Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 15

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... Read More

  1. Visit  samadams8 profile page
    0
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    sam, i will have to agree with you here.

    i was surprised, that during 30+ years of nursing, my starting income was not much bigger 30 years later.

    also,
    if i moved from one state to another,
    and had to start all over as new employee,
    the starting pay there
    was not much bigger at all
    than the starting pay i got decades before.


    *sigh*

    That's what I mean. In bigger scheme of things, it's really not that great of an income in terms of growth potential, unless you take one of the paths to which I previously referred. Many of those in other fields have far advanced that progression.

    I realize hospitals have to keep costs down, but it seems to me nurses could be better compensated for their long-term experience and commitment.
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  3. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    1
    Until the world lost it's mind and things fell apart there were few if any jobs in the NYC area that paid persons with a two year technical degree (ADN) a starting salary of $70K or more per year. With shift differential and or over time even an ADN nurse around here could easily pull at or close to $100K/year, again not to shabby for a two year degree.

    What is happened with the recent fiscal crisis and other factors is nurses around here (and one assumes elsewhere as well) aren't able to pick up hours either via agency, second job, etc as easily. So if you were planning on adding to the kitty as per usual by putting in extra hours that may not happen as much if at all, thus one's household budget takes a hit.

    The glut of RNs caused by the closing of over ten NYC area hospitals in the past several years coupled with hundreds of new grads entering the workforce every six to twelve months means whatever advantages the "nursing shortage" brought have evaporated.


    Of course NY/NJ/Conn being high cost of living states nearly one third of one's wages are gone to taxes, especially local taxes. OTHO various credits and incentives from both federal and local goverments can offset some of that burden, but it is worth noting that nurses along with fireman, policemen etc are often mentioned as part of the middle class here that is being priced out because of the unaffordablity.

    Can well remember back in the 1980's and 1990's when new grad's started at or around $18K to $22K per year and even after several years experience you pretty much were still in the mid-twenties or if lucky low thirties. Adjusted for inflation at least in NYC metro area RN's wages have out paced inflation.

    Are nurses rolling in the money? As with everything else that is a highly subjective thing. Know plenty of NYC nurses who live pretty well including driving nice cars and or living in beautiful homes. However their standard of living may have much to do with their marital and or parental status. Gay or straight they are all single and or married couples without children.
    PRICHARILLAisMISSED likes this.
  4. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    0
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    ok, DoGoodThenGo brings up a good point. So I change my answer to $70k a year is good money in most places. In truth, back home I wouldn't consider anything less than $135k a decent wage. $74k in NYC must be rough...
    It is hard to make that sort of linear equation because at some point earning higher wages affects one's marginal tax rates. So yes you are making more money in theory on paper but much of it can and probably will be taken in taxes so at some point persons decide why bother. Then there is the question of what happens as household income increases to cause one to lose any tax *breaks*. If you are married at some point one spouse's higher wages throws a wrench into joint filing status as well.
  5. Visit  samadams8 profile page
    3
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED
    I don't think this is "New topic" worthy, so please forgive me going off topic for just this last one. Why is it that I see so many posters (in other topics as well) say they only work 3 days a week? are hours that hard to come by, I mean is it really that bad? why isn't the average schedule 4 days at 12 hrs a day. I was under the impression 48 hours a week was the norm in Nursing. Is it not? Is it fairly easy to pick up that extra shift. I just assumed 48hrs was standard, like Paramedics.
    The way hiring is going for nurses in many places right now, you will be lucky if you get 18-24 hours. I clearly remember when we all worked 48 hours per week and greater, but mostly that was by choice. 72 hours per pay period was standard, even when I got out of nursing school. They were basically just starting the move toward getting rid of 8 hour shifts. Now it also depends upon what sub-department you work in. For example--many same day procedure units or PACUs will do 10 hours shifts--rotating. EDs do 36 hour shifts, with rotating, varying start and finish times. ICUs mostly do 12 hour shifts, and managers and employers go out of their way to limit overtime. Back when I started, you could get as much OT as your heart desired. In fact people fought over the OT.

