We have had a good union contract at my hospital for a long time. The last 5 years we have had a 1% raise a year. Nothing, in other words. However, everything else has remained the same, which in these economic times is a good thing. Those days are over.
I really feel like my time in nursing has been really good in terms of economic gain. Good raises up until the last few years. Good health insurance. A pension. We have staffing ratios in our hospital (not in ER though). In other words, we have a lot more than a lot of hospitals.
Our contract is up in 2 years. I anticipate a slaughter. Health insurance will probably change to lesser policies. Pension will soon be gone. Raises will continue to be small.
Already hearing all the whining about decreased reimbursement, blah blah blah. Need to cut millions of dollars blah blah blah. My thought: The industry has known for years about coming decreased reimbursement, changes with Obamacare, etc. Most have not prepared. They are screwed. I always wonder why when healthcare corporations are in this position and didn't prepare that the administration is not fired like they would be at any other corporation. Can't do job, bye bye.
Other factors in why nurses are screwed economically in hospitals in the future:
- Todays nurse won't stay long term in hospitals because of many other
opportunities available outside of the hospitals. Why would they want to stay in
a stressful environment for years on end?
- Nurses as a group are wimps. We rarely stand up for ourselves. We will cave when they decrease our wages and benefits. As a group we already feel guilty about having jobs and good benefits.
Its possible nursing will be completely changed. The job as we know it could be gone, replaced by technicians. Oh, yeah, I can hear people saying, you can't replace a nurse with a cheaper technician. Ah yes...you can.
When you don't value your profession as a group and aren't willing to fight for it, you are doomed to extinction.