Nursing Pay - page 4

Hi- I am new to the forum and have a question for everyone. I will be starting an accelerated nursing program soon and have a question about nursing pay. Where I live, nurses start at about... Read More

  1. by   catlady
    Quote from abu1030
    In regards to the amount of experience...I had a friend who was incredibly frustrated by the rates that new grads were coming in at and she quit her position for a position at another facility willing to pay her more. She wound up going back to the hospital that she had started with and is making even more money now. So, the way that I see it is that if a person is not willing to fight for better wages they will not recieve them.

    It is common knowledge at the facility that I work in that many of the more experienced nurses are frustrated and they are all rallying for better wages. I am just keeping my mouth shut because I am still relatively new to the field. I work with one nurse in particular who has been with this hospital since she graduated 18 years ago. She only makes $5 more an hour than I do. I personally feel that there is definitely something wrong with that. She is a fantastic nurse, an incredible patient and family advocate, is on more boards and clubs for nurses than anyone I know and she moon-lights as an educator for the hospital...I personally feel she has been taken advantage of. She told me that she feels like she sold her soul to the devil. Where does she go from here? She knows that in order to get the salary she needs and deserves she will have to leave all of the people she has grown to love. We are somewhat remote here...that means she would need to commute quite a distance for a better salary...NOT FAIR!!!

    I just think that the entire field needs to increase base wages and offer more bonus incentives to senior nurses. I worked in corporate for many years and we had a pay scale...The pay scale for nurses is ridiculous. I have friends in this field all over the country and they all have this exact same complaint. We just do not get paid enough across the board! It does not matter what level you are at...
    Thank you for this post. I feel like I'm crying in the wilderness sometimes...
  2. by   NurseyPoo
    This is exactly how most of the nurses I know feel. It is not fair that you work your butt off and cannot even make a decent living. I was recently given the opportunity to begin a Master's program at the hospital I work for but I hesitate because with that comes signing a contract for 3 years. I honestly don't know if I could stay there that long. After we pay our bills every month and sit down to look at what's left it is sickening...I think you are in the right to stay home with your child and not work extra hours. Besides most of your extra hours will go towards taxes...the final bottom line is pathetic.
  3. by   NurseyPoo
    On another note...I am so grateful for this web-site. I feel better being able to spew my venom about such topics as low pay, and dangerous working conditions. If you can't tell I like to state my opinion I drive my husband absolutely nuts because I have never been afraid to step up and argue for something I believe in. Nursing is my dream career and I am not going to leave it any time soon...I just wish that the government realized just how valuable we truely are. I find it embarassing when someone thinks we make so much money...where do people get these ideas?
  4. by   NCVegRN
    I am so glad to have found this website as well. First let me say that I do not think any nurse gets paid enough (or teachers, firemen, etc for that matter). However, this phenomenon of new people coming in and making almost as much as the seasoned staff is not specific to nursing. It happens all over corporate America. It's no wonder that people used to have one job until they retired and now we change every few years. It is sad that in many cases if you quit and get rehired later you make a lot more. Or that you get a much higher offer at different facilities. In my former life I worked for a company that had been bought by GE. All us new folks were making pretty good money, the old staff that stuck around made peanuts in comparison. However, good managers gave many senior staffers equivalency raises to even things out.

    The only thing we can do is band together and speak up for ourselves. Nursing is valuable and we need to remind everyone in our lives of such. I left a job that paid as much or possibly a little more than I will make in my first year of nursing, so I am not in it for the money, but we all deserve to get paid according to the value of our jobs. I just ordered the book From Silence to Voice so I can learn to represent nursing better in my communication with everyone in my life.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from StudentNurseBean
    I have to say catlady, while I certainly believe that us new grads are entry level and we all have to start out on the low end of the totum pole. But offering a new grad $28 an hour when we are dealing with chemotherapy, radiation, HIV+ patients, blood born pathogens, etc., I think paying a new grad anything LESS than $35 an hour is a crime in itself. REGARDLESS of whether we just started or not. My life and my health is very important and accidents happen, even with the experienced nurse.
    Lovey, I have worked HIV/ID (back in the days when it was a 18month from diagnosis to death sentence) units for 2 years, and have been working onco/hemo units for about 11 years.

    As a new grad, in many places, you will not even be touching a chemo drip for 6-12 monthes. And unless you are on specific units, you will be exposed to less radiation than I get from my routine CXRs/mammograms. You will also (in responsible facilities) receive plenty of training and protection gear before doing so.

    Unlike our soldiers that get paid a pittance, and are much more exposed to dangerous chemicals and radiation, in less than pristine circumstances.

    You will have easy access to protective clothing, and equipment.....unlike police officers, janitors, office housekeepers...many of whom get stuck with needles or exposed to blood/dangerous chemicals on a regular basis.

    And if you are worried about C-Diff, VRE, MRSA...than you need to start growing your own food, because if you step into a grocery store/market, chances are you have daily exposure to many of these pathogens.

    The vast majority of nurses will not handle chemo, will have little exposure to radiation, and come in contact with vile pathogens by caring for their schoolage kids.

    When our soldiers and police get paid $40/hr for their hazards, then new grads will rate it.

    You came into nursing, knowing the hazards and the pay.
  6. by   CityKat
    Quote from catlady
    So new grads should make more than experienced nurses? Because I don't make $35/hr. And I came from a very high cost area, too--close to what you're spending in NYC--and never made more than the high 20s while I was living there (moved away last year).

