How much should nurses be paid? - page 3

As a registered nurse of sixteen years plus a few months, I think I should be making at least fifty dollars an hour base pay. Aaaaaand......your thoughts on what you feel you should be paid for... Read More

  1. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by MICU RN
    GReat topic, and of course I feel we as RN's should be paid more. Especially if you work in a specialty area, for example, I found it very frustrating to find out that all RN's in the hospital I worked at got paid the same regardless of the unit or extra knowledge required to work in that unit. Now, we did have different level RN's ( Rn 1, RN 2, ect.) but a RN 2 who worked in a clinic received the same compensation as a RN 2 ICU or ER nurse. This practice reflects the old belief that a nurse is a nurse is a nurse.
    Sorry, I beg to disagree. ALL NURSES REQUIRE UNIT SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE - not that just those in so-called speciality units. It takes a great deal of skill to manage 6-12 patients at a time, with some on Q1-2 hour accuchecks, one on a vent, some receiving blood, chemo, cardizem drip and some on Q1-2 hour I and O. As opposed to 1-3 per shift. I am OCN certified and a chemo nurse with ACLS, as are many non-ICU/ER nurses. Many of us take loads of extra classes. Should we be paid less????
  2. by   eltrip
    Good point, Caroladybelle!
  3. by   POPRN
    I totally disagree with Caroladybelle. I agree that all nurses are somewhat specialized. But Nurses in closed units should be paid more!!!! I work in the operating room and we are a closed unit. That means that when we are short staffed, we can't pull from a pool of float nurses that the hospital has. So we are mandatoried to work until the cases are done. There is a 6-9 month orientation to even work in my dept. That tells me that we are more specialized than a floor nurse with 2-3 weeks of orientation. The float pool goes to OB and the units but not to surgery. why??? Because the technologly is changing and we have to learn all the new equiptment. We are patient advocates, video techs, monitors of the sterile field and occasionally we have to scrub in and be assistants to the surgeons. You can't learn all that in 2 weeks.
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Hi Hardknox

    The worst thing about this so called "nursing shortage" is knowing there are so many nurses in the United States not working because of the conditions, and the only way Admin thinks the problem can be resolved is to go overseas and recruit nurses who will eventually learn the abuse nurses here put up with. Once they become westernized to the reality of USA nursing, they'll join us in our cause to rectify the problem.....hopefully. Nurses aren't stupid for long are we? :chuckle
    Actually Renee, I find the foreign recruits are so glad to be in the US they will do just about anything to avoid being sent back. They are ambitious and money oriented, and came here for that reason...they seem more than willing to put up with the work conditions. In many cases the hospitals recruits them in a gang, subsidize their housing and assists them, and they are much better off $$$ wise here than in their native country. So IMO the healthcare industry has found it's supply of warm bodies through foreign recruitment.

    I find them to be very savvy administratively....they know how to make themselves look good, will stick up for one another/protect one another. I have NOT found them to be supportive of nurses in general, unless they are in their own culture. Perhaps other areas have had different experiences.

    So in essence I think we're handing over our American nurse profession to foreign recruits. I'm heading towards retirement and weary of the battle of fighting for this profession. I've spoken out and attempted to organize for years and as mentioned, it only earns a troublemaker label.

    To those nurses who are not working, I fully understand why. Nursing IS demoralizing and demeaning today in facilities. And I can't sugar coat nursing reality to entice new recruits in....I don't think that's fair to today's kids.

    So....the next generation of nurses, I wish you luck! I'm one tired ol' mama!!
    I'm just doing the best I can on a day to day basis now.
  5. by   VickyRN
    If I have my facts right, the MOST the Phillipines can turn out in their nursing schools in one year is around 10,000 nurses (correct me if I'm wrong), a mere drop in the bucket in the current US nursing deficit. The Phillipines is the major foreign recruiter (other than Canada). In another 10-15 years, the US nursing shortage (or rather, shortage of nurses WILLING to work in healthcare facilities) will be a crisis as the baby-boomers become elderly and staff nurses age out simultaneously. What I really think will happen is deskilling of our profession. Lawmakers, doctors, and hospital administrators will use this "nursing crisis" as an excuse to allow any Joe or Jane off the street to be trained in 10 weeks to do major nursing tasks like give medications, put in IVs, telemetry, etc. Nursing as we know it will no longer exist in this "brave new world."
  6. by   txsugarlvn
    I'm an LVN, not an RN, but I know I didn't get paid enough for what I did while nursing, except when I worked agency. I was paid a flat rate of $19/hr (in some facilites as much as $22/hour) for a med/surg floor day shift. Evenings and weekends there was a differential and a specialty unit also had a differential. But, agency has it's pros and cons. Pros: better pay, flexible schedules, choice of facilities. Cons: hardly any orientation, no relationship with the regular staff, unreliable hours.
    In a nursing home, as a charge nurse who had so many responsibilites including tubes, catheters, treatments, restraints, paperwork, meds, and overseeing CNA's not to mention the other things that happen during the day and family members, I was paid a glorious salary of $12.50/hour. I know, I'm not an RN but I still feel I was terribly underpaid for the job I did. The saddest part? When I was in nursing school, and so proud to be there, the instructors all told us how much money we would be making and how much respect we would have as nurses, etc etc etc. You can only imagine the slap in the face of REALITY I got when I graduated. Little to no respect as an LVN and pretty crummy pay. First job paid me $7.50/hour with a raise after 90 days to $8.25/hour in a dialysis clinic.
    How much do I think I should get paid? No less than $30K a year to start plus benefits. And that's being conservative.
  7. by   MelRN13
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Cynthiann.....as very well you should rethink your decision to become a nurse. The pay is lousy, the nurse/patient ratio is beyond dangerous levels, the nurses receive no respect from higher ups, some patients, and some family members ---- there are some good ones on board in all three areas however ------
    I am very distressed by this statement. If you're so unhappy being a nurse, then quit. Do something else. I didn't become a nurse because of the pay, I became a nurse so that I could help those in need and make a difference.

