Working nursing strikes.....

by jnh911 jnh911 Member

Specializes in ER, Trauma, ICU. Has 7 years experience.

I am looking for any info on working strikes... Which companies primarily work strikes? What is the average pay? How does housing work? And about licensing? Should I apply for licensure in the states where strikes primarily occur so is a temporary license issued?

Any information I would very much appreciate... Or if there are things that I need to be aware of before I decide to work strikes?



1 Article; 5,748 Posts

It sounds like you are not a traveler. Nor familiar with unions (which are almost invariably involved with strikes). Organized labor is the direct reason why Americans enjoy the working conditions they do, with unions directly responsible via labor actions forcing the government to pass child labor laws, 40 hour work weeks, overtime laws, and minimum hourly pay. When you work a strike, you are undermining fellow nurses who are attempting to improve working conditions with either compensation or patient care and safety the reason they are striking. So you won't be highly regarded by the nurses at the strike who are putting their very livelihoods on the line to improve things, in fact you will probably be called a scab. Security will be omnipresent to separate you from your fellow nurses.

Because of this, most strike workers will have a sense of guilt and come up with a number of rationalizations why they are doing it such as "who will take care of the patients?" All of these are bogus, and the only valid reason to work a strike is about the money. Fair enough. Many, many strikes are just one to three days and perhaps most of the participants are staff from the low paid areas of the country happy to score a quick week or two of pay in just a few days. They have managed to schedule off the time, but are in a big rush to catch the first plane home so they don't get sanctioned by their employer. I know because I have been to a couple such actions. Not such a big deal as they are not a serious strike, just a negotiating ploy (OK, that is a rationalization too).

So if you are in such a position (since it doesn't sound like you are traveler), you might be able to earn some quick bucks. But if you are a traveler, working strikes is likely going to cost you money from missed assignments. Every once in a while, there is a major strike that lasts months and there you can earn serious money, enough to be worth losing your staff job or losing an assignment. But as a career strategy to wait for such things, it is a losing proposition. The value of supporting nursing unions would be obvious if you were a traveler as the best paid areas of the country such as the west coast and northeast are not coincidentally strong union areas. The lowest paid area are the south and southwest where unions are practically non-existent.

So this is the Travel Nursing forum, and you will find this forum and other travel nursing forums to be somewhat controversial when it comes to discussing strikes - because they are indeed undermining fellow nurses. If you want a safe environment to discuss strikes, there is a strike specific forum. If you do a Google search for (the forum's former name) and strike nursing, you should find it. You will find a lot of discussions about strike agencies and which ones to work for. The consensus is don't trust any of them. If you think about it, it makes sense that such companies are unethical. After all, their job is to put good nurses out of work.