Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 2

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

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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


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    I walked past a resident's room one morning and heard her crying. I went in to ask her what was wrong. There she sat with the newspaper in hands, reading the sports page with an article about the latest guy signed to a Patriots' contract. I asked her why that upset her so much. She looked at me and said, "It just isn't right. He's a big, stupid man who can knock people down. YOU are smart and save lives every day and he makes way more money than you." Amen sister.
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    Folks who enter nursing for no other reason than financial security usually make lousy nurses.
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    Quote from RNFiona
    Folks who enter nursing for no other reason than financial security usually make lousy nurses.
    Then again, I've met more than a few substandard nurses who claim that they were 'called' to the nursing profession by some intangible higher power. Although money was not their primary (or even secondary) motivation for becoming nurses, their love of humankind and proclamations of a calling still do not render them safe to practice.

    Some sloppy nurses are solely in it for the money. Some sloppy nurses were 'called.' Also, excellent nurses are cut from both types of cloth. It takes all types to make the world go 'round.
    SoldierNurse22, DBK99, Nurse Leigh, and 25 others like this.
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    True. There are a lot of crappy nurses. But I don't have time to dice them up into little groups.
    joanna73 and Fiona59 like this.
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    Quote from deann52
    She did not have "dispoable income" as a CNA. She was getting handouts from the govenment. Now she has a job that gives her enough to pay her own bills so I don't have too. Sorry, but that whole paragraph with the income breakdown is a big fat welcome to the real world and grow up.


    I just wanted to be one voice, that is "for" children in need receiving govt help. I really am. It says a lot about a society in how the most vulnerable among them are cared for.
    No doubt, i'll get slammed for that opinion, but, if we can view them as "already born fetuses" sometimes that elicits more compassion. It's fairly difficult to get much aide without children to support, btw.

    I'm not sure, but i think EITC is for lower income STUDENTS only, but, i could be wrong on that one.
    an incentive to help ppl get out of poverty.
    I usually also got a few thousand back, as an RN raising two kids, for whatever that's worth. I was not on aide, but, many parents taxes do work out that they get tax refunds on only an RN income. I'd be rather surprised to hear of a single mom/RN raising kids,
    who didn't get a tax refund of several thousand dollars, really. I think Carla should consider having her taxes done by an actual accountant perhaps, if she is NOT still getting several thousand back while raising minor children.

    And the taxes we pay, will be the same, whether or not Carla's children are on or off govt aide. No reason whatsoever to resent those kids being kept from dire poverty, imo. A far far huger % of US aide, is doled out in the form of corporate welfare,
    like the $4 billion tax cuts given each year to oil cartels, for example, even when they are making record profits and gouging us at the pump. Long long list of corporate welfare recipients, most of which you'd be stunned to learn of.

    but, i guess i am going off topic, sorry,
    on with your regularly scheduled topic.


    btw, 30 years ago, i was being paid $20 per hour, as an RN in Massachusetts,
    and at the time, i was poppin proud of such fine income........til i realized, a drywaller i knew, was making $22 per hour....no college to pay off, no risk of being sued, no big stress in his job, yet,
    He was making more than i was.

    *sigh*.
    Last edit by somenurse on Nov 26, '12
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    Quote from TheCommuter
    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 observations about the people who generally do (and don’t) broadcast their feelings about nursing pay. In my personal experience, no doctor has ever told me to my face that I’m earning ’big money.’ No engineers, attorneys, pharmacists, speech language pathologists, or other highly educated professionals have hooted and hollered about the supposedly ‘good money’ that nurses make once they discover that I am one. On the other hand, bank tellers, call center workers, clerks, and others who work at entry-level types of jobs have loudly made their feelings known about the incomes that nurses earn.

    I was employed at two different fast food chains while in high school, and during my late teens, I worked a string of dead end jobs in the retail sector. From ages 20 to 23, I maintained employment at a paper products plant in high cost-of-living southern California as a factory worker and earned an income of about $40,000 yearly with some overtime. Of course I thought that nurses earned handsome salaries during my years in the entry-level workforce. After all, the average RN income of $70,000 annually far exceeded my yearly pay back in those days. Keep in mind that I paid virtually no taxes as a fast food worker because my income was so low. Also, I paid relatively little in the way of taxes as a retail store clerk.

