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KSjo88 KSjo88, BSN (Member)

Low unemployment

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Was just wondering if and how the current economy is impacting your facility or place of employment. Currently, our economy is supposed to be experiencing the highest level of unemployment in decades. I work PRN at to separate facilities as this works better for me as a single mom and I do not need the health insurance as a combat veteran I receive the healthcare I need from the VA. However, at the one facility I work at they are a critical staffing issue(well at both they do) but I know several of the nurses started looking elsewhere and were offered approximately $4 more per hour at other facilities so they went back and asked for a $2 raise in order to stay and the facility refused. So then we had a mass exodus and ended up with a facility full of travel nurses. Sometimes the night shift is completely travel staff. So they implemented a temporary $5 shift differential for night shift. The other facility also has a staffing issue. Always, short. This is a big medical facility. The base pay at this facility is already lower then market value, I would say $2-$6 depending on experience. However, they recently slashed PRN differential, as well as night differential, and weekend differential. Their idea behind this was something like all the older nurses are retiring and in order to save money these differentials will not apply to new hires or anyone who isn't grandfathered in. From my understanding those nurses who work straight nights were given a base pay increase to offset the nearly $5 night shift differential but is still lower then it was before. So I guess I'm just not seeing these wage increases the news is talking about are suppose to be happening because of a tight labor market. But when I look at job ads I'm seeing more and more job openings.

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Was just wondering if and how the current economy is impacting your facility or place of employment. Currently, our economy is supposed to be experiencing the highest level of unemployment in decades. I work PRN at to separate facilities as this works better for me as a single mom and I do not need the health insurance as a combat veteran I receive the healthcare I need from the VA. However, at the one facility I work at they are a critical staffing issue(well at both they do) but I know several of the nurses started looking elsewhere and were offered approximately $4 more per hour at other facilities so they went back and asked for a $2 raise in order to stay and the facility refused. So then we had a mass exodus and ended up with a facility full of travel nurses. Sometimes the night shift is completely travel staff. So they implemented a temporary $5 shift differential for night shift. The other facility also has a staffing issue. Always, short. This is a big medical facility. The base pay at this facility is already lower then market value, I would say $2-$6 depending on experience. However, they recently slashed PRN differential, as well as night differential, and weekend differential. Their idea behind this was something like all the older nurses are retiring and in order to save money these differentials will not apply to new hires or anyone who isn't grandfathered in. From my understanding those nurses who work straight nights were given a base pay increase to offset the nearly $5 night shift differential but is still lower then it was before. So I guess I'm just not seeing these wage increases the news is talking about are suppose to be happening because of a tight labor market. But when I look at job ads I'm seeing more and more job openings.

Quite the opposite- we have the LOWEST unemployment in many years - around 3.2% in my area.

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Quite the opposite- we have the LOWEST unemployment in many years - around 3.2% in my area.

Oh, geesh. That is what I meant. LOWEST. ND unemployment rate for the state is around 2.5%- But salaries for nurses seem to be low compared to the cost of living. This may just be my opinion.

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It will continue as you describe as long as the hospital can procure warm bodies with a license to work for them; even if they have to pay more for travel nurses because they know in the long term it will likely be temporary and in a year or two the salary "resets" will pay off.

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Right. We have a ton of travel nurses and even "passport" nurses. They are currently offering an incentive pay if you work on a critically short floor, but it cannot be your base floor. That is helping to cover us when we literally have no nurses to care for patients, but eventually that pay won't be enough. You get exhausted. You can only do so many shifts without burning and crashing. We have had a run on nurse illnesses. One was admitted to the ICU with sepsis, another had a stroke while at work (that I guess was good since she got TPA ASAP) and another should have been admitted with cellulitis but didn't because she felt guilty missing her shifts. We are humans, not machines, and we are exposed to everything and anything.

That being said, my hospital employer was once the best paying hospital around. Now the others are pretty close and working conditions are rumored to not be as bad so we have a mass exodus happening right now. The other week our ICU nurses were up to 3 patients.

I don't think pay alone is how you keep staff. If we felt real appreciation, or received better benefits, more would stay.

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I agree. The sub-par benefits is what has kept me from an FTE position for 4 years. Oddly, seems like the appreciation thing is getting worse. We had the same thing happen in our ICU....7 nurses put in their notice in one shift and I believe 3 said the would not be returning after their shift was over....I believe at that time they were up to 1:4. I do not work ICU....but know that day shift for our med surg floors are sometimes 1:6....totally ridiculous. Since this is a level 1 trauma center/big medical facility and having worked at other hospitals can tell you our patients are much "sicker" then what some other hospitals can accommodate.

