Nurses leaving Texas nursing homes for better pay ‘at McDonald’s or Wendy’s,’ advocates say
April 6, 2016 Bobby Blanchard
AUSTIN — Nurses and other medical staff are leaving their positions in Texas’ nursing homes because of low pay, advocates say, setting up the possibility for a nursing shortage in long-term care facilities as the state’s 65-and-over population booms in the next few years.
The state’s low Medicaid reimbursement rate contributes to the low pay, a dynamic that’s driving nurses out of nursing homes or out of the health industry entirely, said Julie Sulik, vice president of Clinical Services for Southwest Long Term Management.
“Sometimes they can go down to the drive-through window at McDonald’s or Wendy’s and make more money,” Sulik said. “Morale can be hurt when we have a hiring freeze or a wage freeze, because we can’t compete.” video: