Schwartznegger on Hannity and Combs tonight..

Nurses Activism

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You are reading page 3 of Schwartznegger on Hannity and Combs tonight..

begalli

1,277 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care/ICU.
Not a manager . . . :)

steph.. :icon_hug: but, not because you are not a manager (just because).

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.
You know what I find interesting? If CA is such a great place to work because of the unions why is their nursing shortage worse than everywhere else? CA has 30% fewer nurses per capita than the national average. Something to think about for everyone that is so much "for unions"

First, it is an expensive state to live in.

Second, there are many older Americans/nonEnglish speaking immigrants/etc in certain areas. They drive the population up, and use many healthcare dollars/time. Yet very few of them work as nurses, as health, education, social issues provide a barrier. Thus many people needing healthcare plus fewer of the able to work as RNs equal shortage. The same issues affect Arizona and Florida disproportionately.

Third, the ratio has only been in force since 1/1/2004, and the crisis has been easing since then. Prior to that time, the hospital associations have been fighting tooth and nail against implementing it. They have been fighting against appropriate break coverage and RN vs LPN coverage. My friends that have worked in California (and left) can tell you about med/surg ratios of 1 licensed caregiver for 10 patients, RNs having to cover that load plus an LPNs, and never going to lunch because there was no one to cover their patients.

The initial ratio that the hospital associations proposed was 1:10, by the way.

The CNA has fought a long uphill battle for this. And the shortage is now easing, but it will take time for nurses to gain faith in California to do the right thing.

Especially with Ahnold in office.

begalli

1,277 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care/ICU.

I would like to add to caroladybelle's post by saying that when Managed Care really started taking hold in the early-mid nineties many nurses were displaced from their jobs or simply fed-up with it, they quit. The "restructuring" of hospitals by outside companies, that "coincidently" happened at the same time as Managed Care, came in one fell-swoop and changed the lives of many many nurses during this time. These companies had absolutely NO knowledge of healthcare and it was all about "cutting costs" and working more "efficiently." It was a terrible hardship for many. Their roles changed without ANY of their own input on the changes that affected their lives so much.

I believe this is contributory to the large number of RN's who either have kept their license current, but don't work at the bedside, or have chosen to get out of nursing altogether.

I saw this happen to many friends of mine in the mid-nineties. Many left nursing because of it.

I heard recently on a television news show that before the RN to patient ratios became law, California had the worse ratios in the nation. This reflects the 1:10 ratios preferred by the Hospital Association. ANd those were minimum ratios!

pickledpepperRN

4,491 Posts

Managed care, restructuring, and layoff of RNs happened first in California. The staff nurses of the CNA responded in an effort to protect our patients.

CALIFORNIA LICENSED RN STATISTICS

http://www.rn.ca.gov/about/status.htm

In 1999 the number of registered nurses with active licenses was 246,000

In January 2004 the number of registered nurses with active licenses was 296,100

More than fifty thousand more RNs hold an active license in California than when the ratio law was signed.

Most in the most recent two years.

I am proud of the care we give to patients on my unit. If nor for the advocacy education from the CNA I would no longer be at the bedside.

fergus51

6,620 Posts

Can I get an AMEN to Spacenurse?! The ratios ARE increasing the number of nurses in this state. I'm a perfect example. I'm one of those new nurses who moved here since the ratios were instituted.

begalli

1,277 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care/ICU.
Can I get an AMEN to Spacenurse?!

AMEN!

To further back up what spacenurse is saying about the numbers of RN's increasing over recent years, I read this last night:

After a decade of stagnation, a combination of the ratio law, higher salaries, and improved benefits has given a large boost to the number of RNs licensed in California. Between fiscal years 1999-2000 and 2003-2004, the number of RNs with active licenses increased by more than 49,000, according to the California Board of Registered Nursing.

AJN. Feb. 2005, Volume 105, Number 2, pg. 26.

You can count me too in the ranks of those 49,000.

begalli

1,277 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care/ICU.
CA has 30% fewer nurses per capita than the national average. Something to think about for everyone that is so much "for unions"

One more thing to add to this. The Nursing schools in Ca are so impacted right now that there are waiting lists in the thousands around the state.

When I went to school they were begging for students. Now my daughter's name and very good credentials sit on a list of almost 300 waiting to get into a program that admits only 90 per year.

Not sure what the unions can do about this except lobby against these budget cuts and for making education more available. But assessment and interventions needed to cure this situation run as deeply as a crashing multisystem organ failure patient does in the ICU. There's only so much they can do here, in my opinion.

FrumDoula

149 Posts

We need to encourage more LVN's in CA to get their RN's, even if it's through the 30 unit option, which allows you to take some of the nursing courses, plus Micro and A&P and challenge the NCLEX-RN. We could really help improve the numbers that way, too.

Is anyone else here familiar with the 30 Unit option for CA LVN's? Are hospitals open to hiring these nurses?

