Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 7

by TheCommuter 91,722 Views | 364 Comments Senior Moderator

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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    Quote from RoseAllen
    IF Carla wasn't a single mother...and say married with 2 kids [like myself]...with a husband earning 80-90,000+ a year....when you add that 70,000...it is life-changing.
    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).
    On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $758 in the third quarter of 2012. Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $685, or 82.7 percent of the $828 median for men.
    Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $633 per week, or 74.1 percent of the median for white men ($854). The difference was less among women, as black women's median earnings ($590) were 82.9 percent of those for white women ($712). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($556) were lower than those of blacks ($606), whites ($780), and Asians ($915).
    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/wkyeng.pdf
  2. 6
    Absolutly Commuter. It is a topic of fascination for the public. I also hear "I wish I was getting paid big bucks like you to take care of people".

    Alot of Jealousy out their if you make any kind of decent salary but 50K lets say, is not the same 50k as it would have been 5-6 years ago. I just feel like...ok. Well, why hate on me? Go to nursing school then if thats what you want to do. People forget the things that WE Give up to earn that salary...things such as family time and holidays that MONEY cannot replace.. And it is not worth it half the time to me.

    How about the personal risk we take exposing our selves to dangerious pathogens all the time..quantify the dollar amount for that! What about the toll the stress and the job takes on many nurses minds and bodies? Salary..as i have come to learn is no substitute for good health.

    Someone actually asked me the other day..."What dollar value would make it worth it to you to work more for us"..and I thought to myself ....you know...I am not sure that their is ANY dollar amount that would make me want to work more then the huge amount of hours I already work and give up any more free time.

    That is not to say that I regret the extra hours I work above 40...I certainly do it becasue I WANT to..and I do Like picking up the extra salary. But Many times that I work extra hours it is not so much that I want to but it is desparetly needed for someone to go in.

    When you consider the 5 years I gave up in college...potential income earning years that I could hardly work very much with school...that is probablly 70k in income I lost...then add the 50k just in student loans I have and I havent even come close to breaking even yet.

    So no. I feel zero guilt accepting my salary. I dont think you could get alot of people to do this job if they were not well paid.

    Great topic. Thanks for posting!
    LadyFree28, GM2RN, CPhT2RNstudent, and 3 others like this.
  3. 4
    We get an extra 20 an hour at my place of work when they have a high census. 43$/hour, not bad for a community college degree. Also if you have 50k in student loans, that is poor planning on your part. Nobody forced you to go to a university, a community college ADN, and an ADN to BSN program would have cost much less than 50 Gs.
    tnmarie, redhead_NURSE98!, eroc, and 1 other like this.
  4. 5
    Compared to those making 9 bucks an hr. our 25-30 hr IS big money to them. I don't think nurses are paid enough for what we do. I'm grateful for my hourly wage however, not nearly enough to claim that I'm rich.
  5. 4
    Sure i'm gonna get hate for this, but here's my thoughts.

    I have been an shipyard worker, worked for years in construction, and run my own business for many years.
    And for the benifits nurses get...I consider them fairly compesated.

    I seem to hear alot of complaining about how hard the job of a nurse is, and I agree I don't fully know yet, but it can't be harder than a much more phsyically demanding job, that also requires heavily dealing with customers. I only have my wife to gauge how tough it is, beacuse she has worked along side me, as well as being a RN for the past 2 years, (she works in the ER now) And she feels as though nurses tend to complain more than is necessary about how tough their jobs are, especailly since they are fairly compesated.

    Now i still need to take the Nclex-RN and pass, but I highly doubt is going to make me want to go back to Sandblasting steel ships in 100+ degree weather, filthly to the point of being black from dust, for LESS MONEY.

    Thing is if you think you have it bad....someone else has it worse.

    Everyone thinks they should be paid more...

    BTW, I have made $65k a year without a high school dipolma...working 80+ a week. So I know all the factors, of taxes. And I wouldn't ask for a handout making $10 an hour.
  6. 2
    Great point...mine was just over 10K...
    Quote from nisteber
    We get an extra 20 an hour at my place of work when they have a high census. 43$/hour, not bad for a community college degree. Also if you have 50k in student loans, that is poor planning on your part. Nobody forced you to go to a university, a community college ADN, and an ADN to BSN program would have cost much less than 50 Gs.
    tnmarie and nisteber like this.
  7. 4
    I currently work in Accounting (enrolling in an Accelerated BSN program) and it's a God awful, boring, job that makes not one damn of a difference by the end of the day. I feel like a bump on a log in this world. I can't help but be a little disappointed in all of the complaining in this thread. I agree, I highly doubt any amount of money is good enough for the work nurses do - at least the good ones, but isn't that why we are here? Sure, we need to get paid to feed ourselves and families, but isn't the work you do important enough to not have to complain about it? Also, $50k goes a hell of a longer way than does some of these poor mothers I currently work with who only make about $29 and somehow support their families. No, their husbands are not bread winners - about 1/4th of their husbands are laid off and we live in NJ, which is not a low cost of living. Taxes will soon be going up due to the destruction Hurricane Sandy brought about, too. I feel for everyone who has to struggle to make ends meet. I feel for all of you current nurses who are busting your behinds because there really is no adequate price for the amount of work you put into your day, but just remember - you're making more of a difference in this world than 99% of today's workers.
    LadyFree28, tnmarie, DTW90, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from nisteber
    We get an extra 20 an hour at my place of work when they have a high census. 43$/hour, not bad for a community college degree. Also if you have 50k in student loans, that is poor planning on your part. Nobody forced you to go to a university, a community college ADN, and an ADN to BSN program would have cost much less than 50 Gs.
    I am the first one to say that post-secondary schools are all about the money, but to your reply, well, I say wow.

