Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 26

Am I the only one who becomes at least mildly irritated whenever a random individual finds out that someone is a nurse and proceeds to say, "You're rolling in the big bucks!" To keep things... Read More

  1. by   nurseprnRN
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I'm sure you've heard of the phrase: "Nothing's better than a nurse with the purse."
    My husband says that, and then smiles and says, "Well, one out of two ain't bad."
  2. by   nurseprnRN
    Quote from nisteber
    Private school yikes. That sure does sound like it stings. Why the heck did you do that? Also the BSN will never become the baseline. Until they make the RN boards harder anyways. There is nothing learned in a BSN program that is needed on boards. There are some management things, but most of it is common sense. I know a lot of 40-60 year old nurses that still are working on the floor that have their BSNs. They are no better than nurses with ADNs.
    Yeah, this sounds like the CNAs I had as students in nursing school who said, "I know everything a nurse knows except how to give shots, I'm just here for the credential." Are you one of those?

    We'll see how you feel about that callow statement when you are 40-60, or when you or your aging parent or your child is hospitalized and you get some young twit who thinks "all nurses are the same, we all pass the same NCLEX, and besides, age and experience and better education are meaningless." How do you like me now?
  3. by   MN-Nurse
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Carla* is a single mother to three children under the age of 10
    The above is the driving factor for Carla's situation.

    I earned $70k in my first year of nursing. Whether someone else considers that "big money" is not my concern, but that is a good middle class income.
  4. by   GM2RN
    Quote from nisteber
    We get an extra 20 an hour at my place of work when they have a high census. 43$/hour, not bad for a community college degree. Also if you have 50k in student loans, that is poor planning on your part. Nobody forced you to go to a university, a community college ADN, and an ADN to BSN program would have cost much less than 50 Gs.

    I just gotta say, you have no idea what a person's circumstances are that caused them to need to take loans for school. If you are just out of high school and living at home, then yes, maybe it is poor planning.

    But if you are middle aged, single, with a mortgage (with all of the other living expenses that go along with it), raising a child (like I was), and all of a sudden you don't have the good paying job that you once did, then you might be forced into taking loans because you don't have the time for "good" planning to avoid school loans. But thank you for your insight.
  5. by   GM2RN
    Quote from tewdles
    Sounds to me that a CNA going to school to improve her circumstance is not getting a handout but rather a handup.

    It is sad for me the number of otherwise well meaning Americans who despise people for needing help. I think that very few of us do well in life when we are truly on our own. Not everyone comes from a family or social situation that can provide assistance for financial needs...they can't afford to subsidize college, or rent, or food, or transportation for their children. That doesn't make them less American or less valuable than the child born with the silver spoon. Mitt Romney, for example, is no more valuable to the USA because he was born wealthy and has never received welfare as compared to the young man or woman who receives support while getting an education or working toward personal goals which will improve their social status.

    In my view, this "class warfare" is destructive to our society.

    You got it wrong. I don't know of a single person who despises anyone for needing help. It's when people abuse the help that they get that doesn't sit well.
  6. by   GM2RN
    Quote from Jean Marie46514
    Well, i'm not going to give you 'hate', lol, but, i have a few thoughts which came to mind as i read your post.

    Yes, yes, it's a well documented, undeniable fact that males ARE generally paid more. Glad for ya!! And you have done something right, that you got to be the boss for many years. Good on you.

    and yes, there are those who feel physical labor IS what makes a job 'hard'. And no doubt, it does.

    But, nursing is also a very physical job, probably even more so in the past, for the bulk of my career, before units were designed more efficiently and we usually logged 8 miles per shift of footsteps. (we checked, with those odometers)

    and that was back before hoyers were more than one per hospital (for real, that's all a hosp had, we had to take turns all over) so much much lifting and pulling was done, many times every shift, and this was before body mechanics were as promoted as much as that topic is today.

    I've worked ER or ICU much of my career,
    and that ER unit was not usually as physically taxing as some units are, for several reasons,
    there is usually less "pulling the patient up in his bed", which, when done bazillions of times per shift, takes a toll on a person's back, shoulders, wrists, etc. and there are usually more males around to assist in the heavy lifting when in the ER, too, and hoyers right there,
    so your wife's summary
    of how physically demanding ER nursing is,
    Might not be applicable to all nurses
    working in all various types of settings
    on this thread.

