The Registered Nurse Population:
Findings from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses
The 2000 Survey found too few young people are choosing careers in nursing, and the average age of registered nurses has increased substantially. In 1980, 52.9 percent of RNs were younger than age 40; in 2000, 31.7 percent were younger than 40. In 1980, 26 percent of RNs were under the age of 30, but by 2000, less than 10 percent were under age 30.
Mar 22, '02
I, too, care about the money. I DO have to make a living and I would prefer it be a comfortable one. For all the running around I do and all the responsibility I carry, it would be nice to be able to afford to have some security when the day comes that I don't have the physical ability to continue that pace. Also, it would be nice to be able to afford a house!! I believe that if home is to be a haven from work and the world, it should be comfortable and not cramped (and my kids need another bedroom). EVERY SINGLE NURSE I KNOW has a second job (some work two full-time jobs) for whatever reason...to buy a car, put a kid through college, make the mortgage payment, you name it. I don't know of any other college-degreed profession that has such high numbers of moonlighters. Is it any wonder we're all burned out?
And here's another twist to those numbers...are some of the nurses being counted twice? If one nurse fills two positions?
And by the way, if a young person chooses a field that affords that person a better quality of life - salary, working conditions, etc...who are we to say there's something inherently wrong with the generation that chooses to do that? Maybe they're just being smart! It will certainly be better for their families when they have them. At any rate, let's not beat up on people who choose to make a better life for themselves and their families than most nursing positions will afford financially or time-wise. When we put our jobs first ahead of our families,we have our priorities completely out of order. I have put up with a lot of crap from hospitals and administrations before, and once on this very board was accused of being something parallel to a battered wife because I continued to put up with it. So we can't have it both ways. Either we proactively make positive changes in our careers - even if that does mean leaving nursing - to make our lives and our families' lives better, or we sit here and eat that plate of you-know-what that they give us and grin and pretend to like it, maybe focusing on that little scrap of dessert that we get thrown to us now and then. Even if you're happy with your job doesn't mean that others don't have a right not to be. Those who choose to stay in something they're dissatisfied with have no right to berate those who move on to something else. It's the same codependent mindset that got nursing into this boat to begin with. Our families are JUST AS IMPORTANT as our patients' families and we are JUST AS IMPORTANT as our patients. To think any less of ourselves is to do ourselves a great disservice. I'm not talking about SUVs and DVDs - I'm talking about mortgage payments and child support and daycare and tuition and groceries and power bills and gasoline and car payments and insurance....etc. It takes more than one nursing salary to cover all that and not every nurse has the benefit of a spouse's salary to help make ends meet. For what we do, for what we put up with, for what we are responsible for, we should be able to support ourselves and our children, and we should be able to BE THERE for our children and for our families when they need us without being berated by administration for needing a shift off once in a blue moon to do that. Bottom line.
Plus, how many times have you given a work excuse to someone who is in better shape than you are? We work sicker than we allow our patients to work. What does that say?
Last edit by babs_rn on Mar 22, '02