Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 8

by TheCommuter Senior Moderator

85,846 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. 5
    "Big bucks" is subjective. Also, Nursing is one of the few professional fields that only requires a two-year degree. A two-year degree earning over 50k/yr starting is quite impressive. The other professions listed require a bachelor's/higher education.

    That said, I do look forward to have 250% increase in my salary once I am finished with Nursing school, and there is no shame in admitting that. Nursing is a great field where one can work part-time and still make VERY good money. It is a solid middle class lifestyle, something I desire. I'm not looking to become a millionaire, just a stable, comfortable lifestyle.
    QuarterLife88, tnmarie, cp1024, and 2 others like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    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.
    But it is becoming more of the requirement for a getting a position, especially one that is more robust in terms of work and opportunities.

    To me, a big part of the problem is the outrageous expense of higher education. Sadly I don't see much that will change this coming up in the future; so people have to do their own benefits:cost analyses on whether it is worth it or even doable for them. The market has tightened for a number of reasons, but the opportunity to limit non-BSN and graduate-prepared RNs for job positions is the trend with employers.

    An MBA from a solid school is valuable, but as is in many situations, you may have to be willing to move and pay your dues like many other folks.

    BTW, at this point, I think with the powers that be, pushing for a baseline requirement of BSN in order to sit to take the boards may well become the reality. When? Who is to say? The issue is currently being addressed by way of current market trends and such. But it could easily move beyond that soon enough.
  3. 4
    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 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.
    Nope. You would just have the male nurses making more money for doing the same job with the same amount of experience as their female counterparts. THAT is what would/will most likely happen.
  4. 9
    I'm probably not in an objective position to judge what equals "big bucks" compared to most here. I have no kids and own my own house and make a little over 50k. I know I am in a position to have WAY more disposable income than most here.

    With that said, I never cease to be
    shocked by people who clearly live beyond their means and then complain about how hard they're "struggling". Barring medical issues or other unforeseen acts of God, I see no reason why a family with 3-4 kids making 50k a year would "struggle". No family "needs" two cars or a big house in the suburbs or name brand anything. That's not struggling, that's just called not having all the crap you want. Think about the fast food working single mother family in Detroit. Now THATS struggling. I think 50k a year for a family is more than sufficient for a perfectly comfortable lifestyle. Our society's definition of struggle shows we really don't understand that word.

    Of course, all this is neither here nor there regarding whether or not nurses are compensated fairly compared to other professions. Remember, though, compensation isn't related to how *hard* or a job is. Or I would have made more moving furniture. It's all about supply and demand.
    Last edit by BrandonLPN on Nov 27, '12
    ShaeMarie, GM2RN, tnmarie, and 6 others like this.
  5. 2
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I have no kids and own my own house. I know I am in a position to have WAY more disposable income than most here.
    Same here. I'm a single homeowner with no children.
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    With that said, I never cease to be shocked by people who clearly live beyond their means and then complain about how hard they're "struggling". Barring medical issues or other unforeseen acts of God, I see no reason why a family with 3-4 kids making 50k a year would "struggle". No family "needs" two cars or a big house in the suburbs or name brand anything. That's not struggling, that's just called not having all the crap you want.
    My example of 'Carla' in the article shows how a single person with a $50k income can live from hand to mouth. 'Carla' drove a used car that was paid off, rented a tiny house, and had no luxuries or expensive shopping habits, yet her staggering weekly after-school childcare bill for three children under the age of ten was enough to make the house of cards shatter.

    High-quality childcare is staggeringly expensive for single moms who do not have family members who can watch the kids for free. Also, it costs serious money to properly feed a family of four, unless you plan to live off generic macaroni dinners and starchy top ramen noodles.
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    Think about the fast food working single mother family in Detroit. Now THATS struggling.
    The single mom who works a minimum wage fast food job in Detroit has an income so low that she qualifies for housing assistance, a food stamp card, Medicaid for the kids, WIC vouchers for any children under the age of five, and childcare assistance. Through EITC, she might also qualify for a hefty tax refund every April.
    tnmarie and cp1024 like this.
  6. 6
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    . Barring medical issues or other unforeseen acts of God, I see no reason why a family with 3-4 kids making 50k a year would "struggle". I think 50k a year for a family is more than sufficient for a perfectly comfortable lifestyle.
    Really? You think $50K is suficient for a family of 4 kids w/mom and dad for a total of 6?? Can YOU live on $8,333.33 per year?? Because that's what it would come out to per person.

    I know I live in a very high cost of living state (CT) but I can't see that $50K for a family of 6 in any state being sufficient.
    gummi bear, tnmarie, cp1024, and 3 others like this.
  7. 3
    Ok, I probably shouldn't have said that, as I have no experience raising children. Point taken. Also, where I live 50k goes a long way as living is super cheap here. I know my dad raised us (4 kids) well here on 40k a year so that's what I was basing it on. Of course that was 10 years ago, so apples and oranges.


    I apologize if I offended.
    tnmarie, DTW90, and somenurse like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    Ok, I probably shouldn't have said that, as I have no experience raising children. Point taken. Also, where I live 50k goes a long way as living is super cheap here. I apologize if I offended.
    You didn't offend me Brandon I was just thinking..wow...I'd love to see a person live comfortably on a bit more than $8K a year.
  9. 12
    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.
    Sounds to me that a CNA going to school to improve her circumstance is not getting a handout but rather a handup.

    It is sad for me the number of otherwise well meaning Americans who despise people for needing help. I think that very few of us do well in life when we are truly on our own. Not everyone comes from a family or social situation that can provide assistance for financial needs...they can't afford to subsidize college, or rent, or food, or transportation for their children. That doesn't make them less American or less valuable than the child born with the silver spoon. Mitt Romney, for example, is no more valuable to the USA because he was born wealthy and has never received welfare as compared to the young man or woman who receives support while getting an education or working toward personal goals which will improve their social status.

    In my view, this "class warfare" is destructive to our society.
    Nurse Leigh, tnmarie, Mollypita, and 9 others like this.
  10. 5
    I was venting, cause I'm tired of relatives who lived WAY beyond their means complain about how they're losing their 5 bedroom house with a pool that they never could afford in the first place. It's those relatives (who make 60-70k a year) who I feel never should have
    let things get out of hand. They could have been very comfortable if only they had been more modest. Of course, nobodys perfect, but now they're paying the price.
    tnmarie, cp1024, redhead_NURSE98!, and 2 others like this.


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