As bad as they say??

  1. Is nursing as bad as others say it is? I just got through reading a thread about nurses saying that they would not reccommend the field. Either too much stress, too much dirty work, and unappreciated by coworkers. Is this true for an RN? Also many saying that the money is not up to par either. Is the salary for RNs overstated by salary.com?? I understand that entry-level pay would not be great money, but I would expect to start making more after 2-3 years of experience. With this experience does the stress/pressures ease up a bit? Any opinions and suggestions are appreciated as I am trying to find out if this is right for me or not.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Yes, nursing is a very hard career. Physically, emotionally and mentally draining. Always too much work to do. You have to make critical judgments and act fast.
    Most nurses pretty much run their butts off.

    I don't know about where you are, but where I live salary.com states the average RN makes $53,000. This is inaccurate. Most RNs here make beween $38,000-$40,000. LPNs make about $23,000-$26,000.

    Wages start ok, but then go flat. RNs with many years experience often make very close to what new grads make.

    Many nurse believe that there is no actual nursing shortage- just a shortage of nurses willing to put up with current working conditions.

    The woman who watches my house and feeds my cats when I'm away is a BSN RN. She worked critical care for several years, but says she had to get out of nursing in order to be happy in life. She now works full time as a pet sitter.

    Nursing has it's rewards, and some have found jobs that they love and they love their pay. This is not the norm, however.

    I would suggest reading the first year in nursing and general forums.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    The pay is dependent upon where you live. San Francisco has a high cost of living, so the RNs are paid nearly $40 per hour. A rural area in Middle America might pay an RN $18 to $23 per hour because the cost of living is cheaper.

    While nurses are the most trusted by the public, the truth is that nobody respects nurses (with the exception of other nurses). Doctors scream at you, managers are seeking to blame things on you, and there's always too much work to be completed inside of 8 or 12 hours.
  5. by   Tweety
    Yes it's true. But there's so much more. It's not for the faint hearted. But some of us have a passion for it despite the negativity. It's best to know what you're getting into.
  6. by   RN2MD
    Nursing is a difficult field. Little to no respect, low pay, hazardous working conditions. However, if nursing is yor passion then go for it. It definitely is not for the faint at heart.
  7. by   MajorDomo
    It all depends.
    As far as pay goes, nurses tend to be in the Middle class pay bracket wherever you live. After some experience you can do agency or travel nursing, but you have to ask yourself why can't this hospital keep local nurses. I have actually found that hospitals that have a better work environment tend to pay lower than other hospitals.
    As far as the work itself, bear with me here, think of pt care as a jigsaw puzzle in which we are responsible for completing. Anyone can come along and mess it up or lose a piece which you are responsible for finding. Somedays you can hardly get a couple pieces together, others you finish it flawlessly, most days are somewhere in between. Nurses are the middle men in healthcare, we deal lab, rad, docs, nutrition, PT, pharmacy, CNAs, ect....... along with doing direct pt care. So it gets frustrating sometimes when we get blamed for some other person's oops, docs included.
    As far as respect if you know your stuff and know there stuff, I have found that you gain respect of your collegues. From respect from pts, always remember that you get paid to put sharp pointy things into them.
    MajorDomo
  8. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from lancerRN
    Is nursing as bad as others say it is? I just got through reading a thread about nurses saying that they would not reccommend the field. Either too much stress, too much dirty work, and unappreciated by coworkers. Is this true for an RN? Also many saying that the money is not up to par either. Is the salary for RNs overstated by salary.com?? I understand that entry-level pay would not be great money, but I would expect to start making more after 2-3 years of experience. With this experience does the stress/pressures ease up a bit? Any opinions and suggestions are appreciated as I am trying to find out if this is right for me or not.
    Don't count on it. Nursing salaries start out pretty well, comparatively speaking, but they stay pretty well flat after that. Nursing doesn't reward education and experience the way other professions do. Unfortunate, but true.
  9. by   lancerRN2b
    WOW!! This sounds like a WONDERFUL profession! Not one has stated anything really positive here, except that it is "not for the faint at heart." Which means what by the way?? So if there is nothing positive in your field WHY ARE YOU IN IT??
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from lancerRN
    WOW!! This sounds like a WONDERFUL profession! Not one has stated anything really positive here, except that it is "not for the faint at heart." Which means what by the way?? So if there is nothing positive in your field WHY ARE YOU IN IT??