    Yes, I do agree that we need more pay. But I have never been to work and thought that conditions were unsafe because of staffing. At my facility, the managers will stay and do patient care to cover call ins, if that's what it takes to provide for our patients.
  8. by   Teshiee
    Nurses should be paid based on experience, knowledge and expertise regardless where they work. I know I can never work in some areas so in knowing that,someone can and do a hell of a better job than myself. Nursing is what you make it. So many nurses moan and groan but do nothing to make their situation better. I didn't like med/surg I got out. I didn't like the staff in how I was treated I resigned. If you are a nurse that takes dangerous assignments then shame on you. I have been known to walk off a unit because of unsafe staffing practices. It is funny how we can ***** and complain but when you need to ***** and complain to make your working conditions better no voice in the whole damn facility. Too many jobs and avenues to take. Look at the pros and cons of it and see how it weighs out for you and you alone.
    Last edit by Teshiee on Jun 27, '03
  9. by   Glad2behere
    Txsugarlvn is on the right track. Nurses will be recruited and trained "to fill gaps in the line" with specific duties assigned to each heirarchy. Another flavor of team nursing, the good news though I think, is something has to eventually cut loose upstairs as NP's and PA's take over the role of the traditional general practice physician. There simply is not enough money to fund it all. Medicare. those without insurance contribute to the overall financial structure that the docs will do as they are doing...becoming more specialized, and so will the care facilities. Hospitals will reach the realization, financially prodded, that they cannot have a L&D, a CCU, an ICU, da da da, unless they focus on something that brings the bucks...like cath labs. Nurses will be able to take the role of "screening for the specific needs of that pt" as time and money coerce in that direction. The days of the traditional nurse will be over, the duties relegated and simplified so that anyone can do it....just like MickyD's.
  10. by   caroladybelle
    Originally posted by POPRN
    I totally disagree with Caroladybelle. I agree that all nurses are somewhat specialized. But Nurses in closed units should be paid more!!!! I work in the operating room and we are a closed unit. That means that when we are short staffed, we can't pull from a pool of float nurses that the hospital has. So we are mandatoried to work until the cases are done. There is a 6-9 month orientation to even work in my dept. That tells me that we are more specialized than a floor nurse with 2-3 weeks of orientation. The float pool goes to OB and the units but not to surgery. why??? Because the technologly is changing and we have to learn all the new equiptment. We are patient advocates, video techs, monitors of the sterile field and occasionally we have to scrub in and be assistants to the surgeons. You can't learn all that in 2 weeks.
    So you would be happy to have an open unit and be floated to the skilled nursing unit where you have 20 some odd patients or to medsurg with up to 12 patients? For four hours then floated to another floor for another set of patients. Because if you had an open unit, that will happen to you.

    That extra training entitles you to privileges that other nurses do not have - such as a smaller patient load and not being floated all over creation. Also, you have the assurance that everyone you work with is educated in your field. Yes, we get floats on the floor, but as they are not educated on our specialities, we invariably have our work load increased by having to help out with their loads, and take the heavier patients that require specialty care.

    You chose your department, for your own reasons. If you do not like the pay scale, try working on our side of the fence.
  11. by   mattsmom81
    Originally posted by TeleNurse_02
    If you're so unhappy being a nurse, then quit.
    Well, many within our ranks have done just that...and have added to the 'shortage'. Those of us who still stick it out must find our own reasons...but we also must find a way to vent our frustrations.

    The frustrations in our careers are real, not in our minds and not our fault....and we cannot change that reality...sometimes all we can do is listen, and empathize with each other, offer support.

    "Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

    We won't be able to change things on a big scale til we can come together enmasse and speak as a group of influential professionals. I don't know if nurses can do that, to be honest.

    Until then we can try to do the best we can one person at a time. I think that is where most of us are.
  12. by   MelRN13
    Originally posted by mattsmom81
    Well, many within our ranks have done just that...and have added to the 'shortage'. Those of us who still stick it out must find our own reasons...but we also must find a way to vent our frustrations.

    mattsmom-- I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was distressed that the member I quoted was not encouraging to the student, instead it sounded like she was encouraging her to find a different career path.

    I agree that we need to "stick it out", but we also need to encourage our young to consider nursing as a career.
  13. by   911fltrn
    I dont think it will ever be enough, However if there is a express line for nurses at the pearly gates it would all be worth while! :-)

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