Hi! I'm Robin Dunbar the Vice President of Human Resources for Ecumen. Ecumen provides senior housing and services throughout the state of Minnesota.
Hi Robin, thanks for joining.
Good Afternoon, I am Jane Foote. I am the Executive Director of HealthForce Minnesota at Winona State University. I have been an RN for thirty years, with past roles as staff nurse, nursing faculty and Dean of Nursing in the MNSCU system.
Hi Jane, thanks for joining the chat.
Hi, I'm Paul Tosto with Minnesota Public Radio News. I'm an online writer and wrote the MinnEcon blog for a couple years. I've written a bunch of posts the past couple years on this issue. I've been really interested in it from an economic perspective but also an educational perspective. I covered higher education for several years for the Pioneer Press before coming to MPR.
Annie Baxter here-- I'm a business reporter at MPR. I recently did a story about the difficulty of getting a nursing job with a two-year degree. Looking forward to the discussion!
Checking the pulse of the room here. I'll post a few polls during the event to help us guide the discussion. Feel free to suggest a poll if you have a good idea for one. We are getting a lot of good questions in the comments, keep them coming.
Let's get things going with a question from Katie Johnston
Jane, you might be a good one to address this. Is it tougher for folks with two-year degrees to get hired these days?
Also, feel free to use the "@" to address/reply to someone specific.
Employers tell me that they look to hire individuals, and hire both two and four year graduates. However if the individuals are evenly expereinced there is often a preference for four year BSN graduates, espeicially at larger hospitals with Magnet status.
Good question Kate. We hire a lot of grads that come to Long term care to get their experience. We see a jump in turn over once they have two years in.
graduates with language skills, cultural skills and life experience have advatages.
Nurses willing to relocate also have an advantage.
New two-year grads won't be coming in with the extra level of experience that might be desired. Should they expect to make a lot less than grads with a Bachelors? If so, how much less?
I've been concerned for awhile about the prospects for RNs with only associate degrees, especially for hospital jobs. Hospitals have become really good at cutting costs during the recession. Seems like there will be an increasing competition for RN hospital jobs going forward and associate degree holders will be at a disadvantage.
@ Ryan. I have not heard of a preference for male nurses. I think its a coincidence.
Salary is determined by the setting and geography in which the nurse is employed. Hospitals often pay more, ambulatory and older adult services less. The nurse needs to determine what type of nursing they want to do. All settings have advantages and challenges.
Hi, Oriane Casale from the Labor Market Information Office here at the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
@Robin What's the pay range at Ecumen?
Pay is certainly an important element of our career choices. I think nurses should look at the employee value proposition which includes things like benefits, the employers mission, vision, values, career progression, job satisfaction, etc.
We are seeing some empolyers requiring a BSN within a few years of hire. Mayo is an example.
@george Are you a nurse? Speaking from direct experience?
@George. I think the pay difference is between hospital RN jobs vs. RN jobs at assisted living and that the industry is essentially dividing new grads w. bachelor holders going to hospitals and associate holders assisted living.
Our pay varies by region and business line and job responsibilities. It's hard to be specific, but an RN can expect to make $25 - $30 an hour in LTC.
It is not about color, its about language and cultural skills. Communication is essential and the ability to clinically reason and provide safe care.
@ Michael. LTC = long term care.
@Robin that's a good wage! But I suppose some people go into the profession expecting even more. Is it tough dealing with those expectations?
@Oriane. Can you share some thoughts on the issue of RN job vacancies in MN, why they've fallen so much and when they might return to pre-recession levels?
The Long Term Care sector prefers to be using the term Older Adult Services.
@Paul. Actually I'd like to hear from others. I don't have any good answers to your questions.