February 9, 2007

elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: I'm an RN who would like to work prn (pro re nata — as the occasion arises). Our prn nurses get a performance evaluation but are not eligible for pay for performance salary increases. Will this ever change?

Answer: Yes. We have implemented new pay codes and job options for prn nurses, and these nurses will now be eligible for pay for performance increases. Nurses should talk to their managers about this opportunity.

— Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., chief nursing officer

Question: An employee retired from our department with more than 30 years of service and 3,000 hours of accrued sick time. She is not being paid for her accrued sick time. When people leave Vanderbilt, why not reward those who don't use their sick time by giving them, say, one hour of vacation time to four hours of accrued sick time?

Answer: Currently, sick time is paid out for illness or at retirement after age 62, when up to 30 days accrual may be paid.

Because sick time accruals are not booked as a liability on the University financial statement, a reward program as described above would produce expenses to the University beyond the cash outlay to pay the reward. Such a reward program would require significant financial analysis and discussion of cost implications that would have to be weighed against other University programs and priorities.

—- Kevin Myatt, associate vice chancellor and chief human resource officer