Published Dec 28, 2001
To all agency/registry/prn, and traveling nurses in the U.S. are you ready for a pay cut and the return to being regular staff?
I hope that you are. The recruitment legislation the is being pushed by the ANA is going to force this. Your services will not be needed in the near future. New nurses will be coming in mass to work full time in those positions. Your services will not be needed to supplement staffing shortages because new nurses will fill those spots. The other legislation to increase the limits on foreign nurses will also eliminate those positions as well.
Sorry guys but there are no guarantees that anything will be much different from the way they were before. That legislation has not passed yet. The problems have not been fixed yet. Some improvements have just started to emerge because of the nursing shortage and the power and leverage it brought, but as you can see the nursing shortage is going to soon be a thing of the past.
That is O.K. if you decide not to return to regular staff under what ever conditions exist, because another replacement nurse here or there does not make that much difference. In short, if you do not want to come back, then you will just be replaced.
BadBird, BSN, RN
Sounds like you are in administration. I doubt very seriously that agency nurses will not be needed with the shortages and with nursing school enrollment down where are all the hordes of new nurses coming from that you mention? Many RN's are changing professions and starting over and with the many choices that men
and women have today who wants to go into nursing? Agency and perdiem or what ever you call it is here to stay for a very long time.
This legislation has already passed through the senate. If nothing stops it, then soon the socially and economically challenge women will be paid to go to nursing school along with a little extra money to help them out, child care will also be paid for along with the full cost of the entire education and training.
The legislation is even written in the form of providing reimbursement to hospitals for diploma nursing programs and it in no way limits it to already existing diploma hospital programs.
This legislation is focused to fill the needs of regular staffing requirements.
Like it or not if this legislation is signed by the president, you will have to go back to regular staff or wait until the phone rings at the last minute, if at all. It may be a just a few years, but it will be a reality.
If you go back right now, then you can build up a little seniority.
And if you choose not to go back to being a regular staff nurse, then another person will just be trained to replace you.
Wildtime, I think the impact of this proposal may be minimal for several reasons:
1) According to a series of articles in the New York Times, most of the easily employable have already been moved successfully from welfare to paid employment. Those that remain are the most difficult cases- illiterates, drug abusers, criminals, those with a history of serious depression,etc. They have been unable to transition even into menial jobs with extensive help from job training programs. They would have trouble making it through a nurses's aide training class, never mind nursing school.
Granted, this series was written before the current recession, which has surely pushed many of the welfare-to-work 'stars' and even the never previously unemployed out of work, But....
2) I think we'll only see a trickle of successful converts to nursing. Face it, how many people tell you "I could never do what you do"? How many people dropped out of your nursing school? How many people already drop out of nursing? Nursing school is tough. Nursing is tough. Too tough for many people. Too tough for anyone who doesn't really want to do this.
3) The demographics favor a continued nursing shortage even if we add more new nurses. Our society is about to get hit with a tidal wave of elderly baby boomers, which leads me to my next point;
4) The money to fund this legislation may very well vanish. Face it, we went from a projected budget surplus to a shortage as fast as you can say "stock market collapse" and "Dubya's tax cuts". God only knows how we are going to fight terrorism AND pay for the baby boomer's Social Security and Medicare. Programs like this will probably end up on the chopping block no matter how many nurses we need. This program is the kind of political hot potato that voters facing tax increases will scream about. In fact, if you want a career change, try running for office by campaigning against this! Just mention welfare and tax increase in your ads.
Anyway, I enjoy your comments. You could be right and I could be wrong! I hope you enjoy some give and take on the issue. Personally, I'm finding it relaxing after a 12-hour shift!
The year after I graduated in school, people said there were limited positions available for nurse's. (at least in my area)
Per diem nurses were still used than. Believe me I'm not worried that my position's taken away.
I can't help but think that managment will come up with some way to reduce wages and benefits. Even if it does not take the form of this legislation they will find a way. Simply because they have always done it in the past and what has happened before will happen again. One way they are looking at is how to squeeze travel and agency nursing expenses. If I were a agency or travel nurse I would give some thought as to what I would do if they started to jerk me around. On the other hand, I have worked with former welfare mothers who were forced into NA work by recent legislation and most of them just were not nurse material. However, a few were intellengent people with a good work ethic who would make very good nurses and I encouraged them. I would like to see legislation like this for their sake. I am personally getting to the age where I am more worried about going to the ER with a heart attack and dying on the gurney waiting for help than being pushed out of a job by new recruits.
