Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 12

by TheCommuter 88,494 Views | 364 Comments Senior Moderator

Am I the only one who becomes at least mildly irritated whenever a random individual finds out that someone is a nurse and proceeds to say, “You’re rolling in the big bucks!” To keep things honest, I’ll recall a few... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    I have never thought it was quite proper for people who handle human lives to be paid less than plumbers, for example. I appreciate plumbers, I'm only using them as an example, there are many other examples I could have used. They work in the "hard and dirty" category a lot, but I don't quite understand our societal values.

    Sports figures, actors, millions. Then there are nurses. Go figure.
    Coupled with the fact that these millionaire "professional" football players have multiple kids by multiple mothers they end up not being able to support when the gravy train (their career) ends abruptly...I wish I didn't like NFL so much, because I hate the thought of giving them any money, even by just watching on tv.

    Since I have moved to a large city I was going to buy tickets to one game and got disgusted by the prices. I can't believe people pay that to watch a football game. Whoever said "I am part of what's wrong with healthcare," well, society's priorities are what's wrong with America.
    SandraCVRN, tnmarie, cp1024, and 2 others like this.
  2. 3
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I'm probably not in an objective position to judge what equals "big bucks" compared to most here. I have no kids and own my own house and make a little over 50k. I know I am in a position to have WAY more disposable income than most here.

    With that said, I never cease to be
    shocked by people who clearly live beyond their means and then complain about how hard they're "struggling". Barring medical issues or other unforeseen acts of God, I see no reason why a family with 3-4 kids making 50k a year would "struggle". No family "needs" two cars or a big house in the suburbs or name brand anything. That's not struggling, that's just called not having all the crap you want. Think about the fast food working single mother family in Detroit. Now THATS struggling. I think 50k a year for a family is more than sufficient for a perfectly comfortable lifestyle. Our society's definition of struggle shows we really don't understand that word.

    Of course, all this is neither here nor there regarding whether or not nurses are compensated fairly compared to other professions. Remember, though, compensation isn't related to how *hard* or a job is. Or I would have made more moving furniture. It's all about supply and demand.

    OK, but once you have a family, get back to us on that. You are speaking, admittedly, from lack of direct insight and experience on the matter. On that income, that family will probably not be able to buy a home, unless they have a huge down payment, which was gifted to them. I mean you make a good point about people not cutting back or living beyond their means. OTOH, it's a lot different story when you are trying to life that way with gas prices, escalating cost of food, trying to put some money into a 529 college savings fund for your kids (cause if higher education is outrageous now, well you can only imagine what it will be in another 15 years), tucking away into 401K, utility bills and taxes that are incredible. You have to consider where the people live as well. The cost of living in some states is significantly greater than others, and salaries are no longer rising to compensate.

    A family of 4 may need two cars, mind you, they don't have to be new. But again you have to consider where the people live, and if that $50,000 is coming from two salaries or one. And God forbid if you child wishes to become involved in extra curricula activities. Wow, that will come up and strike you from behind.

    It's a lot different living as a single person compared with a family. A lot. We don't live in the agrarian society, where having kids adds value, b/c it adds hands to work on the farm. It's basically a net loss to have kids, not that people shouldn't have them, in fact, with rising elderly, and less and less reproduction among young people, we may have some real concerns for survival in the next several decades.

    I'm just saying, truly, it's a lot different being single as compared with living as a family. And I didn't even talk about every darn time you take the kid to the dentist, and the dental plan only covers so much, and you get bills beyond what is covered by insurance for all kinds of breaks and injuries--kids, well, they will be kids, and it will cost you. Good to have them? Yes; but they are not cheap. I mean we have got to get real about that.
    cp1024, somenurse, and BrandonLPN like this.
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    Its funny that you should mention plumbers... my brother is in his 3rd year of his apprenticeship as a plumber and makes $1 less an hour than I do as an RN in a dialysis unit... and yep next year he will be making $3 more an hour than me while he is still considered a student. I often tell him while I respect what he does and there is definately a need for his craft... I dont think those dealing with human lives should make less than someone playing with pipes
    GM2RN, tnmarie, and somenurse like this.
  4. 2
    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Profit isn't a bad word. Back before the economy tanked, when they would slide that paper down to me with the hourly rate during an interview, that was my chance to negotiate. I can't wait until it gets that way again. I was soooo surprised how many accepted that rate, and never even attempt getting closer to the number in their head. All they can say is "no," or we can't afford that- but you would really be surprised even in this economy, after the job offer, they decided they want you, now is your chance to aim higher. I have only once accepted an offered rate, because I was really surprised what they offered. I will say it again, all they can say is "no." There's nothing wrong with desiring a good living, and I do believe in an intangible higher power though I felt "called" to be a comedian- look at there outlook
    I hear what you are saying. AS for this:
    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Back before the economy tanked, when they would slide that paper down to me with the hourly rate during an interview, that was my chance to negotiate. I can't wait until it gets that way again.
    I think we might see some up and down, but overall, no. We are heading for big time inflation. It ain't gonna be pretty--nothing at all like we have been used to. Seriously. So to respond to you comment on "I can't wait until it gets that way again," um, I think that is going to be one mighty long wait. Just looking at the big picture is all.
    tnmarie and anotherone like this.
  5. 0
    I understand how you feel, and yes- I may be in a breadline next year, but throughout American history (Great Depression, .com bubble, credit crunches, fiscal cliffs). It has always gotten better. I hope my optimism isn't disappointed- but I think you will see a great re-emergence of the shortage again- it will begin regional and spread, but yes I believe it will get better, and soon. Eternal Optimist
  6. 3
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    If this is true, I'm happy to hear it. But in the OP's article, s/he tells up that the assistance from the government paid for her home, childcare and food. My comment was toward that. If it doesn't happen in your state that is fantastic, but I see that happen ALL THE TIME here in Vegas. And I saw in EVERYWHERE growing up in Brooklyn.
    Point taken. When I read the article, I interpreted it as Carla raising 3 kids on 12/hr and she got assistance with rent, childcare, and food. If the government assisted her with something, that doesnt mean that everything was free on her part. 12/hr is $25,000 a year. So without childcare assistance she would pay at LEAST $10,000 a year in childcare alone. My point was that the government only gives the poorest of the poor assistance. 12/hr for a family of 4 is living BELOW poverty level. The government's help brought her up no farther than poverty level and RN's live no where near there.
    Last edit by charli_appleRN on Nov 28, '12
  7. 0
    Hey, I didn't mean to be mean. I just think that you should have went to community college instead of a private place or wherever you went. I'm getting my NP also. Good luck with school.
  8. 2
    Quote from tewdles
    My bold and italic.
    I had a family member like that. The family spoke to her...let her know that it was NOT OKAY. Some of us helped her with job skills, resumes, transportation, etc. She got off her arse and got productive.

