News


Stanford, Packard nurses OK potential strike

Nurses' contract expired last March 31; negotiations reached an impasse Feb. 7

Nurses for Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's hospitals voted overwhelmingly in favor of a possible strike on Thursday (Feb. 17) night.

About 77 percent of the union's entire 2,700 membership voted "yes" to authorize the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement (CRONA) leadership to call for a strike if it deems necessary, the union announced to its membership Friday afternoon.

Eighty-nine percent of the nurses who cast ballots voted in favor of the strike, the union noted. Nurses who did not authorize a proxy to vote on their behalf had their votes registered as "no" votes, in accordance with the union's by-laws.

Union president Lorie Johnson said there was a large turnout despite the bad weather.

Stanford Medical Center and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital have been embroiled in a nearly year-long disagreement over terms of the nurses' contract. Their contract expired March 31, 2010.

A key point of contention in the negotiations, the professional nurse-development plan, was cited as a deal breaker in the past. It was implemented by the hospitals on Feb. 7 after the nurses rejected a tentative agreement that had been worked out with the help of a federal mediator.

After both sides agreed that they had reached an impasse, the hospitals went ahead with pay increases and other benefits that are in the tentative contract package, even though nurses had voted the package down.

"This is a very powerful statement by a super majority of nurses at the two hospitals," Johnson said, adding that the vote communicates that nurses are "utterly dissatisfied" with the final offer.

"Our first concern is always the care of our patients and therefore the last thing we want to do is strike. We hope that the hospitals will now listen to our concerns so that a strike will not have to be called. The ball is in their court," said Johnson, a 20-year cardiovascular intensive-care nurse.

The vote does not mean there will be an imminent strike. Union leaders can choose to give a 10-day strike notice to the hospitals.

"We're disappointed. … A work stoppage benefits no one," hospitals spokeswoman Sarah Staley said.

The hospitals have contingency plans in place in the event of a strike and patient care remains the hospitals' "No. 1 priority," she said.

"While authorization for a strike has been given, the hospitals' doors have been and remain open to further negotiations, if CRONA has a new proposal for us to consider," she said.

During a nurses' strike in June 2000, the same two top issues were sticking points: advancement policies for nurses and paid time off/health benefits. That strike lasted seven weeks and required a federal mediator to help broker a deal. Nurses also went on strike in 1974.

Comments

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Posted by member
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I think the nurses should hold out for what they deserve and need.


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Posted by jb741
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Oh, by the way... these poor, poor nurses make 6-figure salaries. Most of them haven't even earned a bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the REAL world, educated or not, are being laid off. They're going on strike basically because they don't want to have to continue improve themselves with education. The hospital simply raised the bar, asking them for higher professional standards (PNDP). Other hospitals have had similar PNDP policies in place for years! [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Crona Nurse
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm

jb741,

You tone, anger, and simple ignorance are way too much for me even to begin to respond. But rest assured I will still care for you in the same manner I would care for a family member.

GO CRONA


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Posted by jb741
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Crona Nurse
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm

If you seem so knowledgeable kindly explain how the PNDP would improve the care you get?


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Posted by jb741
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Try working a 60-hour/week salaried job (which means no O.T. pay) because it's just expected. Try doing that for 15 years. Am I bitter to hear your union's going on strike? Hell yes. Several co-workers, myself included, busted our tail just to make ends meet. After all is said and done, we get rewarded by being outsourced to cheap labor in India. Personally, I have 2 bachelors degrees and an MBA. I made less at that job after all those years than what an entry level nurse makes at your hospital. Don't sit and and whine about how Stanford's 6-figure salary doesn't agree with your union. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Another CRONA Nurse
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm

JB, So very easy for you to sit behind your keyboard, anonymous, and BS about something for which you have obviously no idea... I won't lower myself to your standards.

I work in a trauma ICU, and if you or a loved one needed it, I would be there to save your live...


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Posted by Crona Nurse
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm

@jb741

You made you choices in life to be a salesperson and work 60 hours a week. Others made choices to work at Google etc, and still others make choices. YOU made your choice. With all that education you still have to work all those hours and not have benefits, perhaps all those acronyms you have does not translate into a better life for you.

Maybe you made the wrong choice in life? It not too late to think of becoming an RN, Maybe then you could have some clue as to what you are getting so worked up about.

I'm not angry at the Google guys who have made millions, Nor do I begrudge If you are getting so angry about what I may make or the benefits I receive god only knows what you think of baseball players etc.

Its not about money, nor about better benefits but rather preserving some not all we have of what we have.

