Another question about nursing salaries - page 6

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   nuremrg
    I graduated from school in Cleveland, Ohio and started at $20.00 an hour. After a year, I moved to just south of Erie, Pa and started at $15.00 an hour. Now, 3 years later and I'm almost making $17.00. Do you know with 3 kids, I qualify for the free lunch program at our school?
    Let's talk benefits. No dental, No eye and very basic medical. I have to use our hospital and doctors and still have to pay the first 500.00. Then I pay 20 and the hospital may pay 80, if the hospital medical director deems it payable. Needless to say, we don't go to dr.'s.
    For this I'm expected to answer phones, play waitress, host, policewomen, housekeeping and keep the patients from dying. If I have to do the job of many shouldn't I expect to be paid more?
    To answer another question, no, being an ER Rn, I do not get paid any differently from any other nurse. You bet this is another hot button.
  2. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    When I graduated with an AAS/RN in 2000, I was offered $14.00/hr at a large, for profit hospital in Phoenix, AZ. I already had 7 years experience as an LPN.
    Afew months ago, I moved to The Texas Panhandle area. New grads are being offered $14.-$15./ and hour. The cost of living is very high here.

    I recetly took a job as the Supervisor of Nursing (just under ADON) for $22./hr. HOWEVER, this huge for-profit corporation does not have any medical ins. available to nurses. Only the DON and administrator get and insurance.

    But, the working conditions, terrible morale, and the very abusive, incompetent 80 yr old medical director were to much for me I quit.
    The CNAs who have 40 hrs of training ar started at $10./hr at this facility.

    I recently applied for a job at a veterinary clinic, as a vet tech. The job pays $10./hr. I didn't get the job, but wanted a big change from what I have been through, and so was willing to take it.

    The job, market, cost of living, and what the market will bear vary from area to area.

    Of course nurses deserve tons of money for what we do and what we put up with. But, I don't give a crap about the money anymore. I just want to find a fullfilling job that I can feel good about, in an area/facility where I would not panic if someone I loved were going to be "cared" for there.
  3. by   ratchit
    When I got out of school 8 years ago, I was offered $16.00 an hour for 3-11 in a nursing home and I was happy to GET A job.

    Things are better now- LOL. As an ICU nurse, I recently made $29.25 an hour with about $1.50 added on for 3p-7p. I recently changed jobs and did well- LOL. I'm a union/city employee making just under $30 an hour base plus charge diff and $2.50 for anything after 3pm. Anything over 36 hours is OT and I don't work weekends or holidays. I get 2.5 weeks vaca plus a couple personal days. My (single person) health insurance is about $12 a week for a good HMO and I pay $10 a week for parking. Sounds great, doesn't it?

    For the most part, it is. But it isn't as good as it sounds. Houses around here are at least $350K. A 2BR apt within an hour of work is about$1400 including nothing, MAYBE heat. (My 2BR is $1650.) Auto insurance is about $1000 a year.

    We're a union hospital, which accounts for a lot of those benefits.

    I certainly cashed the checks that had my ICU differential included, but I don't think that only "specialty" areas should get diffs. I can take care of ICU/PACU/ER patients, but I am just LOST on a med/surg floor. Those nurse make up in quantity of care and time management every bit of what I have to offer in depth/complex patient management. A strong med/surg nurse should make just as much money as a strong ICU/ER nurse. I think diffs should be paid for competence and performance, not where you report to work.
  4. by   EmeraldNYL
    Originally posted by ratchit


    I certainly cashed the checks that had my ICU differential included, but I don't think that only "specialty" areas should get diffs. I can take care of ICU/PACU/ER patients, but I am just LOST on a med/surg floor. Those nurse make up in quantity of care and time management every bit of what I have to offer in depth/complex patient management. A strong med/surg nurse should make just as much money as a strong ICU/ER nurse. I think diffs should be paid for competence and performance, not where you report to work.
    Good point, ratchit. All of the new grads I have seen plan on going into speciality areas, in part because of the extra money. This difference in salary is just going to increase the shortage of med/surg nurses. I also think that nurses should receive raises based on performance, and not just a flat increase for everyone.
  5. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Originally posted by Nikki:

    "hospitals are starting to slowly realize that huge sign on bonuses don't really work, because nurses leave as soon as their committment is up."


    Nikki, I left my job BEFORE my committment period was up, as have several former co-workers and old class-mates.
    When working conditions are so poor, many nurses would rather repay their sign-on bonuses back to the hospital than stay there. I have a class-mate who used her new sign-on bonus to pay back the sign on bonus she had jusr forfeited by quitting her old job.

    I have also refused a sign-on bonus, because I want to committ to a job, if it is a good place to work. I do not not want to have to pay to leave a job, if it's a bad job.
  6. by   ratchit
    Originally posted by EmeraldNYL
    Good point, ratchit. All of the new grads I have seen plan on going into speciality areas, in part because of the extra money. This difference in salary is just going to increase the shortage of med/surg nurses. I also think that nurses should receive raises based on performance, and not just a flat increase for everyone.

    I didn't state my thoughts clearly, Em... I think nurses should get a universal flat increase *AND* extra rewards for performance. :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
  7. by   EmeraldNYL
    Originally posted by ratchit
    I didn't state my thoughts clearly, Em... I think nurses should get a universal flat increase *AND* extra rewards for performance. :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
    HAHAHA!!! Wouldn't that be nice.... somehow I don't see it happening though... :chuckle
  8. by   K O'Malley
    Yeah, it would be nice to get raises based on performance. Its very depressing to get a good or excellent evaluation and then be told "unfortunately you don't get a raise because your salary has topped out."
  9. by   baseline
    Originally posted by imenid37
    in awhile, you'll learn even if you made 75-10k it would not be enough to keep most people in this profession too long. it is very difficult. i am not whining but simply stating fact. after almost 16 yrs. i can truly say, it's no cake walk to be responsible for someone's life and to have to answer to management, pt, family, God,yourself (usually your own worst critic) and the drs. and pharmacy (who belive they are God). when you have been working for a couple of years and precept a new grad who has a several thousand dollar sign-on bonus and know your salary figures to less than theirs, you won't be so happy w/ your paycheck either my friend. good luck in your career. sorry to sound cynical, i really do wish you well.
    30 years for me..........and I too wish you well. Its not a bad life......but not easy for sure. I am over cooked myself. Stick a fork in me........ I think you'll find Im done!
  10. by   caroladybelle
    Let's see, my friends that got Bio/Chem degrees:

    ---- Get a set lunch hour, can leave their place of work to take it.
    ---- Work 8 to 5, no night shifts, no holidays - can take a sick day or vacation without major guilt trips, begging, finagling, or making up the time.
    ---- Are not forced to endure mandatory overtime.
    ---- Can leave early to make it to PTA meetings, etc., or at least count on leaving on time.
    ---- Are not expected to do educational/training meetings on their own time, because they have "a clinical ladder".
    ---- Are not responsible, as a general rule, for life and death decisions, and the resultant stress of possible errors. And even if they do have some health related professional, they will most likely not visualize the physical devastation and grief involved.
    ---- Get to wear clean nice clothes, have nice long nails, do their hair up - without the risk of being vomited on, peed on, pooped on, or violating some arcane hospital regulation.
    ---- They do not have to be always "on". The hospital environment requires us to be always helpful, always smiling, trains us like seals to answer the phone with the right tone/soothing words, etc. Everything is for the nurse to solve, or s/he has done wrong. How many of us can't even go to the bathroom, without being paged overhead for a call light, can't eat (on time automatically deducted from our check) without an MD barging in with some task or question, or have a concerned family member sneak into the dress out room with comments. This would not be tolerated in an office. But nurses have to put up with it.
    ---- We are exposed, frequently unnecessarily, to diseases, because visitors/MDs/family refuse to obey isolation, visit when ill, or don't want the pt on isolation because it's inconveniant. And of course the suits side with the family/visitors/MD.
    ---- We are exposed to many hazards: radiation, chemo, antibiotics (making nurses likely to develop resistant illness), antivirals, etc. as well as HIV, Hepatitis, etc.

    There are many reasons, why nurses should be well paid, not the least of which, fewer people seek this job anymore.
  11. by   Curlytop
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by On-z-go-nurse
    Why is it when a nurse even mentions money we are made to feel like hookers but no one has a problem when they call their doctors office and the first question you are asked is not "what is wrong with you?" but "what insurace do you have?" And yet they get all the hero worship..excuse me, did I say hero...I meant to say GOD! There are things nurses do that people on FEAR FACTOR wouldnt even think of doing! Ok but that is another trend so Ill get off this one. No flames thrown here;-) [/QUOTE

    Wow, like "hookers"! I was once the newbie who obviously did not go into nursing to become rich. However, it is disconcerting after 11 years of ICU nursing to see new nurses paid was I was making just 4 years ago. I have received a pitiful 4-5% raise every year (5% being the max for the yearly evaluation). So much attention is spent on recruiting at my hospital- even recruiting new grads from other states- they pay moving expenses and provide tuition reimbursement, and reel them in like fish with "the highest starting hourly pay in the area". Yet, absolutely nothing is done to focus on retention which is so important and yet so overlooked. It's very frustrating and sad to see the number of nurses with even more than 5 years experience overwhelmingly outnumbered by brand new nurses that are in and out like a ever-revolving door every year. Yes, we deserve more and YES --experienced nurses who "stick it out" at their workplaces should be rewarded with bonuses and increased pay!!
  12. by   Curlytop
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by altomga
    [B]Is money the root of all evil????? NOT! We have all worked hard, studied long hours, stressed over tests, lost out on a lot of "family time" and as registered nurses are expected to save lives................" NO, it's the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil...........
  13. by   Curlytop
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Hellllllo Nurse
    [B]Originally posted by Nikki:

    "hospitals are starting to slowly realize that huge sign on bonuses don't really work, because nurses leave as soon as their committment is up."

    DUH! :chuckle :chuckle You'd think they would wonder why so much money is being offered.

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