Strikes = opportunity for some nurses

Image: khcbrown via Flickr

While thousands of Registered Nurses are picketing in Pennsylvania, Michigan and California, thousands more are raking in big bucks — as strike nurses.

According to an article on, nurses from around the country have come to Philadelphia to fill in for the striking nurses at Temple Hospital.  Often, the replacement nurses sympathize with the striking nurses; as nurses, they too are concerned about patient care and safe working conditions.  But many of them are pragmatists.  Like everyone else, they have bills to pay.  Unlike many, they know that strike nursing is often the quickest way to earn some serious cash.

A number of nursing agencies, including Health Source Global Staffing and U.S. Nursing provide replacement nurses to institutions experiencing nurse strikes.  A current ad on the U.S. Nursing website calls for 600 nurses to work in the Washington D.C. area early next month.

What do you think?  Are replacement nurses betraying the profession or providing much needed patient care?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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2 Responses to Strikes = opportunity for some nurses

  1. L.A.Maor

    It is very simple. A scab is a scab. Scabs enable employers to avoid bargaining in good faith. Scabs are mercenaries in scrubs.

  2. Anyone who thinks providing bedside care betrays the profession has lost the vision of what it is to be a nurse. Of course we need to stand up for our rights but at the same time, someone MUST care for the infirmed. I don’t think any of the nurses on strike want any harm to come to the patients in the hospital as a result of their refusal to work–indeed they are protecting their patients by demanding working conditions that allow them to provide appropriate care–but we are not Teamsters. We should not see anyone who is licensed and willing to help as an enemy. The hospitals that employ these strikers don’t want to pay double what they normally pay for very long and both sides know that relief workers are only temporary.