Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 4

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   SE_BSN_RN
    Quote from Sun0408
    Please tell me where you work because I can promise you, I do not get holiday pay, double overtime, large shift diffs etc.... No triple holiday time or regular time and a half for holidays either. Weekend bonuses, whats that.. I get 2 dollars more on nights and 2 dollars more on the weekend, or something like that. Trust me, its not enough to worry with the actual amount
    Yeah, me too! Double OT? Triple holiday pay?! I also got $2 shift diff (eve and weekend) but that's it! I am in the wrong state, apparently!! All I get now is time and a half for holidays, and nothing if I don't work holidays.
  2. by   PalmHarborMom
    This will probably not be a popular view but here it is.... I am a nursing student that changed majors from Electrical Engineering to Nursing after caring for my husband multiple times. When I graduate, I plan on taking a much deserved vacation. It will have been a long hard road in earning my BSN. During that vacation, I expect that the rooms at the hotel will be clean and there will be waiters when we go out to eat. All the jobs that will make my vacation all that it can be, are minimum wage jobs. As much as no one wants to admit it.... there will always be a place for people that do not have a higher education. Yes, it would be great if everyone made a "living wage" BUT raising the minimum only makes everything cost more. Is it right?.... No but it is reality. I have worked fast-food when I was younger, I was also in the military and have had my share of both well paying and not-so-well paying jobs. It would be great if everyone could have that dream job.... But here it is. I want my room cleaned while on vacation, waiters at restaurants and who the heck would work at Walmart if everyone had a degree? Do I agree with all of the policies regarding assistance? No. But we are also not a country that just sits back and lets children starve or live without shelter because of their parents.

    I do not plan on nursing making me rich, if that was my intent I would have continued on with Electrical Engineering. But nursing will provide a comfortable living between my husband and myself. I will also be grateful that I am not in need of the hospital bed that my patients are in. There is so much in this world to be thankful for that I can not spend too much time worrying about another person's perception about how much money I make. Wealth is relative. How ever much or little that I bring home will be enough.
  3. by   charli_appleRN
    What's really interesting is how the people who receive foodstamps are ashamed of them and people who dont receive them are jealous of the people that do. Public assistance does not a lottery winner make. There are no illusions about the cost of living. People apply for welfare because they cant afford the cost......not because they dont know the cost. Believe it or not, the majority of the working class poor would prefer to pay there own way and be broke rather than jump through the government's hoops every other month....and be broke.
  4. by   amygarside
    Thank you for sharing your observation.
  5. by   Ntheboat2
    Contrary to popular belief, many people who get government assistance consider anyone who isn't getting assistance to be making "good money" because that means they are making enough not to NEED or qualify for assistance. For many people, that is their goal.

    Carla, for example, might not be any better off financially then she was when she got all of the "handouts," but being able to be self sufficient might be her definition of success.

    I know when I was working my butt off and making minimum wage (which ranged from 5.25 - 7.25 depending on the time period) I considered anyone who was making $20 an hour, which is what most new grad nurses make here, to be making "good money." That didn't mean I thought they were RICH, but I knew if I were making that much money per hour then I wouldn't have the same worries I had as a minimum wage worker.

    That has little to do with why I went into nursing because I can make that much doing any number of things, and did for a short while until I switched paths into nursing. However, I completely understand when people think I must be making "good money" as a nurse, and I agree with them, and then encourage them to join us!

    Of course, if/when they do join us they will see all that goes along with making that "good money," but for me at hasn't been such a bad thing. That could be because I've done so many jobs where I got paid a lot less and I hated a lot more. In fact, nursing is the only job I've ever had where I've felt overpaid at times and I live in one of the lowest paid areas in the country! If you like your job has a lot to do with how well compensated you feel you are IMO.
  6. by   akulahawkRN
    Public perception of what a nurse makes is something that can vary from region to region. I suspect that people believe that nurses make a lot of money because a lot of people don't make as much as nurses do. When you don't make a whole lot of money, anything above that which you earn seems like a fortune.