Maybe if you have the stones to stand up for you rights you would have had better hours, wages , and job security


Like this comment
Posted by mmmmMom
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Stanford Nurses, our family supports you all the way!!!!!!!!!

We hope the hospital administration will do the right thing, & settle this dispute as they should, but if not, then stand tall & united. We are behind you 100%!

Keep up the good fight. It is the right fight.


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Posted by Yet Another Crona Nurse 2
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

jb741. Can't believe how ignorant you are about what we are fighting for. Would you rather have a nurse who's worked 20yrs+ and has seen it and done it and is actually helping and informing the doctors/residents in make decisions on your life? In most cases at Stanford he/she has had more experience in most then they have, being that many residents are 23yrs old. Or, a nurse that has published a journal article or done a research project and newly out of college? The higher the education, the farther removed you are from patient care. If you have a master's degree (to be a Staff 4 nurse) you no longer are a bedside nurse you are an administrator! You sit behind a desk and push a pencil and bark orders, you don't touch patients! If the requirement is a higher education we will lose our amazing nurses to, nurse practitioners, administrators and educators which are not bedside nurses. And FYI I have 2 bachelors degrees. And the majority of what I've learned I've learned on the job. School only taught me the basics. If I care for you, you will remember me because I got your IV in on the first try, not because I'm published!


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Posted by Yet Another Crona Nurse 2
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm

jb741. It should say something to you if we passed up a 5K bonus and retro pay for a year to stand up for something we felt so strongly about.


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Posted by We Believe
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 19, 2011 at 3:45 am

jb i totally undestand ur point, eshoo did her thing to stall things and make her look great during re-elec moment, but besides that...

murses their will have to take cuts if not stanford will end up like EL camino Hosp...nurses their have been spoiled for the long run ...nurses will be replaced by medical asst. ...these days nurses are not needed for simple functions, also they began this mess in the beginning by having the CNA or LVNS or MED asst..to do thier dirty work> so please i cant beleive you havent seen this light in the tunnel..so whats the feasability...i say hire 4 or 5 med asst instead of 1 nurse.... good luck and keep fighting but everyone can be replaced!


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 19, 2011 at 5:43 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

If all you want is a head count, then everybody can be replaced. Remember the Barefoot Doctors of China? If, on the other hand, experience h as any meaning, then experience should be rewarded.


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Posted by ep
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

Hey Jb741,
I used to work at Stanford as a nurse, and let me tell you, the nurses there are some of the most intelligent, skilled, and dedicated nurses I've ever worked with anywhere. Your comments sound completely ignorant. YOu think that they have it easy, while you "busted" your tail just "to make ends meet"? You sound like you think working as a nurse at Stanford is easy, and it is anything but. YOu don't think STanford nurses bust their tails everyday caring for sick and dying, being exposed to infectious diseases and bodily fluids everyday, dealing with not only the physical care of patients but also their emotional care (I can't tell you how many times I've had to comfort crying and screaming patients) You don't know anything about multi-tasking unless you've worked as a nurse on the floor, and at Stanford, you are asked to do even more than that. You are judged on a very high standard. YOu don't think dealing with sometimes confused and physically/verballly abusive patients deserves a little respect? Let me tell you, as a nurse at STanford, you are pushed to your limits.They expect nothing but the best. Please don't go around spreading ignorant hateful comments and using Stanford nurses as an easy target to vent your anger about your own worklife.


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Posted by Mr. Niceguy
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

I understand where jb741 gets his opinion. Unfortunately, CRONA has not spent enough time on public education regarding these negotiations. I completely agree that to the general public it looks like nurses don't want to work harder for a raise. And that is a shame!

The rest of jb741 comments are unfounded. The mental and physical exhaustion met in one 12 shift as an RN far outweighs that of a 60 hr work week. I have done both.

jb741, just remember If I make a make a mistake at work someone could die. If you make a mistake I'm sure the consequences are far less severe.


Like this comment
Posted by Stanford nurse
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2011 at 10:24 am

Public Education:

You need a nurse to save your life.

Nurses need a workplace that supports them while they are saving your life.


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Posted by Randall MD
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

The hospitals attempt to demote all experienced nurses will fail. The fact is that wages and benefits at Stanford Hospitals are not the highest in the Bay Area. If Stanford could easily replace all the nurses why isn't it doing so now? Naive. Why not retool the bloated management structure that has little to do with patient care? Trained, experienced and skilled nurses are difficult to find and hire in the Bay Area due to the high cost of living. After the last strike most of the administrators were gone within a year after the strike ended, wonder why? They foolishly thought they could break the union and impose unreasonable work rules. Nurses are not striking for pay, but for the ability to have reasonable work rules that honor nurses with years of experience. Would you want to work for this person?

