Another question about nursing salaries - page 5

Why do nurses think that nursing salaries are so terrible? Around my metropolitian area, new nurses can start at 25-27 dollars an hour. That is at least $50,000 per year. Conversely, many of my... Read More

  1. by   lindalee
    llg, what state do you work in? My hospital give everyone a 1-3%bonus depending on how the hospital did during the previous year, but certainly no retention bonus.
  2. by   TYGGER
    Why is it that hospital workers in general have the poorest benefit package as a whole? Compared to the local companies, the municipalities we have the poorest package (benefit wise).

    One of our staff members suggested a retention package that would keep all staff around and would keep them quiet...pay 5%/year worked for their health insurance after retirement, taking 5% back every 5 years for example
    20yrs with company retirining at age 55
    health insurance covered would 100%
    at age 60 it woud go down to 95%
    at age 65 it would bo down to 90%
    then when eligible for medicare (if it is still around) that would drop your coverage to a supplemental)age 70 = 85%
    and so on

    What do you think of this plan?
  3. by   MICU RN
    I THINK IT IS GREAT THAT WE ARE DIsCUSSING MONEY ISSUES REGARDING FAIR COMPENSATION FOR OUR SERVICES. FOR ALL OF YOU WHO STILL THINK THIS is TABOO OR THAT We SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF TALKING ABOUT HOW TO INCREASE OUR COMPENSATION, I have news for you, that is a big part of the problem. As nurses we have to get over it and accept that it is only through discussing and complaining that there will be change.
    I was recently at a party where a good friend who happens to be a very good physician and his boss the medical director at the hospital where my friend works. Guess what? They talked alot about how to maximize there compensation in this ever changing field. They expressed no shame about it, they expected to be compensated well for what they did. They talked plenty about the business aspects of providing good healthcare in this country and still making a good living. Wake up people and realize we are getting a very small piece of the pie and that we have right to be compensated better for our services.
    I believe that higher wages will create more respect. I know in my professional circles that alot of doctors are starting to respect what the CRNA's are doing and the number one reason is the crna's are starting to make low end physician wages (100k-150k). As long as we are fighting for 25-50cent raises we will continue to be treated with little respect and looked upon as helpers instead of college educated professionals. I am personally sick of patients and family members thinking that anyone can be a RN and that you you don't need to go to college to have our job, our image has to change and a good start would be with higher wages.
  4. by   llg
    Originally posted by lindalee
    llg, what state do you work in? My hospital give everyone a 1-3%bonus depending on how the hospital did during the previous year, but certainly no retention bonus.
    I live in Virginia. Ours is the only hospital I know of that has such a plan. It's not a common thing in this state. A part of my job is to assess whether of not programs such as this retention bonus is helping our staffing. As it was only instituted last spring, it is too soon to tell. However, we are hopeful. At least we have a system that is consistent with our values.

    As for salaries, our staff has gotten anywhere from 2% to 10% per year for the 5 years I have worked here. Our policy is to stay competitive with the market, but not necessarily at the top.

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Jan 8, '03
  5. by   JNJ
    This is from my own experience (I'm a 30 yr RN with certification in a speciality, an MA, and possibly an inflated sense of what an expert RN is worth):

    I believe that until RNs start thinking in terms of independence, we will not have appropriate pay scales or working conditions. We all have different needs as RNs and I think it's important not to rule out flexible responses e.g. the RN who will work for less for a better vacation package or a nurse who wants more $ for working more weekends.

    There is huge disparity, not only between pay scales across the country/specialites, but also in what that RN means. If you believe you have expert skills, you can get paid for them whatever the pay scales state. I was fortunate to be around during the last RN shortage and negotiated a sweet deal simply by looking disappointed when told the pay scale. Look as if you might turn away from that job - it takes guts, but you may be surprised at what they might offer next. HR can always find an extra bit on the scale for certain expertise/experience or a certain shift. (I got $2 an hour above top scale, tuition reimbursement for an MA program I was already in and a 2 week vacation honored at the coming Christmas time).

    I have done this many, many times since. I even had an independent contract with a facility ten years ago (I was asked to keep it quiet then and I did, but in retrospect I should have told every RN I met and empowered us all).

    At another facility, some years ago, prepared to work a crazy schedule, but offering skills they badly needed, I negotiated $42 an hour (their own registry were accepting $28 until I started to spread the word).

