Would you rather work for a state-run facility, or a private one?

Nurses General Nursing


  • Specializes in Mental and Behavioral Health.

Would you rather work for a private sector owned and operated facility, or a state-run facility like a state veteran's home or veteran's hospital? Can you tell me why you would choose one over the other? Would you switch to a state facility if the opportunity arose if the benefits were better? Are corporate facilities better to work for, or are state facilities better? I may have very big decision to make, and I would like to have lots of information from everyone's experiences. Thank you!


198 Posts

Do state run facilities even exist? I know the federal government runs Veterans facilities, but not sure on state run facilities. I dont know much about the way things actually run, but purely in theory I would rather work in a facility that was privately owned as there is incentive to do well and succeed. Many govt run entities provide subpar services because people are forced to use them by means of having no alternative i.e. the DMV, and if the facility does miserably and makes no profitthen tax money is thrown at it to prop it up!the draw back is greed in private entities can cause poor working conditions


301 Posts

I work in a state facility. I had rather be there than in a private nursing home.

The benefits are better and the pay is better. Plus I get bonuses, and they have a plan to get raises....you show that you do your job and do other things above what is required and you get raises judged on your performance and the yearly bonus is not connected to the raises. Bonuses are given for years of services.

I've never seen that happen in a nursing home, private or run by a corporation.

There are also better policies and they hold the employees to the policies better.

Of course it's graduated discipline for everything, but it is there. Nursing homes don't do anything.....they are so chronically short of help, that a person can get away with just about anything, just short of murder and keep working. They need staff that bad, so they just ignore what they do.

At the facility I work in, I see people get investigated and fired all the time.

So these differences are just what I have observed, comparisons made between the state job and the job I had, part time, in a nursing home.

I would NEVER give up my state job to go to a private place.........not until I retire.

Of course you need to investigate the job you're looking at and see if you like their policies and benefits.

ummm I currently work in a private facility and like it way better.


117 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

Either, as long as it's not-for-profit.


14,633 Posts

In my 25 years of experience in public and private healthcare, specifically in psych, I've seen no difference in services between public/state and private providers -- in fact, in my experience, in my state, the state hospital in my area and the public mental health services provide much better care/services than some of the private providers. If, God forbid, I had to be hospitalized for psych tomorrow, I would much rather go to the state hospital in my area than any of the community hospital units. And I worked as a psych surveyor for my state for several years, so I spent lots of time in all these facilities, going over everything with a fine-toothed comb.

For the OP, in general, state/federal/county employment usually provides better pay and benefits than the same job with private/community providers.

However, there are lots of factors to consider beyond simply who owns and operates a facility. There are better and worse facilities of all kinds. And there are better and worse "fits" for any particular individual.

I'm really tired, though, of the kneejerk "state and federal facilities are lousy and public employees are slackers" cliché. It simply isn't true. There is as much range and variety within the public sector as there is in the private sector. As an RN, I've worked as a federal employee, a state employee and a county employee at different times over the years, and my coworkers and bosses and the services we provided were no better and no worse than my coworkers and bosses and the services we provided in community/private facilities (nonprofit, that is -- I'd go hungry before I'd work for a private-for-profit healthcare outfit).

I, personally, prefer to work for publicly-funded operations (federal/state/county) because I believe v. strongly in publicly-funded healthcare and services that are provided equally/fairly to all.


1 Article; 165 Posts

Either, as long as it's not-for-profit.

I agree. :nurse:


661 Posts

Specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c.

I only know of county run ltc and state run psych hospitals. I can only speak about what I hear in nj and that is that the pay is average but you make up for it with the free benefits. I have heard good things about the ltc facilities and very bad things about the psych hospitals. One psych hosp. is always getting bad press for the crazy things going on--drugs sold to pts by cnas, abuse of pts, etc. Good luck making your decision.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X