    Now, I hate so say it, but hospitals have hiring freezes for a number of reasons, but mostly economic dump and the fact that the cost reality of what healthcare changes will end up costing them for employees is an issue. Hence, a number of them are only hiring PT, if that. Also, BSN is the standard for hiring, especially if the hospital is a Magnet hospital or if it is a university type setting--in my humble experience, where I have gained most of and variety of clinical experiences.

    I guess what annoys me is that as someone else as said--maybe you, I don't remember--nurses are treated more as blue collar workers--even though they are expected to have increasingly greater levels of education, certifications, and continuing education units--even though they function on committees and employ a lot of patient teaching and such--even if they are legally and ethically responsible for best practices and people's lives to a very significant degree--and even if they have to juggle all kinds of crazy dynamics, kill their backs and legs, and watch even the tiniest of things they are monitoring or administrating.

    I just don't think nurses that have stayed through the long haul get compensated adequately enough. It's kind of messed up.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Nov 28, '12
  6. Visit  hiddencatRN profile page
    0
    You must not know a lot of highly educated folks who have liberal arts degrees. As a new grad nurse, I'm out-earning my mother who has a Masters degree and has been teaching for 35 years in private schools. We make decent money. Are we a top earning career? No. But despite the current economy we still have a great deal more stability, flexibility, and employability than many professionals who out-earn us. And those folks who out earn us often have larger educational debt and also pay more in taxes.

    If Carla spends a couple hundred thousand on law school, she'll wind up paying several hundred a month in loan repayments, will have to pay her dues for years of 60 hr weeks...if she can get a job at a private law firm. If she winds up in the public sector she'll be paying big lawyer loans back on a pretty modest salary.
  7. Visit  PatMac10,RN profile page
    1
    Quote from anotherone
    It is annoying when the comment comes from ignorance and jealousy. Especially from those who think i just hand out pills to walkie talkies. If it is so great than they can go do it. I have a few people like that in my life. I told them to go he a cna since in some metro areas they can make pretty good money and it offers some view into nursing. I was told , everytime, something about how they couldnt do a job like that ("ewww it is gross, changing diapers!"). Well then stop hating on my paycheck and designer purses and clothes. lol
    Lolz! Tell 'Em!!!!!!!
    anotherone likes this.
  8. Visit  DoGoodThenGo profile page
    1
    Quote from samadams8
    The way hiring is going for nurses in many places right now, you will be lucky if you get 18-24 hours. I clearly remember when we all worked 48 hours per week and greater, but mostly that was by choice. 72 hours per pay period was standard, even when I got out of nursing school. They were basically just starting the move toward getting rid of 8 hour shifts. Now it also depends upon what sub-department you work in. For example--many same day procedure units or PACUs will do 10 hours shifts--rotating. EDs do 36 hour shifts, with rotating, varying start and finish times. ICUs mostly do 12 hour shifts, and managers and employers go out of their way to limit overtime. Back when I started, you could get as much OT as your heart desired. In fact people fought over the OT.

    Now, I hate so say it, but hospitals have hiring freezes for a number of reasons, but mostly economic dump and the fact that the cost reality of what healthcare changes will cost them for employees is an issue. Hence, a number of them are only hiring PT, if that. Also, BSN is the standard for hiring, especially if the hospital is a Magnet hospital or if it is a university type setting--in my humble experience, where I have gained most of and variety of clinical experiences.

    I guess what annoys me is that as someone else as said--maybe you, I don't remember--nurses are treated more as blue collar worker--even though they are expected to have increasingly greater levels of education, certifications, and continuing education units--even though they function on committees and employee a lot of patient teaching and such--even if they are legally and ethically responsible for best practices and people's lives to a very significant degree--even if they have to juggle all kinds of crazy dynamics, kill their backs and legs, and watch even the tiniest thing they are monitoring or administrating.

