Is this any way to retain nurses?

Nurses Activism


You are reading page 3 of Is this any way to retain nurses?

mother/babyRN, RN

11 Articles; 1,587 Posts

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN.

Hospitals don't care about nurses. They care about bodies to take care of patients, who are reasonably intelligent in order to avoid lawsuits. They don't want unions to be active let alone present because that impacts on their ability to boss people around and give them the least of all benefits. I have been around long enough so nothing surprises me...When we have continued to keep the union active and working, the benefits far outweigh the bad things, however badly they are treated it is best for nurses to not take things management throws out personally...Have to treat it like a business and demand the respect you deserve...They certainly don't care. It is all about money and how much they can save to pay themselves coupled with how much they can take away from you (us)...


62 Posts

"So instead of petty bickering over some contract, why not stand up and look for ways to create a win-win situation, demonstrate with quantitative data how nurses help the hospital improve itself and deliver high quality care that people will return for, show how nurses GENERATE revenue not consume resources...." (ainz)

I believe that answer should be painstaking clear to all administrators. If your hospital doors are still open we ARE generating revenue. Nurse are constantly told that we are the largest cost center of the hospital and therefore it is understandable why that's where cuts are being made. What they fail to realize is that we are THE largest revenue generators. The brass tacks of it all, hospitals sell nursing services and without us they don't have a business. Adminsitration knows this, nurses are begining to learn this, henceforth, changes are coming as we learn that we no longer have to put up with unsafe conditions and there are ways to deal with this problem. Striking is not something anyone wants to do, nurses included, HOWEVER, by the time a strike is imminent, it means that we have already gone to adminsitration with suggestions...etc and they refuse to listen. Problem with that choice is that nurses aren't backing down anymore, we're learning to play hardball. I had a good friend of mine, who is also an employment attorney tell me one time that "all these places understand is a baseball bat to the temples." Tis so true, unfortunate, but true.


415 Posts

Originally posted by -jt

sooooo back to my initial question.....

Is it just us, or does anyone else get the impression that this hospital is doing all it can to drive our nurses out of their jobs???......

Maybe they just want to drive certain pro-union nurses out of their hospital.


255 Posts

jt-the hospital's demands are just a smoke screen. After 20 years of dealing with NYSNA, they obviously know there is no way they will be able to actually get an agreement that accepts all these changes. So the possibilities are these:

1) figure out what the hospital REALLY wants (their bottom line); the rest of the demands were just to make you feel they are actually "negotiating" when they agree to drop those "demands"


2) figure out if the hospital is actually just attempting to union bust so they can implement ALL their demands.

Then work from there. In neither scenario however, do I see "recruitment and retention" of ANYONE as their main objective (except perhaps the admin & shareholders).

It sounds like you have a good fight ahead but stay strong. You have a lot of support-myself included. I will pray that negotiations actually take place and that you are able to avoid a strike.

Good luck today, I am rooting for you!


2,709 Posts

THANKS. Thats what I wanted to know cause thats how I was seeing it too. We know how to deal with the situation but just wanted to know if maybe we were missing something when we couldnt see how the hospital actually expected to do all that & still have ANY nurses. Thanks for confirming that we arent the crazy ones.


104 Articles; 5,349 Posts

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

They are truly wicked, jt. Thank God you have a union. I wish ALL hospitals had unions, especially the ones down South. We have nothing in place to protect us from administration's whims and power trips and we can only answer with our feet.

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma.


Will you journal in this thread what happens? I would really appreciate that. And as my only suggestion, I would say that it is a waste of time to be livid about this. Disrespect is par for the course in business. It's not personal. Each of you is on one side of the ring, as it always is in business and you have to size up the strengths and weaknesses of both yourself and the opponent.

It might be fun for you to read "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu.

I am excited to know how the proceedings go. Thank you for posting what is happening so thoroughly.


Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

I see the Union sympathizers are at it again


401 Posts

I would be very hesitant to even look at a job w/a hospital that had 30 vacant postions!!!! That just screams: "nobody can stand to work here!" GREAT comeback though about the no business without nurese. Did they think that the docs were going to pass meds and ambulate pts.????


2,709 Posts

Make that 41 vacant positions as of the latest in-house posting. Who knows how many more there really are that still havent been posted yet.

The hospital is livid because the nurses wont give it permission to institute sign-on bonuses for new hires. The hospital threatened to do it anyway. We informed them we will file an Unfair Labor Practice if they do. They accused us (the RN staff) of "just being difficult". But their sign-on bonuses would be coming from money taken from the nurses who already work there & would just be thrown away when those new hires get fed up & leave too. The hospital is ignoring all the data that proves sign-on bonuses have not worked as intended.

That money could be better used to fix the things that will KEEP nurses working there. But they want these sign-on bonuses at the same time they also want to abandon our staffing ratios & have us agree to new ratios that increase our pt load. They want us to agree to unlimited floating and unrestricted mandatory ot. Like any of that is ever going to happen. I just dont know how they think sign-on bonuses are going to change anything if the nurses have to kill themselves with those conditions in order to get it. It will just become a place where people say "you cant pay me enough to work in that hell hole". So until they start spending some bucks to improve the workplace, we arent permitting any kind of sign-on bonuses.

They replied (warned? threatened?) that they will look into recruiting from over-seas. I guess then they wont have to offer any sign on bonuses at all. But where will they get their travel budget from? No doubt they intend to take money from the nurses already working here for that too. Wouldnt it just be easier to fix the problems - starting with their attitude towards nurses? Dont they wonder why the hospital down the street & the one around the corner have better RN retention and are applying for Magnet status? All this trouble theyre going thru to figure out a way to recruit nurses without having to repair the workplace environment enough to attract & keep them. And then they wonder why we laugh when they say "there are no nurses to be found".

Their other big focus is "Customer Satisfaction" which they want to add to the Staff Development section. What does that have to do with staff development??? At the last session, while they kept saying "this is not meant to be punitive", they also insisted that we be forced to take customer services classes at our own expense & on our own time if we get any MD or pt complaints against us or if the pt satisfaction surveys show decline on a unit. Sure sounds punitive to me.

With all the variables that go into pts being dissatisifed (like their meal tray was late, or cold, or missing the coffee, or the staffing sucks and they had to wait for their ice pitcher to be filled or the linen supply has been cut and they couldnt get an extra blanket), we are not going to hold ourselves responsible for that. So the hospital is pissed because we wouldnt put "Customer Satisfaction" and their discipline in our contract. We offered a counter proposal to go into our Staffing section instead - stating that the hospital agrees that staffing and a list of other variables affect the delivery of quality care and impact upon the level of pt satisfaction. Problems with those can be addressed at our monthly meetings. Period. No surveys. No punishment.

They are mulling it over till the next session.

I like being able to say "NO this is not acceptable". If we werent a union, we wouldnt have that power & all their BS would already have been done to us.

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma.

that unrestricted mandatory overtime is especially frightening with that bill just passing house and in senate.


4,491 Posts


You know what's what.

Your fellow nurses are fortunate to have you representing them.

Thank you for keeping us informed.

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