Badly Paid Nurse a Good Nurse

  1. From Nursing Economics

    Why a Well-Paid Nurse is a Better Nurse
    Posted 08/07/2006

    Julie A. Nelson; Nancy Folbre

    Article can be found at

    So may question is: is a bad paid nurse a good nurse?
    Last edit by foxyhill21 on Oct 2, '06
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    About foxyhill21

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 432; Likes: 65
    Specialty: trauma ICU,TNCC, NRP, PALS, ACLS


  3. by   danh3190
    Hmm. Is a badly paid physician a good physician?
  4. by   Vagon
    I have to call bulls*** on this one. He's saying that a nurse that can offord a good home is a bad nurse? I don't follow. Everyone could use more money, that includes good nurses doesnt it? If this is how things work then why are doctors/surgeons paid well?
  5. by   Tweety
    Yes a poorly paid nurse can be a good nurse. Then again sometimes you do get the "they don't pay me enough to..............." and come across a slacker nurse.

    Then again, you get slacker nurses who only want the high salaries and aren't really good nurses, in those areas that pay well.

    I know I didn't contribute much did I?
  6. by   RNOTODAY
    I, personally, am really tired of this whole discussion (not this one in particular, in general) about nurses getting paid, or wanting to be paid, or wanting to be paid more, or being in it for the money, or whatever. This is a job, a career, and just because we have the important task of taking care of people, in no way should the subject of compensation for it be considered "taboo".You know what? Money did factor in my decision to be a nurse, because, I learned early on, I was drawn to medical "stuff" I enjoyed it, it cam easy to me, and yes, I liked the idea of being able to help people, and I realized that if I were to become one, I would have job stability, and a decent salary. Now if I learned that with all that I would only be making 10 dollars an hour? I wouldn't even consider it!! Does that make me one of those "bad " nurses?
    It all comes down to money, always. And I think that it is that way in all professions.
  7. by   Tweety
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    It all comes down to money, always. And I think that it is that way in all professions.

    Yes and no. Most kids when they in high school and thinking about college, or in college thinking of a major, or even just considering what they want to do with their life, ask themselves or others "how much does it pay". That's natural. The higher paying, the more attractive the career. There's no reason that when one is considering nursing that they can't ask about salary, without being shot down with a "you can't be in it for the money or you're not a good nurse". How many of us say "I'd love to be a nursing instructor, but it doesn't pay enough."

    But no, it's not all it comes down to. Life is a bit more complex to make a blanket statement like that, in my opinion.
  8. by   bhabby
    I have read the said article and found it quite distasteful. I wonder if what he does warrents the pay he receives? And he does'nt even take care of patients. So ignorant and sad.
    I think pending on where you live and what field you get into your pay will equal. Although where I work the cost of living is the highest in the state and the RN salary way way way low...unless of course you have been there for >20years.
    At this point in time to make the most money, if that is what is most important, then do some travel nursing. You will probably learn more than the money you make.
    Good luck in finding or receiving the salary you deserve...I am still looking.
  9. by   Reno1978
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    It all comes down to money, always. And I think that it is that way in all professions.
    To some extent, yes. Maybe my case is unique. I had a job in another industry, making great money. I own my own home, the car is paid for...but I hated my job! So, I decided something had to change. I made the decision to go into nursing because it is something I think I'll be happy doing for the rest of my life. My old job even allowed me to save enough $ to not work for 2+ years while I finish my schooling. Nursing, as far as compensation goes, is going to be pretty similar to what I was making. I think the benefit of doing something I like, getting a degree that can be used in so many ways, having job security, and entering an environment of continuous learning outweighs the monetary value of the job for me.

    Different things motivate different people. I'm not sure I agree with the thought process of the author of this article. I can't see many people pursuing this profession having only money to movtivate them. I'm in school right now, and this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. If I had no compassion for people, and only wanted to make a good wage, I'd have selected another major, for sure!
    Last edit by Reno1978 on Oct 1, '06
  10. by   IMustBeCrazy
    The way I see it, the answer is in the middle.

    I want to maximize my happiness and quality of life as well as being paid well. As with most professions it seems, the two are inversely proportional.

    But I do have to call out those that infer that they would be willing to work as a paid nurse and continue to eat tuna out of a can while they sit in lawnchairs in their living room. That is a rare minority.
  11. by   Rnandsoccermom
    After 21 years of being a good nurse, I deserve to be paid well. I've EARNED it!
  12. by   nursesaideBen
    Quote from RNOTODAY
    It all comes down to money, always. And I think that it is that way in all professions.
    Dunno if I agree with that. Frankly I couldn't see myself doing anything other than nursing regardless of pay.
  13. by   VivaLasViejas
    Hmm........let's see. If I invest two to six years in a college education, what would I rather earn so I can repay $30,000 or more in student loans---$12 an hour, or $24 an hour? Of COURSE money figures in when choosing a career, and I think part of the reason nursing pays relatively well is that it isn't easy. Not everyone has the aptitude, let alone the stomach, to do this job and do it well............we earn every dime of our salaries. So why SHOULDN'T we be paid well?

    I'm not even sure where (or why) this argument got started. Those who are "in it for the money" don't last long as a rule anyway; while most of us aren't starving to death, we aren't independently wealthy either, and if one doesn't love it, the money itself isn't enough to keep a nurse in the profession.
  14. by   ZASHAGALKA
    This issue was previously discussed in-depth:

    The author has a very valid point. RATHER than indict the concept as it applies to nursing, we SHOULD by actively changing the dynamics of nursing so that it doesn't apply.

    Besides, the author left one key equation out of his formulation, and THAT is how the real working conditions of nurses has undermined the 'vocational' concept of nursing. I discussed that in detail in the above thread.