What is the complaint with nursing salaries? - page 5

I don't know, maybe I've been broke too long, but I hear alot of complaints about how you'll never get rich in nursing and how bad the pay is. Well, I look at it this way; I know nurses start out at... Read More

  1. by   kersti
    I think the complaint is like many of you have stated; it's not that it's a poor wage, it's the fact that [FONT=System]what we [FONT=Impact]do to earn that wage, the live or die decisions that we are faced with every day and the things that we see and are confronted with on a daily basis that most others don't even want to know about, that makes what we earn not nearly enough.
    That being said, most people that I know are doing this job out of a commitment to help others and make things better, more than for the money. But maybe that's part of the problem?
  2. by   NessaNurse
    I've been an RN <1yr. I get sick all the time (pedi is where I work) and yes the stress is very high. Sometimes I have tourble sleeping thinking I may have forgot something. SOmetimes I go home and cry becuase the oncoming shift made me feel like poo during report. And sometimes I got home happy because a pranet told me that I made thier day and that I'm the best nurse they ever had. Do I make ok money, yes. Do I make enough for the amount of crap I deal with, the hours I work, the amount of time I spend sick, and the stress I have..no..I will especially feel this way in a few years when I "top out" money wise and can only expect cost of living raises. ANd nurses with BSN and MSN dont make much more than me if they work floor, unles they are in managment. Well anyhow I like my job, but I would love to do do something nurse related that is less stressfull IMHO
  3. by   Sheri257
    The thing that bothers me most about the pay (or lack thereof) ... is that as an RN, you have close to the same amount of liability as a doctor without the same salary.

    If a doc screws up the med order, and you don't catch it, you're liable. If the doc refuses to give orders that the patient needs, you're still liable. It's your job to go over the doc's head and find another MD to get the orders the patient needs. Of course, there's not always time to do this, especially when the patient is crashing and dies.

    The only reason RN's don't get sued as much as docs is because they don't have the deep pockets that docs have. I guess in a twisted sort of way, this is one of the benefits of lower pay but, still, your license is on the line and you can get reported to the state board if things are screwed up ... which threatens your livelihood all together.

    This ... on top of all the stress, physical demands, grief from family members, hospitals that won't even invest basics like vitals machines that actually work, administrators who pressure RN's to quickly discharge patients who really shouldn't be discharged, etc. ... the list goes on and on ...

    Then add to all of this what is, at best, a mediocre salary ... and you know why a lot of RN's don't want to work bedside anymore.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 16, '05
  4. by   James Huffman
    Quote from lizz
    The thing that bothers me most about the pay (or lack thereof) ... is that as an RN, you have close to the same amount of liability as a doctor without the same salary.
    Most docs aren't on salary. Most of us are. That's a big difference, right there.

    The few docs who ARE on salary are paid what they are because the market is set by docs who are self-employed/business owners.

    Partial solution? More self-employed nurses. The more of us who are self-employed, independent contractors, or in other such pay "options," the higher the salary bar will go.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  5. by   Tweety
    It's all relative.

    When I was in nursing school working in Pizza Hut I couldn't wait to make $12.00/hr I would make as a nurse. And I might have made a post similar to the OP.

    Now I make $29.00/hr and don't complain, especially since it's steady and in demand (if I don't lose my license for some reason). I've made some killer paychecks over the years working OT. It's a nice middle income, but I'm also at the point when I hear of people making $17.00 to $20.00 in certain parts of the country, I think "NO WAY. for all that hard education and stress, working nights, weekends and holidays, I can't imagine such low pay!".

    But "you won't get rich in nursing" is true, but if you play your cards right, you'll be fine.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 16, '05
  6. by   fromTeacher2Nurse
    I graduate in May with my RN and I will be so blessed to be able to support myself and my son on what around here is very good pay. I guess if I lived in a higher cost area, I would not be as excited. I have struggled for the past two years and just to be able to buy shampoo AND conditioner in the same shopping trip seems like a luxury to me.

    EMMY

    I had to laugh out loud when I read this!!!!! Last night my 5 y.o. and I rolled all the pennies in his jar to buy a loaf of bread, and a scoop of ice cream as a treat for him. The day before I cleaned out the change in my uniform and had just enought for shampoo - not conditioner though!! :chuckle

    Oh well, this won't last forever, and we can look back on it and laugh!
  7. by   zenman
    Quote from fromTeacher2Nurse
    I had to laugh out loud when I read this!!!!! Last night my 5 y.o. and I rolled all the pennies in his jar to buy a loaf of bread, and a scoop of ice cream as a treat for him. The day before I cleaned out the change in my uniform and had just enought for shampoo - not conditioner though!! :chuckle

    Oh well, this won't last forever, and we can look back on it and laugh!
    Yes, and that's one reason we don't complain too much. I remember picking up coke bottles on the side of the road to get $7.00 to buy my first .22 cal rifles so I could hunt rabbits to eat.
  8. by   sweetielin
    i only make about 20,000/year. i was making it on that and doing ok until i had to have my transmission rebuilt. cost me $1200. now i can barely pay the bills.
  9. by   Tweety
    Quote from zenman
    Yes, and that's one reason we don't complain too much. I remember picking up coke bottles on the side of the road to get $7.00 to buy my first .22 cal rifles so I could hunt rabbits to eat.

