A group of nurses is taking it upon themselves to put a dent in the $40 million annual nursing shortage by taking their salaries on a public holiday.
They’re calling it “Holiday Pay” and say the move is aimed at helping the nation’s nurses and other health care workers save money and be more productive.
“Holiday pay is a way for nurses and others who work in hospitals and other settings to get paid a little bit better than on a regular basis,” said Laura Hulshoff, executive director of the American Nurses Association.
“We’re hoping it will give the people who are out there who are working overtime a little more breathing room to focus on their health and keep them safe and to be productive.
Holiday pay makes it possible for them to take a little vacation, and they can get some rest and maybe get some help to recover.”
The Nurses Collective is asking the public to participate in the holiday pay campaign by sending in their pay stubs, credit cards and cash to the A.N.A.A., which has been sending out pay stub requests since February.
The organization has received 1,200,000 payments so far, Hulschel said.
The nurses’ campaign is being funded by the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), a non-profit group of health care and allied organizations, which has set aside a portion of its budget to help with the effort.
The NNOC will also be using the money to donate 10% of its proceeds to nursing homes and nursing homes for the next three years.
“The nurses have been able to provide an example to the public that the nursing profession can provide and support for the people that work in it,” said Jessica Rinaldi, a spokeswoman for the Nurses Cooperative, which is based in San Diego.
The campaign comes as the nation continues to grapple with the nursing shortage.
A study released last month by the Department of Labor estimated the country’s nursing workforce could need about 4 million more nurses by 2021.
That is well above the current level of about 1.5 million nurses.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 14 million people are employed in the nursing industry, or about one-quarter of the workforce.
That’s down from 20% in 2004.
While many of the nursing jobs are high-paying, the profession’s shortage has also been attributed to other factors, including the aging of the population and the cost of caring for it.
The American Nursers Association has been a vocal critic of the $1.9 trillion nursing budget, which the group says has failed to help the nation save money on health care for millions of Americans.
The group also wants the federal government to establish a national benchmark for nurses’ wages and benefits.
Hulshfield says that while the Nursers Collective is trying to raise awareness of the need for nursing pay, it also hopes to help improve the lives of people who work there.
According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, workers in nursing homes have lower levels of physical activity and less sleep, and are at higher risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease.