Are nurses treated as terribly as people imply? - page 2

I can handle dislike for my boss, rude comments, and rude patients, but are nurses really as mistreated as it seems? I am SOOO excited about going into nursing! :heartbeatI'm not actually in my... Read More

  1. by   flightnurse2b
    becoming a nurse was the best choice i ever made for myself.

    yes, sometimes i am exhausted, downtrodden, frustrated and underappreciated... and like pagandeva said, its amplified by having the responsibilty of taking care of others and having their lives in your hands. nursing is an amazing mix of challenges, rewards, comedy, tragedy, triumph, failure, life and death... all in the same day.

    i really do love what i do. even on the worst days. i feel blessed to have found my calling in life and don't see myself fitting anywhere but nursing.
  2. by   meluhn
    It depends on where you work. I love the MDs and staff that I work with now. I have worked with Mds that were condescending jackasse$$ too. We dont get treated badly as much as taken for granted and dumped on.
  3. by   travel50
    What I make won't help you much b/c I have been an RN for 26 yrs and am now in management. So I get paid accordingly...or they say I do...some days i don't know!!!

    But when I hire a new RN, I start him/her at $23/hr. I live in rural Tennessee. It makes no difference whether the RN has a 2 yr or a 4 yr degree, pay is the same. Cost of living is low here, so around this area, that is good pay. I work at a nursing home. RNs may get paid a bit more at the hospitals.

    I have wonderful doctors, PAs and NPs to work with. When I worked at a hospital near here, a couple of doctors were horrible. One of them cussed me out one nite and I hung up on him. He called back, and we had a "small" discussion. He didn't do it again. But most doctors throughout my career have been very nice. I had never wanted to be a nurse at all, but do not regret that I did it. It has provided a good stable income for us. And I dearly love my patients. Even the crotchety old geezers we have at the nsg home. They are too cute!
    Last edit by travel50 on Jun 3, '09 : Reason: wording
  4. by   glasgow3
    [quote=kprince;3663373]But am I really going to be underpaid or have trouble finding a job or get stuck working 60+ hours a week?? I've talked to a few people about their schedules and from what I understand, nurses here in OK are making $25+ an hour and though they're working 12 hour shifts, can choose to work as few as 3 or 4 days a week. Is this rare?

    SOME nurses in Oklahoma are making $100,000 + a year, but that has no relevance to YOUR situation. A beginning staff nurse in Oklahoma City makes between $19-20/hr. That's quite a bit less on an annual basis than the $25/hr you mentioned. And the way area schools are churning out RNs, I suspect that there will be very little upward pressure on wages.

    For the most part hospitals in OKC are in a hiring freeze due to the economy. I am aware of some new RNs who have been hired, but it is NOTHING like it was until relatively recently where you would have your pick of specialty and/or shift. In the immediate future I do not see any improvement and it is likely that things will get WORSE before they get better.

    I don't wish to be the bearer of bad news. After all there are quite a number of experienced staff nurses that make the 25 bucks/hr for now. But they have had the benefit of both their years of experience and the so-called nursing shortage----you on the other hand will have zero experience and will bear the residual effects of a deep recession.
  5. by   nerdtonurse?
    I did 20 years in the corporate world. Do I wish I was back there? Some days, yes, especially when I've had a completely healthy person who thinks there is no one on the floor but them, and I get dragged away from the bedside of a dying patient to get them juice because we have no CNA available. Or when I have a patient having a screaming hissy fit because we don't have SoapOpera Net on our TV system. Stupid bothered me in the corporate world, it bothers me in nursing.

