the pay for nurses - page 2

why is the pay for nurses not so great..Nurses have to go through a lot of studying and training to be able to perform the type of job duties out there but they try to compare nurses to... Read More

  1. by   Genista
    If anyone read the posts in the general discussion area about nursing salaries, then you would recall it varies greatly from area to area. It is shocking how different the pay scale can vary! It even varies within one's own state. In California, where I live, I started out almost 5 years ago at $19/hr as a new grad RN (not counting shift diff), and now make over $30/hr. Of course, the cost of living out here is huge ("starter" homes average $340,000), so it doesn't go as far as you would think. But the pay out here is not bad for nurses. New grads start around $24/hr. It is even higher pay in the big cities.

    Bet0326- Maybe I should go to Florida and be a teacher! LOL! ;-) (You said, teachers make as much as Engineers). Out here, the average engineer is making close to a three figure annual salary!
    What kind of teaching is that anyway! ;-) Hee hee. Well, I admit wages differ from state to state (maybe engineers make less in your area). However, as someone who is about to enter a teaching credential program, I have done some research & new teachers here in CA (public school) start out at $36,000/year. Private school is paid less. Gee, I made $40,000 my first year as a nurse, and that was a part-time job, four 8 hr shifts/week, 5 years ago.

    I think teachers & nurses have a good deal in common. We both lack respect and fair pay, for one. I know I work hard as an RN, but I also respect the hard work teachers do, and the long hours they put in "off the clock" during the school year. Let's not be knocking the hard working teachers. We need to support one another. We ALL deserve fair pay for our hard work.

  2. by   bet0326
    Originally posted by kona2

    Bet0326- Maybe I should go to Florida and be a teacher! LOL! ;-) (You said, teachers make as much as Engineers). Out here, the average engineer is making close to a three figure annual salary!
    What kind of teaching is that anyway! ;-) Hee hee. Well, I admit wages differ from state to state (maybe engineers make less in your area). However, as someone who is about to enter a teaching credential program, I have done some research & new teachers here in CA (public school) start out at $36,000/year. Private school is paid less.
    Like I said, if you calculate it by hour.......with summer's off..........that's what I meant about the engineer stat. I actually got that from the state government here in florida. Considering that most people get paid salary (my best friend is an engineer and he started at $40,000 and worked 60 hours a week) and not hourly, pay by hour difers greatly depending on career. Most teachers work 8-3, five days a week for nine months.
  3. by   bet0326
    I'm not knocking teachers in any way. I have good friends that are teachers and I plan on one day being a nursing educator myself. I definitely think that they deserve more money. However, most of the teachers I know understand that they make very good money hourly. I mean as a bank officer I make $15 per hour and I have a finance degree and an excellent annual salary. It's all relative.
  4. by   bet0326
    $36,000 a year is $29 an hour for a teacher.
  5. by   EmeraldNYL
    BellaTerra, that's a very good point. Our society rewards athletes and movie stars, not nurses and teachers. And your point about Drs. was good too. A lot of Drs. in Pennsylvania are quitting because they can't afford the malpractice insurance. Does Julia Roberts REALLY need $20 million a movie???
  6. by   Genista
    I still disagree with those quotes about teacher pay. I happen to know a few teachers, and guess what... their job certainly does not end at 3 pm. There are many misconceptions about their job, just as many have misconceptions about nursing. My friends who teach work a 40 hour week (paid), but also put in several hours without pay each day and on weekends. Talk to some teachers, and you will find they put in 50 hours week with 40 hours of pay. The job doesn't end at 3 pm, like you may think. They still have to correct homework, make lesson plans, meet with parents, etc. Yes, this is the career they have chosen, but I hear many teachers resent the fact that others think their job is easy and ends at 3 pm. It reminds me of how many people think my day as an RN ends when my shift ends, when in fact, it might not...especially if I ran all day and didn't have time to do all that charting that is required and updating all those important care plans.

    Teachers in California require post graduate credentialling at a minimum. Therefore, it is 1-1.5 year post grad eduacation to become a teacher, if not a Master's degree. Yes, teachers get two months off in summer. So, they work 10 months a year. At $36,000 annually, that is $3600/month, or $900/week, or $22.50 an hour entry level pay.

    I guess that isn't terrible, but for someone with post graduate education, it's not great. ADN RNs, with a 2 year degree at least make that much starting out, where I live. My husband makes more than that as a journeyman carpenter.

    Again, my point is I think we are both (teachers and nurses) undervalued by society, and underpaid. We need to stick together.
  7. by   llg
    My sister is a teacher and she has always made more than I have, particularly when you also consider her benefits. Yes, she has a Master's Degree -- but 100% of her graduate education was paid for by the school district. I have a PhD, much of which was paid out of my pocket (some scholarships & government grants).

    The biggest difference is in retirement benefits. In 2 years, my sister will retire at the age of 52 with 80% of her salary guaranteed for the rest of her life, adjusted annually for inflation. Assuming she lives to be 82, she will have been paid 2 years for every year she actually taught!

    llg
  8. by   llg
    Ohhh... and I forgot to mention ....

    I figured out the other day that if I had simply come to my current hospital as a new grad with and ADN and stayed here that last 26 years as a staff nurse ... I would be making more money than I do now with a PhD in a leadership position.

