Southern Nurses Better Off Than The Rest? - page 2

You may not believe this (or maybe you will!) but I just heard that nurses from states in the South (ie: Mississippi) recently stated to other nurses at the national American Nurses Association... Read More

  1. by   SharkadelicRN
    I'd sure like to know just exactly where it is in the South that they don't have a nursing shortage and all is well. Not my area of the South...that's for sure. Low wages, high patient ratios, understaffing. I don't see alot of that because I work in the ICU and we are decentralized from the rest of the hospital, so we are only responsible for the staffing in our unit. But I do know that the rest of my hospital has a problem. What I do see is that the nurses on the floor are overworked, barely get a chance to look at their patients, let alone their charts and know very little about their patients since they are trying to care for 8+ patients, then get chastised by doctors and other nurses because they didn't recognize problems with their patients earlier.
  2. by   kewlnurse
    Hmmm non union nurses not complaing about staffing, union nurse nothing but problems. What does that tell ya about unions.

    Also, maybe these non complaining nurses realize that having 6 or 7 patients is great staffing, especially on nights and evenin shifts.
    As I have stated before I work for a union hospital and our floor staffing on evening and nights is usually 8-13, seen it as high as 16, tele floors included.
    I work in the unit and usually have 3 patients, at least one on a vent.
  3. by   SICU Queen
    I myself would like to know where these nurses at the "state level" get their info from.

    Good staffing? In what hospital? :chuckle

    I live in southern Mississippi and work in Mississippi and Louisiana. Let me tell you the shortage is real and the staffing SUCKS.

    I work ICU and absolutely REFUSE to work the floor. I cannot safely care for 8 patients with the acuity level that they're on the floor with. It's ridiculous. I don't know how the floor nurses do it.
  4. by   nurs4kids
    I've said it a million times and ya'll act like I'm crazy. We do NOT have the problem here. Now, the unit I recently transferred to DID have staffing problems, but the hospital covered it with agency nurses. Mandatory OT is an ugly word here. Think about it from a management standpoint. There IS a nursing shortage..and most of alabama is NOT unionized as your above post suggest(I can't think of a unionized hospital in central; Birmingham). If they try to force OT, then we'd just move somewhere biggie. My hospital has gone to great lengths for retention. My hospital is in the process of phasing out all agency nurses (to be completely gone next month). I think we only had a handful anyhow. Now, we don't have the big paychecks you guys have, but we have a pretty low cost of living too.

    How is it done? We (nurses) know we are the driving force behind the hospital's pocketbook and so do the CEO's. Staying non-union gives us more bargaining power because we aren't legally locked into any contracts or stipulations. The hospital's also want to stay non-union, so the threat of union is much stronger than an actual union would be. Many of our hospitals are afiliated with the colleges and universities, so we get many nurses that way. Those not affiliated have contracted with several junior colleges and are paying tuition for future nurses (of course under contract).

    I think a few of the other hospitals in the area are having more staffing shortages than we do, but none of my friends have mentioned mandatory OT. Matter of fact, most of our agency nurses work 7on/7off at other hospitals in the area and come do agency for us on their off, they're not doing any MOT, to my knowledge.

    However, I do think the rural areas are having a harder time with staffing than those in the city. They have fewer schools to draw from and their pay is even worse than ours.
  5. by   TELEpathicRN
    IF there is a nurses union in Alabama, I haven't heard of one!! If you know that there is one, please reply with the name of it. Thanks
  6. by   -jt
    <As for the unions, I wasn't aware that the VA had unionized but 2 hospitals in the whole state is hardly representative of nurses in Georgia. I hate to believe that such a small number of people are speaking for the rest of us me cynical.............if the rest of us don't join and speak out then I guess we get what we deserve>

    I think theres a misunderstanding here - Sorry for the confusion - let me clarify.

    #1. I did not intend to suggest that ALL of Alabama is unionized. The Alabama State Nurses Association has a collective bargaining branch, offers union services for RNs in Alabama & is part of the national RN labor union - the United American Nurses/AFL-CIO Union. Lots of people think there there are no such things as RN unions anywhere in the south - but thats not true. Anyway, that wasnt the point.

    I just mentioned that Staff RNs who happen to be part of the RN union in that state, & other unionized RNs from other states in the south gave a presentation about staff RN's workplace problems in southern USA. They were speaking to staff nurses who had assembled from all over the country & the Virgin Islands

    2. It wasnt about any union speaking for nurses. It was Staff RNs talking about what most Staff RNs are facing in that region overall - union and not. Much the same kind of things as the posts here have said - especially about the unsafe staffing shortages theyre seeing in their states. The next day, in a different discussion, other nurses from the same region contradicted them by saying there were no such problems happening in those states . Non-unionized nurses from that region (my guess is that they were not staff RNs) basically said the workplace problems these Staff RNs discussed dealing with everyday did not even exist.

    I wanted to hear from real nurses on the front there if what those other nurses said was true. THOSE nurses - the ones who said there are NO problems - were not in any union. They were leaders in their southern state associations & are considered by the powers that be in their states to be speaking for nursing there. And theyre saying they have no problems with staffing!

    I have read many posts from nurses all over the south describing very difficult conditions, including short staffing, so it floored me that these nurse leaders could be so out of touch. A very scary thought that the people who are looked to by a states government as the voice of nurses in that state dont have any clue that their nurses have problems like short staffing.

    It just so happens that state associations with union branches are many times more likely to know about, understand, & focus on whats happening with the RN at the bedside because they are there with them. Those who are not unions, are not dealing much with the RN at the bedside, may not be so focused on them, & so often are not up to speed on these issues & can be out of touch with what is really going on.