    The system is there for people who need it. Some people will always abuse it. In my thinking, that does not mean that we should treat all persons receiving aid as cheats and consider cutting the safety net for many because of the bad actions of the few.
    I agree. I've seen a lot of people abuse the system too and some of them were/are my own family members. My sister has made a lifestyle out of it. She has made the Salvation Army's "Angel Tree" a habit and an expectation which I've also seen many, many people do. Instead of using it as a last resort, they just make plans to use it because they know they can. Sort of like the woman you see at the grocery store who buys $400 worth of crappy food with a food stamp card and then her boyfriend steps up behind her and buys beer and/or cigarettes. Some people have no shame. Not that there should be shame in using food stamps because that's NOT what I'm saying, but at least have the humility to buy your beer somewhere else. I got WIC for my baby and I would've been too embarrassed to be buying beer after the guy behind me just saw me get a bunch of free milk when he's about to pay for his.

    Now, obviously...I've taken advantage of different forms of assistance at certain times in my life. When I was a single, working mom going to school full time I needed a little help and I was grateful to have it. I did use it wisely (childcare assistance so I could work and go to school, for example). Considering that those programs are out there, there's really no reason for anyone NOT to better themselves. I know a girl who got childcare assistance, food stamps, insurance, housing, AND they would pay for her gas to and from work. I used to have to sign off on her mileage sheet. They would've reimbursed the gas to/from school as well had she chosen to go. I used to ask my (older) sister why she didn't go to college so she could get out of that hole. Her excuse was always, "I have kids." That's what I've heard from so many of the system's abusers. Of course, after I had a child and went to school, that excuse didn't work so well. Not that I even bother asking anymore. I know the answer, and for a lot of people it's, "I don't want to." The kid excuse annoys me though. There's no better REASON to better yourself than your kids. They should be a motivation, not an excuse.

    I don't envy those people at all though or get angry that they're getting "free food" or that they have the luxury of never missing their child's play since they don't work. Yeah, thoughts cross my mind like with the example above of the guy buying beer while using a food stamp card. However, I had the option to have that life (and who doesn't have that option, really) but I didn't want it. It's a crappy way to live. It's humiliating to have to go to the DHS office and let someone look at your bank statement, ask where your child's father is, ask how many hours you're working, etc. If you get housing assistance, they can come in your house and inspect it anytime.

    Then, there are the kids. I used to be so embarrassed as a kid when I had to go to the store with a family member and they were using food stamps. I was embarrassed that I got free lunch, and let's face it, everybody knows who gets free lunch. I was even embarrassed to tell people where my mom worked. My kids don't have any of those worries. It sounds silly, but those things are important to kids. Mine don't even know what food stamps ARE and they're proud of what I do and used to do for a living. All of the work I had to do for myself and my kids to have that pride is priceless. I wouldn't trade it for a "magic grocery store card" or free rent.

    Anyone who thinks, "it must be nice" to have those "benefits" should try it out sometime. The grass actually IS greener on this side!
    tnmarie and PRICHARILLAisMISSED like this.
  9. 2
    Quote from mcuatlacuatl
    Its funny that you should mention plumbers... my brother is in his 3rd year of his apprenticeship as a plumber and makes $1 less an hour than I do as an RN in a dialysis unit... and yep next year he will be making $3 more an hour than me while he is still considered a student. I often tell him while I respect what he does and there is definately a need for his craft... I dont think those dealing with human lives should make less than someone playing with pipes
    I got a CNA job before I went back to nursing school and I made $7.25. I drove by McDonald's one day after work and there was a sign up advertising starting pay for employees was $8.00. That says something about American values!
    gummi bear and tnmarie like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from charli_apple
    Point taken. When I read the article, I interpreted it as Carla raising 3 kids on 12/hr and she got assistance with rent, childcare, and food. If the government assisted her with something, that doesnt mean that everything was free on her part. 12/hr is $25,000 a year. So without childcare assistance she would pay at LEAST $10,000 a year in childcare alone. My point was that the government only gives the poorest of the poor assistance. 12/hr for a family of 4 is living BELOW poverty level. The government's help brought her up no farther than poverty level and RN's live no where near there.
    Op says that "Carla" has less disposable income now making $50k a year and no government assistance than she did making $12 an hour with government assistance. Government paid 100% of food (Food stamp card), housing (Section 8), medical (medicaid) and child care. Leaving her only unavoidable responsibility being utilities... So yes, her entire $12 an hour (minus taxes and utilities) was disposable income whereas after she got her RN, she only had $300 a month disposable income. Really, "Carla" was assisted to a level WELL past a working RN now that I think about it...


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