    At my hospital, the retention bonuses, shift differentials, etc. are so high for the staff, that many, many staff nurses are making more than those in leadership positions, who are not eligible for bonuses, overtime pay, etc.

    In what other professions are people so blatently punished for furthering their educations and getting promoted?

    llg
  9. by   Genista
    llg-
    You make a good point about how nursing doesn't reward education. At my current job, if you work as a staff nurse, there is NO wage incentive for education. There is absolutely no extra pay for an advanced degree. And as far as I know, the management positions pay is not that great, when you consider they are salaried and put in some looooong hours. At least as a staff nurse, you get shift diff (8% pms, 20% nocs), holdiay pay, and wage increases.

    I am curious where your sister teaches & at what level, that she makes such good money? It seems that pay wise, I am better off as a staff nurse than a teacher here in CA. If I worked 40 hrs/week on my current wage (I don't), I would be pulling in $57,000/year. Beginning teachers make $36,000/year around here for 40 hrs/week (two months off in summer, though).

    It's not all about money. But I do think that people deserve a fair wage. I think it's a shame that you with a Phd are making less than a staff nurse. There's no justice in that. You have a higher knowledge base & experience that should be compensated.
  10. by   chelli73
    Originally posted by farmmom
    However the hospitals here stay pretty full staffed. [/B]
    I hope I can find work in Munster or Dyer!!! I am determined to move out that way ASAP!!!!!!
  11. by   llg
    Originally posted by kona2
    llg-
    I am curious where your sister teaches & at what level, that she makes such good money? It seems that pay wise, I am better off as a staff nurse than a teacher here in CA. If I worked 40 hrs/week on my current wage (I don't), I would be pulling in $57,000/year. Beginning teachers make $36,000/year around here for 40 hrs/week (two months off in summer, though).

    My sister teaches 2nd grade in a small town in Pennsylvania. When you look at the "cash per year," I have always made a little more than she has (currently, about $12,000 per year more.) However, she gets 3 months off in the summer,etc. so when you figure it out per day or per hour, we are paid approximately the same.

    However, she got 100% tuition reimbursement for her Master's Degree and excellent health care benefits, etc.

    Then you add in the big adjustment -- her retirement package. At age 51, she will reach her 30-year mark. Under her school districts contract, she will retire with 80% of her salary guarenteed for the rest of her life, adjusted yearly for inflation. At age 51! If she lives to be 81, she will have received 2 years of pay for every year she taught. Now, that's a lot more compensation that I'm getting.

    When you compared your salaries to those of the local teachers, how much did you consider their benefit packages and/or their actual hours worked?

    I don't feel all that sorry for teachers. Many (but not all, of course) have excellent benefits packages that they fail to mention when they complain about their low pay.

    llg
  12. by   colleen10
    I am enjoying all this discussion about nurses and teachers. I come from a family of two nurses and 4 teachers.

    Here in Pittsburgh new teachers have a couple of years in which they must get their Master's. They also get excellent benefits and retirement packages. Perhaps due to unions. I also commend teachers for all the energy they must put into teaching each of their classes. It is not easy to speak for hours on end and their day by no means ends at 3:00PM when the bell rings.

    I do think that nursing and teaching are very similar in that even when you have so many years of experience it doesn't really equal a higher hourly wage. We certainly know that most nurses with 25 years experience make little more than the new grad., if anything more at all. That is similar with teachers in this area too.

    For example, if you stay within the same school district you will get a merit increase each year, but say after 25 years you left to go to another school district you might not expect to receive a huge pay increase and would actually probably make a lower salary.

    I think that nurses and teachers are similar in that for them to significantly jump up the pay scale they would have to get a higher degree and move into a different type of role such as a manager or superintendent, resectively.

    I totally respect the work that teachers do but I do have a hard time feeling sorry for my relatives when I hear them complain about their jobs. They each make very good money for only working 9 months out of a year. They do work over time but just about every professional does.

    When I was in tradeshow marketing and HR I made about half of what they all made when they were my age, had to work 40+ hours a week year round and don't have any great benefits like a pension nor early retirement. And just as they don't receive over time I never recieved compensation for all the time I spent away from home sitting in airports or in hotels.

    I think teachers should make more money just because of what an important impact they have on society, but to compare them to other professions, I really don't think they have it so bad.
  13. by   llg
    Colleen10: Thanks for not flaming me. Sometimes, people are very touchy about this topic and I worried a little bit about putting myself into the discussion. I also think teaching is an important and noble profession and that teachers deserve to be paid well. It's just that I get a little sick and tired of always hearing the words, "poor" and "underpaid" whenever the word "teacher" is mentioned. I also get a little tired of all those TV commercials saying how wonderful teachers are. Some are wonderful (and I think my sister is probably an excellent one), but I know I had many that were not wonderful.

    Most of all, I am a little jealous that the community in general jumps all over teachers to praise them, yet gives so little respect to nurses.

    My sister and I have always compared compensation packages and she has always come out ahead of me -- in spite of the fact that she only has a Master's Degree (paid for by the tax payers) and I have a PhD (mostly paid for by me.) I am prepared to live with my choices ... but, sometimes the whining gets on my nerves.

    llg

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