    I'd like to see everyone's pay rise, including mine. But right now there are too many cases where experience and expertise are not rewarded, and too many cases of "I'm entitled." Nobody's entitled to anything, much as we'd like to hope we're so valuable. We are only entitled to what our employers are willing to pay us. And when new grads make more than nurses with years of experience and certifications in their specialties, something's totally messed up.
    I would like to see everyone's pay go up as well and that is what I said. I also said that would be in a perfect world. Please, I don't want you to take what I said the wrong way. I was saying that nurses in general are under paid. ALL nurses should be paid more, this includes new grads and experienced nurses. I also said that new grads should start out between $35 and $40 an hour and RISES WITH EXPERIENCE. Again, that is in a perfect world. We all know that RN's are not paid their value, not even close, IMO. Here in NYC, they start out new grads at $35 an hour, so if you moved from here, I don't know where you were working, but that isn't the norm pay for this metropolitan city, that I am aware. But even strating out at $61k here in NYC, is like living like a working student when you take into consideration tuition repayments and rent. I also said I AGREE with you on the entry level, but it still SHOULDN'T be ok to pay an educated professional $28 an hour when you take into consideration the dangers of the job, the amount of work they are doing, what they are doing and even the cost of tuition these days. It's sort of like a slap in the face if you ask me. And no, it isn't a matter of "I'm entitled". It's a matter of what is deserved.
  7. by   bbcewalters
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Lovey, I have worked HIV/ID (back in the days when it was a 18month from diagnosis to death sentence) units for 2 years, and have been working onco/hemo units for about 11 years.

    As a new grad, in many places, you will not even be touching a chemo drip for 6-12 monthes. And unless you are on specific units, you will be exposed to less radiation than I get from my routine CXRs/mammograms. You will also (in responsible facilities) receive plenty of training and protection gear before doing so.

    Unlike our soldiers that get paid a pittance, and are much more exposed to dangerous chemicals and radiation, in less than pristine circumstances.

    You will have easy access to protective clothing, and equipment.....unlike police officers, janitors, office housekeepers...many of whom get stuck with needles or exposed to blood/dangerous chemicals on a regular basis.

    And if you are worried about C-Diff, VRE, MRSA...than you need to start growing your own food, because if you step into a grocery store/market, chances are you have daily exposure to many of these pathogens.

    The vast majority of nurses will not handle chemo, will have little exposure to radiation, and come in contact with vile pathogens by caring for their schoolage kids.

    When our soldiers and police get paid $40/hr for their hazards, then new grads will rate it.

    You came into nursing, knowing the hazards and the pay.
    As a new nurse s/p 1 year and ex-army s/p 6years. I thank you for your reply.
    I make just as much money now (less than 20 an hour) than I did after 6 years in the Army and leaving as an E-6. I think every job has the potential to cause harm, but as you so nicely stated not every day or even everyone. Talk about pay comiserate with danger. At least as a US (civillian) nurse you will not be faced with war, and still have your family on food stamps.
    I support our troops and the work that they do for this country. Most people do not become a nurse for the money, we do it for other reasons. Likewise most don't join the military for the money/benefits (anymore) they do it because they feel strongly for this country and want to help.
    Just a little perspective.
    Bobbi:wink2:
  8. by   Sheri257
    Quote from catlady
    No, not really, because if you inflate the wage beyond what the employer is willing to pay, they're going to look for alternatives. Otherwise they'd just pay everyone $100K per annum and everyone would be happy, right? You can't try to outprice the marketplace or you'll be left on the outside looking in. Laws of economics do exist, whether we like them or not.
    I have to disagree with you here. The "laws of economics" dictate lower nursing wages only when nurses let it happen.

    The fact is ... you can beat the "laws of economics" that depress nursing wages ... with unions. I live in an area where for years, nursing wages were typically $3 to $5 an hour less than market. If you wanted better pay you had to commute 45 minutes to an hour away.

    Then one of the hospitals went union three years ago. This union facility has consistently improved pay for the entire area and, now, they just got a pay raise of 8 percent per year for the next two years, which is more than double the 3-4 percent annual pay raises you get (if you're lucky) at other facilities. It's completely wiped out the regional pay discrepancy and now, other neighboring hospitals are having to match the better pay to compete.

    The hospital gave the RN's the raise because they can't afford to have all of their nurses go out on strike. There are too many other places where the RN's could find work. When nurses use their market leverage as a group ... you can, in fact, beat those "laws of economics" that keep nursing wages low.

    Ironically ... the RT's had the opportunity to unionize three years ago also ... right about the same time the RN's did. But the RT's voted against unionization. Since then, the RT's haven't gotten a single pay raise and new grad RN's are now making more than veteran RT's do. Needless to say, the RT's now really regret not voting union.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Sep 13, '06
  9. by   rninme
    There are WIDE variances in nursing pay when you travel the US. I was earning VERY POOR wages in the mid-west....came east, and got a big bump in pay!! I'll never live in a 'McMansion", drive a Ferrari or eat "fois de gras" nightly...I don't care....that isn't me. I pay my bills, eat well, drive a car that gets me where I am going to....and have something left over at the end of the week. I love my job, I love my profession. I'll never be rich...but I don't really care.

    I've found that: huges wages, large sign-on bonuses...etc....usually signal that there are internal problems at that facility. Just my .02....but, buyer beware!!

close