Ask the nursing expert

Q: I am so afraid with the budget cuts that I am going to lose my staff development nurse. Can you give me some suggestions regarding an approach with my administrator or the company to keep this nurse?

A: In this era of ever-increasing clinical needs and critical thinking with our medically complex patients, continuing education is desperately needed.

Just a few of the important tasks of your staff development nurse include: a strong orientation of new employees, implementation/in services of new programs/systems, and facilitating the yearly mandatory in services outlined in COMAR 10.07.2.

Who would pick up the responsibilities if there were no staff development nurse? Everyone in nursing leadership positions has plates already overflowing. Some of these statements should trigger other ideas for you to “tuck away” should you have to negotiate for this critical position.

Q: I have heard some of my colleagues say recently that it is an employer’s market. What does this mean?

A: For nursing, it means that there are more people seeking positions versus positions available. Nurses used to be in high demand and could negotiate their salary and schedules.

That’s no longer so true. I have seen registered nurse BSNs entering long- term care after being downsized in a hospital who were astonished about the difference in their pay (meaning the hourly rate is lower).

Jobs can be hard to find in long-term care. I used to hire two new grads a year. Now, with the complexity of my patients/residents, I need nurses with experience and a strong educational background (certifications, etc.).
Nurses need to continue to educate themselves to be marketable.