    What you might consider physically hard, as a male, (and i'm picturing you are probably a strong person, since you did physical labor) might be slightly different than what a smaller person might consider physically demanding or straining.
    For many of us, turning a 400 lb patient who has diarrhea back and forth, frequently, to clean that person, over and over is physically demanding, and arguably, just as disgusting as as your description of cleaning ships.

    I can't wait til you put on your first pair of TED hose onto a really large large person. Get back to me after you have. (kind of joke, most nurses will nod at that, it's hard!)

    When i was young RN, being mentored by seasoned RNs, long ago, they ALL had bad backs, or had recovered from a back injury, it was part of the job. Guaranteed back then, and it is still a risk today. Many had multiple other injuries as well. Tons of boosting, turning, transferring, catching, lifting, twisting, scurrying nonstop is done by many nurses.

    There are different kinds of " physically hard".

    Many nurses have been physically assaulted at their jobs, from mildly to severely, and this is something unusual in most other professions. I've had a 6-4 250lb patient, (head injury) grab my neck and wrench my head to the side, and it was years and years til i was ever '100% right' again, but, luckily, i recovered. (no doctor appt, nothing, just walked it off, over time).

    While we were transferring a 400lb one-legged patient from wheelchair to bed, her one good leg gave out, and my forearm, in her armpit ----took the bulk of her body weight all at once, and to this day, whenever i raise up my right arm, it goes numb. But, she did not fall.

    I once sustained a very very scarey needle stick from an HIV patient, (didn't catch it, but, it felt like the beginning of a 'made for tv' movie for a while, til i was in the clear again.) made that neck injury seem like a piece of cake, really.

    I could bore for a few more paragraphs on various injuries i've sustained, and for a few pages on injuries i've stood witness to, upon my fellow nurses. Tons of 'em.

    Who knows, if we could hypothetically line up injured coworkers, in our two fields, who knows which of us would have the higher % of injured coworkers?

    There are different kinds of "filthy".

    I garden, and get covered in earth, and i work on cars,
    yet, i don't feel nearly as 'filthy' as i do when i am vomited on, when someone throws their colostomy onto my hair, when i have some strangers blood on my skin, when some deathly ill person's green phlegm is on me, or when i get urinated on, long list of other ways to get filthy as a nurse.

    There are different kinds of stress.

    For some humans, moving heavy items repetitively might be the worst kind of stress, but, for some humans, knowing if you make even a slight error, you could orphan some child, is a type of stress, too. Having upset families scream at you, or even throw things around, is a stress, too. Having doctors scream you out, can be demeaning/stressful. Knowing you can't really control getting off work on time, and the impact that can have for parents, (or anyone) is a stress.

    Sometimes, dealing with an unpredictable parade of humans all of whom are stressed out, can make cleaning ships seem appealing.

    Only having time for lunch break once per week is stress, as is not being able to have even five minutes to get to the restroom, cuz you are that busy, is a stress. Being able to remember all 7 of things you need to do right now, is a stress, and it can stay that speed allll dayyyyy long. And at end of day, instead of being appreciated,
    you might be scolded for not being done on time.
    Having to stay abreast of an always changing body of knowledge, mental stress, emotional stress, all kinds of stressors.
    some humans find intellectual demands just as draining or exhausting, as cleaning ships might be.

    I do not mean to disrespect your work, at all, nope. I've done hard labor myself, it is hard. I'm just suggesting, that nursing can be hard in all types of different ways. And when drywallers are sometimes paid the same as nurses,
    there might be something here to consider.

    and re: the "handout" that Carla has paid into each and every paycheck she's ever made, that YOU would refuse if you were making $10 per hour,
    If you are referring to the Carla described by the OP,
    i am proud of Carla for doing whatever it took to ensure her 3 kids were not in dire poverty. There's not a lot i would not do for my kids, either, and if i had to swallow my pride, to ensure i could obtain the proper amounts of protein, to pay the heat bills, get them coats, etc, oh yeah, GULP, i'd find a way to swallow my pride. Yes, i would, i'd do it for my kids, indeed.

    sometimes, it just best not to throw stones, til you have walked a mile as single mom raising 3 kids on minimum wage, paying childcare and everything else.. i'm just sayin.

