Nursing Salary Facts - You need to know! - page 3

The following are government statistics from October 2002 Contemporary Long Term Care. They represent average national salaries. Nursing salaries overall have remained stagnant in the past 10... Read More

  1. by   llg
    I don't mean to foster a "nurses vs teachers" war because I agree with the previous poster who said we should work together with teachers to improve conditions for these both of these traditionally women's proffessions and learn from them how they have gotten public support for their causes.

    My sister is 18 months older than I am and a public school teacher. So, I have been watching the comparison's between the 2 professions up close for over 25 years.

    In general, teachers do not make as much cash as nurses do. However, they generally get much, much better benefits. When you read/talk about salary comparisons, you really have to look at "total compensation" rather than just take-home. For example, my sister received 100% tuition reimbursement for her Master's Degree and she multiple local programs to choose from. I had to quit my job and move to another state to go to graduate school and never worked anywhere with a large tuition reimbursement program. Also, she officiallly retired this year -- at the age of 51, with her state pension guaranteeing her 60% of the current salary every year for the rest of her adjusted annually for inlation. She will continue to work part-time by working as a substitute when it is convenient. Needless to say, I plan on working until age 62. She also never had more than a few dollars deducted from her pay checks for health insurance, etc.

    However ... her "amount of cash" received as salary each year has always been less than mine even though she was a state employee and worked under a union contract and I worked in several different hospitals in different parts of the country.

    We also need to remember that both teachers' compensation and nurses' compensation varies widely. Usually, teachers who work for small private schools earn a lot less than public school teachers who are state employees and/or those who are unionized. We can all play the game of "I know someone who ..." earns a surprisingly small amount or a surprisingly large amount of money because we know someone at either the high end or low end of the range. The only way you can make generalized comparisons across the board is to look at to look at the whole range, national averages, etc. And traditionally, when you do that, nurses often get more cash up front, but teachers often get more compensation over the long haul -- IF they stay employed by the same school system for many years and take advantage of all the benefits such as generous tuition reimbursement, etc. -- and that's a big if.

    Finally, we nurse have to remember this: The teaching profession requires a 4-year Bachelor's Degree as an enty level and frequently requires additional courses beyond a Bachelor's for any significant pay raises and/or promotions. Nurses have yet to set their standard that high.

    llg
  2. by   Ruby Vee
    When I was living in Spokane about 15 years ago, the local newspaper published an article comparing nurse's paychecks to those of grocery checkers. The checkers, which NO education, made much more!
  3. by   TracyB,RN
    I don't know what the "real" salary is supposed to be... net pay?
    I don't know any teachers, but my gross so far, this year, is 30,728.15. My net or "take home" is 20,494.58. Sure, I think I am getting screwed on taxes, but what can ya' do? I do have extra deductions for savings, health insurance & life insurance.
  4. by   oneLoneNurse
    after 20 years in the business most of us may be making $2.00 or $3.00 more than the GN. There do not seem to be that many places to make yourself unique to command more dollars in the market. I know Nursing Managers who are not making what their night staff are making.
  5. by   nursemike
    Quote from oneLoneNurse
    after 20 years in the business most of us may be making $2.00 or $3.00 more than the GN. There do not seem to be that many places to make yourself unique to command more dollars in the market. I know Nursing Managers who are not making what their night staff are making.
    My cousin, a 30-year nurse, complains one day that they are trying to save money by driving out all of the older nurses, then complains the next day that new grads make as much as she does. Never try to reason with a ranting nurse, btw.
    (After they finish ranting is okay, but just nod and look sympathetic during the actual rant.)
    It does appear that employers have decided recruitment is cheaper than retention. I don't quite know what to do about it, except that I do think we need to be smarter employees. For example, if you are going to stay in one job more than 5 years, a dollar-an-hour more pay is worth more than a $10,000 sign-on bonus. On the other hand, being willing to go somewhere else for more money is pretty good leverage for getting raises.
    Probably the best way to make money is to go looking for a new sign-on every two years, and I've heard some actually do that.
    I, on the other hand, am stupid. I'll probably be a nurse where I work, now, with no sign-on bonus and "competitive" pay, just because I like the area and I like the hospital. But it isn't entirely stupid to balance quality of life with pay rate. And they are helping with the cost of school...
  6. by   tridil2000
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    When I was living in Spokane about 15 years ago, the local newspaper published an article comparing nurse's paychecks to those of grocery checkers. The checkers, which NO education, made much more!
    R U B Y!!!:hatparty: :hatparty:

    it's so good to read you here! i can't believe it!

    to add to this thread:
    in nj, teachers have THE best benefits! after 25 years they can retire with FULL health care coverage for life :angryfire for themselves AND their spouse!

    other than the hours and benefits, the wages are about the same.

