Texas Nurses Leave Long-Term Care for Fast Food Jobs
Something seems to be noticeably wrong in Texas' long-term care facilities.
According to a recent article published by the Dallas Morning News, some Texas nurses are leaving long-term care positions for better paying jobs at fast food establishments.
“Sometimes they can go down to the drive-through window at McDonald’s or Wendy’s and make more money,” Julie Sulik, vice president of Clinical Services for Southwest Long Term Management told Dallas Morning News. “Morale can be hurt when we have a hiring freeze or a wage freeze, because we can’t compete.”
The problem seems to be wide stretching, and Texas lawmakers have been made aware of the frustrating circumstances. Scot Kibbe, director of government relations for the Texas Health Care Association, said Buc-ee’s convenience stores can pay some employees $14 an hour, and it’s hard for nursing homes to pay certified nursing assistants a wage comparable to that.
“What our providers tell us is their inability to pay competitive wages is a major factor [in turnover],” Kibbe said. The low wages seem to stem from a gap in what nursing homes spend versus the reimbursement they receive from the state, which is more than $300 million, according to Texas Health Care Association President Kevin Warren.
The annual turnover rate for nurses in long-term care facilities is a staggering 94 percent. “Obviously such high turnover raises costs for all of you,” Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, noted in the committee hearing Wednesday. “Sounds like we’re paying a lot as a state and maybe not getting a whole lot for that.”