What happens if we DON'T recommend nursing as a career? - page 2

by HazeK

5,922 Views | 61 Comments

Please recommend nursing to the smartest, kindest people you know! I'll be retiring in about 20 years and would like some skilled, caring nurses left working to take care of me and my children and my children's children! ... Read More


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    Sorry Mijourney, I have to agree with Nursedude on the idea of the salary. Why shouldn't we expect to be able to do the job and pay all the bills?

    Currently, I find that the money issue is secondary to the lousy working conditions though. Yes, I'd like to see a raise, but more importantly I'd like to be able to do my job right and get out on time. If I can't have that, then there'd better be a raise in pay. Why should any of us work like slaves and still not make enough to cover all the bills without scrimping all the time? I agree too that hospitals count on that submissive matronly attitude to rake in the money for THEM to live comfortably.

    I know, I am going to take some heat for this, but we need to take a stand on the wage issue as well as the working conditions issue. None of it would be so bad if the working conditions weren't so horrendous.
  2. 0
    Mijourney,

    I'm not sure...Did I detect almost a subtle hint of some type of compliment? Maybe I need more coffee...

    I couldn't agree with you more on these statements-"Discrimination and sexism, unfortunately, I feel has greatly impacted the progress of nursing. Nurses have been discriminated against for decades regarding working conditions and pay..." But....you "got my juices flowing" when you said "mainly because it is a profession predominated by females"...Here is my point(and I'll do my best to remain civil):

    On one hand you point out that nursing has been impacted by discrimination and sexism but on the other hand it sounds to me as if you condone the sexism and discrimination by saying "...and the nurse happened to be female, the customer, for the most part, would be turned off (rightly or wrongly, nurses are expected to be motherly toward the patient, physician, and support staff). This is also true for female physicians. In most societies, it is the woman that bears the burden of demonstrating "nuturing" characteristics due to cultural considerations..." What I am trying to say to you and saphie(and anyone else) is that statements like "Nursing is something that you should love to do, not something to pay the bills" are just as damaging to the nursing profession(if not worse) than the sexism and discrimination!!! I believe that statements and "beliefs" like those perpetuate the sexism and discrimination.

    "I'm not good enough", "I might loose my job if I vote for the union", "I could never do that", "The doctor might get upset so I won't call him", "I couldn't ask for a raise"..."Nursing is something that you should love to do, not something to pay the bills" are all self defeating statements that perpetuate the problems with nursing...

    And again,- I'll do my best to remain civil although I must admit that I am clenching my teeth at this moment, because I strongly and uterly feel that statements like saphie's are the exact thing that I am talking about- by her saying "Nursing is something that you should love to do, not something to pay the bills" has just further worsened an already bad situation...Certainly, nurses must always be compassionate and caring however, as a human being with equal rights as any other human being, they ought to be able to pay their bills regardless of their organs! I feel that her statement inches the profession of nursing further down the drain.

    IF I were the CEO where she worked I'd hire as many nurses that I could with that kind of mentality and then I'd tell them all how hard the medicare and HMO cutbacks hurt the hospital and then I'd tell them how sorry I was that there would be no raises this year...I'd then proceed to tell them how heartfelt their caring efforts were while I thought of ways to push my six figure income higher...

    I guess it's all about attitude...If you are "okay" working like a dog and you are "okay" with not being able to pay your bills then "okay" go ahead and do that. I however, am not "okay" with that and I will not do either of those...I feel that to do so is foolish.

    But what do I know? I mean, after all I am a man who is in the same gender as those men who "are, at this writing, the leaders of the world and thus the health care cost system..." and have the mentality of "inappropriately subordinating women"...

    Sorry if I crossed the lines of being civil...
  3. 0
    Oh yeah one more thing Mijourney...

    Could you please clarify how my assessment of saphie's statement could have been construed as sexist or discriminatory please?


    "I will tell you that I agree with your assessment that my statements could be taken as discriminatory and sexist. But then again, your assessment of Saphie's response could be equally construed the same."

    P.S. In addition to Meat, Cake and Ice-cream, I'd like a salad- Italian dressing, some oysters on the half shell and a seat with a view of the water next to the fireplace!!!

  4. 0
    Hi,
    Bunky, you hit it on the nail in a clear, concise manner. I especially like the fact that you pointed out that certain attributes of nurses are exploited for someone else's gain (in this case, not the patient)-I'm clenching my teeth over this. I feel we should shoot for the best of both worlds: respectable and respect-receiving, compassionate, caring, capable, competent, and knowledgeable nurses whose pay accords them more than living from paycheck to paycheck without milking the system dry as other providers are or seem to be. Remember bunky about making a living and not "a killing" out of health and medical care? In school I was taught that Florence Nightingale did nursing out of the goodness of her heart. But, I later heard and read in the media that she did it just for the pay. Can someone confirm this?