    I just don't think nurses that have stayed through the long haul get compensated adequately enough. It's kind of messed up.
    It has always been that way for the most part.

    Historically nursing has been sold as a "pick up and put down" career. That is a young girl could enter the profession after high school (via ADN,diploma or BSN) work for awhile then either leave or reduce her hours upon marriage and starting a family. Please don't laugh because this advice was given to my Med/Surg I nursing class as advice by our classroom instructor to her "girls", and this was in the 1980's.

    Because of the above and or nurses simply fed up with conditions on the ground you had a decent steady stream of turn over, thus few nurses reached upper levels of their pay scales. Those who chose to remain usually went in to administration/management (head nurses, supervisors, DONs) and got their wage increases that way. All and all nothing was ever luxurious and many staff nurses retired after >30 years making only several to perhaps ten thousand more than when they were new grads. Evidence of this can be found in nursing homes and other elder care facilities where you'll often find nurses living out their retirements barely out of poverty. As usual the ones who never married and or didn't marry "well" have the worst of things because there isn't a second income to fall back upon.
    Last edit by DoGoodThenGo on Nov 28, '12 : Reason: Content edited
    anotherone likes this.
  9. Visit  hiddencatRN profile page
    0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    The major issue is that the average man/husband in the U.S. does not earn anywhere near $80,000 to $90,000 yearly (and never will). I know of many female nurses who are married to men with very low incomes (cooks, groundskeepers, security guards, tree trimmers). http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/wkyeng.pdf
    So if the average household income in the US is $40k ish, then a nurse (who may or may not be the sole household income earner) making $70k makes nearly 175% more than the average household. That's not too shabby.
  10. Visit  PatMac10,RN profile page
    1
    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Well call me liberal (I always thought of myself a conservative.) But, I don't begrudge those kids getting chips, or fed with food stamps, and I certainly wouldn't want to trade places with any of them, even if it meant a free home. I am perfectly happy to work for what I have, but It's cold outside tonight, and those children didn't ask to be born to system users and abusers. So that's how I live with the current system; I couldn't live with putting a child in the cold with nothing to eat- just to get one or two "sorry" people off the line. I know a single mom like this- and it's her children who I worry about, not her poor choices. I balk at the fact that I discharge people daily who are "wrecks" but can't get disability. If they have children, it's a horror story. So do I like the net and all it brings- NO could it run better- YES. Do I want it ended? NO. And by the way, to heavier regulate it would cost more tax dollars. I believe taking care of the weak in our society is what makes the USA Great.
    Very good points.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
  11. Visit  ThePrincessBride profile page
    1
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    So if the average household income in the US is $40k ish, then a nurse (who may or may not be the sole household income earner) making $70k makes nearly 175% more than the average household. That's not too shabby.
    The average nurse, to be fair, doesn't make that much except in places like California, New York...areas with high cost of living. The average household is bringing 50k while the average nurse pulls in just that much, but makes 20k more than the average American.
    anotherone likes this.
  12. Visit  NursieNurseLPN profile page
    0
    I was on medicaid and food stamps for a short time. I knew i needed to improve my life (and i felt guilty for recieving assistance, even though i truly needed it). So i sign up for nursing school, bc i always wanted to, and my being in school actually DISQUALIFIED me from my food stamps. So basically, what that told me was that if i stayed at home unemployed, doing nothing, i could receive benefits. But the second i try to better my life, im no longer eligible. I think thats sad, & thankfully i wanted better for myself. I think people should qualify while attending school & receiving great grades. We are more likely to give back to society when were working and paying taxes. All that said, i am very thankful for that short time in life where i needed help and medical benefits. I dnt know how i wouldve made it without that help & i can never begrudge someone for seeking help. But i believe there should be some sort of limit, or incentive to figure out a way to support ourselves asap. I am so proud of myself for being able to support myself, and i think in this day and age, if you can pay your bills- your successful & making enough. We may not always have money for extras, but we have enough for basics, and opportunities to earn more. Many people cannot pay that basic rent/mortgage. So IMO, just being able to afford that means we are doing OK. Never be "rich", but being able to maintain a life is enough for me. Damn shame though that they could cancel benefits bc you enroll in school. No wonder some people choose to stay at home on the couch..
  13. Visit  samadams8 profile page
    1
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    You must not know a lot of highly educated folks who have liberal arts degrees. As a new grad nurse, I'm out-earning my mother who has a Masters degree and has been teaching for 35 years in private schools. We make decent money. Are we a top earning career? No. But despite the current economy we still have a great deal more stability, flexibility, and employability than many professionals who out-earn us. And those folks who out earn us often have larger educational debt and also pay more in taxes.

