What Do the Latest Industry Changes Mean for CRNAs’ Job Security?

| February 17, 2016
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Over the past few months, CRNAs across the country have been watching the industry change before their eyes. From the Michigan 68 to Mission Health System in North Carolina, job security has now become a significant concern.

At CRNA Financial Planning®, a number of our nurse anesthetist clients have had questions about what steps to take if they lose their job and their financial situation changes. Since we understand that this is a big concern for many people, we wanted to address some common questions you may have.

What are the recent events that have caused these concerns?

There are largely two events that both started in December of 2015. The first is known as the Michigan 68. The St. John Providence Health System in Michigan hired a contractor for anesthesia services and outsourced its certified registered nurse anesthetists. In the process, they fired 68 CRNAs at two of their hospitals, Southfield and Novi, who refused to accept jobs with the contractor.

While the pay was comparable, many affected CRNAs were concerned with the different work rules, schedules, and a lack of disclosure of certain policies and procedures. Even worse, as the health system states they did not technically fire the employees, since they were offered other jobs, the terminated employees are ineligible to apply for unemployment benefits. In North Carolina, Mission Health System is considering dropping its subcontractor, AllCare Clinical Associates and, as a result, over 100 CRNAs could lose their jobs.

Why are hospitals and health systems making these changes?

While the true reasons are ambiguous, many believe it’s because hospitals see that they can reduce costs by outsourcing anesthesia services. As large private groups start buying smaller practices, they are changing CRNAs’ daily duties and policies, lowering salaries, and creating more roadblocks which prevent CRNAs from doing their jobs well. As doctors gain more control, nurse anesthetists are forced to adhere to stricter rules and inflexible schedules.

What should you do to prepare for the road ahead?

While the future for CRNAs is certainly changing, it’s also bringing opportunities for those who know how to navigate in this environment. First, wherever you are in your career, now is the time to get your finances in order. Should the worst happen and you lose your job, how will you make up for that lost income? You will need a strategy for maintaining student loan payments and other debt without draining your accumulated wealth. You should also continue contributing to your reserve funds and building up your savings accounts.

Second, consider alternative job positions. If you’ve always worked at a hospital, you may look into freelancing. As afreelance CRNA, you can work virtually anywhere, anytime, with proper state licensing (and some facilities will even pay your travel and accommodation fees). In addition, you retain control over your work schedule. As you evaluate a career as a freelance CRNA, it’s critical you understand the tax implications and financial impact, as well as your opportunities to maximize your income with select investments options.

These latest industry changes are critical for CRNAs to address. While many are concerned about their job security, it’s important to remember that thejob outlook for CRNAs is expected to continue rising. As you evaluate your career options and financial situation, we are here to help. Whether you are interested in learning more about a freelance career or reviewing your financial circumstances and budgets, I encourage you to contact our office or email us to set up an appointment. Do you have questions or concerns about the changing job market? We are here to help. Call us at 855.304.3748 or email [email protected]

About Jeremy Stanley

Jeremy Stanley is the founder of CRNA Financial Planning®. He has been providing advice and guidance for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) for over two decades. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Jeremy has met rigorous certification and professional standards set by the CFP Board. He is committed to adhering to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients. Jeremy is also the author of the book “The Wealthy CRNA,” which lays out a foundational roadmap for CRNAs to help them plan their financial future.  

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Jeremy Stanley is a financial professional with and Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Private Advisor Group, a registered investment advisor. Private Advisor Group and CRNA Financial Planning® are separate entities from LPL Financial.

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