Why In The Heck Should I Be A Loyal Nurse? - page 4

As a nurse, is it really worth it to show loyalty to your place of employment? Perhaps there truly are benefits to being a loyal employee. Maybe not. Your thoughts on workplace loyalty are... Read More

  1. by   BrandonLPN
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I started my career in the late 70s, and in all of the years since, I have never seen what the OP describes as standard operating procedure. Executives, including nurse executives may wax and wane in favor, and I have seen entire departments eliminated or merged with other departments. In most of those cases, though, the displaced nurses and even nurse executives were offered other jobs within the network or at the very least, the first opportunity to bid on any open positions. The only nurses jobless at the end of the restructuring were those who chose to be. The only place I've ever "seen" the type of disloyalty to employees described by the OP is in the large CaliforniaHMO where my sister, as nurse executive, purges her staff from time to time. I'd always assumed it was my sister's disloyalty to her employees, not the HMO's, although I could be wrong.In my current job, working for a large healthcare system, what I've seen is that every employee we've had to let go as a poor fit is offered 2-4 weeks pay after their employment ends and all possible assistance in finding a new job within the system. Only the employees who are fired for cause (like the guy whose solution to a recalcitrant Pyxis was to kick in the screen or the guy who was found passed out in the employee bathroom surrounded by vials of Fentanyl with a needle in his arm) aren't offered the chance to find a new position in the system. That's the way it's been everywhere I've worked in the past 35 years.
    Ruby, I would argue that even the experiences you described constitute a form of disloyalty on the part of your employer. Loyal, hard working nurses are suddenly expected to uproot their lives because the company decided to restructure? Other loyal staff are given the dubious "privilege" of being first considered for future openings?The fact that most of us view this as benevolent behavior just goes to show how inherently one-sided the employer-employee relationship really is.
  2. by   amygarside
    This is really the reality. It may be sad but this is how we are now.
  3. by   anotherone
    Everyone,rare exceptions, in nursing is easily replaceable. It is incredibly naive to think otherwise.Sure a staff filled with new grads is a disaster. I don't expect a company to sacrifice a dollar for precious me, if someone is cheaper. They should expect the same thing. If they have to condense departments, lay people off to stay afloat, well, those things happen . It is a business, better that then the random personality clash firings. I haven't heard anyone promote company loyalty in real life in years (well before i ever started to work). Loyalty doesn't pay the bills. I don't intentionally burn bridges but don't excpect me to not start a new job in the summer or winter holidays. If the employer is not bound by vacations and mythologies, neither am I.
  4. by   NayRN
    My grandfather was over for Thanksgiving and was lamenting the loss of his healthcare benefits his company has been phasing out over the years. He retired with full pension and benefits in 1983. He hasn't received a cost of living pension increase since the early 90's. They cut out dental care a few years ago, and last year they announced that all healthcare support would end, but they increased his pension by $68 a month to assist in purchasing private insurance. Ha ha! I'm sure it is awful to have been promised something and then have it taken away almost 30 years later, but I mentioned to him that the word "pension" is something that, except for in a very few cases is a word that will soon be retired from the English language due to non-use. And, thank goodness he had a good career, because when he retired in 1983, he was making over $90,000 a year-a number many of us would love to reach today, even without inflation adjustments!

    My dad has been loyal to his employer for 32 years. He will receive pension benefits at retirement. That's currently the promise, anyway. Of course, he works his butt off and has never received Christmas off in all that time, but the loyalty has been decent on both ends. Of course, they did stop the company picnic several years ago. I remember they used to rent this little amusement park and the kids would ride the roller coaster while the adults had softball tournaments. Some of my favorite memories!

    I quit my job about a month ago because I felt stagnant and suffocated. I'm better now. My boss was a little sad, and so was I, and I might even try to go back one of these days, but other than that it was "so long, nice knowing you!" from both ends!
  5. by   nkochrn
    I remember a long time ago thinking that changing job frequently wasn't something I would want to have on a resume, but you're right. The upper management tends to think about the dollars and not the employees. I live in a rural area and a lot of the people that work here have been here for 20+ years. There have even been a few people that "retired," conveniently after some incident. These are people that have been employeed here most of their lives and have been good employees. I think the hospital showed them some loyalty by asking them to retire and not just firing them.
  6. by   NewGN12
    Interesting article!
  7. by   MedChica
    I completely agree. Except...these have always been my thoughts.
    Maybe it's because we're in the same generational cohort?

    One of my classmates put all of her time and energy into a GVN position. Before then, she bust butt as a CNA. Anytime, they needed someone? She was there. That company slapped her on the medcart when she passed boards. There were no nurse slots beyond PRN. She took it while waiting to be trained as a nurse because she didn't want to turn down fulltime work for PRN. They did not train her as a nurse, but they turned around and gave a GVN (who apparently just came in off the street) nurse training...and let that girl work INDEPENDENTLY as a nurse. She's picking up PRN days as we speak.

    Not only that?
    They scheduled that GVN... to work as a nurse... over my homegirl - A REAL NURSE -- who worked on the medcart...as a d*mned med aide!
    Now THAT...is a slap to the mf/in' face! I told her to quit. She is stupid if she stays on.
    No - she wasn't passed over because of her job performance because my friend was recognized for her hardwork during one of their group meetings. She showed me the little card + target gift card that her management gave her. Here's what I think and I've told her the same: They just needed someone to fill the med aide slot and thought to staff it with her.
    1. There are no reliable med aides available. She never calls off.
    2 It's difficult to get nurses to come in and cover 32 hr w/end shifts. She works the full 32.

    Two birds. One stone.

    I've a few friends in corp america. They do well and haven't been laid off because they are ASSETS to their respective organizations: They either improve efficiency or the company's 'bottomline'.

    When you can't produce? You're indistinguishable from everyone else...and when you don't have value? You're expendable.

    That's exactly how it works. I respect corp america, though.
    It doesn't even try to hide it. Corp america doesn't try to 'pretty up' the raw truth.
    I've no idea why any would believe the healthcare industry to be so different.
    Oh, bull. There's about as much 'politicking' going on in hospital/LTC management as there is elsewhere. One of my other homegirls works in healthcare insurance. Healthcare Insurance is 'Big Business'.

    So, loyalty?
    A business owner will do what's in the best interests of their businesss. Nothing more; nothing less.
    I'm the 'loyal type', but these entities are cold-blooded. They don't care. That sort of attitude is completely undeserving of anyone's 'blood, sweat and tears'.
    If I bend over backwards, it's for the sake of the pts. I'll never be more loyal to any company than I am to myself. It's about what's best for me. It's about what's in my best interests. It's about my career.
    If I ever find a company that inspires loyalt...I may bend a bit.
    The resume would still be out, though...and I'd likely keep another job. 'Just in case'...
    (I need to make a hasty exit).
    Last edit by MedChica on Nov 26, '12 : Reason: forgot some things
  8. by   marcos9999
    You are so right. Big conglomerate hospitals all across the US have become the greediest corporations ever in history. It's all about profit for a few CEO's while the government gives them "non profit status" which saves them millions on tax brakes only to end up in some CEO pocket and not in the community where it was intended to in the first place. It's truly sad the the companies who were supposed to care for people only wants to profit from them as if they were selling items they don't need.
  9. by   RNperdiem
    At least my generation entered the job market knowing what the expect.
    The people hardest hit were the ones who were mid-career when the change away from the loyalty system took efect.
    Some people like my father-in-law retired to all sorts of pensions and government benefits from his long service in a government job back when the benefits were at their peak. Lucky man.
  10. by   lemur00
    A related article. (pdf)

    One of the things that I found most interesting is that while baby boomers and gen x both really want autonomy, millennials really just want to be paid. Leaves one wondering where a profession like nursing is going to be left in a decade or so, especially given other work that shows incentives and bonuses do not make people better workers in the end (but autonomy does).

    Secondly, I think it's pretty standard that health care tends to be quite conservative and I think that plays out here. Management often expect younger employees to be the same as all the previous generations and find themselves puzzled when it doesn't work. I think the perceived lack of loyalty is probably the biggest difficulty. Neither gen x nor Millennials really consider their job to be their primary source of identity the way older generations did, and therefore won't do whatever it takes to maintain that. So it's imperative that to retain younger staff, employers become more flexible (for example, implementing self scheduling). But management is quite loathe to relinquish control and it won't become a frank necessity until more baby boomers retire, so I wouldn't expect to see it any time soon.

    That said, I think we need to be wary of employers who are more progressive in appealing to younger generations. One of the more insidious ways this is often done is by allowing employees to have more home time or work from home or make the work environment more like a social environment. This blurs the line between time on and off the clock. They actually can get more work out of you than they would by having rigid limits and infringe on your life in other ways. Definitely something to watch out for in the new workplace.
  11. by   rentalnurse
    Union doesn't really mean a thing nowdays. If ya write a grievance you get retaliated against and all they do is sit in meetings and don't help. Loyalty is nothing to a company, customer service and ratings are the only things that matter. If the patient or family isnt happy and they dont get what they want the nurse gets reported and hauled in the office for not providing 'good customer service'
  12. by   Clementia
    I came to the conclusion some time ago that to upper management, a nurse or CNA is basically just one more piece of expensive equipment. If you break down, they'll just get another. I like my unit, and my manager works hard to be a good boss, but I have no more loyalty to my organization than you'd expect from an X-ray machine.
  13. by   dansegypsy
    I am 61 and near retirement, because hiring is biased towards younger workers who earn less. I have seen unjust firings thast went as far as not telling the nurse they were being charged, or given a chance to speak their side because secret hearings were held. Just aboput all the jobs are prn now. What makes it worse is we nurses are quick to feed each other to the lions to gain favor with the bosses and get ahead. The nurses we have are being taught b y culture and example to shun loyalty to the organization after seeing what their parents went through. In the end it will ruin the entire country because we now have "Greed on Main Street." Systems shed staff like dirty socks. Even trhe executives are not immune now. I look forward to retirement because the workplace is toxic with the levels rising.

    Quote from TheCommuter
    As a nurse, is it really worth it to show loyalty to your place of employment? Perhaps there truly are benefits to being a loyal employee. Maybe not.

    Your thoughts on workplace loyalty are probably dependent upon the generation in which you came of age. As recently as a couple of generations ago, it was common practice for companies to strive toward providing lifetime employment for all workers who performed at an acceptable level. In exchange for this implied promise of long term employment, most workers remained at the same workplace for 25, 30, 40+ years, or until retirement. In the distant past, corporations were fiercely loyal to employees, and employees gave back by being loyal to these corporations. The loyalty was mutual.

    I am 31 years old and was born in 1981, so I was born at the very end of Generation X or the very beginning of Generation Y depending on the source I use to define the cutoff points for the generational cohorts. I was 20 years old when the Enron scandal unfolded in 2001 and watched as legions of loyal employees lost their jobs, retirement savings, and overall sense of security. The story behind the Enron collapse is complicated and way outside the scope of this article, but I will say one thing: the big wigs at the very top of that corporation did not show any loyalty to anyone but themselves.

    My views on workplace loyalty are also shaped by the Great Recession of 2008 to 2009. During the last recession, companies laid off masses of employees without taking length of service, tenure, or loyalty into consideration. Benefits for workers have been eroding for years; however, this erosion has accelerated within the past few years. For example, many major healthcare systems are transferring a greater share of health care costs onto their employees. Also, defined benefit pension plans are largely a relic of the past, having been replaced with 401k plans and IRAs. In addition, many hospitals are hiring part-time and/or PRN employees only, as these jobs are cheaper to the corporation's bottom line than full-time benefited positions.

    I also live and learn by ensuring that I do not repeat the mistakes of my more seasoned coworkers. The nurses in my metropolitan area who remain employed with the same workplace for 20+ years are often the first ones to be unjustly fired. I suspect this is due to the fact that they've topped out on the wage grid. I've seen the most loyal nurses get chewed up, spit out, discarded by healthcare corporations, and soon forgotten. When (or if) they find another job, it often comes with a substantial cut in pay and a zap to the soul. By the way, I live in an at-will employment state and unionized hospitals do not exist in the large metropolitan area where I work.

    In summary, I am loyal to myself. I am loyal to my patients while I am on the clock and providing care to them. However, I will never be loyal to any entity that employs me. As soon as the people in upper management get tired of me, I know they'll terminate my employment without losing one minute of sleep over me. And as soon as my workplace no longer meets my needs, I will quit without feeling a morsel of guilt.

    The feeling is mutual these days. It's nothing personal.