Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 5

by TheCommuter Senior Moderator

85,790 Views | 364 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. 10
    This will probably not be a popular view but here it is.... I am a nursing student that changed majors from Electrical Engineering to Nursing after caring for my husband multiple times. When I graduate, I plan on taking a much deserved vacation. It will have been a long hard road in earning my BSN. During that vacation, I expect that the rooms at the hotel will be clean and there will be waiters when we go out to eat. All the jobs that will make my vacation all that it can be, are minimum wage jobs. As much as no one wants to admit it.... there will always be a place for people that do not have a higher education. Yes, it would be great if everyone made a "living wage" BUT raising the minimum only makes everything cost more. Is it right?.... No but it is reality. I have worked fast-food when I was younger, I was also in the military and have had my share of both well paying and not-so-well paying jobs. It would be great if everyone could have that dream job.... But here it is. I want my room cleaned while on vacation, waiters at restaurants and who the heck would work at Walmart if everyone had a degree? Do I agree with all of the policies regarding assistance? No. But we are also not a country that just sits back and lets children starve or live without shelter because of their parents.

    I do not plan on nursing making me rich, if that was my intent I would have continued on with Electrical Engineering. But nursing will provide a comfortable living between my husband and myself. I will also be grateful that I am not in need of the hospital bed that my patients are in. There is so much in this world to be thankful for that I can not spend too much time worrying about another person's perception about how much money I make. Wealth is relative. How ever much or little that I bring home will be enough.
    ShaeMarie, ICUman, nursingmomma33, and 7 others like this.
  2. 11
    What's really interesting is how the people who receive foodstamps are ashamed of them and people who dont receive them are jealous of the people that do. Public assistance does not a lottery winner make. There are no illusions about the cost of living. People apply for welfare because they cant afford the cost......not because they dont know the cost. Believe it or not, the majority of the working class poor would prefer to pay there own way and be broke rather than jump through the government's hoops every other month....and be broke.
  3. 0
    Thank you for sharing your observation.
  4. 8
    Contrary to popular belief, many people who get government assistance consider anyone who isn't getting assistance to be making "good money" because that means they are making enough not to NEED or qualify for assistance. For many people, that is their goal.

    Carla, for example, might not be any better off financially then she was when she got all of the "handouts," but being able to be self sufficient might be her definition of success.

    I know when I was working my butt off and making minimum wage (which ranged from 5.25 - 7.25 depending on the time period) I considered anyone who was making $20 an hour, which is what most new grad nurses make here, to be making "good money." That didn't mean I thought they were RICH, but I knew if I were making that much money per hour then I wouldn't have the same worries I had as a minimum wage worker.

    That has little to do with why I went into nursing because I can make that much doing any number of things, and did for a short while until I switched paths into nursing. However, I completely understand when people think I must be making "good money" as a nurse, and I agree with them, and then encourage them to join us!

    Of course, if/when they do join us they will see all that goes along with making that "good money," but for me at least....it hasn't been such a bad thing. That could be because I've done so many jobs where I got paid a lot less and I hated a lot more. In fact, nursing is the only job I've ever had where I've felt overpaid at times and I live in one of the lowest paid areas in the country! If you like your job has a lot to do with how well compensated you feel you are IMO.
  5. 0
    Public perception of what a nurse makes is something that can vary from region to region. I suspect that people believe that nurses make a lot of money because a lot of people don't make as much as nurses do. When you don't make a whole lot of money, anything above that which you earn seems like a fortune.

    I am a student nurse, I work full time, my wife works part time, and together we can make about enough to make all the ends meet at the end of the month. In years past, when I could work a 2nd job, it was much easier to make things meet with room to spare a the end of the month. In our case, if my base salary were to match our combined income now, we'd be significantly ahead of things. If I make anywhere near an average wage for this region, and we remain about as frugal as we are now, we'd have a significant step up in our standard of living.

    So, it's all relative to your position in life, looking at another's position. You make less? You're likely to think that someone else who is barely scraping by on what they make is just rolling in the money. You make more than an average nurse's salary? You're not going to care how much money that nurse you just met makes... because you know that you have your own problems that come along with making money... and know that your new nurse friend is dealing with those too - and it's stuff that you wouldn't have dealt with before you were making the money you do now.
  6. 3
    Quote from Kunzieo
    Sometimes I look at my union contract and think "I am part of what's wrong with healthcare in America." Double overtime, triple time holidays, large shift differentials, weekend bonuses, extra shift bonuses, and God help us if we don't get a raise every year... Don't get me wrong, I love these perks, but I do think nurses are more than adequately compensated.
    The majority of nurses in the U.S. work for nonunion facilities under at-will employment.

    I work at a specialty hospital owned by a major for-profit national chain. I do not receive holiday pay, paid time off, sick pay, bonuses, raises, or other perks.

    In the state where I live, a new nurse is not going to earn $60k during their first year out of school unless they strike gold or work many hours worth of overtime. I live in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and the starting new grad RN wage around here is between $22 and $25 hourly.
    brattygrl, tnmarie, and somenurse like this.
  7. 12
    It is pretty easy to see how a person making 7.25 an hour would see a nurse making 4 times as much money as big bucks..
    Are they using 100$ bills for toliet paper? No.
    But they aren't in line for the soup kitchen either.
  8. 0
    Quote from sali22
    It is pretty easy to see how a person making 7.25 an hour would see a nurse making 4 times as much money as big bucks..
    Are they using 100$ bills for toliet paper? No.
    But they aren't in line for the soup kitchen either.
    Exactly.
  9. 7
    Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
    Are you implying that people who work minimum or low wage jobs aren't "grown up" or living in the real world? That's incredibly offensive.
    ....I agree with her. Not trying to be rude, but I think it's INSANE that someone who makes $12 an hour can be assisted by the government to the point of living the equivalent lifestyle of an RN...

    I'm with ya, "deanne52." You're not alone
    brattygrl, lrobinson5, deann52, and 4 others like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from StinkMomBomb
    INCREDIBLY!!!...Sheesh.. some people
    I GUESS....


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