Web Link


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Posted by Who-Saves-What
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2011 at 11:11 am

>You need a nurse to save your life.

Sounds like that doctors, and medical technology, don't enter the picture here. So, when a patient dies, who gets sued--the hospital, the doctors, or the nurses?

If the nurses aren't getting sued, then they aren't responsible for very much--and probably aren't saving as many lives as the postings in this thread suggest.


Like this comment
Posted by Kerry
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 19, 2011 at 11:15 am

I have relatives who are current nurses in California, although not at Stanford. They have incredible work flexibility, for example they can choose to do 7 days straight (10-12 hours per day), then they get 6 days off, then the cycle inverts (6 days on, 7 off). They can also agree to a standard five-day (40 hour) week. They can pick and choose according their own family circumstances.

Does Stanford have this type of flexibility? I don't know, but if they do, I have very little sympathy for the nurses at Stanford.


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Posted by Stanford Nurse
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2011 at 11:44 am

Kerry. Flexibility is not that easy. All nurses hired @ Stanford and Packard are hired as 12 hour nurses. The only nurses that work 8 hour shifts are ones that were hired many years ago and were grandfathered in to keep their 8 hr shifts. We can request months ahead to have specific days off but it goes by senority so the more senior nurses may get those hours then the rest gets distributed down the line. But to work 6 12 hour shifts in a row is insane. You need 7 days off to recover from that. As mentioned before working @ Stanford is not like working at a small hospital. We get the patients that no one else wants or can handle. Also Kerry, remember while you are sitting down to your nice Thanksgiving dinner or opening presents with your family X-mas morning. WE ARE WORKING! This included weekends as well.


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Posted by Kerry
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Stanford Nurse,

My relatives told me that they (and their union) demanded the 7/6, 6/7 schedule option. It was not management.

Are you saying that Stanford management forced you into that schedule structure? Or are they simply saying that you must live up to what YOU demanded?

Also, when you complain about working over the holidays, you need to look at total hours worked per year, then compare those to those in the regular work environment, then compare wages/benefits. For example, I have personally worked holidays, many times, when a contract/bid was due.


Like this comment
Posted by Jackie
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Stanford has almost 100 RN positions unfilled. If experienced RN's are so easy to come by due to Stanford's "superior" pay, then how come they can't fill the positions? How are they going to fill the 2700 positions with scabs once the nurses walk out? Do you want to be care for by a nurse from some other state who is unfamiliar with Stanford computer systems and procedures? Forcing nurses to strike over work rules would appear to be a poor management decision. Stanford Business School has a specialty on negotiation, perhaps the administrators should sign up for a class. Once patients discover El Camino Hospital and Sequoia, will they ever come back to Stanford?


Like this comment
Posted by Kerry
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

"Stanford has almost 100 RN positions unfilled"

Is that a meaningful statement? Many large organizations have unfilled positions. It could simply mean that the search is on to fill the positions. It does not, necessarily, mean that an extraordinary effort needs to be made. Neither does it mean that wages and benefits need to be raised. All it really means is that the supply of nurses (in this case) may or may not be available to fulfill the demand. The supply of nurses is a function of local supply, and international imports, especially Filipino nurses, who are quite competent. That is where the leverage of the negotiation lies.


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Posted by Huh
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Jackie, amazing how management can be so dumb, given all the facts that you list. How will Stanford survive should the nurses go on strike?? Oh that's right - nurses are a dime a dozen ... and people find those southern strike-breaking nurses more pleasant to work with anyway ... nevermind.


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Posted by Stanford nurse-Catherine
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Randall, MD----You are so right!

The hospitals attempt to demote all experienced nurses will fail. The fact is that wages and benefits at Stanford Hospitals are not the highest in the Bay Area. If Stanford could easily replace all the nurses why isn't it doing so now? Naive. Why not retool the bloated management structure that has little to do with patient care? Trained, experienced and skilled nurses are difficult to find and hire in the Bay Area due to the high cost of living. After the last strike most of the administrators were gone within a year after the strike ended, wonder why? They foolishly thought they could break the union and impose unreasonable work rules. Nurses are not striking for pay, but for the ability to have reasonable work rules that honor nurses with years of experience. Would you want to work for this person?

Who-saves-what-

Senior nurses with years of experience at the bedside teach Junior nurses how to use the ever changing medical technology to improve patient outcomes. Residents and Interns learning and gaining experience team up with experienced RN's knowing these nurses will help them make good decisions about patient care.

Over the years I have had the pleasure to benefit from those Senior nurses everywhere in my life who showed me the ropes. I have also had the pleasure of working with countless Doctors with varied experience where we share expertise and enrich patient outcomes.

