Recently I learned that nurses at a major health care system in my home State of Indiana are organizing a union. © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Imagine if you were on the tail end of a 3pm to 7am shift. As such, when budget time comes around, it is the nursing staff that is the easiest to cut. But before we explore the pros and cons of telehealth nursing, we need a quick definition to ensure we’re clear about what we’re discussing. My wife is a nurse and the demands that are placed on her are about as unreasonable as they can be. Bedside care is not a production gig. A CEO’s job is to make a company profitable and if labor is the largest expense then he or she looks for ways to minimize that cost. Minimum staffing at the minimum pay allowed has become the norm. Even the jargon "collective voice" grates on an independent thinker. 1. Updated July 05, 2017. Electricians $52,720/year /> 2012-2016 +6.1% . Unions make it difficult to individually reward these silent leaders, who are the true interface between nurse and patient. cons to unions are it protects undeserving nurses. Many nurses nowadays are thinking of joining a union. yes i am kathy moore i live in springfield tn. University of Massachusetts Amherst . Not only are they just covered, but unions help negotiate an improvement in benefit coverage throughout the life of the contract. I have trepidations in writing this post but feel it is necessary to make some points about the pros and cons of unionization. Unfortunately, some working nurses are able to hide behind the protection of union contracts; excellence may thus subtly slide into mediocrity. Your email address will not be published. Likewise, nurses satisfied by "good enough" should not be rewarded-or even retained-regardless of their seniority or title. I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment. There are some practice areas that will allow a nurse to earn more than others. Pros And Cons. These organizations often fight for better salaries, especially in positions that are severely understaffed, or where the employees are forced to labor in sub-optimal conditions. However, although union nurses may express more dissatisfaction, they may also be more vocal and less fearful about voicing concerns. The mandate of the Florence Nightingale Pledge to "devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care" is best served by a nurse who thinks and speaks independently. Several benefits of union membership for nurses are outlined in an article on the Health Research Funding website, May 15, 2015. Many union nurses enjoy benefits that have been negotiated between the employer and nurses. I oppose anything that comes between the nurse and the patient, for that can erode nursing's professional freedom and status. Dues that must be paid to the union can be a justification to oppose unionization as they can be costly. Share It. I am most bothered by the fact that the nurses in this health system are so dissatisfied that they believe a union is necessary. With unions come the issue of dues — many nurses pay them yet conditions do not improve. Unionization of professional nurses is an oxymoron. As unions play a key role in uniting members of the nursing profession, denying individuals membership because they d… In our profession, the stakes of borderline incompetence are too high: managers must have the authority to decisively advocate for the patient without fear of union repercussions. Your email address will not be published. In some cases, unions have also succeeded in areas such as obtaining higher pay for the unpopular shifts. I work in South Carolina for one of these hospital corporations who want to operate like McDonald’s or Burger King. In this article, we’ll look specifically at telehealth as nurses perform it. I got a call last night and was told not to come to work today that there was a resident or a family member that told someone there that i came in there room and some very bad words. No one is getting wage increases to meet the increased cost of living anymore (yes, they did that years ago). Nurses are united standing together with a common goal … and there is power in leverage. We have 36 resident and this is a 120 bed building. Offering options without union rigidity keeps the system as fluid as our patients' problems. Hospitals are not like McDonalds where when a burger maker leaves you can easily hire another one and business can go on as usual. A high-acuity unit may invigorate one nurse but overwhelm another; weekend shifts may stress one nurse but allow another to complete advanced education. By signing up, you will receive weekly tips and strategies on how to protect your license and empower you as a nurse. I wasn’t the only person to get a call. Nurses. With that being said, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of joining a nurses union: Pros. I can speak for myself, and the last thing I need is protection by a union leader far removed from the bedside who may or may not even be a nurse. I work at a nursing home that as union. I have been a registered nurse since 1991 and have seen the state of our healthcare system spiral