    It wasnt that non-union nurses had nothing to complain about & union nurses had lots of "complaints". It was that STAFF NURSES in that region had a clear perspective of the difficulties they are dealing with everyday - (and thats much more than just 6 or 7 pts) - and its the NURSE EXECUTIVES in charge of the state who have their heads in the sand & dont have a clue - yet THEY are the ones the state is listening to. Thats the problem.

    I have to chalk it up to it probably is nurse executives running the show in those state associations because, union or not, staff nurses arent in them in that region & so, for the most part, arent being heard.

    Im sure there are some wonderful places to work in the south as there are everywhere else but for nurse leaders to say there are no staffing problems in the south was stretching it a bit too far, I think.

    I wasnt asking a question about unions. I was asking if those other nurses were telling the truth. Thanks to all for the many thoughtful responses. I think those leaders need a little education about what the world is really like for staff RNs in their own states.
    Last edit by -jt on Jul 8, '02
  7. by   NICU_Nurse
    I work in Virginia and can tell you that as I've seen it, there is a DEFINITE shortage to be felt. We (that is, my hospital, and more specifically, my unit) do not have mandatory overtime, but there is a huge job market at the moment, particularly for intensive care areas and med/surg. Places are offering all sorts of packages, including new CARS (leased for three years to be paid for by the hospital), stipend programs, loan repayment, high wage/no benefits packages, baylor programs, etc. to get nurses into high-need areas. Now ask me if I would consider being locked into a contract on a unit that has to bribe me with a new car to get me to work there!!!!! ROFL No thanks. LTC facilities and nursing homes are also short here, as nurses are getting wiser and choosing not to apply to a job in which they will be solely responsible for thirty some-odd people/patients. Our hospital just hired no less than FORTY new nurses from the new batch of May 2002 grads to staff various high-need areas, and almost all of those people were stipend participants, who received 300 a month for a committment to work two months for every month they got paid. If I worked ICU or SCU/CCU I would have ABSOLUTELY no problem finding a job right now.
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 28, '03
  8. by   NICU_Nurse
    Oh, and as far as I know, Virginia has no union, but if it does, it's crap because I've never heard of it. I've been a nurse for six months, and my mother was a nurse here for over twenty years and if there is a union, they must be conducting secret meetings in Mexico.
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 28, '03
  9. by   pebbles
    ... I'm a nurse in canada who recently expressed interest in moving to the southern US, just because...

    I was investigating Georgia, alabama, tenessee... I was told by a couple of recruiters that thoses states don't recruit nurses, they seem to have enough of their own!!!

    I also notice that in the ad sections of any nursing publication, there is like 10 ads from texas and california, a few from arizona and oklahoma and the midwest, and only rarely do I see south eastern states advertising at all...

    You guys down south... if in fact you do have a nursing shortage, maybe it's time to break out and start advertising!
  10. by   kewlnurse
    i forgot to add to my above post we do not have a shortage here. in fact there is a weekly threat of layoffs. one of my freinds just got bumped, another nay to unions, from a full time tele position. they offered her a part time on a suck hole med surge floor. she left the hospital and system alltogther. there is exactly 1/4 of a page in the sunday papers for nurses, lpn/rn/cna's combined! 95% are for ltc, but they offer huge bonuses of $100!, yes one hundred dollars. supervisors pay is advertised at $38,000, hate to see what a staff nurse is getting. no, we do not have a low cost of living. our area only has 3 major hospital systems, the one i work for which "runs" 5 local hospitals and 2 or 3 outlying ones, a but load of clinics, and some ltc. we loose a ton of money. they need to consolidate but whenever they try a bunch f people whine, md's threatent leave... there is the catholic system that runs 5 or 6 hospitals, they are great places to go to get an infection, get mis diagnosed, or die, and there is the county whick is the only level i trauma center, which they are good at but wouldn't want to work there or be on the med surge floor as a pt. there are a few out lying free standing hospitals, but they pay rn's somthing like $12/hour and if your stricken wiht anything worse then a doig bite or need surgery beyond a tonsilectomy you get transfered to us or the county. as you can see if you leave one system you only have 2 other choices or go to ltc. if/when i get laid off i'm leaving the area all togther.
  11. by   BadBird
    When I worked in Fl. The only time there were enought nurses, medications, supplies, etc.. Was the week that JCAHO was there. I remember the nurse managers hiding charts that needed MD signatures, etc...
  12. by   formernurse
    I live in the south, and have been on disability for 7 years----and every once and awhile feel sad about not being able to work. After reading some of the posts on this BB as well as other nursing sites, I'm probably better off not having to work in an understaffed hospital.

    I honestly and truly feel bad for what many of the nurses have to put up with today-----not only in the south, but in so much of the rest of the country. Technology is great, but when you add managed care, more paperwork, and a large nurse/patient ratio, it is no longer a pleasure to be in the profession.
  13. by   shay
    well, as a southern nurse, i can tell you yes there is a shortage. i've never been forced to work ot, nor have i ever heard of it down here in my neck of the woods. the only time they mandated ot was during the hurricanes (and i don't mean the hockey team, people....), and that was 'cause your butt was locked down in the hospital and you couldn't leave!!!

    anyhoo, my ms bud tells me there's a shortage, and as the other la/ms (she lives/works in biloxi) have confirmed, the wages suck out there. can't say about the mandated ot, my friend's a military nurse.

    as for the canadian nurse who was told by the recruiter that some southern states 'don't recruit'..... liar liar pants on fire!!! (the recruiter, that is...) they do indeed recruit there. if you're looking to go to ga, look in the atlanta area. if you're looking to go to sc, look in the columbia area. if you're looking to go to tn, look in the knoxville/memphis/chattanooga areas.