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

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  RNFiona profile page
    2
    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.
  2. Visit  somenurse profile page
    17
    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
    VampyrSlayer, ShaeMarie, ICUman, and 14 others like this.
  3. Visit  LVN/RNBridge profile page
    8
    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.
  4. Visit  somenurse profile page
    14
    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
    ShaeMarie, LadyFree28, brattygrl, and 11 others like this.
  5. Visit  somenurse profile page
    2
    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.
  6. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    6
    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.
  7. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    8
    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.
  8. Visit  Guttercat profile page
    2
    Great post/thread.

    Thanks, Commuter.
    SE_BSN_RN and StinkMomBomb like this.
  9. Visit  PMFB-RN profile page
    5
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    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 never became a HUGE % like i'd hoped, and some males joining our ranks didn't make much difference in our pay scales at all, much to my surprise.

    darn.
    *** It's cause we are still only 6% of RN. Mark my words if the day ever comes where 30-50%+ RNs are male it will mean higher pay for nurses. Male RNs already make on average 9% more than female nurses according to a study I saw in AJN a few years ago.
    ICUman, LadyFree28, tnmarie, and 2 others like this.
  10. Visit  LVN/RNBridge profile page
    5
    Quote from Jean Marie46514

    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. An easy to follow movie on this economic meltdown, is "Too Big To Fail".
    I apologize for being unclear. You are absolutely right. It is the same system. what I meant to say, was over the past four years there has been an additional 165 billion dollars spent on government aid programs, which of course does not help with the suffering economy we are still encountering. A little off subject though.
  11. Visit  somenurse profile page
    11
    Quote from kmillersocal
    I apologize for being unclear. You are absolutely right. It is the same system. what I meant to say, was over the past four years there has been an additional 165 billion dollars spent on government aid programs, which of course does not help with the suffering economy we are still encountering. A little off subject though.

    actually, oddly, it does help the economy. NOt sure if you are well versed in economics, but, a dollar of govt aide, WILL be spent, WILL be circulated through the stores, the shoppes, the community, and there is almost no better investment into a dying economy than giving aide to the most poor among us.
    They WILL spend that money.
    It is the most huge and most impactful return on that investment into an economy one can make.
    Each and every dollar will be circulated, and each and every business that mom spends her money in, is a lil more likely to stay open/stay in business,
    this is "circulation" of the money, which IS what we need most desperately.

    compared to corporate welfare, (which, oddly no one ever complains aobut, ever!!) Giving cash to the incredibly rich, tend to send their cash to overseas banks and NOT re-invest it/circulate it through a community.


    I am not entirely certain if your number there is accurate, but that is about how much one hour of the wars were costing...per hour.
    ShaeMarie, LadyFree28, brattygrl, and 8 others like this.
  12. Visit  PRICHARILLAisMISSED profile page
    2
    Good article, Commuter. Actually I've enjoyed reading all of your articles since becoming a member of this site. In "Carlas" case, yeah she had a reality check lol. But for those who do not receive government assistance, I'm sure that you can understand why they think that $70k is a lot of money. (*Well, come to think of it, $70k IS a lot of money ) I mean, lets say a single person is struggling to get by on $12 an hour with no assistance. They are probably working a decent amount of overtime to do so, so they likely work at least 48 hrs a week. They also probably don't have a staggering amount of disposable income either when all responsibilities are paid.

    Fast forward them through school. They (Eventually) start a job as an RN, and now make $32 an hour. If they are lucky enough to work 48 hours a week with that, and don't go crazy with the extravagant house and car, then in their case it is a VERY nice lifestyle bump.

    I myself am not going into Nursing for the money, as I make well over the $70k average (although that doesn't matter-I still stick by the opinion that $70k IS a lot of money ) with my current job-I'm an A/C tech here in HOT LAS VEGAS. But I've been that $12 an hour guy, so I understand (Actually, $9.25...) Try not to hate them so much
    Last edit by PRICHARILLAisMISSED on Nov 26, '12
    LadyFree28 and lbddmm23 like this.
  13. Visit  PatMac10,RN profile page
    5
    The confusion that nurses make "a lot" of money could stem from people viewing nurses who are single and don't have many financial obligations like excessive loans, multiple car payments, family expenses etc...... The people may be able to splurge more because of possibly not having quite as many finis coal obligations as a nurse with the same amount if experience but have kids and multiple student loans to pay off etc...

    Nurses do make more than a number of other professions, but that doesn't mean their rich of course. You can live comfortably on a nursing salary, according to your situation.
    ICUman, LadyFree28, CPhT2RNstudent, and 2 others like this.


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