A Nurse's Lifestyle - page 2

Okay, so I'm new on these boards and I'm not going to pretend like I know all about nursing because I really don't. However, I am learning. I have learned from reading around, that nurses don't... Read More

  1. by   NRSKarenRN
    Been a nurse 27 years, 22 as RN.

    Made $49,000 part time 10 years ago working three jobs. Today little over $50,000 FT, 24/7 manager responsibilites and 50+ hour work week. Husband now partially disabled and I carry health benefits, dental, insurance etc so that adds some.

    Drive 10 year old car, oldest starts college in fall , another in two years.
    Some weeks we shuffle the bills like many people, taxes get paid etc. Lifestyle before kids included q 3 months get way weekends. Yes, we do get to take a one week vacation as a family now.

    Thankfully, we socked away full $2,000yr in IRA when interest rate was 10% as unable to do so past several years--our retirement nest egg. Grateful I chose this profession over teaching music as much more flexable and was able to be involved in sons elementary and HS activities as homecare RN and can support us.
  2. by   RedBait
    OK, here it is...I have been an RN for 28 years and I have always made good money, some years...great money. But I am willing to do what it takes to make great money. For years, in Chicago, I worked a weekend program (Baylor) and made 36hrs pay for 24hrs work. Then, when the shortage began to really get bad, I made time and a half for all additional hours I was willing to work...I worked 10 months a year, 2-16hr nights and 2-12hr nights a week, and I made more than $130K/yr. Lots of hours? Yes, but only four nights a week. If you want to make money like a blue collar worker, punch a time clock and limit yourself to 40hrs/wk; if you want to make money like a lawyer, be prepared to work a lawyer's hours. I made enough to vacation on Maui for the month of Feb every year for 20 years, two weeks on Cape Cod every Summer, owned a nice house, nice car, two kids through college...all on my earnings. I still had enough time to date through the 90's and find and marry a husband. There is very good money to be made out there, especially with the shortage. Now I live in Hawaii where there is not much of a nursing shortage and I still make nearly twice what most staff nurses make here. Want to know more? I'm glad to share my strategies, email me off list, Regards and Aloha, Charlene (redbait@earthlink.net)
  3. by   Tweety
    I have an appreciation for what I have because I made $3.00 an hour when I started school (back in the old days in the south).

    My income is combined with my spouse and we live in a $150,000 3-bedroom house house and both drive middle income cars (a Saab and a Saturn), and we take vacations. We have no kids support and it's just us, so we do fine.

    Do I have what I need. Yes. Do I have more than I really need yes. Am I paid what I'm worth for what I do and the stress I'm under? Probably not.

    I have a friend who works for a company that sells those pointer lights that you use in meetings and such. He just bought a 260,000 condo by himself, and a 50,000 Corvette. He has some stress I'm sure, but nothing like that of a nurse.
  4. by   Erin RN
    In my opinion nursing probably won't land you on the "most wealthy list" but I have no complaints.. I have been in it for 13 years started at 14.50 and hour. I am now salary plus bonus..and awesome benefits that my company pays for as well as a 401k which they match to 6% AND a pension that they put into for me. I'll make around 60-65k this year..plus I do the med mal review and usually bill out between 6-12 hours a month on that so another 5-7k...I am more than happy with my lifestyle. My hubby makes close to what I make so we do fine and although it is sooo tempting to go out and buy that big dream home we live in a middle class split level in a nice neighborhood..our house is very nice but again..it is tempting!! We drive nice vehicles..new accord and newer chevy truck, have a nice boat and vacation once a year. We could really go crazy and get into some real debt since we are over double what we were 7 years ago when we bought our house but instead we have decided to become debt free and have paid double house pmts..the house will be paid for in 7 years and I will only be 45..I have nurse friends that live much more extravagantly than we do but they are in debt..personally, I would rather be able to go out and buy what I want when I want and pay cash...
  5. by   angel337
    this is an interesting thread, because according to the media and various literature, nurses are very low paid. i never believed that because every nurse i know (friends, family) are doing a heck of a lot better than people that have normal 9-5 jobs. i know it depends on where you work but if you want to make money.. it is out there to be made. i come from making 13/hr to 25/hr literally overnight the moment i graduated nursing school. i can't complain. i have not used one credit card since i have become a nurse because i now have the cash to do what i want. the top nurse in my department in chicago makes $46/hr with 30+ experience and she is staff, not registry. we get bonuses plus OT for picking up shifts. you can easily bring home over $2000.00 (net pay) biweekly by just working 48 hours a week, double that amount with agency. as far as raises go, people should be aware that ALL careers have a glass ceiling as far as a earnings go. people don't just make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just because they have been at the post office for 35 years. the nursing schools here are over flowing with applicants because the economy sucks and people want a decent steady pay check. i happen to be one of them. the good part is that i like being a nurse, which makes it easier to do the OT.
  6. by   ?burntout
    Do I have what I need. Yes. Do I have more than I really need yes. Am I paid what I'm worth for what I do and the stress I'm under? Probably not.
    Same here...