You bring up some interesting points.
If you think that there is a shortage of candidates for this program, then maybe you need to do a couple of things.
You can start by going to your local health department and where ever the WIC program office is and start a count. While you are standing in line at the grocery store pay attention to those that are using food stamps. At work see who is using medicaid.
Now there is one other thing to remember is that there is nothing that says that these new nurses will not be transplanted for one geographic area to another.
As for funding, did you see how much initial funding is being allocated with the passage of this legislation? As far as a tax burden to the average person, this would be an easy sell. You might hear a little grumbling here and there but if it pushed as a way to insure medical services it will pass.
If you have looked at the legislation closely, then you have seen that this has all the wording of a employment program with a high focus on those who are now receiving government services. I can hear someone saying if you really want to work then........... If not we are going to cut.........
Do you really want to put your life in the hands of someone who possibly did not want to really be there in the first place?
There might always be a need for per diem nurses. The question is just how much of a need and how many opportunities will you have to actually work? Remember these new nurses will be under a financial obligation to work. If they do not work actively at fulfilling their commitments then they will be financial obligated to pay back all the costs that were paid out for them. That is a very strong incentive to go to work under any conditions.
Were you working per diem from around 94 to 98? I remember working with a lot of nurses that came back to regular staff at that time because the available hours dried up.
Yes I worked backed than. I was full time/part time around than. We had contigent nurses on our unit than. They always received a lot of hours.
Now with the shortage I could work full-time. Any hour of the day.
I hope the shortage can be solved. But even 94 to 98 the staffing ratio wasn't that good. And there was staffing.
Unfortunately there's always sick people and there's always room for me.
Wild, you have some valid points but you are not looking at the fact that the people who this legislation will effect are lazy unemployed pieses of shit who are glad to be on welfare. They are unemployed by choice, they are waaaaaaaaaay to lazy to go to school, if they did get off their asses they wuoldn't study, and by and by we are not talking about them brightest stars in the sky, they will either fail in school, or fail the boards. at best the few lazy people thta do manage to make it through will probably only work part time. Granted there will be a few deserving people who do not fit the above stereo types, but not enough to affect the shortage.
If you think that there is a shortage of candidates for this program, then maybe you need to do a couple of things.
You can start by going to your local health department and where ever the WIC program office is and start a count. While you are standing in line at the grocery store pay attention to those that are using food stamps. At work see who is using medicaid. >>>>>>
I agree with a previous post-these people are seldom suitable for the kind of program you are talking about.A small number may succeed but I don't believe it will make a significant impact on the nursing shortage at this time....Wish I had a dime for every surly,chip -on -the -shoulder nurse's aid that said to me"That nurse is lazy-all she does is sit at the desk...when I go to school ..blah,blah,blah".. Of course-they seldom did so....and the ones in the work -or -no -welfare program seemed to disappear,too.And were not the caliber of person I would have wanted to care for my mother......I hope I don't offend anyone-I have worked with a few memorable women and men that worked hard to make a better life for them selves and I admired them for it..
Despite legislations which may or may not pass, agency work is here to stay. There is always going to be nurses that will call in sick or go on vacation. The hospitals would rather hire temporary help rather than hire a full time person that they may not need in the future due to low census and have to pay them anyway. Why would they want to hire someone that they will probably not need and spend money on benefits when they don't have too. Lastly, it is all up to the nurses who they want to work for, all they have to do is stick together.
Wildtime, sweet thang: I have intermittently worked agency for almost 20 years. I work agency now because I am going to school and it gives me the flexibility I need; 20 years ago because hospital census was so low that I couldn't make enough money to live in my small town. Even in these times of nursing shortage, I am cancelled ~40% of my shifts. If I were not living with extremely generous family, I would be SOL. I usually squeak by with being able to meet my bills. I don't have health insurance. I relate this only to let everyone know that not all who work agency are on easy street. When I do report to an assignment, I am usually greeted with appreciation from the regular nurses, whose loads are lightened by having the extra hands. If the bulletin boards in hospitals are any indication of the need for nursing personnel, there will be a need for agency staffing for awhile yet, even if it is sporadic.
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