are male nurses satisfied with their jobs, and salaries?

  1. Hello, I have a few quick questions for all the male nurses out there. Im currently a senior at BC majoring in Nutrition, however am seriously considering Nursing. From your experience, are males overall satisfied with nursing, both workwise, and money wise, and where would be a good place to reasearch this a little more?
    Thanks alot,Alex
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Hodge
    Nursing salaries vary by location but you will never get rich with nursing! I recently gave up a lucrative position in a company were I was a regional VP (call it a late 20's midlife crisis but I figured out that money is not everything....) to finish up my pre-reqs and start nurisng school next fall. Although I still do some consulting, I do not regret my decision one bit. As far as researching, there are some good books out there. I just finished reading "Nursing Against the Odds" and it was an eye opener. Another thing about nursing is offers a nice springboard to other areas.
  4. by   nursemike
    I think it depends a lot on where you're starting from. I was a carpenter for many years before I went into healthcare. The hourly rates for carpenters and nurses are comparable--nursing is a little higher than the going rate around here--but the huge difference is in annual income. In a sluggish market, carpentry is a tough way to make a living, and while our local market is hot, now, it won't always be. Nursing is a lot more secure.

    Before I started nursing school, I made just over 17K working 32 hrs/wk, plus extra time, as an orderly. That's as much as I ever made as a carpenter, although 17K was pretty decent money in the late 70's. In more recent dollars, I did about as well pushing beds as I did pounding nails, and got a check every other week, instead of feast or famine.

    As a nurse, my hourly wage is double what it was as a UAP, and since I can work full time, I'm making triple what I did while I was in school. So 43-44 thousand seems like pretty good money, especially with a 2 yr degree. More to the point, I'm loving my job. There are things I miss about carpentry. Seeing tangible results of my effort is a big one. You do see patients improve, sometimes, but stays are so short that you rarely get to see a patient fully recovered. On my unit, they often leave by ambulance for rehab or LTC. What one of the clerks I work with calls "back-door discharges" (via the morgue) are not that uncommon, either, and while I haven't yet had one of those that I've taken too personally, they all have an impact. The first time a patient under my care expired, it was during report, before I'd ever seen him, and he was on palliative care. It wasn't unexpected, and I wasn't personally invested, but still...

    On the other hand, I worked an extra shift, last night. There had been some call offs, and I like to be a team player, and time-and-a-half is not too shabby. I was a little tired when I got there, but the nurse who reported to me said that the patient I'd admitted the night before was really pleased to hear I would be her nurse again last night. You don't get that kind of boost all the time, but even occassionally is pretty darned nice.

