Nursing Sucks! Or Does It?

  1. 0
    I took ten minutes this morning and read a lot of the recent titles and some of the messages. WHY are nurses SO miserable? I am a new graduate and I OFTEN do not like my job, but I FULLY realize that we, as nurses in 2007, have SO MANY opportunities. My life goal is to see the world AND help people. So, I am starting a master's degree in public health in January. If you dislike your job, try something different...within nursing! If you feel like you're not getting paid well enough, consider going back to school to earn a master's degree or to become a nurse practitioner or... Better yet, take a stand and write the CEO of YOUR hospital. That's what I have decided to do. Why should I earn $20.99 per hour at night based on ideal staffing (i.e. six patients) IF I have eight or, sometimes, nine? I am NO mathematician, but I CAN do the math! Several recent postings addressed "rude" patients, colleagues (doctors and nurses), etc. You're ONLY a doormat IF you let yourself be! I have politely and professionally READ a patient (and my HOLLABACK girls KNOW what I'm saying!). We have two unit clerks (the "nice" one left last week) and I left her speechless last week when I politely reminded her that her reality check OBVIOUSLY bounced because the last time I checked, they aren't giving sign-on bonuses to unit clerks. RIGHT?!?!?

    I don't LOVE my job, but I do realize that I have to make it work for ME. I may have to work three or four 12-hour shifts in a row, but I WILL be getting five or more days offs before I do another stretch. I hope each and every one of you finds your way in world...nursing or otherwise! Happy holidays!
  2. 22 Comments so far...

  3. 29
    Quote from BPPITT
    WHY are nurses SO miserable? I am a new graduate and I OFTEN do not like my job, but I FULLY realize that we, as nurses in 2007, have SO MANY opportunities.
    As you are a new grad, I can strongly sense your burgeoning idealism. However, a sense of realism will emerge with the passage of time and the accumulation of nursing experience. It is true that nurses have so many opportunities in 2007; however, the vast majority of these opportunities are in bedside nursing, which has been a source of burnout for so many.
    Quote from BPPITT
    If you dislike your job, try something different...within nursing!
    You make this statement as if many of the complaining nurses have not already tried different things within nursing. I know of nurses who still have not found their niche after trying about 5 different bedside specialties and about 2 or three "desk jobs" away from the bedside. After so many different attempts at different positions within nursing, some may feel defeated.
    Quote from BPPITT
    If you feel like you're not getting paid well enough, consider going back to school to earn a master's degree or to become a nurse practitioner
    Unfortunately, nursing is a career pathway that generally does not offer any financial incentives for attaining higher education. The typical BSN nurse earns about as much as the ADN nurse. Many MSNs earn significantly less than their BSN counterparts, especially if they decide to become a nurse educator or researcher. While nurse prectitioners have plenty of automony, the money is not as good as it should be for the level of responsibility that they must accept. The average NP earns about $75,000 yearly, yet a bedside nurse with an ADN can earn that amount with overtime.
    Quote from BPPITT
    or... Better yet, take a stand and write the CEO of YOUR hospital. That's what I have decided to do. Why should I earn $20.99 per hour at night based on ideal staffing (i.e. six patients) IF I have eight or, sometimes, nine? I am NO mathematician, but I CAN do the math!
    To CEOs, nurses are expenses. They do not want to pay you anything more than they must, because it cuts into their profit margins. I'm being realistic when I declare that your letter will not get anywhere. .
    Quote from BPPITT
    Several recent postings addressed "rude" patients, colleagues (doctors and nurses), etc. You're ONLY a doormat IF you let yourself be!
    With the push for "customer service" by healthcare facilities today, the hospital expects the nurse to take abuse from patients and family members. Standing up to your colleagues is one thing, but standing up to cruel patients and abusive family members can get you fired quickly.

    I'm glad you are making your job work for you, but you obviously have much to learn. Please do not discount the personal experiences of seasoned nurses.
    Last edit by TheCommuter on Nov 28, '07
    Simba&NalasMom, Hygiene Queen, gcupid, and 26 others like this.
  4. 12
    Many MSNs earn significantly less than their BSN counterparts, especially if they decide to become a nurse educator or researcher.
    Over the years I have watched many friends get their MSN only to find that it did not buy all the opportunities or increased paychecks they thought it would. Most ended up back as floor nurses with big student loans.

    It is one of the terribly ironies in nursing that advanced degrees often do not equal more money. At least in my state.

    I love school and I'd go back for an MSN in a heartbeat if tuition was reasonable. But I'd have no delusions about it being the ticket to anything except love of learning.
    4hana9, AngelNurse2b, Designer NP, and 9 others like this.
  5. 8
    Well said Commuter! My first thoughts regarding that post were not nearly as nice or eloquent as yours!
    ASSEDO, SuesquatchRN, ohmeowzer RN, and 5 others like this.
  6. 1
    I see you are pursuing your MPH. I'm an MPH and was able to find a job with it, but have now gone back to school for my ADN. An MPH degree can be broad-based (health promotion/disease prevention) or more specifically skilled (biostatistics/epidemiology) - what track you choose will depend on what you want to do in your career.

    There is also the Masters in Health Administration degree - with an MSHA you could really stand up to hospital administration and maybe even legislatures! But the MPH makes you more of an advocate for the patients, and less for $$-makers.

    Your pursuing an MPH while being a nurse tells me that you, too, are experiencing some of the downsides of nursing, though.

    Anyway, I'm an MPH pursuing an ADN. The ADN is giving me the clinical knowledge I did not necessarily get with the MPH; but I'm becoming very skeptical of the bedside & what I'm hearing about the state of nursing today, after "big business" got to it.

    As an RN pursuing an MPH, you will now be getting the theoretical, health-program-development, and research foundation you will need for a satisfying non-bedside job in health.

    Good luck!

    P.S. And here's hoping for a return to the day when bedside nursing did not "suck".

    I can't comment on bedside experience myself, since I'm only a nursing student. But I can increasingly sense that it is not always a very happy place.... And I don't think I buy the "nursing is a calling" argument; because if we only depended on those who had a true "calling" to nursing, I think we'd have few nurses indeed! (We are only humans - not saints.)
    lindarn likes this.
  7. 5
    I shall also add that nursing does not "suck," in my opinion. I enjoy nursing overall, but it would be accurate to state that I absolutely despise specific aspects of this career pathway.

    It would also be fair to say that many of the burned-out nurses who have abandoned the profession might return if a few changes were made, such as increasing the pay to match the increasing accountability, and giving nursing staff significantly more control over the bedside.
    SuesquatchRN, Jo Dirt, ohmeowzer RN, and 2 others like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from marie-francoise
    Your pursuing an MPH while being a nurse tells me that you, too, are experiencing some of the downsides of nursing, though.
    Agree.

    I became a nurse at age 38. I've been around the block before. I don't think that "nursing sucks" and I don't think that my job sucks. My job is meaningful to me, pays *reasonably* well (though not commensurate with my responsibilities), and contributes to the greater good. I work with a group of co-workers who for the most part enjoy each other's company. This is far more than I can say for the budgets and spreadsheets that used to comprise my work day.

    However, certain things about my job do suck ... big time. And those things are related to systemic problems within health care and thus are not easily solved by a getting a different gig.

    Like many, I occasionally need to blow off steam about those intractable problems so that the top of my head does not explode.
    alibean likes this.
  9. 2
    Nursing does not suck.....but like all jobs you can be disatisfied with them at times.
    ohmeowzer RN and joprasklpn like this.
  10. 0
    I entered nursing at age 45. I've also been around the block a time or two. Worked varied jobs in varied arenas. Having done different things, I know how the world works and it works basically the same in health care as in business/other fields.

    Some day nursing does "suck", most days not. I know that smillar problems exist everywhere - same song, different verse.

    I guess sometimes a little maturity goes a long way (I could do with out the gray hair I picked up, but that's what L'Oreal is for).


    I'm not unhappy with nursing, I'm just thankful for allnurses as a chance to vent/talk and see we all have similar stuff going on.
  11. 1
    You go BPPITT! Make it better for everyone.

    I support you 100%. I really hope newer nurses will be more assertive than some of the previous generations. I would love to see you all rise up and win us all more respect and tolerable patient ratios. The problem as I see it in the past has been the few that speak up are not supported by the majority so any effort at changes falls apart. I hope to heck the newest generation of nurses do better.
    lindarn likes this.


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