"So you're an RN you must be earning big!"

  1. Certainly, I'm not the only one who gets irked whenever I hear this, am I? It's true that if we were to look at figures alone, we get paid a decent amount compared to other professions and that we enjoy benefits that are not available in other jobs. I'm just surprised a lot of people believe nurses are huge $$$ maker. My family and several of my patients think we earn a lot, but do we really?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to have this career and that I'm earning money, but is it unreasonable if I think nurses in general are actually underpaid? That our compensation barely matches the responsibility, stress, workload, and other things we put up with work (i.e. under-staffing, workplace politics, etc)?

    I wish I can say that each and every time I'm told I make so much money or that I must be living comfortably because I'm a nurse. I wish I am, but no. Nurses may earn a little more than some, but we have to really work our butts off day in and day out for every paycheck we get.
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  2. Visit _littlemissBSN profile page

    About _littlemissBSN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 29; Likes: 69
    from US

    67 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    I think everyone feels that way about their work, whatever line of work it happens to be.
  4. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from _littlemissBSN
    Certainly, I'm not the only one who gets irked whenever I hear this, am I? It's true that if we were to look at figures alone, we get paid a decent amount compared to other professions and that we enjoy benefits that are not available in other jobs. I'm just surprised a lot of people believe nurses are huge $$$ maker. My family and several of my patients think we earn a lot, but do we really?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to have this career and that I'm earning money, but is it unreasonable if I think nurses in general are actually underpaid? That our compensation barely matches the responsibility, stress, workload, and other things we put up with work (i.e. under-staffing, workplace politics, etc)?

    I wish I can say that each and every time I'm told I make so much money or that I must be living comfortably because I'm a nurse. I wish I am, but no. Nurses may earn a little more than some, but we have to really work our butts off day in and day out for every paycheck we get.
    Nurses make decent money relative to the education that is required, but "big money"? I laugh. I get that some of this kind of stuff is all "relative," but nevertheless, in no way are nurses "huge $$$ makers."
  5. by   LovingLife123
    I make enough money to contribute to my household. If I was single, it would've great money. Not so much with 3 kids, a house, cars, food, utilities. I live debt free too so I don't have any extra bills like credit cards.
  6. by   MunoRN
    We earn significantly more than the average bachelor's degree job, so it's certainly not incorrect for someone to say we make relatively good money.
  7. by   Everline
    I am employed by the state in a public health job. So I would just laugh heartily if anyone ever told me that.

    That being said, when compared to the salary of my non-nursing co-workers, I make a decent living.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I was earning enough toward the end of my career that I was able to tell my husband to go ahead and retire. I figured he'd cleaned all the toilets and repaired all the woodwork he should ever have to. Unfortunately that only lasted a couple of years, and things went south fast after I was let go from my last job. But until that time I made enough money to keep us both quite comfortable; our kids were grown and gone and we only needed one car, which was already paid for. It was a good time for us. Then he got pancreatic cancer and things took a very nasty turn, so even if I'd been able to continue my career I'd have had to cut back on hours and days so I could take care of him.
  9. by   sallyrnrrt
    With the same amount of education as my Bs mechanical engineer husband,
    I make 1/3 rd what he makes...... but choices are choices..... he could not do what I do, nor could I do what he does.....
  10. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    I was earning enough toward the end of my career that I was able to tell my husband to go ahead and retire. I figured he'd cleaned all the toilets and repaired all the woodwork he should ever have to. Unfortunately that only lasted a couple of years, and things went south fast after I was let go from my last job. But until that time I made enough money to keep us both quite comfortable; our kids were grown and gone and we only needed one car, which was already paid for. It was a good time for us. Then he got pancreatic cancer and things took a very nasty turn, so even if I'd been able to continue my career I'd have had to cut back on hours and days so I could take care of him.
    I'm sorry all this happened to you. Wishing you peace and blessings.
  11. by   hherrn
    I couldn't care less what somebody thinks about how much I make.

    Except hosptal administrators. Apparently, they think I make big bucks. No raises in God knows how lone.
  12. by   PeakRN
    I don't really care about people who think I make a lot of money. I chose to work in healthcare because I want to help people, but I went from EMS to nursing because I was tired of being paid almost nothing. I easily doubled my income after finishing nursing school. If I choose to pick up one over time shift a week I can easily make six figures a year, that isn't a thing in almost any other bachelor degree prepared profession (and our ADNs do this as well).

    I would also guess that I have more stress at work than many of the other bachelor prepared professions (although certainly not all).
  13. by   brownbook
    I've never heard any comments like that in my life!

    Maybe it's my generation but sex, money, religion, and politics are not discussed in polite company or even casually among family and friends.
  14. by   Serhilda
    Like the previous posters mentioned, it's subjective so I don't get irritated at all. I'll make more than most of my friends and family members, so from their perspective, I'm doing great.

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