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Overstaffing question

by rekxro rekxro (New) New

I'm an LPN at a nursing home in PA. We have four nurse positions on 3-11 shift even when facility is full but our DON frequently schedules five nurses. When we get there we have to figure out which one is going home. Is this common or legal?


Specializes in Mother-Baby, Rehab, Hospice, Memory Care. Has 8 years experience.

Does your nursing home frequently have changes in the patient census? For hospitals and skilled nursing/rehab when there are frequent admissions and discharges it is common to try to staff for at least the minimum plus 1-2 extra or more. However if the extra staff isn't needed due to low census, they are called to be cancelled at least an hour prior to the shift start. Usually PRN or PT staff and anyone in overtime is cancelled first and then it is done in turn by who was cancelled last.

I don't know think your DON's practice is illegal but it's surely unfair. What a pain to spend the time and money to come to work and then have to leave. That is ridiculous. Why would she do that? I would be looking for another job.

Its not related to census as we only have 4 halls to work. Their is never a spot for the 5th nurse to work. What it is is the DON hired an LPN to cover one's maternity leave so she didn't have to pay overtime. To get this person to work here she promised her that she would at least get an 8-day pay every 2 weeks even after the nurse on leave returned. Now those of us on 10-day pays have to sacrifice time just to get this person in we don't need. This lpn also happens to be a good friend of the DON.

It's common and legal. Most facilities (the ones I work at) do it for census reasons. Every LTC facility I have interviewed with admits without hesitation that they over-hire on purpose. They have to make sure if a nurse calls off, takes leave, etc that they are staffed--they don't want agency in their facility. But for as many times that I have been sent home, I get called in on days off or asked to double when the census is back up and admits come all at once. It's the way it goes and the cycles end up making it all flush out in the end. Sometimes, they will let the extra LPN stay and do primary care if she wants to, but if she chooses to go home, she can get paid for at least 4 hours with her paid time off (union policy). I work in PA also.

Well, all explained by the "happens to be a friend of the DON" statement. Look elsewhere for work or put up with it. Common sense says it is easier to schedule the four that will be working on a rotating basis instead of wasting time and money for one person. In home health there is something called "show up" pay. You are paid for a minimum of two or four hours if you show up for scheduled work but are sent home for some reason that is not your fault. Everybody should ask for show up pay.


Specializes in LTC.

man, that would be nice to have 4 nurses! I worked that shift for years and we were lucky to keep 3 . Now we do 12's and on my shift we get 2 nurses 7p-a. I have 40 residents plus a min of 16 charts all medicare a , plus other charts so nightly i have around 22 not counting the other junk I do. I think alot of places just do what they want. That 5th nurse could do the desk or tx's....supervise the aides...something. Dont know why she would schedule an extra? My boss wont let a nurse come in for 2 hours to do the hs pass on the other hall anymore to help us out..yet day nurses get a nurse per hall plus a charge nurse. Not fair.