Elementary school teachers earned about $13,600 more - page 2
from the hrsa report 7/2002 projected supply, demand, and shortages of registered nurses:2000-2020 declines in relative earnings: salaries are likely playing a role in the declining supply... Read More
Sep 15, '02as the demand for nurses becomes more severe their salaries and benefits will tend to increase. The best way for nurses to increase average compensation levels would be to push for higher levels of education and experience in order to enter the field (for example mandatory BSN's for all NEW nurses). This is what virtually every other well compensated profession has done from accountents to doctors. By legally controlling access to their professions with ever increasing educational requirements, they have created somewhat artificial shortages for their services. It's how the game is played in a capitalistic society. Nurses need to lobby, lobby, and then lobby some more espcially since powerful interests such as HMO's, and hospitals will be doing their own lobbying in ways not necessarily advantagious to nurses.
Sep 15, '02originally posted by margaretmary
from the hrsa report 7/2002 projected supply, demand, and shortages of registered nurses:2000-2020
declines in relative earnings:
salaries are likely playing a role in the declining supply of rns. while actual earnings for rns increased steadily from 1983 through 2000, "real" earnings -- the amount available after adjusting for inflation -- have been relatively flat since 1991. thus, on average, rns have seen no increase in purchasing power over the last 9 years. (see chart 7) in contrast, the average salary for elementary school teachers has always been greater than that for rns and is growing at a faster pace.  .in 1983, the average elementary school teacher earned about $4,400 more than the average rn; by 2000 this had grown to the point where elementary school teachers earned about $13,600 more. 
it makes me pretty darn angry. can you believe it!
and teachers have better retirement benefits to boot! i'm amazed there are any nurses left
Sep 15, '02It probably depends on the state. In Cali....I make more as a LVN than my best friend who just became a Principal.
What really burns me up? Celebs making more than ALL of us to entertain us!
Sep 15, '02Entry level into teaching is a bachelor's degree. My state requires teachers to earn a master's degree within 10 years from date of hire or they are fired. Teachers receive large salary increases for a master's degree, 6th year certificate (basically 30 credits beyond a master's degree) and, of course, for a PhD. In teaching, furthering your education is required, encouraged, and rewarded. In my town, teachers start in the low $30,000's and
the top step for a teacher with a masters & 6th year certificate is over $70,000.
Teachers were underpaid for years. When I first got married, I made thousands more as a secretary than my husband did as a teacher. Things have changed & teacher's salaries have increased tremendously. I'm married to a teacher and he is worth every penny he is paid -- and then some. Teaching affords a wonderful quality of life: great hours as well as weekends, summer, and holiday/holiday vacations off, good salary, and the best benefits.
I have three teenagers (begin the prayers now for me please) and all of them want to be teachers. I couldn't be happier. It is a much more family-friendly career than nursing.
Good thoughts out to all of you. Sue
Sep 15, '02I have several relatives that are teachers in Indiana and Illinois. In Illinois, teachers do not pay into social security, so whatever they put in their retirement plans throughout their careers is IT when they retire. They cannot collect soc sec when they retire, nor can they collect their spouses if their spouse dies. In the state of Indiana, I am pretty sure in the primary education level, a new teacher must obtain his/her Master's within so many years.
I have a three daughters, two in high school and one in grade school. The stories my 6th grader comes home with about what happens in her school amaze me. It's worse than high school! My sister-in-law who teaches fifth grade and who happens to use a wheelchair (she can walk short distances) was attacked last year by a 6th grader when she told him to leave another boy alone. He threw her up against the wall and had his forearm on her neck choking her when another teacher intervened. When they tried to reach his mom to come pick him up, her phone had been disconnected. Later when she arrived, it was discovered that she and her son were homeless and had been living out of her car for a month. And we wonder why kids are so angry these days? My God, this boy didn't even have a bed to sleep in! This is just one incident in that 180-day schedule that we all envy. These things happen every day! She has been a teacher for 25 yrs., has her Masters, and makes $50,000/yr. I have been a RN for 7 yrs, have an Assoc degree, and make $45,000/yr. My ex-BIL works in a car dealership finance dept for 3 yrs, has no college degree, and makes $100,000/yr. Go figure, huh.
Sep 15, '02Roland
I'm glad you brought up the supply and demand issue, because it doesn't seem to apply to nursing.
There is a huge demand right now, this is no artificial shortage this is real.
Yet wages are still not responding. Can anyone explain this?
