School District Substitute Nurses To Get Pay Raise In 2017

The Board of Education on Dec. 22 voted to raise the per-diem pay rate of district substitute nurses.

School district substitute nurses will receive an 82 percent pay hike in 2017, in a move that district officials say will save money in the long-run.

The substitute nurses’ per day rate will be increased from the current $110 to $200. The Board of Education approved the increase at its Dec. 22 meeting.

The board took the action in an effort to attract more substitutes, said schools Superintendent John Ravally.

“Our pool of substitute candidates in three deep,” Ravally said.

He said because of that short list, the district has been relying on Bayada Home Health Care, its substitute nurse provider, to bridge the gap.

“With only a three-deep nursing poo, it was tough to get folks to cover,” Ravally said. He said some of the nurses in teh pool also work for other districts, so they’re not always available when needed in Franklin.

The district will also move nurses from other school to sit in for an absent nurse, Ravally said.

“We have a couple larger schools with more than one nurse, so we’re able to shift folks around, but of course that leaves fewer folks in the larger schools,” Ravally said. “We’re trying to avoid that.”

Ravally said the district’s pool of substitute nurses has dwindled over the years because of the low pay rate.

He said the going per-diem rate in the area for substitute nurses is about $200.

It “makes sense” for the district to pay the going rate, Ravally said, because doing so would allow the district to “get the coverage and build our list. If we build our list, then it will be easier for our lead nurse to provide the coverage.”

Ravally said the district would like to increase its pool of substitute nurses to at least six or seven.

“We certainly need more than three, because three’s not working,” he said.

With that many, he said, the district could reduce its dependence on Bayada and save some money.

That’s because Bayada pays their substitutes the average going rate, but then adds a premium to to what they charge districts, Ravally said.

“School nurses play such and important role,” Ravally said. “When you have to pull one from another building that’s large enough to have two, that makes more work for the one left behind.”


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