    Many of the certified nursing assistants (CNAs) with whom I’ve worked over the years have fallen into the trap of believing that the nurses are awash with cash. However, the ones that pursue higher education and become nurses themselves eventually come to the realization that the money is not all that it is cracked up to be. For example, Carla* is a single mother to three children under the age of 10 and earns $11 hourly as a CNA at a nursing home. Due to her lower income and family size, she qualifies for Section 8 housing, a monthly food stamp allotment, WIC vouchers, Medicaid, and childcare assistance. Moreover, Carla receives a tax refund of $4,000 every year due to the earned income tax credit (EITC), a federal program that provides lower income workers with added revenue through tax refunds. Much of Carla’s CNA income is disposable.

    Carla returned to school part-time, earned her RN license, and now earns $25 hourly at a home health company in a Midwestern state with a moderate cost of living. She nets approximately $3,000 per month after taxes and family health insurance are deducted as she no longer qualifies for Medicaid. She pays the full rent of $900 monthly for a small, modest 3-bedroom cottage because she no longer qualifies for Section 8. She pays $500 monthly to feed a family of four because she no longer qualifies for food stamps or WIC vouchers. She spends $175 weekly ($700 monthly) on after school childcare for three school-age children because she no longer qualifies for childcare assistance. Carla’s other expenses include $200 monthly to keep the gas tank of her used car full, $300 a month for the electric/natural gas bill, a $50 monthly cell phone bill, and $50 per month for car insurance. Her bills add up to $2,700 per month, which leaves her with a whopping $300 left for savings, recreational pursuits and discretionary purposes. By the way, she did not see the nice tax refund of $4,000 this year since she no longer qualifies for EITC. During Carla’s days as a CNA most of her income was disposable, but now that she’s an RN she lives a paycheck to paycheck existence. I’m sure she wouldn’t be too pleased with some schmuck proclaiming that she’s earning ’big money.’

    The people who are convinced that nurses earn plenty of money are like shrubs on the outside looking in because they do not know how much sweat and tears we shed for our educations. They remain blissfully unaware of the daily struggles of getting through our workdays. All they see are the dollar signs. I’m here to declare that I worked hard to get to where I am today and I deserve to be paid a decent wage for all of the services that I render. Instead of begrudging us, join us.

    Not sure that all of her income would be disposable as a CNA, even with all of the government aid. However; I couldn't agree more with everything else. It's no wonder the welfare rate has increased so much in the last four years. The system is set up so poorly that people have no incentive to gain advanced education and work. Very sad indeed.

    -Sent from my iPhone.
    CPhT2RNstudent, deann52, tnmarie, and 5 others like this.
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    Quote from kmillersocal
    Not sure that all of her income would be disposable as a CNA, even with all of the government aid. However; I couldn't agree more with everything else. It's no wonder the welfare rate has increased so much in the last four years. The system is set up so poorly that people have no incentive to gain advanced education and work. Very sad indeed.

    -Sent from my iPhone.
    to be clear, the "system" has not changed in the past 4 years.
    It's the exact same "system" we've had in place for eons, so i am not sure why you wrote //" It's no wonder the welfare rate has increased so much in the last four years. the system..."//
    as if the system had somehow 'changed' in past 4 years, cuz, it hasn't. Same ol, same ol.


    but, something DID change, and dramatically, in the summer and fall months of 2008.

    The USA, and in fact, much the entire global economy, has suffered an economic meltdown. The USA is still recovering from the economic meltdown of the summer and fall of 2008, which caused millions and millions of jobs to be lost, and sent millions into poverty. THAT is why there was in increase in poverty and govt aide. (not some 'change' in the system)

    An easy to follow movie on this economic meltdown, is "Too Big To Fail".
    Last edit by somenurse on Nov 26, '12
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    also, slightly off topic, but, when we began getting a higher % of male nurses, i naively sorta kinda thought, "YESssss, now we will be paid more!!"
    but, it didn't make much difference in our pay scales at all, much to my surprise.
    and males never became a HUGE % of the nurses, like i'd hoped, either.

    darn.
    Last edit by somenurse on Nov 26, '12
    tnmarie and SummitRN like this.
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    Quote from sno963
    I completely agree with this! I do not understand students who say they went into nursing for the money.
    *** Any student who said that in my hearing would be mentaly marked as a student to keep my eye on since they are likely an idiot.
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    People's lives are at stake, and nursing whether LPN or RN is a specialized skill set. After 2 or 4 years of school, we study for and write Boards. This doesn't include the year or so of science prerquisites that are required with an 80 percent average in order to even qualify for entry into a nursing program. And all nurses spend hours of unpaid time each month in the workplace. So I certainly hope we make more than the clerical or retail worker. There's nothing wrong with these jobs either, and I've also worked them. Nurses aren't paid enough IMO.


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