More than 60% of nurses are feeling burned out regularly, not every so often, and that’s been the reality in this country for a long time. The nursing shortage hasn’t gotten solved. If anything, it’s gotten worse. However, not everything about the shortage is bad. The demand for nurses is doing some good; it’s giving RNs power once again, which is something worth exploring.
Perks on the Table
Employees across many industries don’t have much power over their employers. Their employers have the power because they’re providing the job and the pay. Unions can make a difference sometimes, but one thing that is proving to be quite effective, especially for nurses, is the shortage. The shortage is making it easier for nurses to ask for special perks they wouldn’t have been able to request before, like a longer vacation time, housekeeping discounts, and babysitting discounts, just to name a few things. There’s no telling what more nurses will be able to demand, thanks to this shortage.
One thing employers hold over employees is they offer a good job and benefits. Nurses were stuck with that deal. They would accept whatever they weren’t happy with because no other hospital offered something better. No one wants to downgrade. Nurses are willing to move on if there’s something better, and that’s what this shortage has given today’s nurses: the power to move on. Working as an RN in another state is as simple as passing the job background check required. Unhappy nurses can just go somewhere that makes them happy.
Nurses haven’t always been paid well. There wasn’t much that could be done about pay since nurses lacked leverage, but that’s changing now. Hospitals, clinics, and other care centers are in desperate need of qualified nurses and specialist nurses, and they’re willing to offer higher pay than others. Sure, a few hospitals and clinics refuse to pay more, but the more nurses skip those types of subpar offers, the more those establishments will cave. Sooner or later, every hospital or health care center will offer healthy salaries that keep up with inflation and the cost of living. Nurses deserve to get paid well, so this is long overdue, but at least the nursing shortage made it a reality.
The shortage has hit this industry hard. It forced some hospitals to work their nurses more than they should. The workers are assigned additional tasks they usually wouldn’t have to worry about. Longer hours and more tasks make nurses feel tired and frustrated. This continued to be the case for a while, but the shortage has given nurses a chance to take back control regarding their workload. A nurse knows how tiring a regular day can be and knows how big of a workload they can handle. With all that control, a nurse can tell their superiors they’re not willing to take a big workload. This prevents nurses from experiencing burnout and fatigue.
At times, nurses dealt with disrespect from their peers or superiors. Usually, this was the case because people had a hard time valuing the contributions nurses offer to hospitals or healthcare centers. Some might have ignored their contributions for a while, but that’s no longer the case. The shortage has transformed each nurse into a highly valued asset. If the environment is toxic for a nurse, then the entire team in this hospital or clinic will make sure it’s no longer a toxic work environment. This is all because every healthcare facility wants to keep these nurses as happy as possible; making sure they’re respected is an obvious way to make that happen.
The power RNs hold now because of this shortage is incredible. Hopefully, it only continues to get better. Nurses are essential workers, and it’s great they’re being treated as such.