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I agree. The sub-par benefits is what has kept me from an FTE position for 4 years. Oddly, seems like the appreciation thing is getting worse. We had the same thing happen in our ICU....7 nurses put in their notice in one shift and I believe 3 said the would not be returning after their shift was over....I believe at that time they were up to 1:4. I do not work ICU....but know that day shift for our med surg floors are sometimes 1:6....totally ridiculous. Since this is a level 1 trauma center/big medical facility and having worked at other hospitals can tell you our patients are much "sicker" then what some other hospitals can accommodate.

1:4 - Are you kidding me?!?! Those managers should have been on the floor helping out. That's ridiculous.

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Unemployment is extremely low, but many companies still operate in their hiring practices as though we are in a recession.

Some things I have noticed: poor communication during application process, taking 3 months to onboard someone. These are not things to do when unemployment is low.

My team has 3 vacancies and one staff member on medical leave.

Recently I saw my manager dismiss someone's resume because she hadn't stayed at her last position very long. Excuse me? The position has been unfilled for 5 months. We don't pay well. We can't afford to turn people down for having enough opportunity to leave a situation.

Nurses are in very high demand. That should translate into better pay, and attention to our concerns. It doesn't take a genius to realize that micromanagement and understaffing are serious problems in nursing. If you want to hire and retain nurses you need to address these issues!

Edited by FolksBtrippin

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Unemployment is extremely low, but many companies still operate in their hiring practices as though we are in a recession.

Some things I have noticed: poor communication during application process, taking 3 months to onboard someone. These are not things to do when unemployment is low.

My team has 3 vacancies and one staff member on medical leave.

Recently I saw my manager dismiss someone's resume because she hadn't stayed at her last position very long. Excuse me? The position has been unfilled for 5 months. We don't pay well. We can't afford to turn people down for having enough opportunity to leave a situation.

Nurses are in very high demand. That should translate into better pay, and attention to our concerns. It doesn't take a genius to realize that micromanagement and understaffing are serious problems in nursing. If you want to hire and retain nurses you need to address these issues!

Nurses leave positions every 2-3 because well basically the raises don't keep up with market value. My first position I gained $0.51 in two years. I switched jobs and my base hourly went up $2.00 and the new facility offered shift differentials. With raises over the past three years I make $1.23 more. I have remained prn. However, now my new job I make nearly $8.50 more per hour. I often look at open positions and see they want 3-5 years of experience for consideration. I think it's ridiculous. South Carolina is the worst for this. Job listing with BSN required masters preferred 3-5 years of experience, or crazy requirements then want to offer you $24/hr with mediocre benefits and patient ratios of 1:6-7 on days in a med/surg unit. Please..... not to mention SC is on the brink of a nursing shortage crisis.

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Where do I go to be a spokes person? Ugh. Didn't help that every hospital and facility was for profit corporation owned in the area that I was in. It's all about "productivity" in a nonproductive profession. We are in the business of healing. What has happened to safe patient care. I'm sure it costs less then having to pay out fines, lawsuits, and treat conditions caused by unsatisfactory care. My biggest issue with my last job was the work load. We all know there are going to be days that are hard, days when we are going to be running like crazy and busy busy busy. But we shouldn't have to come to work to be run to the ground every shift that it makes you dread coming to work! When I started getting anxiety and overwhelmed with the thought of just going to work, I knew it was time to go....

Edited by KSjo88

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Oh, geesh. That is what I meant. LOWEST. ND unemployment rate for the state is around 2.5%- But salaries for nurses seem to be low compared to the cost of living. This may just be my opinion.

Nope, not just your opinion. It's been widely reported lately that in all fields of employment wages have been stagnant while COL has considerably increased. So it's not just health care, but that doesn't make the impact felt by nurses any less. As long as wages are low across all employers people are going to keep going to the few that are paying even a little higher.

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Nope, not just your opinion. It's been widely reported lately that in all fields of employment wages have been stagnant while COL has considerably increased. So it's not just health care, but that doesn't make the impact felt by nurses any less. As long as wages are low across all employers people are going to keep going to the few that are paying even a little higher.

I am looking into travel positions within a few hour radius of where I'm at. Also been peeking around for a new job. I can hardly afford to live and the only bills I have are mortgage, student loans, childcare, Internet/phone and insurance. It's gotten especially tight for me the past year or so.

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