We are currently short in our Unit at Stanford because we can't find and hire enough experienced Senior Nurses.

Nurses are held accountable for every decision made concerning direct patient care. When a Doctor, Pharmacist or any other member of the healthcare team treats a patient at Stanford the RN is expected to double check and oversee those treatments. We take this very seriously and can be involved in litigation if mistakes happen.

I love my career as a Nurse and I am a very effective patient advocate.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Anyway, the practice of addressing nurses by their first name needs to be corrected.


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Posted by CRONA Nurse
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

@Who-Saves-What

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

>If the nurses aren't getting sued, then they aren't responsible for very much--and probably aren't saving as many lives as the postings in this thread suggest.

Your comment truely required no response, but, I'll share with you my 5th graders response... "Um Dad, maybe it has to do with the hospital and doctors having more money to sue for... I mean, we don't have a million dollars even if somebody sues us, but I bet the hospital does."





Like this comment
Posted by CRONA Nurse
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm

@Walter_E_Wallis

I have no idea what your point is here, nor its relation to the story.. Please explain.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2011 at 12:34 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Addressing nurses by first rather than last names as are doctors implies they are less than professional.


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Posted by JT
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 20, 2011 at 1:22 am

The average nurse at Stanford makes between $110,000 and $120,000 a year. How can they survive on that little! They should be striking NOW! I can't believe Stanford would be so cheap.


Like this comment
Posted by CRONA Nurse
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 20, 2011 at 2:24 am

JT: this is not (primarily) about the money, and even a cursory inspection of the information at hand would show you that.. I'd be willing to bet either 1. your part of the hospital admin staff, or 2. have read this story, and maybe a few others, and now consider yourself an authority on the matter...

Let me tell you.. As part of my job as a RN, I have been punched, kicked, spit on, pinched, and my life has been threatened. I have been exposed to TB, HIV, Hep A,B,C, MRSA, VRE... I've been shit on and pissed on.. I've seen babies die, I've seen toddlers die, I've seen school aged children die.. Young adults, old people too.. I've witnessed parents, siblings, spouses, friends stand over their dead loved one and grieve... My actions can save a live, or take one if mistaken. Yes, the stakes are that high..

I am paid well for all this... So, tell me JT, what amount of money do you think is fair, considering what nurses, in general, do...


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 20, 2011 at 3:22 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I have always felt that nurses should manage hospitals, and that they should determine which doctors can practice there. The "first name" bit is just another of the refusals of the medical profession to acknowledge the equality of the nursing profession. Do not forget that most of the care you get in a hospital is nursing care.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Hard to believe, but I agree w/Walter Wallis, probably for the first time ever.

Perhaps it would be useful w/those w/so much vitriol towards nurses considered that they may be jealous because nurses have a union. Venting their spleens on those in such a difficult profession is plain stupid.

I've lost a number of jobs due to downsizing & other standard Sili Valley practices. I'm in a profession which lacks a union - which isn't the fault of nurses or anyone else who goes on strike. Yes, sometimes I'm resentful that the much less educated Safeway employees strike & get benefits I don't, but my experiences & career choice aren't their fault or responsibility.

I am glad that nurses have unions because it helps the patients by ensuring professional standards and it helps the nurses who still experience a lot of sexism and mistreatment due to their being mostly female and subordinate to physicians.


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Posted by Stanford ICU RN
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Please do not misinterpret the nurses intentions. We value higher education for all nurses. We are a magnet hospital, not because of any administrator. It is solely because of the dedication of the nurses to our patients.

I hold two bachelor degrees, am in the process of applying for a graduate program, have been an ICU nurse for over 10 years and still will not meet the requirements set in the PNDP to maintain my current status... the PNDP that Stanford hopes to initiate. Our rejection of the current version of PNDP does not illustrate a desire not to continue to educate ourselves. If Stanford Hospital proceeds with the current PNDP they would like, I will be demoted and my wages will be decreased. We are not against the PNDP because we do not want to advance our education. Please support us in our negotiation for a fair PNDP.


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Posted by Stanford nurse Catherine
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm

To Hmmm-

Thank you for your honesty. You are so right that Nursing Unions do help ensure professional standards and most importantly patient safety. Within our hospital it is Crona that pressures Stanford to comply when staffing laws are inadvertently not followed.

Larger outside Unions supported safe staffing ratio laws in California. Before these laws passed there was no limit to how many patients a nurse was expected to care for. Staffing ratios were solely up to the hospitals to decide.

Walter Wallis-Thank you as always for your intelligent and thoughtful wisdom.


