Providing Superior Patient Care

At a time of great change in healthcare that presents many challenges to community hospitals, SVMH is working closely with our nurses to improve quality care and patient satisfaction as we also work to make our hospital strong and stabilize or finances.


Our staffing model is focused on patient-based needs so that we can be flexible and efficient staffing in keeping with our patient census and acuity. We maintain a "float pool" that allows us to add coverage or meet changing needs with experienced SVMH nurses. Float nurses are moved only to areas where they have appropriate training and experience to safely and effectively care for patients.

Fair Compensation

Our nurses are well paid and we're proud of that. The Salinas Valley Memorial nurses are paid top rate of all California-based nurses represented by the California Nurses Association and among the highest of all nurses in the state.

We value our nurses and are committed to maintaining these rates in these negotiations to the extent we are able to reach agreement on an overall compensation package that is sustainable and competitive in the region.


  • Average SVMH full-time nurse's pay: $145,000 per year
  • Top hourly rate: $80.63
  • Average hourly rate: $69.40
  • Pay incentives are offered for national specialty certifications
  • When base pay, premium pay, and benefits are combined, the total annual compensation for many nurses exceeds $100,000
Nurses are eligible for full-time benefits if they work a minimum of 16 hours a week. Benefits include:
  • Comprehensive Health Coverage, including Dental and Vision
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Continuing Education and Tuition Reimbursement Benefits


  • Full-time RNs now receive a minimum of 21 and maximum of 46 paid days off each year, depending on their years of service, in addition to paid holidays.

Health Benefits

As a healthcare provider we understand the value of a good health insurance plan and have long provided comprehensive coverage at little cost to all employees.

Our health benefits proposal for CNA-represented employees introduces an entirely new health plan design that would be phased in over three years, helps bring our plan costs to market and for the first time provides an option for free wellness and preventive health services.

The new plan would continue to offer a no-cost basic plan for employees, with low-cost options for those who include a spouse, partner, dependent, or family on their plan.

The new design provides three comprehensive health plans that offer a range of options in terms of costs and coverage.
With our new Exclusive Provider Organization option, employees who get their care from our hospital, SVMHS doctors, and providers in our network would have one of the best health care plans in the country. This low-cost plan, which has no lifetime limit on benefits, an employee would pay:

  • No annual deductible
  • Nothing for hospital charges and preventive care benefits
  • A flat $20 co-pay for primary care visits and a $40 to see a specialist
As always, emergency care is covered outside our network for employees and their dependents who are traveling or living elsewhere at the same low cost they'd pay for care here at home.

The new health plan also coveres significant financial incentives and advantages for employees who get their health care within our network.

Nationwide, employee health costs are expected to increase significantly over the next few years as a direct result of new rules and requirements under the Affordable Care Act.

On average, employee health costs nationwide are expected to increase 6.7 percent in 2014 alone, according to a recent study by Aon Hewitt.

The new health plan design has several objectives:

  1. To lower overall health costs for SVMHS, in part with a focus on wellness and preventive services. The Exclusive Provider Organization plan would save nearly $1 million each year in total health plan costs. Current plans do not provide preventive benefits - coverage that would be free under the new design. In addition, employees who participate in the wellness program would recive cash incentives.

  2. To transition SVMHS employees to a health plan costs more in line with the average costs paid by other employees in our region and state for health benefits. Today, nurses at SVMHS pay about 2.5 percent of the costs of their health coverage. Nationwide, employees who get coverage through their jobs pay and average of 20 percent of those costs.

  3. To effectively manage our employee health plan costs so that we can continue to provide comprehensive health benefits for the people of SVMHS. Without changes to our health plans, the cost of these plans will increase more than 20 percent over four years.