Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 14

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

60,023 Views | 331 Comments

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. 4
    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I believe taking care of the weak in our society is what makes the USA Great.
    I believe helping the the weak in our society take care of themselves is what makes the USA Great.

    I'm not saying throw the kids in the street and let them starve. I'm saying provide "just enough" for them to survive. If the parents are living the "good life," for free, what incentive do they have to take care of themselves. As a poster above said better than I can say it "Use children as your reason to succeed, not as an excuse to give up."
    GM2RN, mrmedical, tnmarie, and 1 other like this.
  2. 2
    Quote from Ntheboat2
    That's not actually how it works. Assistance doesn't automatically mean free. When I was a single mother I wasn't even making $12 an hour and I didn't qualify for section 8 because it's based on income. That was fine with me...I'm just saying. Some people who get section 8 actually pay several hundred dollars rent. If the house is $800 per month, they might be paying $600 of that....or they might just be paying $100. We can't know.

    Same with childcare. I got childcare assistance, but it wasn't free. I paid about $75 a week instead of the $200 it actually cost. So, we can't assume that "Carla" only had to pay for utilities. That's exactly WHY some people choose NOT to work. If she quit her job and didn't work at all then section 8 would've paid 100% of her rent.
    In the OP's example, as well as from what I've witnessed and lived through (until I was 15 and got kicked out of my house), that is the way it works. It may be much more difficult to get on assistance in the first place these days. But once they do get on it, and then realize how easy it is to stay on it, many see it as their "Gravy train," and that's a wrap.

    Again, I have no problem helping the needy. I have a problem with the amount of help that is given. Got another example for ya. Again, I know the person. And she is a buddy of mine. I think of her kids as my 3 nieces and my nephew. So anyway, she is not on her food stamp card, only the 4 kids are. Do you realize how much she gets put on her card every month? CLOSE TO $900!!!! Yes! Really! She legitimately spends approx. $500 on food, and sells the rest to her sister in law for cash which she spends on whatever she wants.

    There is a point where the word "Help" does not apply, and the term "Free ride" better fits...
    GM2RN and SandraCVRN like this.
  3. 3
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    I believe helping the the weak in our society take care of themselves is what makes the USA Great.I'm not saying throw the kids in the street and let them starve. I'm saying provide "just enough" for them to survive. If the parents are living the "good life," for free, what incentive do they have to take care of themselves. As a poster above said better than I can say it "Use children as your reason to succeed, not as an excuse to give up."
    I'm guessing you didn't mean it the way it sounds, but advocating giving poor kids "just enough to survive" sounds really, really harsh.
    VanLpn, somenurse, and dirtyhippiegirl like this.
  4. 4
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    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...
    *sigh*.....just like Carla didnt know that nurses werent 'rich', I'm sure you nor the OP know what percentage the government paid of her expenses or how much disposable income she had. How are your comments any different than someone assuming you make big money??? I guarantee you that the only way a person can buy 100% of their food with foodstamps, is if all they eat is ramen noodles. I know of a woman with 11 kids who gets $1000/month in foodstamps. Can you eat all month off of $83.33??? Cause that's what that $1000 a month amounts to.
    gummi bear, VanLpn, somenurse, and 1 other like this.
  5. 0
    Imake 44 dollars an hour. i think that is way above average. dont you? i mean by no means a millionaire, but it is an incentive for someone to go into nursing "for the money"
  6. 2
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    Well, i'm not going to give you 'hate', lol, but, i have a few thoughts which came to mind as i read your post.

    Yes, yes, it's a well documented, undeniable fact that males ARE generally paid more. Glad for ya!! And you have done something right, that you got to be the boss for many years. Good on you.

    and yes, there are those who feel physical labor IS what makes a job 'hard'. And no doubt, it does.

    But, nursing is also a very physical job, probably even more so in the past, for the bulk of my career, before units were designed more efficiently and we usually logged 8 miles per shift of footsteps. (we checked, with those odometers)

    and that was back before hoyers were more than one per hospital (for real, that's all a hosp had, we had to take turns all over) so much much lifting and pulling was done, many times every shift, and this was before body mechanics were as promoted as much as that topic is today.

    I've worked ER or ICU much of my career,
    and that ER unit was not usually as physically taxing as some units are, for several reasons,
    there is usually less "pulling the patient up in his bed", which, when done bazillions of times per shift, takes a toll on a person's back, shoulders, wrists, etc. and there are usually more males around to assist in the heavy lifting when in the ER, too, and hoyers right there,
    so your wife's summary
    of how physically demanding ER nursing is,
    Might not be applicable to all nurses
    working in all various types of settings
    on this thread.


    What you might consider physically hard, as a male, (and i'm picturing you are probably a strong person, since you did physical labor) might be slightly different than what a smaller person might consider physically demanding or straining.
    For many of us, turning a 400 lb patient who has diarrhea back and forth, frequently, to clean that person, over and over is physically demanding, and arguably, just as disgusting as as your description of cleaning ships.

    I can't wait til you put on your first pair of TED hose onto a really large large person. Get back to me after you have. (kind of joke, most nurses will nod at that, it's hard!)