    Take a class on assertiveness or negotiation - amazing what skills you can add to that RN to help yourself. Be an employee while you can learn, but when you have real skills, sell them to the highest bidder if $ are your goal. This sort of business thinking will do more for our cause(s) than comparing ourselves with other professions - no one but another RN truly understands what an RN does each day/night.


    Incidentally, I'm an independent working for Medi-Cal ($31.94 an hour). I can earn more at the local speciality hospital, but I'll now take a little less to schedule myself and choose the client(s) I want to work with. My needs have changed as I got older.

    In terms of pay scales in general, I was recently head hunted, flown across the country first class for the interview etc etc. They were offering $35 an hour for a senior management post with an international agency type business. I turned it down - seemed like too much work/hours for not enough compensation. Two years ago I was earning $30 an hour as an instructor, but the hours were not 8 - 5.

    Power to us all.
  6. by   TheBrainMusher
    JNJ,

    Thank you for your insight. As a current banker, looking to move into the nursing industry ... I work in a predominately MALE field, yet more and more women are breaking through and finding ways to break down the glass ceiling in pay and positions. I've worked for my company for 5 years, they know what I'm worth and I know I can finnagle things from them that others wouldn't be able to. I've kept quiet for now, but the options are there if I wanted them. WOmen need to be more assertive to get what they want and stop complaining. You can make a difference, you just need to find the tools to use!
  7. by   RNpupil
    Starting salary in Fort Lauderdale, Fl is 18.44 an hour ADN or BSN
  8. by   JBudd
    After 22 years, I make $30/hour, and only that much because I get 50 cents an hour for having a BSN, 40 cents for 2 national credentials (although my area requires at least 4, they only pay up to 2), and I have to pay rather a lot for family health insurance coverage. In a large city to the south of me, the wages are slightly higher but the cost of living is significantly lower (I could own double the size of house I have here for the money). There are many personal reasons why I stay here so I put up with it. And I'm a step up on the "clinical ladder", a whopping 75 cents an hour for the extra duties that come with "CNII".

    My hospital does pay a bonus (on top of differential) for working straight nights and/or weekends, but no retention bonus. When I'm in charge in the ER at night, at least half the staff are travelers (God bless them). And yes, we do have a union, which is why my wages are as high they are

    Around here, $30 sounds great, until you look at all the stuff we do (as so eloquently described by others already).
  9. by   lilnurse
    Ok OK
    Ive given this some thought...
    I agree that some nurses should be paid more but my thought is I have been in long-term care for about 18 years...now I haven't been a nurse for that long only since 1996. I worked as a cna, med tech, staff nurse, charge nurse and finally staff development nurse.......I make a nice living, no complaints here..but (there alway is one) I don't want a nurse who doesn't work as hard as me or as diligent about my resident's getting paid as much as me...I take pride in my nursing skills (as most of you do as well) and I think I am paid well for it..but I'll be darned if the lazy nurse who never wants to follow up with cnas, monitoring cares, dealing with family memebers or doctors gets equal pay..
    So all in all...what Im saying is you are paid (in my area, Omaha Ne.) what you are worth!!!
  10. by   TheBrainMusher
    lilnurse!

    THat is great for you, unfortunately, I guess you are in the minority! Maybe we should all move to Omaha!
  11. by   Indiana ED RN
    Originally posted by Mshheaddoc
    lilnurse!

    THat is great for you, unfortunately, I guess you are in the minority! Maybe we should all move to Omaha!
    All Aboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ::::::::Reserving 10,000 person bus for trip::::::::

    Me

  12. by   ctiger
    Does anyone work in a clinic? What are the salary ranges in your area????
  13. by   Heartsofangels
    Hi. I have been an RN for 3 years. When I graduated, I made $15.50 an hour as a graduate nurse. After I passed the state boards, I went up to $16.50 an hour. Now, I make $22.50 an hour. They brought me up to $19 an hour when they wanted to use Collegiate aides and they wanted to pay them good, so they had to raise my pay. Then when they were trying to get more nurses in by giving their nurses more money, they raised 2nd shift up to $25, but that only lasted one week. They dropped us down to $22.50 and that's what I continue to make, but I am the 2nd shift supervisor. I think it's good money comaperd to what I started out at 3 years ago.

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