A Poll of actual RN wages in the U. S. for nurses working directly at the bedside - page 2

To get an overall basic view of salaries in the United States as well as a rough average of salaries please take part. This is for nurses who perform the duties as outlined by many clinical based... Read More

  1. by   BrandyBSN
    Yeah, it is rather depressing. And to make it worse, my student loan payment is 570 dollars a month for the next 10 years, which is practically an entire week's salary. I am the first in my family to complete a 4 year degree, so this SEEMS like a large amount of money. But then you factor in the house payments, other living expenses, car payment, insurance, and there is not a great deal left.

    I plan to keep "hanging in here". I dont give up easy. If later on, and I continue to feel discontent, there are always other avenues to go down. All of those management classes had to be good for something

  2. by   thisnurse
    i agree with everything you say, but in brandy's case you have to remembers something...its hard to get higher paid jobs with NO experience.
    thats what i am working on right now....getting enough experience to go to something better.
    you think i like med surg? hell no....but im learning a lot. i am taking the next year and applying myself to get the most out of it.

    youre absolutely right in all you say. i have a friend that cleans houses and makes more than i do.

    im curious...what are you saying nurses should do?
    i talk to many of my coworkers on other units. nobody is satisfied with their wages. but NOBODY does anything other than bytch.
    so maybe in the whole hospital 2 nurses (including myself) are willing to do speak out. we have no backing. its futile trying to get support from other nurses.
    its for this reason that i cant/wont stay a bedside nurse.
    im going to get 2 years experience in and then become a free agent. (maybe less)
    thats the ONLY way we are going to get paid anything that even resembles what we are worth.

    i understand your passion about this subject. i get so damn angry because we LET ourselves be treated the way we are. its frustrating. but remember, not everyone is in the same place as you.

    brandi...congrats on the job. learn all you can then move UP to something else.
  3. by   WashYaHands

    Nice to see you posting again. Congrats on the new job!

  4. by   BrandyBSN
    Thanks Linda This semester has been a little over-the-top towards the end. Its over on the 18th, then I will be back on the boards in my fully-opinionated-fashion

  5. by   RNKitty
    Originally posted by wildtime88
    I agree, time is precious not just to spend with kids but also in every aspect of life.

    So as an agency nurse you can work less than you do now and make the same amount of money. This equals being able to spend more time doing anything you enjoy.

    The same can be said if salaries were to be raised to an appropriate level. Instead of working full time, one could opt to work part time. You could bring in the same income and work less again using the extra time to do what ever you choose to do with it.

    Agency also has the added benefit of not having to work the family/child centered holidays unless you choose to do so.
    Thank GOD there are nurses like you in the field who can eloquently express these views. I agree with you that we are not compensated for our knowledge/liability. The best thing that happened to nursing salaries is when men entered the field - not because of pay discrepancies (which I haven't seen) but because men are more assertive and more likely to be leaders. Too many women make martyrs of themselves.
  6. by   RNKitty
    Originally posted by nurs4kids
    You gotta think like wildtime. He did not intend to imply you should become agency and/or spend less time with your kids. His message is simple; Until we loose that "contentment" with our conditions and salaries, we will continue to be behind. Just because I'm happy with my job and I make more than I did working fast food, should I be CONTENT with my salary??? Absolutely not! If our wages were what they should be, we'd automatically recruit more people into nursing, including all the nurses that left the field for more lucrative careers. If our wages were what they should be, we'd have enough staff that we wouldn't have to work OT AND we'd have enough money that we wouldn't have to work OT. Less or no OT means more time with the kiddies.
    I agree. How would you suggest we convince management to pay us what we are worth? I have left two jobs because of poor staffing/compensation and mandatory overtime/oncall. Does it change anything? Not for the nurses willing to work under those conditions. How about pay? You can only be so hard-nosed when you really don't need the job. I'm all for unions, but for some reason these NY hospitals are antiunion. Since I only work 1-2 days a week, I don't have the energy to devote to revolution.
  7. by   wildtime88
    Sorry, but men are not the answer as of yet to the problem. This is still a highly female dominated profession.

    Men who speak out are quickly branded as either loud mouthed, uncaring, non compassionate, non caring, sexist, radical, or any number of other names.

    As a man, I have negotiated deals for myself which have been highly beneficial, but I have had to stay within the acceptable boundaries of prevailing female attitudes and boundaries. I have been able to push the boundaries, but by only so far.

    It is going to take a consorted effort on everyone's part to change things.

    This very much like a chain in that it is only as strong as its weakest link. Nurses who are content in their surroundings be it pay, nurse to patient ratio, mandatory OT, poor benefits, general working conditions, etc.. are the weak point in the chain. In other words, they will give up and break the chain when pressure is applied leaving fragments and less of a chain to work with in order to succeed.

