend inordinate amounts of money complying with rules and regs and providing excessive life styles for CEO's. And what about the thousands that were spent on that weekend for management? How stupid does he think we are?
  11. by   Charles S. Smith, RN, MS
    In a certain context, the CEO is correct. There are people who believe that a certain level of healthcare is a right. Others believe that healthcare revenues should be controlled by the laws of supply, demand and the ability to pay. He is also correct in stating that nursing care is NOT a business, we do not act like a business and nurses are ill informed about business principles and how to make business work for them. When nurses start realizing that we can run our own affairs rather than being employees, our healthcare infrastructure will change. We do not need someone else (employers, unions, etc) to negotiate for us and to give us what they think we need! We must stand up and do it for ourselves!

  12. by   OC_An Khe
    The typical CEO doesn't believe their Nursing staff deserve more compemsation. They see too many nurses willing to accept what is offerred. As long as nurses continue to do so they will not become a priority when capital is allocated.
    Supply/demand conditions are in nursing favor for now and we should take advantage of this. However, until all levels of Nurses change their business acumen and CEO's view nurses as revenue generators as opposed to variable expenses nothing will significantly change.
  13. by   oramar
    This statement is a part of an industry wide mind set, just read the Cash Vacuum article Karen posted. It was never so obvious to me as when I read the article. I was aware that it existed because over the years my experiece with managment has taught me what they think of me by the way they treat me. If I had been armed with this info early on I would have managed my career differently. I stand by my suspicion that sherri's boss was telling her this to intimidate her.
  14. by   V SPN
    I basically agree with Charles S. Smith and ocankhe.
    Recently I observed a local (excellent) physician inquiring as to who would be on the ICU to receive his patient before he performed his procedure.
    The implication was that if he wasn't secure with the ICU staff, he would postpone the procedure.
    Maybe all physicians do this anyway, I don't know, I'm still a student. (And I'm not slamming the ICU staff, the procedure was performed.)
    The point is the procedure was done because the nurses where there to allow for it. Hence the nurses allowed the hospital to generate revenue. This is the key to moving up the finacial food chain.

    Personally my plans are to hang out my own shingle after several years of experience.