    If you have noticed, however, most places now require or are pushing for BSN baseline for hiring. Far be it for me to tell people what to do, but people can also save money taking a number of general ed. courses and such at the community college and then transfering into a BSN program. I think in the future this should be the role of community colleges for nurses. Help get them started and prepare for transfer. Say whatever you want, but having solely a community college degree it generally frowned upon any more, and in some ways, that is a shame, b/c select community college nursing programs for RN have some great teachers and really good programs. My original school's graduates from ADN beat out GNs from ivy league universities on state board exams. Of course the program has had quite a few ups and downs since then. Overall, nursing will never be respected as a profession (whether you feel it is or not) without at least maintaining that baseline education involves a bachelor's of science in nursing. No other profession does what is done for RNs in this regard. You go into psychology, you need a baseline in the field and then you had better matriculate quickly into a graduate program if you want to work. You can't do OT, PT,teaching, and the like w/o a baseline bachelor's in the area. I'd say everything pretty much I took in bachelor's nursing science program was helpful and important. The things was, however, I went to a private university, and that's what stings in terms of cost. I did it strategically, however, b/c of current/future plans. I would not, however, say that everyone should take out all these loans for private universities for BSN. Go to a public university or see about as many scholarships as you can. In general, it is completely true that the cost of post-secondary education and graduate education is outlandish, period, end of story. Lots of students matriculated into four-year programs, however, take a good number of courses, such as general education, at the community college, and then transfer them back into their four-year programs.

    I just wish all these schools would put a freeze on tuition hikes, b/c they never cease to go up. This hurts nursing as a profession, b/c these folks will do the ADN to save money--some of them will continue on and get the full undergrad degree and up and a good number of them won't. But as long as people can get the ADN and take the RN boards and work, a good percentage will have little impetus to meet baseline educational requires, b/c, well, they have not been mandated as baseline. It is getting harder to get a position or to make vertical moves in the field w/o at least a BSN. This "requirement" has taken forever to implement, and it's nothing official.

    I will say that my private school added value to my approach and actual practice of nursing.
    LadyFree28 and Sehille4774 like this.
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    I think it's pretty clear that the old adage of more higher education equaling more compensation is becoming less and less true in this economy. How many people with majors in liberal arts are waiting tables? Even a MBA is becoming next to useless.

    The only higher education I see as serving any PRACTICAL purpose is that which enables it's grads to sit for licensure examinations that result in ACTUAL real world credentials, like nursing, medicine, law. Vocational stuff like HVAC, plumbers, etc. You know jobs we actually need. We need more underemployed grad students like we need a hole in the head. It's the resultant LICENSURE that's important. The education entitiling said licensure is secondary. It's simply means to an end.


    And that is why a LPN with a year of vocational school deserves to make more than the guy with a masters in fine arts working the front desk at the museum.
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Nov 27, '12
  10. 0
    Quote from Dassit82
    I currently work in Accounting (enrolling in an Accelerated BSN program) and it's a God awful, boring, job that makes not one damn of a difference by the end of the day. I feel like a bump on a log in this world. I can't help but be a little disappointed in all of the complaining in this thread. I agree, I highly doubt any amount of money is good enough for the work nurses do - at least the good ones, but isn't that why we are here? Sure, we need to get paid to feed ourselves and families, but isn't the work you do important enough to not have to complain about it? Also, $50k goes a hell of a longer way than does some of these poor mothers I currently work with who only make about $29 and somehow support their families. No, their husbands are not bread winners - about 1/4th of their husbands are laid off and we live in NJ, which is not a low cost of living. Taxes will soon be going up due to the destruction Hurricane Sandy brought about, too. I feel for everyone who has to struggle to make ends meet. I feel for all of you current nurses who are busting your behinds because there really is no adequate price for the amount of work you put into your day, but just remember - you're making more of a difference in this world than 99% of today's workers.

    I say really research the field and shadow a lot before you make the move. In all reality, you can make more money but meeting whatever requirements you need to move into a controller role. You will also have a better lifestyle in terms of shift-work, holidays, weekends, etc.

    I mean only you know what you think you would like to do for a living, but really research it first, and try to pick up some part-time work as a tech or nurse's aid in a busy hospital. Just like with medicine, any glitz and glory wears off, and it is a profession that can be miserable unless you really love it. Even if you do love it and are good in it, it can have many periods of misery, d/t a number of factors, which I too involved and numerous to go into here. Also,consider that nurses will continue to have a hard time getting positions over the next several years.

    Every controller I know makes well over six figures. You aren't going to see that in nursing unless you work a lot of overtime, work a lot of travel/agency (after you get a fair amount of experience), go back to school for CRNA, or get a masters and up and go into administration. Shoot, many masters prepared nurse educators do not make six figures. Of course there is also pharm sales, but that is iffy. Some NPs make in the 90's, while many make only about 70's to 80's.

    It's a demanding field that constantly interfaces with people of varying needs and disciplines--the needs/demands are almost always there and are pressing. Administration is a problem in nursing as well, but that's another story.

    Research, get some experience in a hospital setting or other relevant settings, and think long and hard about your choice.

    I am not trying to discourage you at all. Be aware of all the pluses and minuses, and your own heart and motivation. There are just so many miserable nurses who didn't do this, and IMHO, it has hurt and hurts the whole field.

    OTOH, if you really have a caring, assertive, advocate/servant's heart, and are bright and inquisitive, and if you are willing to put up with an awful lot, go for it.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Nov 27, '12


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