    EDIT----ps, the poverty stricken are sometimes disproportionately amongst the severely sick in the USA, so you might want to consider, trying to develop a more compassionate, less judgmental view for those that do take govt aide to feed their kids.(IF you harbor such a view, not sure) If you do go into nursing, you might be interacting with quite a few of them.

    This is exactly what I was thinking when I read the post you replied to.
  7. by   GM2RN
    Quote from tewdles
    My bold and italic.
    I had a family member like that. The family spoke to her...let her know that it was NOT OKAY. Some of us helped her with job skills, resumes, transportation, etc. She got off her arse and got productive.

    The system is there for people who need it. Some people will always abuse it. In my thinking, that does not mean that we should treat all persons receiving aid as cheats and consider cutting the safety net for many because of the bad actions of the few.

    My memory isn't what it used to be, but I don't recall anyone up to this point saying anything of the sort.
  8. by   Sensibility
    We work hard for every penny we make. I come home from work and I am dead. I have no energy for anything but the work I do. I pay oodles of money in taxes and benefits to the tune of $800 per month to insure my family and pay for the car I have need of. I need a good working car that is dependable that nobody else in my family can use so that I am at work on time every time because there is huge competition out there desiring my job. Secondly, I pay out tons of money to keep my job from gas to get to meetings, to licensure, CEU, uniforms, life support courses, good shoes, pedicures to keep my ingrown toenail from killing me and the added things that I am constantly asked to give to at our hospital. I feel like in community, once someone knows I'm a nurse, the price goes up. For example, our dentist used to cut us a break when I was raising children. Now that I am a nurse, he has been hitting me up for top dollar. I live paycheck to paycheck.
  9. by   amber_energy_RN
    If you're going to take the leap to RN, might as well go all the way to NP...those girls (and guys) DO make money...into the 6 figures (and I know this for a fact...)
  10. by   amber_energy_RN
    NP is a short-term solution...When compared to non-stop whining/complaining about the way the system works...unless you are heavily involved in politics or you have a seat on the Board of Directors at your hospital/facility. Trust me...I believe nursing pay should be completely revamped (and I have several proposals that I have written about in my classes). But for the time-being, I am going to get my NP because #1. I love knowledge, #2. It will help me deliver the care I want to deliver and #3. That near 6 - figure salary will keep my family safe and comfortable.
  11. by   emtb2rn
    What constitutes big money is highly subjective. From my perspective and experience, RNs are paid very poorly. To me, big money starts in the mid 6 figure range, good money is the low 6 figures. When I changed careers, I knowingly took a huge pay cut. To me it was worth it as I was utterly miserable at the end if my prior career.

    But do RNs make big money? No.
  12. by   Nursietj
    I have been an LPN for many years now and make decent money. I work with many RNs who have financial problems and are asking the LPNs to loan them $20 here and there. I believe in the saying "the more you make, the more you spend". I believe it's all about your priorities and choices.
  13. by   EmpathyInAction
    I think it's partially a matter of perspective. Personally I've been living far below the poverty line for a LONG time and have never earned more than 18k in a year. I have struggled sacrificed and worked hard to take care of my children and get where I am today. I got pregnant at 18 and then at 20 and have been a single mother since. Now 13yrs after I started down my path over poverty and as I look for my first nursing job, I feel that I will be making "big bucks". I recognize that I will not be rich but I will actually be able to afford food and bills and regular necessities. I wont have to freak out about how to buy food or keep the electric on when an unexpected expense comes up. For Me, Personally, I will be living very well comparatively. There is a large portion of the population that is working low paying blue collar and labor jobs that have and do live how I have been. For those of us who have continued to struggle to make ends meet... nurses make big money.
    With all that said, I also understand the perspective of nurses who are living on a salary that is really middle class income at best dealing will bills and loans and childrens expenses, etc. For someone living that life it really makes one feel like "why in the world would anyone think that? I'm not rick!"
    Just my two cents.