    I said "there's so much more"..........meaning the positives, which I thought too many to list. You're initial question was "is it as bad as they say".

    "Not for the faint-hearted" means it's not a cushy job. You have to be strong emotionally and physically and able to handle stress. People are sick and dying under your care. It's a blood and guts, smelly, stressful, back-breaking job. Best to know that from the get go. No need to sugar coat that for people considering nursing.

    As I suggested, many of us stay in nursing despite all that because we have a passion for caring for people when they aren't at their best, for teaching, for making a difference in people's lives. It also is a nice middle income, with the opportunity for variety and advancement, overtime and stability in the coming years.

    I'm sorry you didn't get that in my post, and I hope that I've clarified it.

    Also, remember this is a bulletin board where many of us come to talk about things, to vent our concerns, to share the negative so we can get help and cope. So it kind of skews nursing in a negative direction.

    Yes, there are plenty of nurses that hate nursing and wouldn't recommend it. I don't know why they stay in nursing. I'd like to know that myself.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 19, '05
  11. by   llg
    A lot depends on where you choose to live and the career path you choose to follow.

    In my area (where the cost of living is about average or slightly above), the pay for a staff nurse (ADN or BSN) ranges from about $35,000 to $60,000 depending on the amount of experience. If a person chooses to work a lot of night shifts, weekends, etc., the differentials will put them a little higher than that. The pay scales are not terribly flat and people with experience are rewarded. As someone earlier said, that puts nurses firmly in the "middle class."

    Salaries for nurses with Master's Degrees are a little higher, but not much because most of those positions are salaried and don't offer the opportunity to earn shift differentials and overtime.

    Working conditions, including interpersonal relationships, vary from setting to setting. They also vary between specialties. Nursing is such a broad field that you can find a wide range of experiences within it. Finding "your niche" can be difficult for some people, particularly when they live in communities with fewer choices or if they are unable to be flexible with the location and times of their work.

    There are a lot of positives about nursing and many of us have had long, satisfying careers in it. But it is not an easy job -- and people who enter the profession thinking that it is not going to be challenging are usually disappointed to find out how challenging it is.

    llg
  12. by   lancerRN2b
    Thanks Tweety and llg for your more clarified and in depth responses...it is better than hearing "nope not gonna happen" or "don't count on it" attitude. I am considering nursing as a male nurse and I found alot of information here. I just read a post about everyone discrediting nursing as a bad career choice unless you enjoy being yelled at and treated like dirt. So that really turned me off. I want to work in a productive, team-environment atmosphere. The "not-for-the-faint-at-heart" talk doesnt really phase me b/c I know why I am going into the field -to help and care for patients(PEOPLE). I know it is not glamourous and I look forward to a challenging career. I appreciate everyones post whether negative or not, but thanks to those who offer to give me some positive feedback for my career choices.
  13. by   DidiRN
    Quote from Hellllllo Nurse

    Wages start ok, but then go flat. RNs with many years experience often make very close to what new grads make.
    That used to be the case in my neck of the woods for several years. Now it's changed, and there is quite a gap now between myself and new grad wages. But that has only happened within the past couple of years.
  14. by   llg
    Quote from lancerRN
    I just read a post about everyone discrediting nursing as a bad career choice unless you enjoy being yelled at and treated like dirt. So that really turned me off. .
    You're welcome. I don't allow myself to be yelled at and treated like dirt. Therefore, it's not been something I have experienced much in my career. I wouldn't work in a place where that kind of behavior is the norm. Fortunately, there are lots of work environments that aren't that bad.

    You have to remember ... This is a forum where nurses come to vent about their bad day. The negative comments tend to outweigh the positive because people tend to "spew" more when they are unhappy.

    What is that old business adage? "A satisfied customer will tell 5 people. A dis-satisfied customer will tell 30 people." That same principle applies when reading websites such as this one.

    Good luck!
    llg

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