I doubt that increasing the educational level and creating an artificial shortage could do any better than the real one we are experiencing. It would seem that wages should increase but it isn't happening.
What has happened is a whole new subset of "contract" nurses has evolved and hospitals are willingly paying them high wages, betting that the shortage will go away, and with it the contract nurses.
We just might see that happen if the economy continues to dive and more people get laid off, and turn to nursing as a second career.
I agree teachers and police, fire, nurses are not paid what they are worth. But this study just compaired nurses to elementary school teachers. And clearly nurses lost a lot of ground over the last ten years, with no real wage increase over that period.
The wage difference between elementary school teachers and nurses ( ON AVERAGE ) in 1983 was $4,400. By 2000 that difference had grown to $13,600.Last edit by margaretmary on Sep 15, '02
Sep 15, '02margaret--good point. Whatever DID happen to supply and demand?
When the supply of labor is short, working conditions are customarily improved, in addition to pay and benefits, until enough of these employees are hired (like the massages, flex hours and time off, and catered meals, etc. in Silicon Valley the last decade). Why does health care seem exempt from this?
The simple answer seems to be that there is a very large pool of people desiring, and paying for, healthcare (through insurance plans, Medicare, etc.), so the overall demand, and the $$$ are there. All that can be taken for granted by the healthcare industry.
But the people running the HMOs, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, those who make overall decisions about staffing levels, etc., are interested only in cost-cutting and short-term profits, so they continue to provide inadequately for their employees, the "nursing shortage" be damned.
These CEOs and other officers (and nurse managers and nurse supervisors who are focused only on kissing their butts) are protected from the undertreated patients and the angry staff, so it is not THEIR problem. They loudly tout "nursing shortage" as the excuse for not staffing their facilities adequately, meanwhile their HR and Nurse Recruiting departments tend to be at best indifferent to applicants, obviously in no hurry to fill vacancies.
As has been pointed out repeatedly on this bb THERE IS NO NURSING SHORTAGE. There are plenty of RNs in this country, but a whole lot of us are not willing to work in the dysfunctional and substandard environments that most hospitals today provide.
And since the insured continue to pay (or their employers continue to pay) ever-increasing premiums AND the hospital staff members aren't going on LONG strikes until suitable improvements are agreed upon in legally-binding contracts and then quickly implemented, the decision-makers see no problem. Just an occasional disgruntled employee who can easily be replaced. No big deal.Last edit by sjoe on Sep 16, '02
Sep 16, '02Susanmary I wish I could have taught in your stomping grounds! Especially if teaching is so family friendly! That was one reason why I bolted! I have found that most (not all) parents think that there child is treated unreasonable in school...and not working up to their full potential. And I, as the teacher, are held responsible. When their child disrupts or behaves...I am responsible ...for we are taught to deal with it in the classroom...not to send them to office. Document! Document! Document! For the parent NEVER believes their child of such behavior! (Because I am such a creative storyteller) So! Punish at school? Can't because hands are tied...Punish at home? No way? Child will hate parent. (Or whatever) The best motto is to keep your lips closed and do the best you can until the year ends. Far from family friendly. You can't tell a parent how to raise their child... First response at conferences while child is unruly...well, can you have him tested? I think he is probably just bored in class. Grrrrr! Parents want you to raise their child at school because many do not have time at home. Oh yeah, a 10yr requirement to get masters? Whew! Maybe I am thankful I did not teach in on your stomping grounds! They will "fire" you after a decade of work because you did not get a fifth year degree? Strange! Why not just make education at state college a 5yr degree program? My husband here in GA has his masters (by choice) and has taught 6yrs. He is not at 40,000 mark yet. I think it all depends on where you live when you begin comparing salary vs career. It is hard to say. All public professions are honorable...My heart goes out to the PD and FD...they risk LOSING their lives...and get paid nothing. Delivering a simple warrent can get ya killed! Sad.