    If you want to see change and really have it amount to something then you have to focus on the weak links and some how strengthen them. You have to either bolster their confidence and resolve, change their attitudes, or in some other way get their attention and make sure they personally understand that they are preventing change by their actions.

    In other words, you have to make them accountable for not just what they are doing to themselves, but also what they are doing to you in the present and with your personal and professional future.

    Individual nurses did not make the rules that put us into the mess that we live in everyday, but they did allow it to happen and continue. Each time an individual nurse says OK to something be it an added patient or to mop the floor or what ever. They set a president for someone else to say, well so and so did it, or even worse to hear, well I did it. This sets up a lot of people for the use of the old shame tactic that works very well on a lot of people who want to be team player and fit in or not considered lazy. Thus the president soon becomes the norm for all and it just continues to get worse every time someone caves in.

    So if you really want to see a change for the better than you need to focus first on the ones who continue to change things for the worse.

    I know that this sounds a little harsh and out of bounds in some female minds, but it is the reality.
  8. by   funnynurse
    I chose to go casual which is the best decision I ever made! You work when you want to work and the pay is waaay better (you can even still get shift diff!) If you don't need the insurance it is the way to go.
  9. by   Teshiee
    i think the coolest thing about working registry is the freedom. to work when one wants to. just think most things hospitals give you can purchase yourself. i know lots of us have children and i understand that completely. i just hate being a slave to a job. some of the down falls are when the census gets low you really start to feel it. you end up working in areas you may not want to work. depending who the staffer is they may try to send you to some place out of your way or where you do not want to go. for those who noticed your are taxed far more than regular time hospital. base on what your needs are registry can be for you fulltime or just occasional. i wouldn't recommend a new grad doing just for at least a year. i know there are registries that wont hire you but if you lie and say otherwise they are not going to check. they will make sure your license is current. i rather do both. :d :d :d
  10. by   shanzah
    Brandy, you will be making 15.83 when you graduate!!!! I make 16.23 and I've been doing my job for 10+ years..... how do ya like them odds.......oh, I have worked where I made more, but it was agency and I got tired of travelling, besides, I still have kids at home too.
  11. by   a54flo
    My current hourly wage is 24.75 and I have been a nurse for almost 20 years. At my hospital we use the novice to expert staging model by Benner and I have staged as an expert (5). Our top of scale is about 27.80 for stage 5. One of the nurses I work with has worked on this unit for 27 years and STILL has not reached top of scale for a level 5 RN. Yet there are nurses who have hired in with as little as 10 years experience who are making very close to what she is. Administrations can only do this because people will not talk openly about their wages. If they did, administration would have to be more equitable with raises etc. If everyone were paid based on how long they had been a nurse, you would have equity. You would also cut down on people leaving to go to another hospital because they can get more money per hour.
    Last edit by a54flo on Dec 18, '01
  12. by   teeituptom
    W ell I have been doing this for over 2 decades now. I remeber when I first graduated in Oklahoma, I started out at 6.25/hr. Now years later, and further south in Texass. My base pay is a little over 35 an hour now. And Im only a charge nurse in an ER. So you cant say it really is administrative pay. Primarily, my pay level is there for a number of reasons. First off, seniority and experience can count for a fair part of it. Secondly achieving and maintaining specialty certifications need for Er, account for some of it. such as CEN,PALS,TNCC,ACLS,NALS, etc and a few other that can fit in there. All help your bargaining power. That brings us up to number 3 on the list. Bargaining, down in texas there is no collective bargaing going on to help you out.
    When you to apply for a job, do it with the utmost in professionalism. Dress very nicely, resume well formatted and on good paper, And approach the interview with the mind set of they are not just interviewing me, Im interviewing them. You let them know what your capabilities are and any special skills that you posess to enhance your appeal to them. But in return,you let them know what you are expecting to recieve and you can bargain from there. And this does work,in texas anyway. maybe in states with collective bargaining aka Unions and stuff, this wont work, I dont know but it cant hurt to try.
    Also remember nurse recruiters are not your friends, they are the enemy. While some of them are actually nurses themselves, they are tools of the administration. And their job is to try to plug you into a hole or slot. most of them get bonuses for filling slots. So do they truly care about you as an individual, while some might the majority is HELL NO.... So if you are applying at a hospital for a job or in anything else for that matter, dont fall for that old addage that you just need to get your foot in the door. Go in with a clearly defined list of needs for yourself. yes there is room for give and take on both sides, but dont settle for just a handout. Remember you are doing them a favor, not the other way around.
    So in lieu of good collective bargaining, stand up for yourself. You are there to provide a service for them and their customers. The patient. So dont sell yourselves short.
    Be positive about yourself
    Good luck and go get them
  13. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Almost 1200 views and only about 100 participated in the poll?

    You just have to click dots people! I don't see the problem with posting your hourly wage in a poll that is completely anonymous.