downward over time. Nurses are apparently striving towards collective bargaining in order to meet their professional and personal needs. At first glance, the question may not seem especially relevant. Some nurse administrators and executives would not be surprised by this finding. I have been told that I will not get a raise ever again because I am “topped out” paywise. Another advantage is that with unionization comes the power of leverage. Box 7240 . CiteScore values are based on citation counts in a range of four years (e.g. But the fact remains that without nurses, the hospital can’t make any money, in many ways the hospital’s success is directly tied to their nursing staff. You may find that the union is very helpful and supportive of your work, or you might encounter the opposite conditions. A supervisor deserves the freedom to compensate exceptional nurses without the constraints of a contractual agreement. This, in turn, prevents some individuals in the nursing profession -- including student nurses, private-practice nurses, managers and nursing instructors -- from becoming union members. P.O. The only reason hospitals are in business is that patients require nursing care and the biggest problem is that nurses are the largest cost center of the hospital. It’s sad to think that their employers do not support them when the only reason they are in business is because of the nursing care provided to patients. there is usually not much incentive to get more education as everything is based on seniority. – Terms & Conditions – Privacy Policy – Disclaimer -- v7.7.5, Calming the COVID-19 Storm - Q&A Podcast Series, Improving Health through Board Leadership, Profiles in Nursing Leadership: Pathways to Board Membership, Nurses Month May 2020: Week 4 – Community Engagement, Trust and Spheres of Influence: An Interview with Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN, Uniting Technology & Clinicians: An Interview with Molly McCarthy, MBA, RN-BC, Where are our N95s? and IZA . However, in my opinion, we should look beyond the paycheck. They can only negotiate things like pay, benefits, job security and nurse-patient ratios. Buppert, in an article in Medscape, said that a nurse can refuse to accept an assignment under certain circumstances including lack of sufficient orientation, inadequate staffing for patient acuity, inappropriate skill mix, and when an assignment poses a serious threat to the health and safety of the patient [7]. The California Nurses Association, for instance, has increased its annual spending by more than 300 percent since 2000, from $15 million to over $60 million in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. How alert would you be? Join our growing community of Empowered Nurses today. Currently, there is a nation-wide debate concerning the use of Nursing Ratios to staff nursing units. Despite a list with “pro” and “con” columns, we have to recognize that there are 25 States that have “right-to-work” laws which guarantee that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join a labor union. Unions Take Unprecedented Actions to Recruit Members. Your information is completely safe with us. They find that hospitals with a successful union election outperform hospitals with a failed election in 12 of 13 potentially nurse-sensitive patient outcomes. So far only California has passed legislation. 8259 . Could not go in. It provides a voice against the management of the health care provider. Flexibility is power. Medical and dental coverage, vacation and sick pay, and education leave are examples of benefits union nurses enjoy. How amazing that nurses bristle at the use of Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAPs) yet enthusiastically join a union for truckers, meatpackers, or foodworkers! Germany . The expense of negotiation and contract administration-over and above wage and benefit costs-is passed along to the patient. However, most of these unions are neither organized nor led by nurses. Therefore, in those States, nurses who do not want to pay their dues can opt out of the union. How alert would you be? Similarly, there may be no protection for whistleblowers. Lippincott NursingCenter’s Best Practice Advisor, Lippincott NursingCenter’s Cardiac Insider, Lippincott NursingCenter’s Career Advisor, Lippincott NursingCenter’s Critical Care Insider, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), Prone Positioning: Non-Intubated Patient with COVID-19 ARDS, Prone Positioning: Mechanically Ventilated Patients. Would you be in the best position to spot a problem or would you be going through the motions? Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that home healthcare workers are … These nursing labor union pros and cons evaluate the various critical points to consider when deciding if an open position like this can meet your needs. The higher wages of unionized workers in the United States are often touted as a reason for unionization of nurses. Union guidelines are a hindrance when tailoring work schedules to the ever-changing desires and needs of a nursing staff and the ability to cover all shifts to adequately provide patient care. 1993 Feb;8(2):37-8. That doesn’t mean that some unions overplay their hand, I believe that there needs to be good faith negotiations on both sides and if an agreement cannot be made then a neutral party should be brought in to mediate. Innovative patient care is the result of the give and take of experienced nurses with new graduates; fresh perspectives and enthusiasm are powerful catalysts for change. The Top 3 Pros and Cons of Being a Nurse. In 2017, the number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions increased to 14.8 million. Neil Kokemuller. The Labor Relation Code specifies that a union’s members must have the title of an employee. Our struggle to establish nursing as a profession carries with it a relinquishment of self-interest and a dedication to a moral high ground. All rights reserved. Hospitals were more likely to have a unionization … There are always two sides of unionization: the “pros” and the “cons.”. Website Development by eVisionMedia.ca. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Staff have to have a voice in the business, they know what would improve the work environment. That’s up by more than 262,000 from the previous year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thus, unionization tilts the allocation of resources toward the "economic and general welfare" of the nurse and away from the patient. Job satisfaction is a significant predictor of nurse retention. The pros and cons of a nursing union must be carefully weighed before a group decides to unionize or continue on with their union. Collective bargaining by the ANA is a flagrant conflict of interest; a labor union and professional association represent divergent goals and should not exist under the same umbrella. Union Membership. Nurse union membership was around 18% from 1983 to the mid-1990s, and then began to increase around 2005 (Spetz et al., 2011; p. 61). The Pros & Cons of Labor Unions. A major argument for unionization of nurses is that a hospital can no longer cut the largest cost center because wages are guaranteed by the contract. Benefits are cut or the burden of cost is placed on the employee. Is there a way for nurses to stand together without a labor union to get the changes that they want to see in their work environment? most non union hospitals do all these things rotationally, which is fair. If the hospital refuses to do that then a Union is the right choice. The reasons might be rapid social change and dissatisfaction with values and norms imposed on them. Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business. The intangible rewards of nursing cannot be negotiated at a bargaining table. 53072 Bonn . I do not see the new burden of Unions correcting the corporate mindset. 1. low seniority nurses tend to get the shaft on everything (holiday bids, other time off, getting pulled to other units, getting cancelled during low census). Unions cannot address every concern of the average nurse. | Privacy Policy So i had to write a statement today and deliver it to my work area. Most home healthcare agencies require nurses to have a BSN and at least 2 years of experience as an RN in a medical-surgical setting.1 Nurses who've worked in medical-surgical or critical care areas generally succeed in home healthcare settings due to their broad range of assessment skills. In addition, the notion of having unions for RNs has also gained prominence on the national stage. The people who really suffer are the patients. Share . One of the biggest pros of nurse labor unions is that their nurses do tend to be paid more and have better benefits. So, I was told that instead I would get a yearly check Last year I received a good evaluation and my “raise” check was 150.00. Imagine if you were on the tail end of a 3pm to 7am shift. September/October 2000, Volume :25 Number 5 , page 233 - 233 [Free], Join NursingCenter to get uninterrupted access to this Article. Required fields are marked *. With that said, what are the pros and cons of unions from a HR perspective? Print . Do the math. There are intangible aspects which unions cannot provide resolution by collective bargaining such as allowing nurses to speak their mind, having reasonable and fair assignments, etc. A supervisor deserves the freedom to compensate exceptional nurses without the constraints of a contractual agreement. I pay my dues we are very low with residents. This creates a moral and ethical dilemma that carries heavy implications for nurses who want to be there for their patients. Although the nursing profession has been represented by a professional association … [Collective bargaining and trade unions in nursing] Nurs RSA. […] http://www.empowerednurses.org/pros-and-cons-of-nurses-unions/ […]. Some see unions as a way to create an unfair advantage for some workers. Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Here are the pros and cons of nurse unions: It’s reported that nurses in the US who work in facilities that are unionized earn up to 18% more than non-unionized nurses. A labor union removes some of that ability in the form of an agreement that ensures safety and reasonable working conditions. However, it’s important to take note that they can also bring several disadvantages. Should I Join A Nurses Union? What Are the Pros of a Nursing Union? Union agreements impede managerial freedom to accept only the best. But the fact remains that with nurses, the hospital can’t make any money, in many ways the hospital success is directly tied to their nursing staff. As nurses think about proposed union actions, they will need to determine if the principle of solidarity is represented between union representatives and the organization's leadership, as well as within the organizational community. After all, the percentage of American employees who belong to unions was only 10.7% in 2016, down from 20.1% in 1983, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This project discusses implementation of computer-based self-scheduling in a hospital system and its impact. NURSE UNIONS AND PATIENT OUTCOMES ARINDRAJIT DUBE, ETHAN KAPLAN, AND OWEN THOMPSON* The authors estimate the impact of nurse unions on health care quality using patient-discharge data and the universe of hospital unionization in California between 1996 and 2005. Shall we divide that by 12 for my monthly increase? These specific points of consideration can help to create a better understanding of the local situation. While there isn’t data on nursing union membership rates prior to 1983, it is reported that healthcare union membership overall was at 13% in 1974. Join NursingCenter on Social Media to find out the latest news and special offers. Haven't we as nurses had enough of male-dominated health care? Better Pay: This is why most opt to join a union. Discussion Paper No. As such they deserve to be treated with respect, given good working conditions and a fair rate of pay. http://www.empowerednurses.org/pros-and-cons-of-nurses-unions/, North Dakota Allows Covid Positive Nurses To Work. That doesn’t mean that some unions don’t overplay their hand, I believe that there needs to be good faith negotiations on both sides and if an agreement cannot be made then a neutral party should be brought in to mediate. Search across a wide variety of disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions. That being said, there is bargaining power with sheer numbers because the alternative is that should a contract not be reached, nurses could go on strike. This isn’t really surprising since nursing unions, just like associations in other industries, have many benefits to offer to their members. Learn how to protect your license, become an influential leader & create a supportive working environment. June 2014 . Double shifts, working all night then having to go back the very next morning, sometimes the staffing levels are such that she has to handle 7 or 8 patients at time, all in the name of saving money. One of the biggest pros of nurse labor unions is that their nurses do tend to be paid more and have better benefits. My wife is a nurse and the demands that are placed on her are about as unreasonable as they can be. Squeeky wheels or whistleblowers can be replaced with more compliant workers. Labor unions are inadequate at ensuring nurse recruitment and retention and often ineffective at stopping lateral violence. It's free! Ethan Kaplan . Ironworkers $50,860/year /> 2012-2016 +12.7% . Unionization of nurses does not promote quality care. Unions such as National Nurses United and state organizations like the California Nurses Association encourage nurses to join as they claim to be nurse-focused. My heart goes out to the nurses who are suffering and feel they have no choice but to form a union. Likewise, nurses satisfied by "good enough" should not be rewarded-or even retained-regardless of their seniority or title. Should you join a nurses union? Would you be in the best position to spot a problem or would you just be going through the motions? CiteScore: 3.6 ℹ CiteScore: 2019: 3.6 CiteScore measures the average citations received per peer-reviewed document published in this title. Union spending proves how favorable the union climate has become in health care. Patients aren’t hamburgers. Should that happen, are nurses willing to put their money where their mouths are by going on strike and leaving their patients? COVID-19 transmission: Is this virus airborne, or not? Tweet . Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Ethically and morally, the needs of the patient must always come before the needs of the nurse. Despite a list with “pro” and “con” columns, we have to recognize that there are 25 States that have “right-to-work” laws which guarantee that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join a labor union. The reality of a workplace is subtly structured by the natural leaders on staff who model "the way things are done here." From what I have seen, labor unions are usually male-dominated organizations with leaders who are more interested in political action committees and maintaining power than in the real needs of rank and file members. Great Pay and Benefits Nursing allows clinicians to earn excellent salaries or hourly rates and they also enjoy many other perks too. Fax: +49-228-3894-180 . Double shifts, working all night then having