Like this comment
Posted by Unbelievable
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm

It's interesting to me that the nurses at Stanford and Packard voted to strike. The pay scale ranges from 95,000 as a new grad to upwards of 140,000 as a seasoned nurse. These numbers are before the 4% raise the hospital is giving, and also before the overtime, weekend differential, charge nurse differential, and 18% night shift differential! Their retirement gives them 5% of pay into a 403B, and another 4 to 5% matching. They are upset because they will no longer be able to bank their PTO, they will only be able to save 520 hours a year, well your PTO isn't a savings account, they earn 6 to 8 weeks off per year. If the nurses don't want to follow the PNDP, then go and work somewhere else. Try Kaiser, oh wait, you basically have the same PNDP standards there to move up the clinical ladder. Try UCSF, oh wait, they too have the
same standards to move up the ladder! If you don't want to do these things then I say
move on. I would not put it past this union group to hold off on striking until the summer when there kids are out of school. If you think that just because you have been at Stanford for 20 years that you should be a clinical nurse 4, you are wrong! Do you think that people in the business world walk into their bosses office and say I've been here 20 years give me a raise? Don't you think they have to show what they have done to earn that raise??? Absolutely. Get real Stanford.....or my suggestion if you don't like it.....get out!


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Posted by RNfan
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I have had the privilege to work with hundreds of Stanford nurses over the years. Many times, I've seen a nurse in the hospital on her day off "just dropping in to check on my patient". And as the saying goes "if you want something done, ask a nurse". They are the most dedicated innovative group of people that could care for you and your family.

I have also worked with the management team and have great respect for them. I don't know the issues well enough to comment on what happened in the negotiation breakdowns. I pray everything can be worked out without a strike.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2011 at 12:00 am

It's tiresome to read the posts comparing nursing to business. It's a ridiculous comparison because the business world is very different from nursing. I have a lot of medical staff in my family & so I was raised around it & I've been in the business world for a long time. Very, very different professions - it's comparing apples to oranges. Pay attention to the specifics in this situation, people. None of the nurses are saying they're starving. It's also ironic reading people in Palo Alto's kvetches about nursing salaries. One of the wealthiest cities around complaining about what a nurse makes - that's rich, pun intended.


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Posted by French Nurses
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:40 am

The world has changed. We are staring at a government takeover of health care. We all know this means less care, less innovation, less money all around, less "reward" for work regardless of skill or dedication. It is simply reality, proven repeatedly worldwide

We have to accept this..

Or reverse the path we are on, ..bring back private incentives, and then there is enough money to reward the best health care givers, including nurses, reward life-saving and life-enhancing advances, reward the best in MDs, nurses, therapists, etc.

Look at pay/beneifits of nurses in France, (or other socialized medicine countries)...do we really want this? Even MDs there make less than our nurses do here.

Web Link


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Posted by used to be there
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2011 at 11:01 am

Nurses at Stanford have it really, really good. Their pt. load is less than at many hospitals, their pay is higher than at most hospitals. And they are treated with respect. It's true that you don't have to have higher education, give talks or present papers to be a 'good' nurse. But Stanford is not trying to make you a 'good' nurse. They are trying to make you a more professional nurse. They are trying to elevate the status of nursing from an art to a science.
It's a big change. But it is going to happen, just as it has in most other academic settings. Continue to be excellent bedside nurses and accept the challenge to become more engaged in the professional side of nursing as well. No one wins by striking. There are many nurses out there who can't get jobs. But they will soon be able to get yours if you go on strike. Think about it.


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Posted by You are a french nurse?
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

"French nurses":

"Look at pay/beneifits of nurses in France, "

Where do you fit in on that list? Is your profession on that list? Would you like it if your boss took that list, however accurate, into account when deciding what to pay you? From that list:

"All Sectors average income PPP $ 1,962 $ 1,540"

Or do you want to drive everyone's wages down?


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

used to be there states:"But Stanford is not trying to make you a 'good' nurse. They are trying to make you a more professional nurse. They are trying to elevate the status of nursing from an art to a science."

If that is the case then why did Stanford close its School of Nursing in the '70s? If you want to set the highest standard then why not practice what you preach?


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Make you a more professional nurse? Is that why so many continuing education courses are held in Vegas or on cruise ships?


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Posted by used to be there
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

The venue doesn't matter. The content does. Many Physician CE courses are held in Las Vegas and on Cruise ships as well. The purpose is to provide an educational opportunity during business hours in a vacation setting that you can relax and enjoy in off hours.
Much networking takes place during the off hours as well, which can greatly contribute professionally.


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Posted by used to be there
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

To Peter Carpenter......I cannot answer your question. I have often wondered the same thing myself. But your question is not relevant to the topic at hand. Opening a school of nursing at Stanford is not going to do anything for nurses who do not want to obtain that education. There are many schools of nursing who currently use Stanford Hospital for their clinical experiences, and provide onsite classes for any nurse at Stanford who wishes that education. The point being that if nurses wanted further education, they can receive it on site. And further themselves professionally at the same time. Stanford is trying to provide incentive for their already 'good' nurses to better themselves and become more invested in their profession. While I don't support the Stanford department of nursing in many things, I do support them in this


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm

used to be there states:"To Peter Carpenter......I cannot answer your question. I have often wondered the same thing myself."

We honor that which we invest in and celebrate - why does Stanford's School of Medicine not honor Nursing along side educating MDs and PhDs?

I think that the current contract dispute is not simply an economic issue but a conflict of cultures. Paying people more or less is far less important than is respecting their contribution to the mission of the organization. I suspect that the Stanford nurses would be much less demanding of wage increase if their role was held in higher respect.


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Posted by JT
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

To the CRONA nurse: I disagree when you claim that money isn't the issue. You're trying to change the subject so people don't focus on your greedy demands.

Stanford nurses make between $110,000 and $120,000 a year — three times the national average wage.

If you can get more than $120,000 a year out of Stanford, fine. But if Stanford rejects your demands, don't be surprised if they replace you with qualified professionals who would jump to work at a wage like that.

Go ahead and strike. But don't expect any sympathy from the rest of us.


Like this comment
Posted by Stanford nurse Catherine
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

One reason Stanford probably closed its school of nursing is expense. UCLA closed it's undergrad school of nursing as well-too expensive.

I for one as well as many of my colleagues welcome knowledge and training related to direct patient care. I am not sure how a bachelors/masters degree will help me take better care of patients. Nursing degrees at that level focus on management and theory that leads to teaching and management positions. As a bedside nurse I would like more training for myself and new nurses concerning what we do for the patients directly everyday. As a teaching facility how we care for patients changes constantly as we are the testing ground for new drugs and procedures.

Stanford and Crona are working hard to work things out because that would be the best outcome in this situation. I am keeping my chin up and not losing faith that they can do just that.


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Posted by used to be there
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Catherine......did CRONA ever present to Stanford the possibility of a two tiered approach? The medical school has a tenured track and a clinical track. Maybe they need the same for the nurses. A tenured track for those who want to do research, presentations, papers and a clinical track for those who want to excel at being clinicians and clinical educators. I would think a strong counter proposal acknowledging the need for a stronger professional model, but advocating for a two tierd approach might bring results that you are looking for. The opportunity to grow and excel as a bedside nurse without having to be a manager/researcher/author.
In so many ways, it just seems that CRONA doesn't want to move forward in any venue, they just want to support nurses be exceedingly well paid for going to work every day and doing what they have been trained to do.


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Posted by Stanford nurse Catherine
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm

To 'used to be there"-

I would love to be a fly on the wall during negotiations but I am not, so I rely on deciphering as best I can through Crona and the Hospitals "what is actually going on". I also get feedback from Doctors, Managers and other staff.

Your ideas sound very good. My understanding of the negotiations is that the Hospital has taken a "take it or leave it" stance and does not want to budge on their version of the new PNDP. Crona has submitted changes to the PNDP and is not unrealistic or against having an updated professional development system. My understanding of the current system being offered is that it involves too much change too quickly. I think it would be great to see the nurses involved (from Stanford management and Crona) working together to hammer out a quality PNDP.

Perhaps this is just a bump in the road and Crona and the Hospitals will find a way to work together. A good solid marriage sees these troubles often. Flexiblity is the key.


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Posted by Sarah RN, not at Stanford Hospital
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

To Stanford nurse Catherine and others who don't believe that a Master's Degree can make you a better bedside nurse -

I am a grad student in the USF CNL program. We have classes like advanced assessment and advanced pharmacology and physiology as part of our curriculum. In addition, one of the focuses of the CNL program is to identify and educate our fellow nurses about best practices, bringing those best practices to the bedside to improve outcomes while reducing patient care costs.

In addition, there are masters degrees focused on advanced practice that leads to Clinical Nurse Specialist, focusing on learning more within a medical specialty to say nothing of how much more service your could provide as a Nurse Practioner.

So many choices and opportunities! My program meets once a week, making it very doable for the full time nurse and I think there is even a cohort that meets at Stanford (or perhaps supplied by a different university).