    In short (too late!), the money ain't bad, if you are used to living modestly. The work is hard, can be frustrating, and is guaranteed to scare you from time to time, but it can also be supremely satisfying, and is nearly always worth doing. Charting sure sucks, though.
  5. by   mak2
    I have been a welder, truck dirver, US Marine. a salesman, small buisness manager, and several other jobs. The sales job I was approaching 6 figures, and some of the others were very good money. But now I make 60k +. Work less hours, exactly 40, and whenever I want to work them. At no other time in the last 33 years of my work life have I made as much difference in the lifes of other people than I did on day shift today. It was just an average day. Yea, I like being a nurse.
  6. by   nursemike
    Quote from mak2
    I have been a welder, truck dirver, US Marine. a salesman, small buisness manager, and several other jobs. The sales job I was approaching 6 figures, and some of the others were very good money. But now I make 60k +. Work less hours, exactly 40, and whenever I want to work them. At no other time in the last 33 years of my work life have I made as much difference in the lifes of other people than I did on day shift today. It was just an average day. Yea, I like being a nurse.
    On the other hand, a guy I graduated with in May isn't loving bedside nursing all that much and has been looking into a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep, which will pay six figures. There are a whole bunch of ways to make a living as a nurse, which is something else to consider.
  7. by   mak2
    Quote from nursemike
    On the other hand, a guy I graduated with in May isn't loving bedside nursing all that much and has been looking into a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep, which will pay six figures. There are a whole bunch of ways to make a living as a nurse, which is something else to consider.
    Note what I said about the sales job and the title line. It really is about the money. I know some pharm sales guys that make 6 digits + and more power and cash to them. This field is just so wide open to males you can have the cash and the extra time with the family. Name another field you can do that. I really am a big nursing fan and I have been doing it for 15 years. No burn out yet.
  8. by   Alexbk44
    Cool, you guys got my attention with that last 6+figures idea, and I really appreciate your responses. However does one have to have a nursing degree in order to become a pharm sales guy, and if so then Im guessing a degree from a good college like NYU would go a longer way in getting this type of job, as opposed to a degree from an online shcool, or a community college .
    Thanks,Alex
    Quote from mak2
    Note what I said about the sales job and the title line. It really is about the money. I know some pharm sales guys that make 6 digits + and more power and cash to them. This field is just so wide open to males you can have the cash and the extra time with the family. Name another field you can do that. I really am a big nursing fan and I have been doing it for 15 years. No burn out yet.
  9. by   TNRNMAN
    Quote from Alexbk44
    Cool, you guys got my attention with that last 6+figures idea, and I really appreciate your responses. However does one have to have a nursing degree in order to become a pharm sales guy, and if so then Im guessing a degree from a good college like NYU would go a longer way in getting this type of job, as opposed to a degree from an online shcool, or a community college .
    Thanks,Alex
    IF you are young and just getting out of college, you could be making alot of money if thats what your after I dont see you make alot with nutrition unless you write a book, Nursing is so wide open, if you are single get one year expericnce in a CCU or ER and work hard as much as you can get in on every different case you can get your hands on everything you can and then hit the road yeah thats right travel the country and see the states and make a killing doing it. I have a friend that just came back from an assignment and pulled 30,000 in one month yes it is not a mistake one month, special situation, but it is out there and the field is ripe. GO GET IT. NURSING ALL THE WAY>> I have to add a disclaimer that nursing should not be about money only but caring and safety of the patient and mankind.
  10. by   nursemike
    I have to agree with Hodge that you'll (generally) never get rich being a nurse. Opportunities abound to make a decent living, but big bucks are less typical. I've known floor nurses in my area who've made close to six figs with some experience and working lots of on-call--I'm happy to do my schedule and the occassional extra shift. I've heard of jobs in some areas that get close to that money ($50/hr x 2000 hrs= 100,000), but the cost of living is also pretty high. I think some travel nurses get close to 50/hr, too.

    I'm not sure a nursing degree is required for pharm rep, but it seems to be preferred. I suppose many MDs wouldn't work that cheap. My friend has an ASN and is finishing a degree in Health Management. He and I attended a community college within a small university that not many outside our state have probably heard of. I think some employers may view online degrees as suspect, but a degree from any accreditted school and a license will get you into nursing.

    I strongly recommend a year or two in a med-surg setting before going into critical care or a specialty. A lot of people are going straight into ICU or ER, and I suppose most do well, but I'm finding that school mostly prepares you to learn the job on the job. I'm working on the floor where I worked as an unlicensed assistant, so I know everyone, and that has been a huge help. I was nearly a straight A student in school (couple of B's my last semester, when the strain of working 3 days a week and going to school 4 days a week started getting to me--I'm 49, by the way), but nursing in the real world is hard. I really like it--I'm learning things every day--but I see some fairly complex patients in a floor setting. Critical care patients can go bad in a heartbeat (or lack thereof).

    I also agree that if money is your main incentive, nursing is probably not the place to be. I'm no martyr, but I do think your heart has to be in it to be a decent nurse. The cliche is that nursing is both a science and an art, but it's true. Really good nurses work a lot by instinct (backed by evidence) and like any art, there's a certain amount of pain in the process.
  11. by   shyboy
    I'm LPN and currently working in an intermediate care facility here in BC, Canada. I find my work very light and less stressfull than what I used to do as a joinery designer for a boat company. I am satisfied with what I am recieving right now plus the benifits I am getting. I enjoy wotking with the elderly and have been accepting some shifts from other LTC facilities as casual. I have been told that nursing is a very stressful jobs, but in my case, so far so good. Maybe it depends where you work and who you work with. I'm just lucky.:wink2:
  12. by   RCRN
    I'm pretty satisfied in my career. I make OK money. Someone posted that nurses will never get rich. Well, that all depends on ones idea of rich. Currently I'm pursuing my BSN then onto CRNA. My wife is pursuing her nurse practitioner degree. These two salaries combined will net a nice chunk of change. One thing we nurses have going for us is the ability to work more shifts and overtime. Most hospitals offer incentive pay, $10/hr more where I work, for extra shifts. This adds up. I will venture to say that a nurses salary can be easily above average.

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