    We built a nice home 3 years ago-new furniture, nothing extravagant (sp). I drive a 1997 Nissan; DH drives a 2000 Chevy truck. I work part time due to events that have happened in our life in the past couple of years; my DH works. We go on vacations every 1-2 years (when we can figure out where to go :uhoh21: )...I clip coupons
  7. by   orrnlori
    This is really a relative question and you have to define what a good income is. If you are willing to put in the overtime you can make some real good money. If you have a life outside work (like I do, 36 hours a week is enough of that place for me), you can still make enough to live comfortably. I have friends in nursing who work more hours than me and still cry constantly about not having enough money, but they also live way beyond their means so I don't feel much about their complaining. There's a top end to all salaries after so many years. You don't continue to get big raises doing the same job year in and year out. MSN's top out at around 30.00/hour at my university hospital, not big money compared to what I read here.

    My husband makes about the same as I do. Since getting out of school in 1998 (when we were definately broke from my lack of earnings the previous 2 years) we've managed to buy 14 very nice rental houses and have added the equivalent of my take home pay every month in rental income. My house is nearly paid for and I'm paying cash for my son's college education and for my continuing college education, and our cars run. We have a nice nest egg started and when I get enough I'm going part time or going into teaching (if I can get a master's degree done) so that will be a cut in pay as well.

    As I said, it's all relative.
  8. by   LovePeaceJoy
    I've seen adds on line to make $350 - $450 NET per 12 hour shift. They also say you can make $10, 000 NET per mondth . I broke this down and this is working 60 hours a week a little over 4 weeks a month. Is this real? Does anyone know anyone that has really done this? Is this done only in a travelling nurse situation. I'm not asking this because I am chasing money, but a lot of nurses seem to do quite well in NY and I was wondering if this is what they are doing.
  9. by   ClimbingNurse
    I recently left the corporate world where I always made more than I was worth. Corporate-type jobs tend to pay a whole lot more, but you have to realize two important things:

    1. The work you do has ZERO intrinsic value (at least for me anyway).
    2. You will go lllooonnnggg stretches without a job. The corporate world changes VERY fast and a lot of times you will get caught holding the bag. The way I explain it to other nurses is to imagine that you just got your CCRN and then all the hospitals decided they were no longer going to do Critical Care Nursing. Not likely to happen in nursing, but happens all the time with changing technologies in corporate america.
  10. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from Lauren3249
    Okay, so I'm new on these boards and I'm not going to pretend like I know all about nursing because I really don't. However, I am learning.

    I have learned from reading around, that nurses don't get paid very much. Or at least, not as much as they should. So, my question is: as a nurse what kind of lifestyle can you afford? What kind of home do you live in? What kind of car do you drive? Do you get to go on vacations? Stuff like that. Do you feel as though you have all the things that you need?
    This totally depends on total household income, number of family members, what do you call a fantastic vacation?, what is your dream home?, Oh too many variables for an easy answer.

    I'm an LPN, the money is good in home care. Not great mind you, but good.

    1. My husband and I can afford to "buy" for our grandbaby
    2. We finally bought our dream home - a 98 year old in need of rehab (been working with those all my life except they were human instead of ... LOL)
    3. We take our favorite vacations - primative camping at every opportunity.
    4. We can help our kids if they need a "payday advance" or small gift.
    5. We aren't hungry.
    My hubby got laid off a while back. He finally found a job (they didn't care that he was over-qualified) and turns out he loves it! That aside, he doesn't make diddly-squat so we are pretty much living the lifestyle we choose on LPN wages. Not bad...but then neither of us is high maintenance.
  11. by   stretch thin
    Ok, hears the answer. From a person looking on the outside, sure 40,000k per year sounds great, but many of us have families which takes a big chunk. Then if you took a student loan to go to school, there goes the other chunk. Next you have to look at the job as a whole. Under the discripition of nurse: maid, housekeeper, nutrionist/dietary, intrerpretor, social worker, and sometimes a security guard. Now what do all those people make a year? It doesn't add up, does it.
  12. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from stretch thin
    Ok, hears the answer. From a person looking on the outside, sure 40,000k per year sounds great, but many of us have families which takes a big chunk. Then if you took a student loan to go to school, there goes the other chunk. Next you have to look at the job as a whole. Under the discripition of nurse: maid, housekeeper, nutrionist/dietary, intrerpretor, social worker, and sometimes a security guard. Now what do all those people make a year? It doesn't add up, does it.
    I have to agree with ya.
    However, nursing with any nursing lisence just about guarantees a job for life. And nursing always aligns itself towards the top starting wages in those studies that announce what the new grads are going to earn when they graduate. I saw one just a couple of weeks ago, even though we do not earn nearly what we are worth (RN nor LPN) we will come closer than the grads who come out with yet another degree in a field that is saturated or paid even worse than us!
  13. by   ClimbingNurse
    Like other people have said, it really depends on how much overtime you work and how many nights you work, and... You get the idea.

    For instance, at the hospital I am doing clinicals a new grad nurse will make $41k/yr if she works 36 hours and none of her shifts are nights or weekends.

    Now, if she works an average of one OT shift every 2 weeks (meaning she works an average of 42 hours/wk), she'll make $54k/yr. Pretty big differernce, eh? And thats still assuming that none of those shifts are nights or weekends.

    $54k/yr for a 42 hour work week is pretty sweet if you ask me. It's more than most of my IT friends make for working 60+ hour work weeks.

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