    But on a good day, you can make such a difference in someone's life....perhaps it's the kind of thing that only cops, fire, EMS and nurses know. There's a reason we tend to intermarry (aside from the fact that we can talk about what happened at work without making our spouse puke). You have those good days, and you hoard them away in your memory like a squirrel hoards nuts to get you thru the bad days. When you have a patient on hospice who tells you, "you have been a blessing to me; I'll pray for you from heaven" -- there's no other feeling on earth like it.
  6. by   pawsomepooch47
    Well here's my take on it. I work in New England and i work in a hospital where the nurses have a union, so every 3 years we negotiate with the hospital regarding wages, benefits, etc. RN's are well paid, a starting nurse gets 3 weeks vacation plus holidays and 8 sick days a year and differentials for off shifts, weekends and being in charge. When i started there over 15 years ago, i think i was making about $16.00/hr now i make about $40.00. So the money part is good. But I can also tell you, you aren't making those $$ for doin' nothin--it is a very very stressful job, over the course of the 27 years I've been a nurse, the patient and family attitudes have changed for the worse. People are more demanding, are half or poorly informed from the internet, watch too much TV and often have extreme expectations. I have been in med-surg my whole career and the patients that used to be in CCU are now on the regular floor (and we still have a 5-6 pt assignment) and the ones in CCU would have either often been deceased or shipped to a bigger facility. Except for the money and benefits(which I am truly thankful for) I'm sorry to say this has become a thankless job. The patients are frequently upset because we are so busy and they don't get their fair share. Family members can be your worst nightmare. Also patients are living much longer now-27 years ago a 90 year old was a rarity, now the floor is full of them. Sometimes my assignment will be a full group of over 90 year olds. Living longer is not necessarily living better. Also, people are MUCH more frequently morbidly obese than they used to be--it used to be a rarity if there was a patient on the floor who weighed over 300 pounds, now we might have several at a time. Our biggest one weighed 750 pounds. It is alot of wear and tear on your body and your mind. If i was going into health care now, i would go into physical therapy or speech therapy or be an xray tech--you don't get so surrounded by their problems in those departments.
  7. by   Ayvah
    Nursing has been the most love-hate job I've ever had, on both extremes. I love the concept of nursing, and being able to make a visible difference for patients on a daily basis. I feel the work I have is meaningful. I meet some amazing patients in unique situations. My experience working in outpatient nursing was that I had very good working conditions and a great manager. However, the working conditions in the hospitals I've worked at has been very poor. You'll find a lot of threads here how we have to support each other to take a lunch break, and even to take bathroom breaks at times. While my experiences have been that my coworkers have been great, management stretches us too thin on staffing and supplies, which can be dangerous for the patients and the staff. It is frustrating to see someone on my floor in tears about once a month due to working conditions.

    So, its at both ends of the spectrum in terms of good and bad. I don't see a lot of hope for hospital floor nursing, but nursing does have a lot of opportunity outside of hospitals.
  8. by   bikerbabe03
    I am only an LPN 13 years not in Central Florida, the only palce i can work in is Nursing homes and I can tell you this much it is terrible, co-workers always fighting, D.O.N terrible, wages low and cost of living high, I have 6 family members that were RN'S and LPN'S that pleaded with me not to go into nursing, at times I wished I had not, dont know what to tell you but if I had to do it all over I would go into Physical Therapy days, weekends off and holidays off and nice salary. cant tell you how many times I have come home in tears.
  9. by   marilynmom
    I'm in OKC. Starting wages for new RNs is $18.65-$19/hr plus shift diff's.

    It is true most hospitals here have a hiring freeze.

    OUMedical Center for instance used to have about 6 pages online listing RN jobs, now they have about 1/2 page and most is going to go to experience RNs (there are about 10 jobs listed total and most are in cath lab, etc where they don't hire new grads).

    I also have a love/hate relationship with nursing. Most people going into nursing have no clue what they are getting into. Most nurses burn out fast and leave nursing within a few years. I have a GREAT job right now that I love but I also realize I am very very lucky to have such a great nursing job with so little experience (been an RN for 1 yr). I also get paid good for a 1 yr RN.

    I really caution people to work an a CNA or something before jumping into nursing because it's nothing at all like you probably think it is.

    Good luck!
  10. by   cherrybreeze
    I live in WI. I honestly do not know what the starting wage for RN's is here, but that varies anyway depending on if you start in a hospital, clinic, LTC, whatever. So my wage, especially after 8 years, isn't really going to be relevant. I can tell you that while I think most RN's earn a comfortable wage, they don't make 100k (now, don't jump on me folks, I KNOW there are some that do, but I'm not talking working overtime to do it, or specializing, or being an APRN, or anything like that....I'm talking more basic).

