An appropriate hourly rate of pay for a Registered Nurse at the bedside? - page 6

I know that cost of living is said to vary from one area to the next but with few exceptions the cost of living is actually comparable. I have lived or journeyed to many areas in the us and can... Read More

  1. by   25yearsrn
    I was once burned out and sold real estate. I had a ball doing it, but it is very competitive. I worked 70 hr per wk, most weekends as that is when people usually have time to look at houses, and received calls at home from clients as early as 730am and as late as 11pm. I was the top listing and selling agent in my office within 2 yr with 1 million closed my 1st yr. And guess what my salary was for my 1st year when all was said and done??? Try $15,000. No insurance.... not medical,not dental. Yes, you can write off the wear and tear on your car and other expenses, but you need to build your clients and work your butt off to get to the $40,000/yr range. Anyone telling you different wants you to work for them because the office where you work will take approx 1/2 of your commissions, unless you negotiate a better deal up front. Good luck! I am not saying you won't do well. but just know that it is not a bowl of cherries.
  2. by   mjamesRN
    80K a year is possible. More is possible. Due to the shortage I suppose. My hospital offers a weekend program that if you work nights,(3 weekends a month) along with the differential you make about $48/ hour. Some of the agencies around here only require 6 months of med-surg experience and pay up to $50/ hour. No benefits though -- you have to find your own healthcare insurance AND with that Weekend program, you get no sick time or holiday pay -- So if you are sick and call out, you lose that money.
    The nurses who choose to stay in corporate hospital continue their education with tuition reimbursement, become nurse managers and educators and resource nurses and carry clipboards all day and get paid no more than 50K...the shortage thus continues in bedside nurses.
    My question is: What are all the experienced war-horse nurses doing to see that salary commesurate with experience???? Nothing. They ***** among themselves, eat alot of crow, and once in while they strike. The others continue their education, get their piece of the pie and forget the team.
  3. by   Q.
    Very insightful post MJames.

    You're right. I'm one of those nurses - getting more educated to get my piece of the pie and leave the team. Although my argument to that is that we will always need nurses in those areas of admin, research and academia. So it makes you wonder if the problem with pay is not in nursing as a whole, but rather just with bedside nursing? And if it IS with bedside nursing, why?

    My goal is to be a professor of nursing. I would think the pay for a professor in nursing would be the same as a professor of chemistry. Although I don't know for sure.....if it is then that tells me that the pay problem seems to lie with bedside only (and clinic by the way, which is where I am now making RIDICULOUS pay)
  4. by   fergus51
    One of my best nursing instructors told me she only makes about 50K a year and that's with a masters degree. Of course, she does get three months a year off... I think good nursing instructors are absolutely priceless and should be paid as much! I am sure you'll be a good instructor Suzy, I liked the honest, maybe even a little blunt ones the best
  5. by   mjamesRN
    Nursing instructors are diamonds among us for sure (and 50K is the standing salary), but the whole while I was in classes their disposition seemed to be saying "Are you sure you want to do this?" And of course all grads say later, "They didn't teach us this in school."
    Clinical days were nothing compared to real life -- I guess if we did see real life, we'd all change our majors or drop out. I still hear their voices echoing in my head while I'm working however, especailly Basic nursing-- like straightening the linens, putting the bedside table where the patient can reach it, applying vaseline to post-op lips, etc...the little things that are imperative.
    Gee, I miss those little aspects. Now if the vaseline isn't right there at the time, it usually waits because I have a five million papers to notate in and computerize NOW or I'll forget to do it later and then I'll be threatened with being supoenaed to court.
    Nursing stinks. Why do we always have to feel like there is an axe hanging over our heads? Just to have to endure that pressure is worth much more than we're paid.
    Another thing, when I voice a disgruntled complaint standing alone at the mouth of the dragon's den, I'm told "This is what Nursing is".

    What IS Nursing anyway???????? Will someone tell me before I run screaming into the streets!!!!!!!!
  6. by   WashYaHands
    What IS Nursing anyway???????? Will someone tell me before I run screaming into the streets!!!!!!!!
    This, my friend, is a very good question. When I started my graduate program one of our first assignments was to write a personal philosophy of nursing. That is, an honest analysis and critique of your personal fundamental beliefs of what nursing is as they are conceptualized and formulated by you. Also, what are the fundamental motivating factors behind your individual nursing practice.

    I have to admit that it was a very difficult and soul searching process to write a personal nursing philosophy. However, I would encourage all nurses to do this as we are all unique and yet, we all hold some similar values about the profession.
    It took me a while to get started because I had no idea what to write, but after the initial brain block, I ended up with 15 type written pages. It's therapeutic to write about your personal challenges and joys of your nursing practice as well as clarification of your personal standards, what motivates you, what exhausts you, and what is important to you on a personal level. This way when you're standing alone at the mouth of the dragons den you know exactly how far you will go to compromise or battle the dragon without allowing yourself to be swallowed whole.
    I sometimes go back and read it and change things as my perceptions change with various experiences. I'm no Aristotle by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the question, "What is nursing?" has both an individual/personal definition and a collective definition.
    Just my 2 pennies worth. Sorry that I got off the topic of the thread.

  7. by   DonB,RN
    We are worth at least 60k/yr. I feel this would be the median if nurses weren't so willing to accept what admin feels like paying.
  8. by   mjamesRN
    Kudos, DonB --
    It's obvious that nurses tend to be spineless in the face of the bureacracy