Unions in NJ - page 2

Hello all, Does anyone know which hospitals are unionized in New Jersey? If you work at one of the hospitals, what is your opinion on that specific union situation. Thanks so much in advance. :p... Read More

  1. by   DNRme
    Quote from jaimealmostRN

    Thanks for your help, I'll definatly PM you soon. One quick question though: did you say that one must re-apply for their job each year? Thanks!


    no,no. In most places, you have to reapply for the clinical ladder every year. At JSUMC I think it lasts for 3 years.

  2. by   rnmaven
    Quote from jaimealmostRN
    Hey! Thanks so much for the advice, I'll take all I can get at this point. All your ICU expirience is quite impressive, I actually think that would be more difficult for a new grad than the ER JMO. Just curious, which area of intensive care did you like the most? From clinical I've seen that trauma/sicu is entirely different from CCU. Which is your favorite and why? I'd love to work in CCU after I've gotten some expirence, but at this point I think the ER is more suited to me, I love that fast pace! Is there a good internship for Jersey Shore? I'm going to start making calls soon, but how is it in general? Thanks sooooo much for your help and input, it means a lot!
    Dear jaimealmostRN,

    Thanks for your reply! I'll give you a little background on my career path at the bedside and some insights I have that you may or may not find useful. When I finished nursing school in 1977 (Muhlenberg Hospital School of Nursing) the thinking was that almost everyone should get a year of med/surg experience before moving into critical care. So I followed the advice (or rather job offering) and worked for a year on a medical floor. It was kind of like working in a nursing home.........lots of patients awaiting longterm placement in nursing homes but also since the hospital didn't have a psych ward, I gained a great deal of experience dealing with drug addicts, alcoholics and other interesting patients. (the floor had a "strong room" and I would come into work in the morning and find very agitated patients going into DT's, etc. in that room.......great experience for a new grad.)

    Anyway, in my heart, I loved cardiac so after a year I transferred into the CCU. The docs at Muhlenberg were wonderful to us "new nurses" and they took us under their wing and taught us all we needed to know about cardiology. By working in that CCU, I was exposed to another level of care when the patients would go "bad" the pump team from Newark Beth Israel would come out and insert Intraaortic balloon pumps and take the patient with them to NBIMC for CABG. I thought, wow.......what a neat thing! So after a few years of doing the medical CCU I felt comfortable enough to head out of my zone of security and learn more. The other thing that I did was get exposure to Mobile Intensive Care because the hospital started Mercy 6 in 1978. Paramedics weren't working in NJ at that time, so Mercy 6 was staffed by a volunteer EMT driving, a critical care nurse and the third year resident. I can tell you that little bit of experience I had working out on the streets of Plainfield was worth it's weight in gold. Even the docs agreed that this new level of patient care was an experience for them!

    So, on to Beth Israel........I drove to Newark and interviewed for the CTICU/CCU units at that hospital. My five years there exposed me to working post open heart and medical CCU. During that time, they brought on a cardiologist who did antiarrhythmic work. It was fantastic. I went to school during the day at Rutgers in Newark and finished my BSN.

    I guess my message to you is that in my humble opinion, you can get more "bang for your buck" by becoming a more well rounded, educated nurse. Because most of my experience has been in critical care that is both medical management and surgical management, I am able to handle just about anything. When I work in SICU's I find that most nurses there don't truely understand cardiology. They are comfortable in monitoring of course, but if the patient suddenly develops EKG changes, they aren't entirely comfortable saying........hey, this guy has changes in his inferior leads.....what's that mean? When you work medical CCU, you're exposed to people who may be a bit on the compulsive side about an EKG. It's a good education and an education you can carry with you anywhere.

    Now, on to your love of the ER.......In my opinion, it's just too much fragmented experience coming onto you at the same time for a new grad. By gaining clinical experience and becoming proficient in other areas first, you can apply what you learn and go back to the ER later. Now, I'm sure there are ER nurses out there who may disagree with me, but I can tell you that I spend alot of time these days working in ER holding........not enough critical care beds so the agency nurse gets to hold the ER patient. I could write a book on my life as queen of the ER holding. ER nurses want to do the emergeny care and send the patient out to the correct area of the hospital........that's their job. However, when there's no bed they get stuck having to deal with the next level of care......and they don't have time (or many times, the experience) to deal with that level of patient care. Truely proficient critical care nurses are proficient in critical thinking........by that I mean, asking the what if's and really thinking through, what does this patient need now. They manage the patient as a whole......deal with the family issues, etc. That is what I like about critical care.

    I know that JSUMC has an excellent critical care internship. Look into that program and the nurses there will help you find your way. Good luck on what I am sure will be a bright future for you!

  3. by   jaimealmostRN

    Thank you so much for such a kind and informative post. I think expirenced RNs don't entirely know how much they help us "newbies" with career advice, etc. It's like were jumping off a diving board and don't know whats gonna be in the pool if that makes any sense, so any info helps! Today in clinical I was paired with a CCU nurse who was floating to our tele unit. She was quizzing me on rhythms and some heart failure info....I got most of the questions right but realized how much I still have to learn...eg. a patient is coding, I can't sit there and say, "well the QRS is normals, but hmmm, I don't think I see a P wave" ooopps pt died! I am doing a summer externship on another telemetry floor (I graduate THIS december!!!) so I hope that it will help with gaining some of that "all around" expirence you spoke of. And wow, facing a DT pt. as a new grad must have been slightly scarry to say the least! At least in the ER i've had security literally right to each side when facing a patient like that! I will be looking into JSMCs internships soon, it seems like it is a great place to start a career, thanks again, you have quite a resume so any advice is always welcome! Hope to talk to you soon!
  4. by   trita
    Just reading old threads and wondering if you have graduated and started at Jersey Shore?
  5. by   trita
    Quote from jaimealmostRN
    Anybody??? Does anyone know any websites I could check out at least?
    Have you checked out the HPAE website at www.hpae.org? Besides information about the union at each hospital, there is also information about staffing legislation, etc.
  6. by   trita
    Quote from rnmaven
    I know Jersey Shore uses HPAE union....St. Barnabas and Robert Wood Johnson. I know there are more but those are the three I'm most familiar with. Personally, I have a problem with unions taking 1 to 1.5% of my earnings for their dues......I should kill myself for OT and they reap the benefits? It doesn't make sense. Quite honestly, in NJ I don't see them doing much for nurses. Alot of money being paid to them and very little benefits coming back.
    A union is not a business, it is a membership organization. If you think your organization should be doing more or different things, then you need to raise that at meetings, etc. If you think you can do a better job for less than 1%, then you should raise that in meetings and put forth a budget. HPAE was formed by RNs at Englewood Hospital & the leadership are RNs. Each hospital elects its own officers and negotiates its contract with help and support from the broader group. A Jersey Shore RN took a pay cut to work full time for the union. If not for unions, management would mandate overtime without paying anything extra (unions fought for the overtime laws - now some politicians are trying to do away with it.)
  7. by   jaimealmostRN
    Trita, thanks for the interest! I have graduated but have not yet sat for my boards (early Feb. I think). Well, JSMC didn't call me back (oops), but I have been hired at another wonderful (union ) hospital in NJ. I am extremely excited to start, but am just concentrating on passing the NCLEX right now. Talk to you later!