Hospitals Change Pay, Duties to Keep Nurses

By Pitzer, Mary J. | THE JOURNAL RECORD, July 19, 1990 | Go to article overview

Hospitals Change Pay, Duties to Keep Nurses


Pitzer, Mary J., THE JOURNAL RECORD


By Mary J. Pitzer Los Angeles Daily News LOS ANGELES - Pay at the City of Hope National Medical Center in nearby Duarte was getting behind the times. In the last couple of years nurse Debbie Vasquez had watched some of her colleagues leave for other hospitals where they could make more money.

As much as Vasquez liked her job, she says she might have left, too.

But that was before the oncology hospital came through with a blockbuster contract earlier this month.

A registered nurse fresh out of school with a two-year degree starts this year at $33,300, not including overtime and extra pay for evening and night shifts. The top base annual salary is $52,800 this year and $60,900 next year. A 20-year nurse who works the night shift can earn more than $75,000.

``The City of Hope already has my heart,'' Vasquez said. ``But with this contract I will definitely stay.''

Traditionally underpaid and overworked nurses are beginning to see better pay and working conditions. They are demanding - and getting - flexible schedules, more professional duties and more say in how they do their jobs.

While working on the front lines of medicine remains a grueling job, nurses are beginning to call the shots.

``Anytime you are in this kind of economic situation, you get control,'' said Kathy Barry, director of the Health Careers Information Center for the Hospital Council of Southern California.

Since 1986, hospitals, nursing homes and clinics have needed more than the 1.6 million registered nurses who are working. Part of the reason is that women, who still account for 97 percent of all nurses, are choosing to become doctors and lawyers and entering a host of other professions once reserved for men.

The high stress, low prestige and pay of nursing also have discouraged many women and men from entering the profession in recent years.

Nurses must juggle a maddening array of chores - such as fetching glasses of water and giving baths with administering medications, monitoring patients and performing other professional duties.

And working nights and weekends is just part of the job.

Even more critical to the shortage is that demand for nurses continues to grow.

Hospitals need more nurses than ever because Medicare and insurance companies are pressuring doctors to treat patients in offices and clinics. That means patients admitted to hospitals are more critically ill than they were a decade ago.

And with the aging of the population, more nurses are needed to tend to patients with long-term chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer's.

The supply of nurses is increasing, but not fast enough. After several years of enrollment declines the shortage finally is causing more students to sign up for nursing school.

Peaking at 251,000 nationally in 1983, enrollment dropped to 183,000 in 1987. Last year, enrollment climbed to 201,000, according to the American Nurses Association.

Despite the increase, health care industry analysts predict the nursing shortage will persist through the next decade.

Estimates vary, but, by the year 2000, hospitals, nursing homes and clinics will need 600,000 to 1 million more nurses than will be working, according to the California Nurses Association. As many as half of all nursing positions may go begging.

As a result, the shortage is giving nurses more clout.

In Southern California, for example, striking nurses at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Hollywood and a skilled nursing facility in Inglewood have been on the picket lines for seven weeks.

They rejected Kaiser's offer for increases of 7 percent to 12.5 percent the first year. Under the three-year contract, the average base annual salary would be $44,000, Kaiser officials say.

The nurses might be able to hold out indefinitely because many of them are working part time for other hospitals through registries that pay more than a staff nurse would make. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hospitals Change Pay, Duties to Keep Nurses
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.