Alison

ERNurse678

34 Posts

One more thing to add to this. The Nursing schools in Ca are so impacted right now that there are waiting lists in the thousands around the state.

When I went to school they were begging for students. Now my daughter's name and very good credentials sit on a list of almost 300 waiting to get into a program that admits only 90 per year.

Not sure what the unions can do about this except lobby against these budget cuts and for making education more available. But assessment and interventions needed to cure this situation run as deeply as a crashing multisystem organ failure patient does in the ICU. There's only so much they can do here, in my opinion.

Well I live in south carolina where no nursing unions exist. We only have 9 BSN programs in the state and 13 ADN programs, all of which have waiting lists. I was one of 30 people admitted to the BSN program at my college in 1999. We do not have mandatory staffing rations and our nurses per capita is 70 per 1000 and the national average is 78 per 1000. So the staffing ratio and the waiting list for entrance into programs is not a factor here. Yes, we are below the national average for nurses per capita but not 30% below. I am not saying that CA is a bad place to work I am just saying that everyone who thinks that unions are good, need to look at these statistics.

fergus51

6,620 Posts

You also have to look at the fact that California is the most populous state in the country and look at the demographics. Just looking at a number without the context is misleading at best. Whatever is going on in California and whatever is causing it, the number of nurses has increased dramatically in the last few years.

wjf00

357 Posts

As far as what CNA pays organizers, did you realize it's more than the average nurse makes?? What are the board members thinking when they pay union organizers more than the nurses they supposedly represent make? Did you get to vote on that?

And did you know that they just spent $150,000 on and ad to bash Schwartsenager in the New York Times? Did the members vote on spending their dues money for that? Or did the grocery clerk, teamster make that decision?

Do you vote on the pay of your hospitals administrator? When your hospital hires a high paid consultant to "crunch the numbers" and they up your patient ratios, will you be voting on his pay? Did the nurses for Columbia Health, Health South and Tenet vote on all those high paid consultants who "stuck it to Nurses and patients"? In fact I AM in the CNA and I DID vote to raise dues, and I am damn glad I did.

pickledpepperRN

4,491 Posts

Do you vote on the pay of your hospitals administrator? When your hospital hires a high paid consultant to "crunch the numbers" and they up your patient ratios, will you be voting on his pay? Did the nurses for Columbia Health, Health South and Tenet vote on all those high paid consultants who "stuck it to Nurses and patients"? In fact I AM in the CNA and I DID vote to raise dues, and I am damn glad I did.

Every time I am able to spend the time with my patients, finish my paperwork, actually sit down for 30 minutes for a break, and go home on time I am glad I voted for the dues increase.

It is pretty nice when I deposit my paycheck too.

I have been hearing and reading on allnurses.com for 7 years that the public needs to know what nurses do. How will they unless we tell them?

Right now we have a governor who says, "I hate to lose." fighting safe staffing for all who go to the hospital. I don't even want an excellent private duty RN who does not work at the hospital caring for my loved ones or any other human being. Especially in the ER. I want safe staffing to save a life, provide for comfort and dignity, and advocate for his or her patient.

See I didn't pick this fight. I would rather go to the movies, a park, or beach. BUT my conscience makes me lose sleep trying to keep safe staffing.

Read what this governor has been up to:

http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/12537920p-13393343c.html

Nurses: Staffing funds misspent

The governor let hospitals divert the funds, union says.

By Clea Benson -- Bee Capitol Bureau

Published 2:15 am PST Thursday, March 10, 2005

The nurses union that has been fighting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to allow heavier hospital work loads complained Wednesday that the governor took money earmarked for nurse hiring and allowed hospitals to spend it for other purposes.

The California Nurses Association said the administration diverted $27 million in this year's budget to help fund an increase in the rate the state pays hospitals that treat patients who have Medi-Cal insurance for the needy. But the Legislature intended the money to help hospitals comply with a state law requiring hospitals to have one nurse on duty for every five patients...

...CNA President Deborah Burger at a news conference Wednesday termed the diversion of the funds "Ratiogate."

Hospitals, she said, "were allowed to collect money under false pretenses."

State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, who appeared at the news conference with CNA members Wednesday, said he would hold investigative hearings to determine why the administration ignored the Legislature's wishes by diverting the money.

"This is the most obvious and egregious example of a continual pattern of this administration to treat the Legislature as if we were a political accident," Perata, D-Oakland, said.

Lea Brooks, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, said the administration had no choice but to spend the money because it was part of a contract that had been negotiated with hospitals before the Republican governor decided to suspend the requirement for increased staffing.

The California Medical Assistance Commission, an independent body that negotiates the amount the state will pay hospitals for treating the poor, had already finalized a contract for the current fiscal year by the time the governor changed his mind, she said.

"The funds were committed prior to the (policy) change," Brooks said.

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