Agreed that the cost is maybe not within everyone's reach, but if you look hard enough and put in some work writing essays, you can get most of your advanced education as loans, grants or forgiven loans for service.

Having a Master's Degree, or even the BSN, does elevate Nursing to a profession. It trains us to look beyond the moment of the bedside and look at the bigger holistic picture to bring broader lessons to improving our bedside care. Bedside care is not only about mechanically inserting an IV or giving a medication correctly. Those are skills we learn in nursing school. It is about providing for all the aspects of an individual's care including physical, spiritual, family and more. I think the Master's degree is useful for this.

Do I think that in a vacuum a Master's trained newly licensed nurse will give better care than a 20 year veteran who still cares? Absolutely not and experience has to be weighed into the calculation. But I do think a Master's trained RN with the same years and caring attitude at the 20 year vet without the masters, will have some extra tools, strengths and background to draw upon when s/he is giving that excellent bedside care. And that person, with the Masters can also help mentor and teach the newer nurses.

They say we eat our young - my hope is that the Masters trained mentor would not do that....

Sorry to have rambled. I can see both sides. I do think experience should count and that having advanced education should not just be a checkbox to respect in the workplace. Also it should be a gradual change, not just today like this and tomorrow you are demoted. On the other hand, while it may seem daunting, advanced eduction is accessible and should be encouraged.

Thanks for "listening". I welcome your feedback!


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Posted by stanford nurse Catherine
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm

To Sarah RN--

Thank you for enlightening me! I have been away from school for quite some time and I do have close to 20 years experience as a nurse. I am for improving Nurse quality and if more education at a university can do that I am for it!

I am hoping that together Stanford and Crona can come up with a realistic PNDP that will help its Nurses access advanced education as they desire and provide pathways that encourage growth. Right now there is a lot of confusion and ill feelings concerning possible demotions of staff. I feel that if Stanford truly wants RN's to excel and have access to higher education they will not try to implement contracts on us that are confusing. When something feels forced it is unwelcome.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Nursing is my "profession" and like many others in the business world, I dedicate my time and talents to the patients I care for on a daily basis. I have a BSN, MSN, CNS, and PNP (for those not familiar these are baccalaureate and masters degrees in Nursing). I work at LPCH, and firmly believe that my education makes me a better care provider. BUT, better than my colleagues without these advanced degrees? NO! I have been a nurse for 18 years, but believe me nurses at the bedside with 20+ years of clinical experiences far outweigh my school knowledge. CRONA ( my union) has NEVER objected to the idea of the PNDP, they have been working hard to compromise and develop a system that recognizes the expertise that both the academic and clinical nurse contribute. Unfortunately the hospitals do not have the same vision. Which then leads us (the nurses) to believe that this program is not REALLY about professionalism, but about MONEY.....The hopitals recognized savings. The implementation of the PNDP, as done by LPCH, will result in a huge cost-savings (approx 15 million/year) in reduced nursing salaries once all of us "advanced" nurses are demoted.
Nursing is a demanding profession. We get paid well for what we do (although the figures stated above are not reflective of the average nurses salary (base wages)), that has never been our argument. We don't criticize the pay of other professions around us, so please do not criticize ours.
Can we work at other hospitals? Yes! And do many of us have jobs at other hospitals? Yes! Than why do we work at Stanford or LPCH??? For the patients! We take care of the sickest patients, ones other hospitals CANNOT. We are there to learn, and grow professionally! We are not shying away from advancing our skills and knowledge (as one commentor said above), but embracing the learning opportunites available to us.
How many of the above readers have administered a Phase I clinical trial chemotherapy to a dying 19 month old? Praying with the family that this last ditch effort might extend their child's life? Or, delivered a stillborn baby to a couple who has tried to have a child for the past 10 years without success? Or, comforted a family when their 5 year old was hit and killed by a car while attempting to ride their first two-wheel bicycle?.....Well, I HAVE!
I do not work in your world, you do not work in mine....Please do not judge me!


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Posted by Support crona
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

@Mary....all I can say is WELL SAID.


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Posted by rn 2
a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm

i have a masters in nursing yet it did not help me save a patient two days ago. it was experience, and my fellow care workers that did it.
i do hope a lot of the readers here understand that it is not my profession, the financial rewards, nor the management that motivates me to save lives. its the feeling.. of seeing families suffer and cry while their sick ones lay in the bed that pushes me to strive more to improve my practice.
.. and this is true to us ... stanford nurses...


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Posted by Stanford nurse catherine
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:47 am

Very well said Mary! Thank you!!!!


