What’s Really Behind the Nursing Shortage?

PLUS: Hospital CEOs Got Richer as Nurses Faced Pay Cuts, Layoffs and Risked Their Lives

“The overwhelming majority of nurses are burnt out, underpaid, overworked, and under appreciated … “

NURSES.ORG – If the past two years have taught the world anything, it’s that nurses are NOT okay.

The truth is that despite the 7 pm cheers, the commercials thanking nurses for their dedication and selflessness, and the free coffee from major retailers – the overwhelming majority of nurses are burnt out, underpaid, overworked, and under appreciated.

With millions of nurses worldwide, Nurse.org wanted to truly understand the current state of nursing and give nurses a voice to share their thoughts, feelings, and apprehensions about the nursing profession.

We surveyed nearly 1,500 nurses to find out how they felt about the past year and get to the real reasons behind the nursing shortage. The responses were heartbreaking, but not without hope.

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What We Found: Nurses Are Struggling

Nurses are struggling. Regardless of practice specialty, age, or state of practice – the answers were all the same. Nurses, NPs, and APRNs are all struggling and need help.

Only 12% of the nurses surveyed are happy where they are and interestingly, 36% would like to stay in their current positions but changes would need to be made for that to happen. Nurses report wanting safe staffing, safer patient ratio assignments, and increased pay in order to stay in their current roles … READ MORE. 

Hospital CEOs Got Richer as Nurses Faced Pay Cuts, Layoffs and Risked Their Lives

As unprecedented public spending on the Covid pandemic continues unabated for a third year, this June 10, 2020 is worth another look … 

NURSES.ORG – We’ve heard the refrain countless times throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that healthcare workers are heroes.

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And while they certainly are, it appears that they haven’t exactly been getting hero-worthy pay.

An explosive new analysis by the New York Times has revealed frustrating findings about how federal aid to hospitals continued to keep exec’s pockets lined–while nursing staff and other workers were forced to accept pay freezes or be furloughed.

Billions in Bailouts

According to the NYT report, 60 of the country’s largest hospital chains–which include organizations such as the Mayo Clinic and HCA Healthcare–received more than $15 billion in emergency funding through the federal CARES act, enacted as an economic stimulus package during the pandemic.

“One week after receiving $1 billion in bailout money and continuing to pay their executives millions–read that again, it’s plural, as in multiple million-dollar salaries–HCA threatened to lay off thousands of nurses if they did not agree to pay freezes and wage concessions.” 

Many of the healthcare groups, such as Providence Health System, accepted the money, even while sitting on their own hoards of cash that they regularly invest in Wall Street stock to garner even more profit.

Providence, for instance, earned $1 billion in investment profits in 2019 alone.

Those cash reserves are there supposedly to help the healthcare organizations in the event of emergencies–say, like a worldwide pandemic?–but they were still able to receive federal money in staggering amounts.

And although, of course, we want to ensure our hospitals and healthcare facilities have the resources they need to care for patients, the apparent problem is that while some hospitals claimed they didn’t have money to keep all of their staff, supply adequate PPE, or pay crisis rates, they had no problem keeping their execs’ paychecks coming.

As the NYT noted, the five highest-paid officials at each large hospital chain received about $874 million in pay last year alone … READ MORE. 


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