    I work 12's, but most 12 hour positions in my hospital (that are floor or ICU postions) are 3 12's per week. What they ARE phasing out is the 12-hour differential (working 36 hours/week and getting paid for 40). From what we're told, most facilities in our area are, so we are too; we don't need to offer it to remain competitive any longer. We work every other weekend, some floors/units work every 3rd.

    Some managers can be tyrants, but ANY profession will have those. I work with some mean, cranky docs, too, but they come with the territory. Honestly, you get used to it. I used to DREAD calling a couple of them in particular, because they always barked no matter what, but now I don't let it get to me....there's no point in letting it bother you, they're not going to change how they are. Unfortunately, it does just take time to get used to it, though. I deal with surgeons, and have noticed that they tend to be crabbier than the regular internal med docs, as a rule.

    You're also going to deal with crabby, mean patients, but again, people will be who they are, you'll run in to people like that at the grocery store. You get used to it. The ones that appreciate you and that you get along with great will make up for the other ones in spades. For example....I was charting at a Wall-a-Roo (our fold down charting stations, which are on the walls outside the patient rooms) over the weekend, and I could overhear the conversation going on inside the room (wasn't trying to eavesdrop, they were easy to hear)....and the conversation between the patient and her family were about how wonderful I was, and how much the patient adores me. Any money issues, long hours, crabby docs, etc, all seem so much less important in a heartbeat, when those things happen. Those little reminders of why we became nurses are what keep us going when the going gets tough!
  11. by   Tait
    I have learned some of my most valuable life lessons from my patients. Some of them amazing, some of them downright cantankerous.

    I quit smoking after ten years from watching sick patients.

    I work on a healthier lifestyle from watching my patients.

    I value a reasonable death, at a reasonable age after watching my patients suffer too long.

    I love my patients, but am quickly tiring of the politics of staffing, money, and power.

    I know now that patients need a lot more outside of the hospital than I can possibly give when they come in as an acute state.

    So Nursing has propelled me forward, to pursue a higher degree, so I can do more than attempt to educate them in three days on things they should have been aware of for years.

    Nursing is definitely on the list of challenging professions, but it is what you make of it, even if you can't stay at the bedside, in the trenches.


    Wage for WI/GA new grad and 1 year experience starting: $21-22
  12. by   shocker29
    Okay, so this is something that I realized after the first year that I was a nurse, and I am going to go out on a limb and say that this is fairly universal:

    My entire first year was a complete love hate relationship and there was more than once I sat in my car, ready to drive home in tears. Everyonce in awhile, a co-worker was a little "snarky" with me, but really I work with an outstanding group of people. I think it had more to do with me feeling inadequate. We really have a great director, though I don't always agree with everything she does. Most if it was just the learning curve being hard, and me always worrying that I wasn't good enough, that I missed something, etc. Towards the end of the first year, it was (now, this was a critical care unit..), why aren't they giving me harder assignments? Do they think I'm not up to it? Finally, after the first year, I think that you begin to realize that you are going to be okay... that you made it. The more confidence and assertiveness that builds, the better you feel.

    I think pretty much every nurse goes through that the first year. You just feel like crap everyother shift and wonder if you made a mistake. But most of the time that will pass and you will be just fine. Attitude has ALOT to do with it. Positive people who are receptive to learning usually do just fine.

    I think that three 12-hour shifts is more like the rule and not the exception, atleast where I am. Some people add an 8 hour shift in every two weeks. I don't know of anywhere around here that does mandatory overtime. Infact, most overtime has to be approved by the super-higher ups and is frowned upon. Alot of people I know have second jobs for more money opportunites. Starting wage around here is $22/hour.
  13. by   86toronado
    Coming from an industry where a 50 hour work week was mandated for salaried managers, and a 60 hour work week (with no OT pay) was not uncommon, I have to say that I feel I am treated pretty well as a nurse. I work three 12 hour shifts a week, if I want to do more, the shifts are available, but if I don't feel like it, I don't have to. I make more money for the 36 hours a week than I ever did working 60, I have more vacation time, and I only work every other weekend, rather than the every single weekend that I used to.
    Lots of people may ***** about it, but I have to tell you, for me Nursing ain't that bad!!
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Jun 4, '09 : Reason: profanity