    Nursedude, thank you. Again, your "out of the box" thinking is what is needed to hopefully light some fire under our passive tendencies. Yes, I'm going to agree with you on many issues. I think that you make many valid points. I don't always agree with your "out of the box" approach or semantics on this forum as you and others don't always agree with mine. I guess it's all a matter of perception. I'm definitely not clenching my teeth over your posts (health problems dictate that I do this infrequently-yes, the practice of nursing has nawed and chewed me). You are entitled to your opinion. It's just a matter of sharing ideas and thoughts and hopefully coming to some common ground regarding major nursing issues while agreeing to disagree on other issues. The welfare of our patients and ourselves dictate that nurses find a solution to the problem, because "the system" won't. I have written in this bb before that I enjoy reading posts and responding. I think you do too in this particular area on nursing as a career.

    By the way, do you still have an active nursing license? Do you use your nursing experience to obtain work? Of course, not being active in nursing does not mean that you can't go and mentor and groom someone for nursing practice. You may also want to consider helping bunky in her effort to organize nurse activists. In addition, if you are not doing this already, I would encourage you to pursue a role as a facility administrator. It would be a relief to the nursing staff to know that someone whose been there and done that is their leader and would not seek to exploit them in their working conditions and pay and would want them to be confident and aggressive about what they can do and what they expect from the administrator. Many of the real decision makers in these facilities have no health care background. Getting back to mentoring, it would be great if those who advocate positive nurse activism would find at least one person to mentor, in his/her image, so that the future of patient care and the nursing profession would be more secure.

    [This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited September 16, 2000).]
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    Mijourney, Nursedude wouldn't last two minutes in an administrative role. Don't take offence at that Nursedude, but only butt kissers, "leave your conscience at the door", "amnesia" victim types need apply for those jobs. Nurse Managers and Supervisors who actually stand up for their staff soon get beaten down by higher ups due to budgeting issues. And it's funny how the position changes some people too. Friends who you once worked with take on a supervisory\management role and those same people who you remember complaining bitterly right along side you are all of a sudden the ones telling you to use your time more effectively. Voluntary amnesia: "If I don't agree that the staffing I'm providing sucks than it doesn't and somehow they'll manage it." He wouldn't stand a chance. As for grooming someone for nursing? I don't think he'd be recommending this career to anyone in the near future by the sounds of it.

    Although that article in the Chicago Tribune was tabloid style in it's sensationalistic titles, it would seem that it's catching some major attention and has gotten the issue at least on people's minds. Who knows, maybe help will be forthcoming as a result even if we must endure the humiliation first? Currently, I steer people clear of nursing, and the factual data in that article will likely scare off many more. Now is not a good time to be a nurse.
  6. 0
    MIjourney and Bunky,

    Hey...LOLROF...I appreciate the compliment Bunky. No, I doubt that I'd make any kind of hospital administrator because of the reasons stated by Bunky- "You won't find me sticking my head up anyone's dress."

    Mijourney, I do have an active license. Ocassionally- very ocassionally, I do work PRN in an ER near my home. I have also made some feeble attempts at starting a patient advocacy type of business that helps folks get reimbursement from their HMO's. As far as recruiting folks into nursing goes, well Bunky is right on that as well. When I left the ER I left behind a few friends- guys who both have a wife and kids...I FEEL SO BAD FOR THEM...They barely scrape by on what they earn. Needless to say they are trying desperately to get out of nursing. Why should any professional have to work 2 jobs in order to earn enough money to simply pay their bills??? Again, I wholeheartedly agree with you Mijourney that sexism and discrimination has taken its toll on the nursing profession and as a result (for me at least) I find that I can't afford to work as a nurse...That is why I am so adamant about the attitude that many nurses have about nursing being something you should love to do as opposed to getting paid for. That attitude makes it more difficult for my two friends and their families, and I'm sure that my two friends aren't the only ones. There are undoubtedly thousands of professional nurses all over the US who are getting shafted everyday. Last year, my friends in that ER got a raise- I'm guessing about 5 or 6 percent but from what they have told me they are making less take home pay than last year because of the increased cost of their medical/dental benefits!!! So tell me, why should anyone adopt the belief that the salary that their profession affords them shouldn't pay their their bills? That is just plain foolish. Based on that why would I recommend nursing to anyone?