    When i was young RN, being mentored by seasoned RNs, long ago, they ALL had bad backs, or had recovered from a back injury, it was part of the job. Guaranteed back then, and it is still a risk today. Many had multiple other injuries as well. Tons of boosting, turning, transferring, catching, lifting, twisting, scurrying nonstop is done by many nurses.

    There are different kinds of " physically hard".



    Many nurses have been physically assaulted at their jobs, from mildly to severely, and this is something unusual in most other professions. I've had a 6-4 250lb patient, (head injury) grab my neck and wrench my head to the side, and it was years and years til i was ever '100% right' again, but, luckily, i recovered. (no doctor appt, nothing, just walked it off, over time).

    While we were transferring a 400lb one-legged patient from wheelchair to bed, her one good leg gave out, and my forearm, in her armpit ----took the bulk of her body weight all at once, and to this day, whenever i raise up my right arm, it goes numb. But, she did not fall.

    I once sustained a very very scarey needle stick from an HIV patient, (didn't catch it, but, it felt like the beginning of a 'made for tv' movie for a while, til i was in the clear again.) made that neck injury seem like a piece of cake, really.

    I could bore for a few more paragraphs on various injuries i've sustained, and for a few pages on injuries i've stood witness to, upon my fellow nurses. Tons of 'em.


    Who knows, if we could hypothetically line up injured coworkers, in our two fields, who knows which of us would have the higher % of injured coworkers?

    There are different kinds of "filthy".

    I garden, and get covered in earth, and i work on cars,
    yet, i don't feel nearly as 'filthy' as i do when i am vomited on, when someone throws their colostomy onto my hair, when i have some strangers blood on my skin, when some deathly ill person's green phlegm is on me, or when i get urinated on, long list of other ways to get filthy as a nurse.

    There are different kinds of stress.

    For some humans, moving heavy items repetitively might be the worst kind of stress, but, for some humans, knowing if you make even a slight error, you could orphan some child, is a type of stress, too. Having upset families scream at you, or even throw things around, is a stress, too. Having doctors scream you out, can be demeaning/stressful. Knowing you can't really control getting off work on time, and the impact that can have for parents, (or anyone) is a stress.

    Sometimes, dealing with an unpredictable parade of humans all of whom are stressed out, can make cleaning ships seem appealing.

    Only having time for lunch break once per week is stress, as is not being able to have even five minutes to get to the restroom, cuz you are that busy, is a stress. Being able to remember all 7 of things you need to do right now, is a stress, and it can stay that speed allll dayyyyy long. And at end of day, instead of being appreciated,
    you might be scolded for not being done on time.
    Having to stay abreast of an always changing body of knowledge, mental stress, emotional stress, all kinds of stressors.
    some humans find intellectual demands just as draining or exhausting, as cleaning ships might be.

    I do not mean to disrespect your work, at all, nope. I've done hard labor myself, it is hard. I'm just suggesting, that nursing can be hard in all types of different ways. And when drywallers are sometimes paid the same as nurses,
    there might be something here to consider.



    and re: the "handout" that Carla has paid into each and every paycheck she's ever made, that YOU would refuse if you were making $10 per hour,
    If you are referring to the Carla described by the OP,
    i am proud of Carla for doing whatever it took to ensure her 3 kids were not in dire poverty. There's not a lot i would not do for my kids, either, and if i had to swallow my pride, to ensure i could obtain the proper amounts of protein, to pay the heat bills, get them coats, etc, oh yeah, GULP, i'd find a way to swallow my pride. Yes, i would, i'd do it for my kids, indeed.

    sometimes, it just best not to throw stones, til you have walked a mile as single mom raising 3 kids on minimum wage, paying childcare and everything else.. i'm just sayin.


    EDIT----ps, the poverty stricken are sometimes disproportionately amongst the severely sick in the USA, so you might want to consider, trying to develop a more compassionate, less judgmental view for those that do take govt aide to feed their kids.(IF you harbor such a view, not sure) If you do go into nursing, you might be interacting with quite a few of them.
    That was a long post...You seem insulted. I look at some "hating" as when a person gets upset and tries to pick apart someone negatively, using biased views or lack of experience of the broad spectrum, using only one prespective.

    I can assure you the pay scale is the same for everyone at the shipyard man or woman, the Naval station makes sure of that. And cleaning out Feces in water tanks where workers and sailors have died from H2S gases I'm sure are not the same as your sugesting.
    I'm absolutely sure you do not want to compare accident ratios in the workplace, since health insurance is more than three times of a normal job, simply because of the total amount of workman's comp. claims.
    I was born in a single wide trailer at home, I was a high school drop out (completed 8th grade), I worked 80+ hours a week, I was absolutely not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. And feel the same way a my close RN friend that came here from Africa with $43 dollars in his pocket working his way from Mcdonald's, to CNA, to LPN, to RN with no government assistance.
    I have been married for 18 years...with only one child because I knew me and my wife really could not afford any more children. I would like to have had more children, but that would not be responsible of me. I have learned from others around me...I was surounded by poverty, because that's how I grew up. When people have more children than they can substain on their own, that should be their issue, I do not feel sympathy for bad choices, but I do have a lot of empathy. I can teach people the right way, but if they don't follow suggestions they suffer the burden. (sounds familiar?)