    tridiltrish

    (ruby-1 night i had 2 mis come in. i used up all the tridil! they said..we'll just call you tridil trish. thought that was a good name for nursing boards!)
  7. by   husker-nurse
    :kiss :kiss
    Quote from Flo1216
    Our new grads start out at $22.50. If you start out in a specialty area, once you get certified in ACLS and everything and if you work evenings and get the shift differential, it goes up to $28.50. I am a CNA and make $10.50 an hour so any pay increase once I get my license will be welcome. But if it means anything, I think you're all worth a million bucks:>)
    Awwwww, Flo, you ARE an angel!!!! :angel2:
  8. by   Maggie Mae
    I have worked as a public school teacher for the past 15 years. Where I live, Long Island, NY, Teachers work on a salary schedule. we all start at the same salary and each year our salary goes up, this usually reflects the cost of living, give or take a little. As you continue on to graduate school and you must to do this in NY, your salary will increase some with every 15 credits. A NY teacher must have a masters within 5 years to make their certification permanent. We can move across the salary schedule in 15 credit increments, all the way to Ph.D..

    As far as nurses salaries in my area, I don't know too much about this. I do know nurses are starting much higher than teachers. From what I understand the teachers catch up pretty fast.
    As far as my salary goes, I have 15 years and a masters and make close to 80,000. We are considered middle to bottom on the pay scale when compared to similar schools on Long Island. None of this is given to us freely. We have very strong unions with committed and knowledgeable leadership. Every 3 years we re-negotiate our contracts, this can be emotionally exhausting, but well worth it. We picket, we get vocal ( when we don't like what the district is purposing for the next contract) we are strongly supported by the families of the children we teach, we are united. Everything that teachers have earned in their contracts is fought for and at times we work without contracts. In my time we have never gone on strike, we don't have sick outs. The most extreme thing we ever did was dress in solid black for an entire school year to protest our anger at stalled negotiations.

    As you can tell I am pro union, teachers would not be where they are today without the union. I don't work as a nurse yet, just graduated 5/04! I know the nursing profession would greatly benefit from nurses unions. Nurses deserve so much more.
  9. by   oneLoneNurse
    Maggie, why become a nurse ? You seem to be doing really well.
  10. by   Maggie Mae
    Why become a nurse??? It's nothing profound, it's something I always wanted to do. I do still like teaching, but I didn't want teaching to be the only thing that I ever did. Many people don't understand this, for me it's been a great journey.
  11. by   Dplear
    Several things wrong here.

    1) Yes we do make too little money. That is a given.

    2) The average rate of inflation for the 90's was 2.81%. adjustred for inflation the 1990 wages for a nurse was 28,700 NOT the 24000 or so quoted.

    3) The average wage vs the adjusted rate of inflation for a nurse shown in 2000 would have shown over 100% inflation. Never has the inflation ever been near that here in America.

    4) I am living proof that wages are not stagnant. My wages have gone up an average of 11-15% EVERY year. that far beats out the average rate of inflation. My disposable income has gone up steadly in comparison to my debt load which has gone down every year due to better financial management and investment.

    5) I make a hell of a lot more than a starting nurse where I work. I make over 10 bucks an hour more than they do and my wages again will go up soon.

    6) You can make money in nursing. It is easy to make 6 figure wages in nursing. You just have to look and research to be able to do it.

    Dave
  12. by   Q.
    Quote from Maggie Mae
    None of this is given to us freely. We have very strong unions with committed and knowledgeable leadership. Every 3 years we re-negotiate our contracts, this can be emotionally exhausting, but well worth it. We picket, we get vocal ( when we don't like what the district is purposing for the next contract) we are strongly supported by the families of the children we teach, we are united. Everything that teachers have earned in their contracts is fought for and at times we work without contracts. In my time we have never gone on strike, we don't have sick outs. The most extreme thing we ever did was dress in solid black for an entire school year to protest our anger at stalled negotiations.
    As nurses, we should be able to learn from teachers. But we don't. Read her above paragraph again and see what's wrong with our profession. Not that I'm a big advocate for unions, because as the single largest workforce in the US, I think we have a strong voice without a union, but we definitely lack the unity, committment and standardized practice that teachers have.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from tridil2000
    R U B Y!!!:hatparty: :hatparty:

    it's so good to read you here! i can't believe it!

    to add to this thread:
    in nj, teachers have THE best benefits! after 25 years they can retire with FULL health care coverage for life :angryfire for themselves AND their spouse!

    other than the hours and benefits, the wages are about the same.

    tridiltrish

    (ruby-1 night i had 2 mis come in. i used up all the tridil! they said..we'll just call you tridil trish. thought that was a good name for nursing boards!)

    Trish -- finally found your post. It took me long enough! Welcome to allnurses!

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