A Nurse's Lifestyle - page 3

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   gypsyatheart
    Sure, to a new grad, perhaps in your 20's, making 30-40,000/yr sounds great. Especially if you haven't had much of an income to start with. However nursing is not a profession to go into "for the money". The trade off is definitely there. You will work night shifts, probably 12+ hrs. Plus you will work weekends and countless holidays. Don't forget about being "on call". Add to that the responsibilities the nurse has, huge, really huge. There is no other occupation that expects the employee to "wear" all the hats that nurses are, especially RN's...you are supposed to do your job and be able to/responsible for everyone else's.
    So, does nursing pay "well"? Like others have said...it's all relative. Also, don't forget, the pay is attractive when you first start out, however the raises/increases in salary just aren't there. You "top out" pretty quickly....after about the 1st 5-7 yrs in nursing.
    I, for one, am not willing to work 60 hrs wk, night shift, weekends anymore. It gets old real fast. I have a life outside of work....
  2. by   Lauren3249
    I just want to say thank you to all who replied. I know that a nurse's lifestyle can vary greatly due to many different circumstances, but I just wanted to get an idea. You see, I live with my fiance and 3 yr old son. I am currently taking a break from school and am enjoying life as a stay-at-home mom. My fiance works as a satellite installer and makes about $27,000 a year. To most people, this is not very much. But, it is okay for us and we get by.

    I am exctied to be going into nursing. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember. I know that nurses derserve to make more money than they do. A lot of people deserve to make more money than they do. But, this is life. I am not going into nursing just for a pay check. No. But at the same time, I want to make sure that my family can live comfortably while I'm working my butt off.
  3. by   Dixiedi
    Quote from Lauren3249
    I just want to say thank you to all who replied. I know that a nurse's lifestyle can vary greatly due to many different circumstances, but I just wanted to get an idea. You see, I live with my fiance and 3 yr old son. I am currently taking a break from school and am enjoying life as a stay-at-home mom. My fiance works as a satellite installer and makes about $27,000 a year. To most people, this is not very much. But, it is okay for us and we get by.

    I am exctied to be going into nursing. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember. I know that nurses derserve to make more money than they do. A lot of people deserve to make more money than they do. But, this is life. I am not going into nursing just for a pay check. No. But at the same time, I want to make sure that my family can live comfortably while I'm working my butt off.
    You will more then double your income in the first year. If that's not raising the lifestyle, nothing is.

    I read the post concering "not going into nursing for the money" I agree, however... You need money to live on!
  4. by   rnmaven
    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?
    I recently attended a college open house with my 17 yr old son and the director of financial aid made the following statement re: parents who say they can't afford to pay for college........If you take two families.....one makes $50,000 per year and one makes $250,000 per year.......at the end of a month......they are BOTH broke.

    And it's true!

    Our lifestyles change as our income grows. But back to your question. As a staff nurse I have made anywhere from $13,000/yr (1977) to $23,000 (1984) per year. I left the bedside and went into medical sales where I earned anywhere from $23,500 to $150,000 per year (1985-2000). Since 2000 I've been working agency (lost my sales manager job and nobody wanted to pay me decent money) With the agency I made $65,000, $85,000 and $96,000. This year I'm tracking to make about $110,000.....but who knows how the year will end up.

    Bottom line is this........you can have a wonderful lifestyle with a nursing degree. You can do ALL kinds of work with the degree. I have a home worth about $550,000 and a vacation cottage worth about $120,000. Real estate being what it is, I made the investments and rolled my first home purchased for $99,000 and sold for $170,000. Bought this home for $235,000.......and rebought it from my Ex-husband for $265,000. So now it's worth $550,000. I work very hard doing agency work but for now it works for me. I think that most nurses (without OT) are doing in the mid-$50's in NJ. Northern part of the state probably in the high $70's to $80,000. (But my house would cost a million dollars in that area too.) So it's all relative. I'm not one for killing myself with OT but if you need money......pull a few extra shifts and you'll really boost your income........not too many other professions can say that!
  5. by   June55Baby
    I started out in 1977 (fresh RN) making $5.25 / hr. Husband is a factory worker and in 1977 was making $8 / hr. In 2004 my salary finally came close to his. I am making $25.75 / hr he is making $25.85 / hr.

    I have a BSN.... he has high school diploma, but works for the automotive industry..... Sometimes life just ain't fair! HaHa
  6. by   rnmaven
    Quote from 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.
    I guess I fall into that category. In NJ, agency pays about $48 to $55 per hour. So if you do the math, we're grossing anywhere from $600 to $687 per shift. Do one extra shift per week and you'll get time and a half which will bring your income for the month to well over $10,000. But remember, this is agency......no work........no pay. So unless you're flexible you could end up with nothing. You have to be willing to change hospitals if one cancels you. You need to remember that if you're sick or taking a vacation.........no pay for you! (Well, we do get one week per year paid)

    I am a very experienced critical care nurse. But I'm no snob about it. I work med-surg, telemetry, critical care.........wherever the work is. That's the name of the game with agency if you really want to make some dollars.