    Your post was really long, and doubt you have ever seen what pair of my shoes look like. So breaking down your post would be quite a very long post I am not going to spend time on.
    Some of the comparisons did give me quite a laugh. I'm getting ready to start as a nurse....lets say you start as a Shipyard worker? It's quite amusing that I've at least done clinicals in a health facility, and you, most likely, have never seen the inside of a shipyard.....and your the one talking about "walking a mile in ones shoes".

    My wife was a floor nurse right out of school, she just tranferred to the ER...btw. Me and my wife share the same views and she is exceling as a Nurse. I'm sure I will develop my own way of dealing with many different types, though the wealthier type of people are going to be new to me...lol.
    Last edit by eroc on Nov 28, '12 : Reason: edit
    mrmedical and Fiona59 like this.
  7. 4
    Wow, some of my most highly respected posters are all here now, and I don't want to get you guys upset, I too am highly critical of the system, and how much of OUR money is wasted. So, to be very clear, where I draw the line is when stopping that funding would put an innocent child at risk. I agree with sooooooooooooooo much of what has been said, but even if I take a cut for an innocent child so be it. No matter how poor the parents decisions were. You guys just don't know how much I really respect your views!!!

    I too was in dire straights in Nursing School, my parents were totally unable to contribute. I worked full time, got married, but knew I couldn't afford children during the process, so I made a decision not to have any. Money was Sooooo tight, that if gasoline was this expensive in 2001-2003 I would be a Maintenance Man now instead of a Nurse Practitioner.

    I was that close to being broke. That close to being unable to provide food for my wife and I. We helped each other as we both worked all through school, but I thought about public assistance many nights we went to bed after a spam sandwich with ice water after a day of class and a 8-12 hr shift. I never did though because of pride, and fear. But, don't let that mean I think anything is wrong for a single mother to get Public help to get through school. Getting Married and having a wife to support, and to support me was my decision, so I couldn't ask anyone to help. I hope you guys understand, it's the child who didn't have a choice I am advocating for.
    joanna73, cp1024, Fiona59, and 1 other like this.
  8. 1
    @Jean Marie46514

    One of my first days in clinicals I had a patient with explosive diarrhea, "explode" all over me when turning her.

    So I have at least one experience to compare....going back to the Shipyard NEVER crossed my mind.
    DTW90 likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    You're right, but I believe you may have taken some comments the wrong way. I'm pretty vocal about these things-you should listen to me in "Real life" lol. But sometimes I'm taken as being a little cold hearted so let me clarify a bit. I don't despise, nor would I imagine that any of the other "Negative" posters despise people who need help. What I do despise is the amount of help some people get, if that makes sense. I have people in my own family who've been on government assistance all of their lives (Not exaggerating in the least here, either) and, because they are used to it, well they're used to it. They do the minimal legwork necessary to stay on it, trying not to work. I can even give an example of one in particular that, whenever she gets board of the free section 8 housing she's living in, she checks into other "nicer" housings that offer section 8 acceptance. This woman was actually telling me the "Good news" that she was getting a new house, as the 2 bedroom apartment that she was living in "sucked" (it is actually a pretty decent apartment, btw). I couldn't believe it!!!!! She is about to move into a 4 bedroom HOUSE that is actually a bit nicer than the 4 bedroom house that I'm renting for $1500.00 a month. On section 8's dime!!! And the thing is, she's one of many. One of SO SO many. I know a lot of people who want to be more "PC" would say something like "Well Jaime, that's just an extreme case. Normally people just take assistance until they can get themselves on their feet." I'm here to tell them that is the other way around! It's actually normal for people to take advantage of the system as long as they can (once they get on it, anyway), and then hustle at the last minute when they are threatened with their benefits ending.

    I'm all for giving a helping hand when needed, but not a helping hand that is so good that they live a middle class lifestyle on the tax payers dime while doing nothing.
    I know way too many like this.....I agree. A handup and assistance are one thing, a handout is totally another
    eroc likes this.
  10. 3
    Well, I am a low paid customer service agent. My insurance is awesome. My bring home pay stinks. I pay taxes, I pay a house payment, I pay car payments and insurance and upkeep. I make $12 and hour. Do you think I am going to be happy to make a little more as a nurse? You bet I am, because I will still like in the same house, drive the same car, have the same bills. Hopefully, I will have a little left over at the end of the month. Hopefully, if something happens to my husband and I am on my own, I will be able to support myself. Hopefully, I will find a tiny bit of joy out of really helping someone once in a while, instead of listening to someone complain because their GPS unit is showing their house on the left side of the street when it is really on the right side. Yes, I think nurses make good money....but I think they earn every penny of it. Sorry if that is not the response you are looking for. I just get a little tweaked when people who make decent money whine about not making decent money. Take a cussing at my job, making my wage. It is a "walk a mile in my shoes" thing. We all think we have it bad.


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