TMnurse, are not CRNA's actually considered an NP sub-specialty in many states? In addition, are not both areas involved with patient care? It would be like saying that becoming an MDA has nothing to do with being an M.D. . Also whats wrong with wanting to maximize economic rewards? Granted, it shouldn't be your only motivation, but our very nation was built upon the notion of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness (many don't know that there was a real debate when the constitution was drafted to make it life, liberty and PROPERTY rather than happiness because they were seen as largely one and the same). Granted, if you are going to be happy you should take more than financial reward into consideration. However, consider some of the things that are determined by your salary or economic wealth in no particular order:
1. Where you can live. Warm places that are considered nice to live at are more generally more expensive than ones that are less so at least as a rule. Thus, if like me you would like to move to HA. from Indiana, money will play a large role in whether or not that can happen.
2. Where your kids get to go to school. Even around here the better private schools are over ten thousand per year. I want my child to have the best education possible. Granted, I'm probably leaning towards homeschooling, but if this is not possible then I want to be able to afford a top of the line private school. In addition, what will be the cost of higher education in about fifteen years when my son is ready to go to school. Will I have to tell him that you don't get to go to college because daddy didn't become a CRNA (frankly I don't think CRNA's earn enough to pay for college, but at least it's closer to what's needed) when he had the chance?
3. How late in life you have to work. Make more money and maybe you can retire at 55 instead of sixty five and do something besides work like a dog for a few years! Also how MUCH you have to work. I know people that never see their kids because they have to work a hundred hours per week just to pay their basic bills. In general earning a higher salary (such as what is earned by CRNA's relative to NP's) means being able to work a little less, and spend a little more time with your family. How much is an extra five hours per week with your kids worth if it is made possible by being a CRNA over an NP? Maybe being a CRNA instead of an NP means that one parent can stay home with the kids instead of even HAVING to work. How much is that worth? Most jobs today don't pay enough in order to make this even a consideration.
4. How much (and if at all) you get to travel. I don't know about you but I would like to see more of the world some day. Europe, Asia and Oceania just to name a few of the places which aren't cheap. It would be nice to participate in groups like Nurses Without Borders, but I don't think that they pay much. Thus, to participate in projects like that SOMETHING has to be paying the bills when you are earning money.
5. What you are able to accomplish with regard to charitable donations and initiatives. Even being relatively poor I have managed to buy our local volunteer fire dept a few things like automated AED's (okay alot of it came from family and friends). If I had more I could and would do more. Consider, that Americans donate more monies to charities than any other nation on Earth.
6. The money you have affects the healthcare you are able to access. Try getting a heart transplant without money or insurance that will pay for the procedure (true there are examples of where it occurs, but there are others where it doesn't). Imagine your child or spouse needing healthcare not covered by your insurance and not being able to afford what was needed for optimal outcomes.
7. The money you make affects what you get to eat! I love organic food, and believe it to generally be much healthier to consume. However, we just cannot afford it on our current budget. This could have ramifications for both myself and my family.
8. Dental care, dental care, dental care, most insurance plans don't do a very good job of covering this and it is VERY expensive. Despite flossing, using Listerine (okay the Wall-Mart gernic version) and rinsing with Hydrogent Peroxide I STILL have to get root canals and crowns on a regular basis at about $1,500 per pop. MANY people end up with dentures because they literally cannot afford to KEEP their teeth.
9. I would like to be able to have a nice boat, telescope, mass spectromiter, particle accelerator and other lab equipment to pursue various scientific experiments that I consider worth-while and fascinating. It goes without saying that such things are not cheap!
10. Things you would never even think about, but that can have literal life impacting influence. Consider, that some of the soldiers in Iraq ONLY had the ceramic, bullet proof vests because their families purchased them for the soldiers (there just were not enough of the governmental issued ones to go around). Now I haven't done a scientific study, but I will wager that many of the soldiers who got the vests for Christmas had families who tended to earn more money. I read about a police officer who lost a police dog to an accidental shooting. He indicated that he had wanted for YEARS to purchase a bullet proof vest for his dog, but couldn't afford the muti-thousand dollar price tag. For that matter imagine if policemen and women could afford BULLET proof glass? How many less widows, and childless father's would there be in America today?
The bottom line is that economics affects virtually every aspect of your life in one way or another (and that of those whom you love). Most of the time we are not even conciously aware of its ever pervasive influence. This doesn't justify acting in an illegal or unethical manner in order to obtain wealth, BUT no one should ever apologize for placing a high priority on economic return. I sure many of you own stock as part of your retirement funds. Those corporations would instantly fire any CEO who indicated that their company wasn't in their business of choice in order to earn the best profit possible. All of the "wonder" drugs made by Liffy, Pfizer, Merck and others were created primarily not to help people, but to earn the BEST profit possible (and thankfully people are USUALLY helped in the process). Maybe it's my conservative, libertarian background, but I bristle whenever someone expresses hostility for being motivated by economic interests. It honestly strikes me as MORALLY wrong and often correlates with socialistic like beliefs.