    If Carla spends a couple hundred thousand on law school, she'll wind up paying several hundred a month in loan repayments, will have to pay her dues for years of 60 hr weeks...if she can get a job at a private law firm. If she winds up in the public sector she'll be paying big lawyer loans back on a pretty modest salary.
    OK, I don't know where you live, by no way most new grads that live in my tri-state area, which is really a high population, high tax area--are out earning teachers in public schools with Master's degrees--especially those that are nearer to retirement. Now, I grant you that private school for secondary and under secondary, that's a whole other deal. Those people are saints, period.

    As far as nursing for stability, flexibility, and "employability, " well, tell that to new BSNs and other new grads as well as RNs with experience that aren't getting jobs.

    Also, plenty of nurses will attest to the fact that nursing often deals with highly capricious personalities, which can put nurses out of work in no time. I have lived to see that for quite a number of nurses. There is little stability for nurses--and it's only a tad better for those that are unionized. The ones that have the most flexibility and employability are those that work under independent contract--and even they can have it tough depending on whether they want to travel far or not--and depending upon how much they can tolerate the major dumping they get as they work in many hospitals.

    People in nursing are not getting the jobs, salaries are pretty much frozen--and so is hiring for that matter, contributions to health insurance benefits are going up, as well as taxes--along with inflation, which means pretty much every darn thing you seek to purchase is going to skyrocket. Hyperinflation is pretty much guaranteed--and that will seriously limit the spending power of the average nurse--and well as most other folks.

    You aren't talking with someone that has been in nursing for < 20 years. So, no, it's not the sweet deal that many think it is.

    Now, if you truly feel committed to doing this kind of work, b/c you love what you do as a nurse and love caring for people with all sorts of problems, that's another story. Like most of us, you end up putting up with a lot b/c you love what you do. I get that. But let's not make nursing about some sweet, promise land deal. It's not. It takes quite a toll on people, and in the end, the long-term compensation, at least financially speaking, sucks.
    anotherone likes this.
  14. Visit  charli_appleRN profile page
    0
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    oh, sorry, you are right, that is not the one that students get. There is a tax break that some college students can get.

    this EITC might be what so many many parents get each year?

    those thousands of dollars in tax refunds that many to most single mom nurses get every April? (and some married parents, too)


    honestly, i don't know what those $1,000s that parents get back are called, to tell you the truth. Guess it doesn't matter,
    but, in your post about the single mom nurse, raising 3 kids,
    NOT getting a tax refund,
    made me think, "That Carla should have an accountant do her taxes, cuz, a single mom nurse raising 3 kids should get a tax refund of a few thousand dollars!! Most parents do!
    "
    EITC is income based, too. A person who makes more than $44,000/year with 3 kids, can kiss that EITC goodbye. My grandmother always said if you're going to make any money, you better make alot of it. Most people who consider themselves middle class are actually lower middle class or working class poor. Romney told the truth when he said middle class is $100,000 a year.
    Last edit by charli_appleRN on Nov 28, '12


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