Why would a facility over-hire nurses?

  1. My facility is hiring more and more nurses. Too many nurses. New and inexperienced nurses. There are not enough hours for the nurses that are there to make a living anymore. They've started writing everybody up for everything. Dumb stuff that isn't even true. The nurses that have been there for years are worried about if they are going to keep their jobs. Nurses are having to try to find second jobs to get hours.
    I am one of the new nurses. They hired me for $19.50 per hour. I have been there since February. I graduated and passed the NCLEX-RN in January. My manager says that I'm the best nurse on the unit. There are nurses on my unit that have been nurses for years longer than I have. One of them makes about $7.00 an hour more than I do.
    I wonder what the corporation is up to in my facility. Why are they hiring so many nurses, and cutting everyone's hours?
  2. Visit arelle68 profile page

    About arelle68

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 305; Likes: 519
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Mental and Behavioral Health

    12 Comments

  3. by   KirriG
    I'm guessing because of the higher wages for more expereinced staff. Australia went through a bad patch of this in the 1990's where hospital admins were 'concerned' about growing health care costs and figured that getting rid of higher paid nurses was a good option. Never mind that the higher paid nurses got more money because ... wait for it .. their experience and skills. :icon_roll But firing them would have meant a lot of redundancy payments etc so their working conditions were rendered unsupportable and they left in droves. 15 years later and Australia has a terrible nursing shortage with government campaigns to get nurses to come back and try to encourage new people into the field. But I have a few friends who were burned in those years and they'd rather eat their own feet. lol

    Course, that's just a guess but if it is and your hospital is taking advantage of the economic situation to cut costs, I think it's probably a good sign that patient and nurse care is not a high priority for them.

    Kirri
  4. by   BigRussKCMO
    Survival of the fittest. Competition to do better. Weeds out the low performers
  5. by   kythe
    You mentioned they are "hiring so many nurses, and cutting everyone's hours". I work through an agency, and I've noticed many facilities are hiring an abundance of part time nurses.

    This way, they always have nurses clamoring for more hours. This reduces their need for expensive outside agency staffing since they have so many of their own staff competing for shifts. And by cutting back hours they have fewer full time employees, so they are paying less benefits. The company wins financially on both sides.
  6. by   Atheos
    Quote from kythe
    You mentioned they are "hiring so many nurses, and cutting everyone's hours". I work through an agency, and I've noticed many facilities are hiring an abundance of part time nurses.

    This way, they always have nurses clamoring for more hours. This reduces their need for expensive outside agency staffing since they have so many of their own staff competing for shifts. And by cutting back hours they have fewer full time employees, so they are paying less benefits. The company wins financially on both sides.
    I agree. We do this at our facility. Having an abundance of nurse and CNA staff has proven to be a boon. We don't have trouble filling shifts and frankly, having more PT and PRN staff and less FT staff cuts down on the cost of benefits and allows us to use the money in other ways (pay, incentives, etc.). It also makes scheduling far easier and has actually freed me up to take on more responsibility saving more money in the budget.

    There ARE two main benefits from this however.

    The first one is that it gives us a position of power. Don't hate me but I don't have time for some of the games that employees play. I've played them in the past. If you can't help me out I have X many more people that can.

    The second one is that if I have an employee that is causing problems I can reduce their hours or replace them completely without going through the hassle of counseling, educating or other avenues. I say hassle because it IS a hassle.

    Many of these reasons sound harsh but business is harsh. Employees and employers owe nothing to each other. Employees advance in skill because it benefits them. Employers offer certain benefits and incentives to employees because it benefits them. It's nothing new.
  7. by   joyouter
    An interesting analogy. However, if employers and employees owe nothing to each other, how is the working environment? Health care cannot run on fear and coerciveness without negatively affecting employees and job performance. Undoutedly, this is a question of power but applied as *just in time* for short term perceived gains. Networking and staff retention. ie. skilled vis a vis new grads with limited experience can impact negatively and takes longer to rebuild. Business is tough but sucess and a long lasting benefit to both employer and employee must demonstrate a modicum of value and viable strategy to sustain quality of operation. Otherwise, there can be ongoing financial losses with a long term devaluation of company, operations and reputation .
  8. by   anonymurse
    It's the ebb and flow of nursing school graduations. They over hire at graduation time, then attrition normalizes things, then the cycle repeats.