to go back the very next morning, sometimes the staffing levels are such that she has to handle 7 or 8 patients at time, all in the name of saving money. The culture of team work is not just for the staff to get along with each other, they need teammates and advocates on the business side of the corporation willing to listen and act in everyone’s best interest. Once the overworking is off the table, the company can focus on other safe ways to cut costs. Acute care hospitals report that job satisfaction is influenced by autonomy and educational opportunity. Unions discourage individual initiative. E-mail: iza@iza.org . I believe the survival of our profession is dependent on refocusing on the rewards at the bedside-such as our privileged presence at the moments of birth and death-rather than wages and trade union activities. Nursing strikes devastate patient care and necessitate the use of alternative providers who may or may not provide the same standard of care. Post . Let’s have a look at the pros of joinin a nursing union: A union has the power and strength of numbers to negotiate enforceable contracts that improve working conditions (like acceptable nurse-to-patient ratios), the role of nurses in managing standards of care, when nurses work overtime, pay scales, etc. A CEO’s job is to make a company profitable and if labor is the largest expense then he or she looks for ways to minimize that cost. The Pros and Cons There are some stormy seas ahead as we consider the issue of Nursing Ratios. Once the overworking is off the table, the company can focus on other safe ways to cut costs. And it was not true. When there are no guarantees against the hospital work environment and if nurses cannot come to an agreement with the hospital, the only alternative is to strike! Some suggest that legislation requires safe working conditions already, which negates the need to have a union present. © 2020 Empowered Nurses - All rights reserved. As long as the leaders of any Business regard employees as a cost of doing business; they will never see the value of what services are being provided and how to nurture that personal asset into an advocate for their company and their customers. Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal realize.., freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.' Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. My belief is that a solution can be found by having nurses become a revenue producing center and have a separate charge rather than having their services come with the room like dietary and housekeeping personnel. ‘Right to (not) work’ laws in some states have empowered bosses to let go staff at their discretion. Owen Thompson . Arindrajit Dube . Levine: The Legitimacy of Labor Unions Published by Scholarly Commons at Hofstra Law, 2001. All healing professions are first and foremost servants of the patient. In both 2004 and 2008, union representa-tion was negatively associated with job satisfac-tion, although this relationship was not statistically significant in 2008. In my opinion, it is the patient who is missing from the American Nurses' Association's (ANA) pitch for collective bargaining, including contract negotiations, grievance handling, data collection, standards, leadership development, political action, and litigation. Unionization has no place in my practice as a professional nurse. By: Nurse.org Staff . When economic considerations take priority over patient care, we are no longer set apart from trades in our honorable tradition of service. Many union business representatives are labor lawyers who are unfamiliar with nursing practice or healthcare. The relationship between RN job satisfaction and having an RN union has rarely been studied, but in 2 studies, a paradox was found; hospitals with RN unions had higher job dissatisfaction but greater retention. A labor union removes some of that ability in the form of an agreement that ensures safety and reasonable working conditions. If the hospital refuses to do that then a Union is the right choice. Pros of joining a Nursing Union. As such they deserve to be treated with respect, given good working conditions and a fair rate of pay. Guidance for PPE use in the COVID-19 pandemic. Phone: +49-228-3894-0 . Please note that the information on this website is not intended to be legal advice. Email . University of Maryland College Park . managers because job satisfaction remains an important aspect of nurse retention. Hospitals are being run as multimillion-dollar corporations like McDonalds and Wal-Mart but unfortunately this philosophy does not translate well in health care where we have patient lives on the line. The authors estimate the impact of nurse unions on health care quality using patient-discharge data and the universe of hospital unionization in California between 1996 and 2005. Known as telehealth nursing, or telenursing, it’s impacting the role – and careers – of nurses. The people who really suffer are the patients. The pros and cons of unions are important to evaluate because we are at a transition point in our labor force once again.

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