Now that I've found my calling ...

  1. 0
    I'd really like to know how to make a lot of money doing it. I've given it some thought, and I'm asking for practical advice on the matter. For all my idealism, romanticism, and so on concerning the art of nursing and direct patient care, with my wife insisting that we make babies until she gets her girl and this most recent US indicating that she might not get her way yet again, I'm pretty sure making real money is enough of a necessity to merit certain concessions in my professional goals.

    I gave up on the nurse anesthetist track when I caught the psych bug. I may be giving up on the pysch aprn track now with DNP conversion being imminent. I have a handful of associate's degrees, and will have my BSN at the end of the year, and will start school again when the time comes. Uh, now what?

    I make fair money now - working nights on an inpatient psych unit. After I graduate, I've been offered a job working per diem as a visiting psych nurse to see if I like it. I've been told by reputable sources that a visiting nurse (in my state, CT) could make 6 figures easily annually, but I'm not sure if that means working 12 hours a day 5 days a week driving as fast as I can to give someone meds and be on my way. How about I do that for a few years, get my MBA, and start my own agency?

    I don't know. Obviously, I'm just trying to work it out by typing some options and don't need to bother you fine people about my problems. I guess the specific question that could be asked in light of what I'm trying to figure out is: How does one make "real" money in nursing? I know it's subjective, so let's say 200K+. Is this an uncomfortable subject? Do I come off like a d**che, or greedy, or motivated by the wrong reasons? Why is talking about salary in general, much less telling someone what you make or asking them how much they do, a little sketchy?
    Last edit by Joe V on Aug 9, '12

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 21 Comments...

  3. 2
    I was always under the impression that visiting nurses made less money than nurses working in hospitals. As far as $200,000 the only way I can see you making that much in nursing is getting a top management job or doing lots of overtime with a pool or being a traveling nurse. But even then I think you'd make closer to $100,000!

    Even many DNP's don't make $100,000 so I think you have your work cut out for you! Maybe a director of a Nursing Home might make near $100,000. Even pharmacists start out at around $100,000 and I don't even know if they ever get to $200,000. I bet most of them don't!
    morecoffeepls and tvccrn like this.
  4. 2
    Travel... or Strike Nursing.

    You have to work hard but you can get it done.
    It's not very family-friendly I'm afraid.

    Look for $15,000/month +/- for 5-12's/week (60 hrs).
    Comes to 62.50 blended.

    I work 9 months and take 3 off to myself and still make
    more than staying put back home and begging for 2 weeks vacation...
    You can really sock it away!
    kalevra and morecoffeepls like this.
  5. 2
    Even a DON here in Oz with perhaps years of experience wouldn't make $200,000 a year.
    If you find out how to do it, email me I'd really like to know what kind of nurses make that money!
    morecoffeepls and xtxrn like this.
  6. 1
    "Even many DNP's don't make $100,000"

    I think you're right, and that scares me. I can't imagine going to Yale or Fairfield, busting my b*lls, & spending that kinda tuition to make about the same amount as I do now.

    "It's not very family-friendly I'm afraid."

    Oh well. Your life/career sounds amazing. Yet another reason why I wish I did this nursing thing a decade or so ago. The wife'n'kids, the path that took me here - all great, whatever. But to be a young single male in nursing school, and then be able to take advantage of a lifestyle/professional opportunity like the one you mention ... like I said, oh well.

    "I'd really like to know what kind of nurses make that money!"

    That's the thing, it doesn't exist. I guess what I'm asking is how I can make money with a nursing degree as opposed to being a nurse? Does that make sense?

    I really appreciate the input. Maybe I'll just work 3 jobs & forget about seeing my family altogether. I'm always irritable anyways, they'll be fine. The reason I became a nurse at all was so that I could be around. Part of me realizes that this is truly my calling and that everything will work out; so whatever, relax. Also, I should probably just put a girl in my wife so she could get a tubal ligation.

    Did I mention the part about not being married in nursing school in my next life? I kinda did, nevermind.
    kalevra likes this.
  7. 3

    You will never get time back. toys are always showing up The minute you buy something it's obsolete.

    Being a nurse doesn't generally mean "well off" can, and it's great when it does. But most nurses are doing well to stay living indoors, pay expenses, plan for retirement, and have a bit of fun now and then....I've never worked with a DON who made more than 75,000.00 (easily less), and I haven't been able to work for 7 years. This isn't a great time to be looking at starting an agency- see what the cuts to Medicare/Medicaid are going to be- and how that effects existing agencies.

    If you want a relationship with the family, maybe let things go for a bit- until the youngest is in school, and it's easier for Mom to work as well...jmho.

    It's hard to have a family to support...but having THE best of everything isn't necessarily as important to a kid as having someone besides the babysitter to have memories about. It's great to be successful, but that's not always measured in dollar amounts. Obviously, do what makes your life comfortable, and pleasant...but look at the little things to make you happy as well. Collecting degrees don't always pay off at all....I'd scrap the Ivy Leagues for anything nursing- nobody cares (except whoever has the student loan- ).

    Congratulations on the bumpy ultrasound
    morecoffeepls, SushiRN, and Otessa like this.
  8. 1
    Go for your MD.. I was just speaking with couple of PGY3s who say in suburban areas of southwest area even a family practice can make over 200k
    morecoffeepls likes this.
  9. 1
    I know very few RNs making six figures. The ones who do are upper end CRNAs who practice and teach. And take a lot of high paid extra shifts/on call.

    Some ICU RNs I know make a lot of money; they are willing to do any on call shift with any notice.

    OP, have you considered family planning? Seriously, that's a lot of stress. I know a colleague with 7 daughters who kept gunning for a son.
    morecoffeepls likes this.
  10. 1
    so didja give up completely on the LNC idea? I would think you are in a great area for that and you have lots of good background for it. all of Vickies brochures promote the big big $$'s potential........... I would love to be trying to get into that in a rich state like CT

    and congrats on the new little guy on the way!
    morecoffeepls likes this.
  11. 1
    I have a high school friend who is making well over $200K in the pharmaceutical industry as a doctorate-prepared nurse. I think she helps design clinical studies for new drugs? Something like that. She lives in upstate NY.

    I think the kind of salary you're looking for is available in the upper echelons of management in some large health care corporations. You would need an MBA or something comparable.

    And as for the offspring question, have you and your wife considered adoption? It's pretty much the only way to know for sure you're getting a girl. Just a thought.....
    morecoffeepls likes this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors