I have been at my facility for 2 years now. I am not complaining about the work--we all know that it is exhausting, patients never satisfied, endlessly busy BUT....now that I have gotten to know some of the nurses at my hospital, it appears that they are POOR! I guess I might call them the working poor and this just does not seem right. My starting pay including diffs for nights is 19.00 per hour. Day shift makes about $18.00. I must also stress that everyone always says "well it is a low cost area of living". Well not entirely. My groceries cost the same here as they did in the city. While it is true that one can buy a very nice home for $180,000, there really is not much under 180k. Restaurant prices are the same. School supplies for my kids run about the same as those in the city. My car insurance is probably a little less but the price of the car was no different. What I am getting at is that there are nurses at my hospital that are in foreclosure. One I know has applied for food stamps. The reason is that we have not gotten raises now for 2 years. Also hours have been significantly cut. At the most I am able to get 32 hours per week. Our LPN's only get $10.75 per hour. I really do not know how they can live on that. I am considering getting a NP degrees online and leaving this area. The NP's around here start out at $23/hour I am told. Someone even thought that was really good! Are there any other poor nurses out there. I am sure someone will flame me and say be glad you have a job but I spent 14k to be able to do this!