    Oh, and I do believe that nursing is not about the dollars. However, ask your average dedicated physician if they don't care about the dollars and I'm sure you know the answer! HAH! And on an hourly basis, there are plenty of electricians, plumbers, etc. who make more than nurses........and they won't hold your hand if you're a patient in need of emotional support!
  7. by   CHATSDALE
    MONEY IS HOW YOU MANAGE IT ONE DTR IS AN RN AND HER HUSBAND WAS RN ALSO AND THEY USUALLY PULLED IN ABOUT $100,000 COMBINED INCOME SHE ALSO WOULD WORK AGENCY WHEN SHE WANTED EXTRA MONEY LIKE FOR CHRISTMAS OR BIRTHDAYS HOUSE NICE ONE VAN AND CORVETTE (USED) ONE TRUCK AND TOYOTA (nEW) I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT AVERAGE INCOME IS $18K NO WAY YOU COULD LIVE ON THAT NOT EVEN A SINGLE PERSON
  8. by   RedBait
    Quote from rnmaven
    ...snip... there are plenty of electricians, plumbers, etc. who make more than nurses........and they won't hold your hand if you're a patient in need of emotional support!
    Remember, all work is important work...if the electrician doesn't take the job seriously, your building burns down! If the plumber does sloppy work, you flush the toilet and it ends up in the walls and the roaches and rats come...and, well, you get the picture. We all do our important work, none more important to society than the other.

    Respectfully,
    Charlene
  9. by   smk1
    Quote from RedBait
    Remember, all work is important work...if the electrician doesn't take the job seriously, your building burns down! If the plumber does sloppy work, you flush the toilet and it ends up in the walls and the roaches and rats come...and, well, you get the picture. We all do our important work, none more important to society than the other.

    Respectfully,
    Charlene

    agreeing with this my hubby is an electrician and he definitely takes continuing education, and checks his code books and makes sure that he knows what he is doing, also went to school 2 nights a week for 2 years plus his apprenticeship, he may not hold lives in his hands everyday, but if he does shoddy work your house might burn to a crisp with you in it so there is some responsibility there.
  10. by   Spoiled1
    Quote from tiredfeetED
    Been out of school two years now...the money is good...but your right...not alot of raises out there...a dollar here and there! Where i live starting RN-ADN is $24, one year exp or BSN 25$ so on..max is 31 i believe and thats with many years and must obtain CCRN, CEN or Cert in your field. The real money is with overtime...I pick up 40/hr on weekday, 50/hr weekend. I work along side with a CNS (RN with masters) and she is top salary $31 or 32$. Not a huge diff in pay which is very wrong. So ave salary is 45,000. I tend to work my norm 3 a week then pick up one extra. That is a comfortable wage..but far from great!
    You guys are right, $40k isn't GREAT, I hope I didn't make it sound like that is the ultimate salary. I was meaning as a starting salary, that's above average! Which in my opinion is great when you are first starting out.
  11. by   Kyriaka
    Since I am still a student, I cant say for sure. But from what I have looked into the pay is decent.

    But also alot has to do with managment skill.

    When I worked for ATT I made in the upper $30K range. I live totally debt free. I do not own or use credit cards. Nor will I date or be involved with a man who is in debt or has a bad credit rating due to their own fault (medical expenses do not count).

    On the other hand my sister makes in the $50K range, and is always in debt. She buys clothes all the time (I buy 5 outfits a year and one pair of new shoes a year). She tans and buys a new car every other year (mine has 300,000+ miles on it). She wears all name brands. I shop at Walmart.

    Everything is relative.
  12. by   Nurse GOODNIGHT
    Wow! Had to respond. When I was a peon working for experience as a PCA(pt care assoc. =read CNA nurse assistant) a nurse a worked with bought a $30,000 truck and got into a disagreement with upper management. She quit on the spot. I got HIVES!!!! How could she quit with financial obligations. Yikes. Then I heard she was working the next day at the hosp across town. As a person with a 4 yr degree already not making much, I thought this sounded good. The flexiblity and xtra hours (I knew cath lab staff making $10,000 a yr in overtime alone) is cool. However, after deciding to go back, finish, I know it is right for me(professionally, personally, compassionate, caring and people had urged me for yrs-wish i had started younger). For all the aggavation and having to quite all sembelance of a regular life and job, I am SHOCKED!!! :uhoh21: at how little people start out in my area. No credit for BSN vs ADN unless moving into management. I will be fulfilled other ways but it seems to me nursing is quantity based. The whole idea to working is work shorter for more. In nursing it seems work longer, more hours, many places, or overtime for more. I couldn't believe the starting is $16.00/hr for BSNs in my area. I could make more at Wal-Mart. Anyway, I am compensated in more than money, but I hope I hold-up long enough to do as well as I initially thought I would. (Should've looked at salaries before I went back)
  13. by   rnmaven
    No offense to the relatives of electricians........I just tend to use technical fields as examples when people tell me that nurses make too much! My Dad was an exterminator (bugs) and new yuppie neighbors were shocked that they were going to live across the street from the guy who did their termite inspection!

    The bottom line is that anyone who takes their job seriously keeps up on education whether it be technical, professional, etc.

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