    and trudging through six feet of snow uphill both ways.....
  10. by   ICURN_NC
    i'm a new grad, and i guess i'm still in that giddy stage of being able to pay rent and buy groceries and rent a movie- all from the same paycheck. i am able to live in a clean and safe area, and i'm able to send my son to the best school district in the state (which is also nationally ranked).

    but this is all coming from a girl who grew up really poor, so this is coming from my perspective.

    but i still think we are, as a group, underpaid and we top out way too fast. not exactly sure what to do about that. i've been looking into getting my bsn, now i'm not so sure- doesn't seem like the monetary payoff will be worth the investment (although the intellectual payoff would be). if anyone has done it let me know if it was worth it.

    s
  11. by   LisaRRT
    I am in the same boat as the poster who worked in the TP factory. I worked for a "fortune 500" manufacturing company on the factory floor (making, packing, & shipping liqud detergent) making $49,000/yr with five weeks paid vacation plus a host of other benfits. I left. I missed health care so much that I gave all of that up to go back to a field where I will most likely never reach the pay and benefits I would have if I had stayed in the factory. The retirement package that I left makes me want to cry sometimes when I think about it, but you know what; I love the health care field, despite the lower pay, benefits, retirement, and all.

    Lisa RRT, and soon to be RN too.
  12. by   hipab4hands
    fromm where I sit and can see: Hospitals always seem to have PLENTY to splurge on gifts and "extras" for dr's at Christmas and throughout the year--- no end of money is spent on oppulent decor for the lobbies, hallways, and even patient rooms, and they seem to find some money to spend on other appointments that are showy and loud----yes, they seem to have plenty to spend on things that are not critical to patient care. Why not take care of another "asset"---your employees"? Answer: nurses are seen as LIABILITIES, not ASSETS. Simple as that.[/quote]

    Exactly, I've been on 2 job interviews this week. One medical corporation made 1.2 Billion dollars in profit last year and the other smaller company made over 10 million dollars.
    Both companies told me that I should expect to be paid less, becuase I would work in an outpatient setting and won't have to work weekends. When I asked if their hospital based nurses, who don't work weekends, are paid less also, I was told by the interviewer "Of course not".
    When I tried to clarify with the interviewer what I was hearing, ie- my RN license and experience are valued less by the company ONLY because I would work in an outpatient setting--the interviewer refused to answer.
    Obviously, I don't want to work for any company, who are not only disrepectful of thier employees, but also doesn't see them as an asset.
  13. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from EdBSN09
    SmilingBluEyes:

    Thank you, Deb (if I may call you by your first name). I appreciate your interest. I will definitely still be around here in five years. I hope to have positive things to report about my progress in the healthcare field. :-)

    I've also thought about the possibility of hospitals increasing the use of unlicensed personnel. But with the increasing frequency of lawsuits, I'm not sure that the hospitals want to open themselves up to the liability of having even more unlicensed professionals around. I just don't see that happening. Granted, I'm young and inexperienced, but from the reading I've done and the people I've talked to, this seems like one of the less likely options for health facilities. Procedures can only become more complex, as well, and I would think that it would require more skilled, licensed professionals rather than less. I hope I'm right, at least.

    And as far as immigrant workers--I don't think that's as big of a threat as it's made out to be. The information technology industry has seen a similar trend. There was, and is, a shortage of highly-skilled IT workers in this country, and there are a huge number of people from other countries working in the U.S. under H1-B visas to help fill the gap. And IT jobs are often some of the best-paying jobs out there, with above-average wages, benefits, and relatively good employment prospects. Many people said that the immigrant workers would drag down the profession as a whole, but it hasn't happened, and the trends aren't pointing that way, either. The situation for nursing will likely be similar. My hospital employs a decent number of immigrant workers, and they're paid the same salary as the other RNs. My hospital has also bumped up the pay ranges for the third time this year (from $16.55 to $17.20 base for GNs, who move to the Tier II pay range after a year, which is $20.85/hr).

    I'm just not sure where I want to take my career after staff nursing, though. I really enjoy information technology, so I've thought about pursuing a degree in computer science or management info systems and helping hospitals utilize their technology more effectively (to make it easier on the staff and on management). This is one place where I personally see a lot of room for improvement in our profession. I just want to make a difference--whether it's one life at a time or for entire hospital systems, I haven't yet decided. :-)

    It will certainly be interesting to see where we are in 10 years, though. The healthcare landscape will most certainly be different than it is now. I hope for the better.
    I totally agree with what Deb said. But as for concerns about law suits curtailing the trend of more and more nursing taks being done by UAPs, I don't agree.

    Hospitals and doctors are addresing this by aggresively lobbying for caps on malpractice lawsuits, and they've succeeded.

    Also, quite a few hospitals go dirctly overseas for nurses, without even attempting to hire in there local area.

    I posted an article on allnurses not too long ago concerning this. U of Va hospital officials had discarded 200 applications from area nurses, proclaiming them "unqualified" for staff positions, then imported nurses for direct hire from The Phillipines.

    In my area of Texas, this has happened, as well.

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