Med Klin Intensivmed Notfmed. 2022 Jun 10. doi: 10.1007/s00063-022-00929-1. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Agency nursing is used as a form of labour to counter vacant staff positions in hospitals. Stakeholders and nurses might view this critically for different reasons.
AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate what individual net income nurses in German intensive care units and intermediate care units consider “fair and acceptable” for their work. Furthermore, what influence does salary have on the willingness to change to agency nursing or back to a permanent position.
METHODS: From September-October 2020, an anonymous online survey was performed among nurses of intermediate care units, intensive care units and special care units in German-speaking countries. The results were evaluated using descriptive statistics.
RESULT: Of 1203 participants, 1036 (86%) of those working in Germany could be evaluated. The question about the individual net income was answered by 1032 (99%) participants. The majority of respondents (n = 522) stated that they had an individual net income of 2000-2999 €/month. The higher the level of the net income, the lower the willingness to switch to agency work. The participants in permanent employment only perceive a net income of 3200 €/month (median 3200 €; interquartile range [IQR] 2800-3800 €) as acceptable and fair for their work. In all, 142 agency nurses stated that an individual net income of 3200 €/month (median 3200 €; IQR 3000-3950 €) would be sufficient to move from agency nursing back into permanent employment.
CONCLUSION: The intensive care nurses in this survey consider a salary of 3200 €/month as acceptable and fair for their work. The salary level can be a parameter for the decision to go into agency work, but also to move back to permanent employment. Regardless of the salary, better working conditions were indicated as an essential element in terms of job satisfaction for all respondent groups.