The nurses at Memorial Hospital work a regular schedule of four 10-hour days per week. The average regulartime pay across all nursing grades is $12.00 per hour. Overtime may be scheduled when necessary. However, because of the intensity of the demands placed on nurses, only a limited amount of overtime is permitted per week. Nurses may be scheduled for as many as 12 hours per day for a maximum of five days per week. Overtime is compensated at a rate of $18.00 per hour. In periods of extremely high demand, temporary part-time nurses may be hired for a limited period of time. Temporary nurses are paid $15.00 per hour. Memorial Hospital has a policy that limits the proportion of temporary nurses to 15 percent of the total nursing staff. Finding, hiring, and retaining qualified nurses is a problem that hospitals have been facing for years. One reason is that various forms of private practice are luring many nurses away from hospitals with higher pay and greater flexibility. This situation has caused Memorial to guarantee its full-time staff nurses pay for a minimum of 30 hours per week, regardless of the demand placed on nursing services. In addition, each nurse receives a four-week paid vacation each year. However, vacation scheduling may be somewhat restricted by the projected demand for nurses during particular times of the year. At present, the hospital employs 130 nurses, including 20 surgical nurses. The other 110 nurses are assigned to the remaining seven major areas of the hospital. The Personnel Department has told Fry that the average cost to the hospital for hiring a new full-time nurse is $400 and for laying off or firing a nurse is $150. Although layoffs are an option, Fry is aware of the hospital’s objective of maintaining a level workforce.
Memorial Hospital is a 265-bed regional health care facility located in the mountains of western North Carolina. The mission of the hospital is to provide quality health care to the...
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