    It seems as if somehow nursing is becoming a profession like that of hairdressers and manicursits(sp?). You need a license to do both but it's also very dificult to earn a living doing so. Based on all that I've said, just what kind of people would want to go into a profession where you earn less $$ than the year before???
  7. 0
    This is the thing that I don't understand about the whole profession. Why is it that with college educations we sometimes need to work two jobs? I honestly don't think that I live the high life. I don't have a new Caddy in the garage, (or ANY Caddy in the garage it's a 96 Neon that I am still paying for) and it's a garage attached to a rented home at that. I do take a trip home once in a while, like two years ago was my last such trip, discount airfare and no rental car or hotels for me. I am raising two kids on my own, and we don't have a lot of perks. They have decent clothes, and decent meals, but not a "Caviar Dreams" existence by anyone's standards.

    Why should it be like this? Why shouldn't we be able to expect a bit better than this? Why do we feel we owe our services to anyone without the pay to support a middle class life? It's great to help people, but why is it that the hospital admin rake in such large salaries because of our efforts and many of us find it necessary to take on a second job to afford life's little extras? And then to walk on the floor to find I have 9 patients is inexcuseable given the salary. I don't do this job just for the money, but I SHOULD be able to expect more than this for my efforts, and so should we all.
  8. 0
    Hey nursedude, come work in our level I ER..you'd be a riot!! And we sure could use it right now. Our nurse manager is bragging about her cost-cutting measures i.e. she hires a lot of new grads to avoid paying bigger bucks. Oh yeah, boy does that help out. I've worked in several states and overseas and it's all the same. By the way, what are you doing now? I will say, that at least in the ER where I work, the staffing (at least of RNs) is getting better. However, they got rid of transporters and now we get to trot all over the hospital to CT, xray, angio, etc. Coding someone in CT isn't fun and the techs aren't happy with the amt of blood and other things I leave behind. We have about 25% male RNs here so come on over!
  9. 0
    Hi nursedude,
    I am glad to see that I was correct about your potential for leadership and mentoring. Since you are not a traditionalist, these two qualities won't be approached in the traditional fashion as I alluded to in my previous post. You wrote that you had made a feeble attempt at starting a patient advocacy business. Leadership and mentoring are some of the attributes usually needed to become a successful entrepreneur. It also will take some "brown-nosing" or "net-working" to get what you want from people(Bunky, I understand where you're coming from, but this is how the "legitimate" money-making game is structured today with the exception of the lotto-as you know, nurses don't make enough money to invest a huge sum in our 401k or 403b plans). In addition, I feel that it will take all of the aforewritten qualities (clench your teeth) by the various posters, including you, nursedude, to be a successful entrepreneur in this day and time. By the way, how far did you get with your attempt in starting your business? Maybe, you can try again and stay with it for a while. Get your friends involved. It sounds like a worthwhile endeavor.

    Have you ever been a nurse manager or administrator before? If so, how did you fare? I have to admit, I'm surprised to read you still have an active nursing license in light of your feelings about nursing.
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    Read these links and weep (or vomit). Need I say anymore?

    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...67&image1.y=19

    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...80&image1.y=19

    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...63&image1.y=25


    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...37&image1.y=11

    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...ge1.x=36&image 1.y=18

    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...&image1.x=40&i mage1.y=21

    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...n&image1.x=44& image1.y=15

    http://swz.salary.com/layoutscripts/...ician+III&imag e1.x=87&image1.y=20

    I dunno, maybe I'm all wet...Maybe I should have gone and been a veterinarian? I could be birthing cattle and euthanising old horses for much more $$ than I do taking care of human beings!!!

    Mijourney, I started my biz and even advertised a little. I had a couple of friends interested but they realized as well as I did, rather suddenly that people are not willing to pay for help getting reimbursement from their HMO...Our society today just doesn't care. My two friends who helped me start - a nurse and a lawer have pretty much given up...I have one more thing I'm going to try with the whole idea and if it doesn't pan out, well I'll be closing the business. I agree with you Mijourney that it "sounds like a worthwile endeavor" but I don't think people care...


    Currently I work full-time for a software company on their helpdesk...I make more $ answering the phone than I did in the ER saving lives!!! Better hours, I don't have to pay anything for my family benefits, great 401K and other perks to boot! I am on the lowest rung on the ladder here and when I compare that to what my 10 years as an RN buys- there is NO competition...

    It's a damn shame...I really enjoy working as an RN in the ER but I cannot afford to do it. I have had a chance at management in the hospital- was assist mgr in ER and nope, I won't do that again maily because of the reasons previously suggested by Bunky. So I don't know. My perception and belief is that things aren't going to really change for the better for the nursing profession...Not until our society puts it's priorities in order...



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