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Posted by Jean
a resident of Monroe Park
on Feb 22, 2011 at 5:21 am

I usually refer to my nurse as 'Nurse + name.’ Sorry if that offends. However, it seems petty to demand that patients call nurses by their last name. As a patient I need to feel that I have someone to whom I can relate on more personal level than I can relate to my physician.

I'm a high school teacher who, unlike many of my colleagues, expects my students to refer to me as Ms. Smith, not Jean. I prefer to keep the relationship professional. I’m not my students’ buddy.’ Nevertheless, I am there for them not just for class work, but also to be of help when they need it.

I have mixed feelings about the nurses’ demands. I have to pay for my ongoing professional development, which is quite expensive, and I also have to give up my personal time to study.
Much as I would like to take an advanced degree, I can’t afford it, nor could I fit it with full time teaching and spending time with my family. I have a few colleagues who have specialty advanced degrees, but, in practice, I don’t see it reflected in student outcome.

Additionally, I have had pay cuts and substantial increases in medical insurance contributions. I estimate my salary will be about $5,000 less this year, while I now teach larger classes without adequate supplies. Like most teachers, I buy supply basics with my own money. Like nurses, I get little respect from administrators.


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Posted by MikeL
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 22, 2011 at 7:35 am

I hope the nurses go on strike. They will get no sympathy from the majority of the citizens.


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Posted by Jean R
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2011 at 8:06 am

It is difficult to actually see the value of the nurses until an individual or a family member gets sick. I feel bad that they are being compared to other professions. I have seen how valuable the nurses were when my Grand Ma was in the ICU.
I hope Stanford Hospital will stand for them. They have always stand for us_ the community_ when we are sick.


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Posted by Mary
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

@ MikeL

We are not asking for your sympathy nor your support.
We are standing up for our working conditions so we can continue to provide the best nursing care possible. Fortunately for us we have the ability to stand together for what is right. For all the other disgruntled employees whose employers are downsizing or forcing detrimental changes upon them, I am sorry. SHAME ON YOUR EMPLOYERS!!! I wish you had the same ability we do. Large corporations need to start downsizing from the TOP..... CEO, COO, high-end mangers, etc... need to start taking the brunt of the economic downfall and STOP forcing the "working American" to bear the brunt of this unfortunate situation!


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Posted by stanford nurse Catherine
a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2011 at 9:34 am



Thank you Mary! I am so grateful to work with nurses like you!


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Posted by AngieHung
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2011 at 11:59 am

I have been a patient in Stanford Hospital twice and found most nurses arrogant and unhelpful both times. They just didn't listen, or didn't believe me, whatever.

It's a tough job. I can respect that.

Unfortunately, I honestly think I'd prefer to go to a hospital where the nurses aren't union, so I could feel that the ones who are insulting to their patients would possibly lose their jobs, so the ones who were working there would be respectful. It's based only on my personal experience, but I don't have anything else to go on.


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Posted by No Allowance Until You Behave Yourself
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

Though it seems tangential, I also wish to express my agreement with the comment by Walter Wallis, concerning the custom in hospitals (and in other medical settings) of addressing nurses by their first names. I am not a nurse, but as an occasional patient at the hospital, I have especially been offended by the fact that physicians insist on being addressed as, say, Dr. Smith, while they rudely address everyone else, including nurses and patients, as Fred or Mary.

This demeaning practice is uncivil in a supposedly egalitarian society, and it makes my blood boil every time I encounter it. Of course, the physicians can address people any way they want, but I can also continue to ignore Stanford Hospital's frequent solicitations for donations until such time as I observe polite and respectful behavior instead of this self-aggrandizing boorishness.

While I'm at it, I am furthermore delaying my donation to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation until such time as they remove the outrageously offensive Norman Rockwell reproduction of a woman patient, naked from the waist up, prominently displayed on the exterior of their building. That picture is the embodiment of the medical profession's insensitivity to women, and has no place in a multi-cultural community such as Palo Alto.

I also wish to express my support of the nurses at Stanford, and of the nursing profession in general.


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Posted by bedside nurse
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

Stanford held a "Future of Nursing" conference in January. They neglected to invite most of the 2600 nurses from their own institutions. Their is an atmosphere of oppression on many of the nursing units. Many nurses cannot get approval for a day off for a conference and they want you to believe they will approve time off for an advanced degree? I rest my case.


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Posted by Ashley
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Hello Everyone,
I am writing an article on the current nurse situation for Palo Alto High School's newspaper the Campanile. I am looking for a nurse to interview that will be able to provide the perspective from the nurses. If anyone would be willing to do this, please email me at ashleycshin@gmail.com This is a great opportunity to share your side with the rest of the Palo Alto Community and can be done over the phone or email.
Thanks!


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