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Low Census??


Just wondering if everyone across the board is suffering from "low census?" We dropped in the summer which is typical, but it has not picked up one bit......2-3 nurses being called off daily. Wondering if it's economy related???

I feel like I need to look for a new job, but I'm afraid it's everywhere...

Any thoughts/comments are appreciated.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

The same here on the west coast of Florida. Usually things start to pick up by now but it's slow. The bean counters are not amused and times are scarey. Hopefully in January when our "season" really picks up we'll see an upswing.

Yes, times are very scarey..I have friends in Jersey who state there have already been layoffs at some hospitals up there..I'm afraid it may come to that here in VA. Staff are running out of APL/vacation and can not afford to take time off without pay either, hmmm...


Specializes in PCCU,ICU,ER. Has 5 years experience.

same here in texas..:cry:

86toronado, BSN, RN

Specializes in neurology, cardiology, ED. Has 5 years experience.

Wow! It's not that way for us in NY! We had a lot of low census days over the summer... to the point where I purposely saved several of my personal days just in case I got called off (I was orienting this summer, so no call offs for me while on orientation). But it's picked right back up for us, and with icy winter weather coming, I'm sure we'll have no shortage of patients for the foreseeable future (work on a neuro unit-lots of subdural/subarachnoid hematomas in the winter)

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

No, it's been a freakin' zoo with the hospital running out of beds some days. I'm called IN but have yet to be called OFF.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 13 years experience.

Nope, we have had to hire a ton of travel nurses and our manager just hired another dozen people...

NeoNurseTX, RN

Specializes in NICU Level III.

Nope, using travelers and agency and still have days we are short. Some days we call off some travelers though.


Specializes in Med/Surg.

I work on a Med/Surg Floor at a VA Hospital in Missouri...we are packed and having to send patients to other hospitals because our beds are full. It has been this way for over 9 months. Insane!


Has 6 years experience.

We had a couple of slow weeks but overall, it's been hella busy with OT available (VA in SF Bay area)


Specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c. Has 16 years experience.

I was cancelled twice this week due to low census (NJ). People often put off elective surgery until after the holidays so we are getting the worst of the worst these days acuity wise.

We're averaging ppl being called off twice a week...I'm originally from NJ and have heard that some hospitals in Central Jersey have laid ppl off. I'm afraid we're gonna come to that or furloughs...This is in central Virginia...kind of scary...I think alot has to do with the economy and people not having health insurance....their putting things off until they are desparate...

diane227, LPN, RN

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

I live just outside Seattle. In the summer we had some low census days but most people are fine with it and volunteer to take time off because the weather is so beautiful here that time of year. No big deal, at least at the hospital where I work.

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

It may be possible that in some areas the economy is adversely affecting the census. If folks have lost their insurance or their jobs they will not be using medical services unless urgent.

I'm at a small private hospital in Northern California on a med-surg and nurses have been called off left and right because of the low census. People are definitely nervous and I feel bad for the new grads because the situation isn't getting better at all.


Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, educator.

I got called off this AM. First time for me in months, but some of my coworkers are continuously being called off. We have stayed busy all year until just recently. I'm just waiting to see what happens with healthcare reform. I think it may get much worse....


Specializes in SICU, CCU, MCU, peds, physician's office. Has 7 years experience.

I live in Southern Alabama and I have only worked 30 hours in the last 2 weeks. I luckily have a little holiday pay coming, but I am still nervous about how bad this check is gonna look!

lucky you for those of you that are getting to work.. My unit (neonatal ICU) has been slow the past year, with the last 6 months the worst... The hospital is trying to find creative ways to keep us on staff, but for how long I dont' know.. We are calling off at least 2-3 nurse's a shift....