    A corollary of this is that you don't want your competitors to have dibs on the best new graduates. Hire 'em all, then weed 'em out.

    Another consideration is that managers will over hire if they smell a hiring freeze coming. They don't want to be caught paying overtime if they can help it.
  9. by   oramar
    Maybe they are getting ready for the heavy flu season that is coming. No matter how many nurses they have now they will be short when staff start calling off due to the flu.
  10. by   oramar
    Quote from Atheos
    I agree. We do this at our facility. Having an abundance of nurse and CNA staff has proven to be a boon. We don't have trouble filling shifts and frankly, having more PT and PRN staff and less FT staff cuts down on the cost of benefits and allows us to use the money in other ways (pay, incentives, etc.). It also makes scheduling far easier and has actually freed me up to take on more responsibility saving more money in the budget.

    There ARE two main benefits from this however.

    The first one is that it gives us a position of power. Don't hate me but I don't have time for some of the games that employees play. I've played them in the past. If you can't help me out I have X many more people that can.

    The second one is that if I have an employee that is causing problems I can reduce their hours or replace them completely without going through the hassle of counseling, educating or other avenues. I say hassle because it IS a hassle.

    Many of these reasons sound harsh but business is harsh. Employees and employers owe nothing to each other. Employees advance in skill because it benefits them. Employers offer certain benefits and incentives to employees because it benefits them. It's nothing new.
    Have we met? I feel like I know you.
  11. by   Sparrowhawk
    Man..must be nice. I can't find anything around here. I agree with the over hire to weed out..sounds like it anyway.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    i work in a busy sicu, and every year my manager overhires because every year someone who was waitlisted gets into anesthesia school and quits with barely any notice. sometimes several someones. every year, someone leaves to go to school to be an np without giving any notice. every year someone leaves to follow their sweetie across the country with little notice. every summer after graduation, we're ten people up, but by the time those ten people are off orientation 6 moths later, attrititon has reduced the staffing to just about what we need.

    it sounds, however, as if the op's facility tends to use the new grads at $19.5/hour so they can get rid of more experienced nurses with bigger salaries.
  13. by   SassyRedhead
    I have to give the nurse manager credit for being honest about their reasons for overhiring. I have said this months ago and will say it again, with the "recession" comes a perception that business can do anything they want to employees. Just remember, however, what comes around goes around. While you are hiring a boatload of new grads, be careful that this tidal wave of inexperience doesn't deluge you in malpractice suits. And let's not forget Press Ganey. New nurses don't know what they don't know.

    When you've played the heavy to the hilt and made all the cutbacks you can, you'll still be expected to make more. Whose position will be expendable then? And, more importantly, where exactly will you work afterwards?
  14. by   livesinscrubs
    our hospital is using the same practice, a few years ago we were able to get all the overtime we wanted, many times i could call at 3p to see if they needed help at 7 p and they would say YES PLEASE. our sister hospital started doing it first, they overhired, had too much staff (mostly casual and part time) and the regulars no longer got the easy overtime. i braced myself because my friend warned me we were next. sure enough we were hiring new grads like crazy ( we used to not hire them) and now we are overstaffed and many having to stay home on low census days.i got an average of 24 hrs a week and i'm full time. ( and was used to paychecks with at least 12 hrs ot on them)

    so we have a lot of nurse who work part time with fewer or no benies and no one getting ot, it works better for the hospital that way. marale is getting bad over here, people are stressed and fighting over hours and complaining about why one person got to work a double and they didn't. and just recently they have started enforcing the time card rules ( no clocking out early or staying late or you get reprimanded) and now people are starting to worry about job security, seems like the people with the most seniority (highest paid) are the ones getting written up and called in for meetings over petty little things now..

    getting scary and it's all about the money unfortunately.

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