Nonprofit versus for profit facilities

Nurses General Nursing



Just curious. I would like to know if you work for a profit or nonprofit hospital/nursing home/etc. and how you feel your facility measures up in regards to its treatment of the nurses and quality patient care. I work fulltime in a huge, for-profit teaching hospital and parttime in a smaller nonprofit hospital. This has been an eye-opener for me. I have noticed BIG, BIG differences. The smaller nonprofit facility is much more nurse friendly. Offers much more flexibility, a variety of schedules and shifts to choose from (8 hour vs 12 hour shifts). Usually has GREAT nurse-patient ratios. Nurses have been working there "forever"--you even see nurses of 60+ age still happily at the bedside. Because both patients and nurses seem more secure, in this environment it is usually not difficult to render top notch patient care. In the for-profit hospital, "contracts" are the buzzword. Offering big sign on bonuses, agree to work 18 months to 3 years. Turnover is unbelievable, like a fastfood restaurant. Nurses don't feel much ownership, morale is low, lots of grumbling going on. People (especially the younger nurses) usually quit just as soon as their contracts are up. Patient care suffers, even though the nurses genuinely strive to do an excellent job. (It just isn't possible sometimes, given the high acuity of patients and staffing ratios, crazed speed, and constant demands.) It's like day and night. Is this just a fluke, or has anybody else experienced this?

nana kathy

18 Posts

I am a personal care assistant. First health-care job was called a "Profit for Charity" label. This was a religious-based facility that charged an arm and leg for a suite or single room, and when the money ran out from the resident and families, the resident was assigned a double room (one room, 2 beds). The 'Charity" clause was based on begging for money from denomination groups (church aux, local clubs, STAFF, etc) to continue the resident admittance. The organization was based in another county, and covered a 5-county area. Had a lot of "chiefs", and many low-paid, unhappy staff. (our facility had more management than hands-on staff)

Now I am working for a smaller, newer, private owned facility. The staff-resident ratio is greater, moral higher (staff AND resident), and cost for care is less.

My personal experience is not the profit, non-profit conflict, but the facilities in general. Management, size, area, etc.


753 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.

My only experience is at the non-profit where I now work. But, in listening to other's here and talking to other nurses in my area, we really do "have it made". Nursing practically runs the hospital. Our ratio's are 5:1 max and we have about every scheduling option available. Downside is our pay. They seem to keep our pay somewhere between bottom to middle in comparison to other area hospitals.


6,011 Posts


I noticed the year that our "non profit" had a surplus of *$41 MILLION* was the year before it changed to a "for profit!"

It was also about the same time that Nursing Shared Governance was ditched, Nursing was changed to Nurse Service Line, and the VP of Nursing was moved out to another building with NO authority over nursing!

Now whether this was all coincidence or what.........Profit seems the motive for a LOT of stuff that happened.

And do you want fries with that? Turnover was no longer a fruit pie from Mickey-D's.


7 Posts

I have only worked at one hospital in my 7 1/2 years of nursing. However, the hospital started out as a nonprofit hospital. It was a nonprofit hospital for my first three years of nursing. This hospital is considered by most in the area as small. We are a 3 floor hospital and hold about 125 beds. When I started, the same nurses had been there for most of their nursing career. Those that left had come back some time along the way. When the hospital was bought out and turned into a profit hospital, the first thing we all noticed was how "cheap" looking the supplies were. The patients no longer received a "basin set" when they were admitted. Every item was individually charged for. Nurses that left the hospital, left mostly for personal reasons and not because of the pay. Actually, the pay was brought up to par when the hospital was made profit.

I think because the hospital is small that we (as nurses) were able to stay the way we have always been. I think too that staff changes occured because of the nursing shortage. The nurses that retired were not replaced because of the great demand everywhere for nurses. :)

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