Sep 16, '02Sherri, good point about SSI. My husband has to have an additional retirement plan. School system does not honor SSI. And yes. It is so sad to see kids angry. And they are. I would get in my car somedays and cry...especially when child's parent forgot to pick them A-GAIN! Then some parents you want to rip apart when their child goes missing from school for 20 days in a row A-Gain and the parent is clueless of their whereabouts...and it is sad to hear a fifteen yr old tell you she is ready to marry her boyfriend and have a baby to take care of...when she is wearing bedroom shoes to school. (?) Something to think about
Sep 16, '02HAVE had some effect upon nursing pay. Consider, that in my job market (Indianapolis) many hospitals are offering bonuses in excess of several thousand dollars for new RN's. However, when evaluating the impact of THE LAW of supply and demand economists look at, at least one additional factor. That being the availibility of SUBSTITUTES. Consider, that for a commodity service such as car washes if one place raises their price to high then people will substitute another car wash, or possibly just wash their car at home. This is contrasted with filing a divorce for instance. One can't substitute a paralegal for an attorney in most cases because paralegals are legally PROHIBITED from practicing law.
What substitutes do hospitals employ with regard to RN's (as opposed to paying the salary required to obtain a sufficient number given the relative shortage)? Among other things they may employ additional LPN's, medical assistents, or simply just leave positions vacant. This is a viable strategy (for the hospital) so long as the cost of employing this approach does not become too high. Things like law suits based upon nursing shortages or customer demand could alter the equation. In addition, LAWS which prohibit LPN's and others from performing duties traditionally associated with RN's would be helpful to RN's (in the same way that a paralegal is LEGALLY prevented from writing a contract).
Consider also that there are still MANY ASN programs out there. As these programs become relatively more scarce (if they do) the number of graduating RN's may decrease (cetaris paribus of course). Perhaps, THE NEXT step after getting mandatory BSN's would be to push for expanding the BSN program to a FIVE year duration. Pharmacists employed this strategy by expanding THEIR course of study from five to six years and it is beginning to pay dividends (interestingly the pharmacist went the accredidation route rather than legal route to gain this expansion). In addition, to the effect upon supply the additional year of classes such as organic chemistry, and advanced pathophysiology should serve to increase the relative level of respect accorded to RN's. This trend should only be accentuated over time as existing RN's who obtained licensure from diploma, and ASN programs retire. We may someday witness a time when becoming an RN requires an education comparible with becoming a Dr. today (that is if healthcare isn't nationalized first).
Sep 16, '02Another aspect of this whole discussion is "benefits." My sister is a public school teacher and we both have graduate degrees. Throughout our careers, I have always made more money in terms of "cash per year," but, when you figure it out by hour (summers off) and add in her benefits, she has always made more than me.
For example, her Master's Degree was totally paid for by the school district for which she works. She has always had better health care benefits that were totally paid for by the school district. Most of all, as a state employee, she is going to retire with 30 years of service (age 52) with a pension equal to 80% of her salary guaranteed for life, adjusted annually for inflation. I've never heard of a pension that good for nurses. Assuming she lives another 30 years, she will receive 2 years of pay for each year that she worked.
I was talking to the wife (nurse) of a teacher a couple of months ago who was complaining about her husband's low salary. I asked her what his benefits and retirement were and she didn't even know! I told her she had better check into that before assuming that he was actually being paid less than us nurses.
Sep 16, '02Once again...the key word is "state" salary and benefits. Not all states are alike!!!! How can you even compare? It's comparing apples to oranges! As for summers off...your salary is divided into 12mts...that is how you are paid for summers. Why are summers even relevant when you talk average salary? It is factored in with your yearly salary when teaching. And ok- not ALL school systems totally pay for health benefits! ha-that is a joke in GA. As for pension...I won't even go there. Realize...not all states have it so kosher. Much like Nursing...if it was a bed of roses you would not have a shortage. No one just leaves great pay, benefits, and wonderful environment...
Sep 20, '02Personally no one could pay me enough to be a teacher. The first time I had some kid call me a nasty name I would likely go to jail. Simple decent manners can go a long way, and it is my belief that is all but absent in many, many schools. Why? Because the kids know they can get away with it. My children were always taught that if they got in trouble at school they got in trouble at home too. I think that too many parents don't do this, from some of the behavior I have seen.
I flat know I could never be a teacher because I simply could not tolerate this. Not from ill mannered and ill behaved children. I grew up with an insistance on good manners, bad manners were not tolerated. My dad was a southern man and it was yes ma'am and no ma'am. One did not use an adult's first name, but called them Mr. Mrs. or Miss. If they said it was ok I could call them aunt or uncle, but that was as familiar as it got. People often thought my dad was that way because he was in the military, but that truly had nothing to do with it. It was a southern upbringing his mother gave him. To this day I still do alot of yes ma'am and no sir.
I'd rather be in an alzheimer's unit than in a class full of elementary students. (shudder, shudder)