    I am a student nurse, I work full time, my wife works part time, and together we can make about enough to make all the ends meet at the end of the month. In years past, when I could work a 2nd job, it was much easier to make things meet with room to spare a the end of the month. In our case, if my base salary were to match our combined income now, we'd be significantly ahead of things. If I make anywhere near an average wage for this region, and we remain about as frugal as we are now, we'd have a significant step up in our standard of living.

    So, it's all relative to your position in life, looking at another's position. You make less? You're likely to think that someone else who is barely scraping by on what they make is just rolling in the money. You make more than an average nurse's salary? You're not going to care how much money that nurse you just met makes... because you know that you have your own problems that come along with making money... and know that your new nurse friend is dealing with those too - and it's stuff that you wouldn't have dealt with before you were making the money you do now.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Kunzieo
    Sometimes I look at my union contract and think "I am part of what's wrong with healthcare in America." Double overtime, triple time holidays, large shift differentials, weekend bonuses, extra shift bonuses, and God help us if we don't get a raise every year... Don't get me wrong, I love these perks, but I do think nurses are more than adequately compensated.
    The majority of nurses in the U.S. work for nonunion facilities under at-will employment.

    I work at a specialty hospital owned by a major for-profit national chain. I do not receive holiday pay, paid time off, sick pay, bonuses, raises, or other perks.

    In the state where I live, a new nurse is not going to earn $60k during their first year out of school unless they strike gold or work many hours worth of overtime. I live in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country and the starting new grad RN wage around here is between $22 and $25 hourly.
  8. by   pixiestudent2
    It is pretty easy to see how a person making 7.25 an hour would see a nurse making 4 times as much money as big bucks..
    Are they using 100$ bills for toliet paper? No.
    But they aren't in line for the soup kitchen either.
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    Quote from sali22
    It is pretty easy to see how a person making 7.25 an hour would see a nurse making 4 times as much money as big bucks..
    Are they using 100$ bills for toliet paper? No.
    But they aren't in line for the soup kitchen either.
    Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
    Are you implying that people who work minimum or low wage jobs aren't "grown up" or living in the real world? That's incredibly offensive.
    ....I agree with her. Not trying to be rude, but I think it's INSANE that someone who makes $12 an hour can be assisted by the government to the point of living the equivalent lifestyle of an RN...

    I'm with ya, "deanne52." You're not alone
    Quote from StinkMomBomb
    INCREDIBLY!!!...Sheesh.. some people
    I GUESS....
  12. by   smartin13
    I think nurses get paid very well for the amount of education that they have. Not in many other professions can one make 60k their first year out of school. Sometimes I look at my union contract and think "I am part of what's wrong with healthcare in America." Double overtime, triple time holidays, large shift differentials, weekend bonuses, extra shift bonuses, and God help us if we don't get a raise every year... Don't get me wrong, I love these perks, but I do think nurses are more than adequately compensated. So yes, I guess to answer the question- nurses can make a good amount of money. Maybe not the "big bucks" but decent enough, I'd say! Hiding now, please don't hate!
    While you may get those perks many nurses do not. I work in a hospital with a union and we do not have double overtime ever. Actually the only thing we have is a fairly decent shift differential (4.00 if 50% or more of your shift is worked after 3pm). Just time and a half for overtime and holiday pay. I think I need to transfer and come to work with you
    Last edit by Joe V on Nov 27, '12
  13. by   samadams8
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** Any student who said that in my hearing would be mentaly marked as a student to keep my eye on since they are likely an idiot.
    Yes, and you have to remember, it's not that nurses make soooo much money, it's that it's a job that pays better than the local convenience store or the Walmart.

    There are the two year ASN programs and the accelerated nursing programs. Why that's a fair amount less in terms of time and investment for the buck as compared with many other "professions" or occupations. To me, this is just another reason to support BSNs and advanced nursing education; b/c those that make the commitment in education are perhaps saying they are in it, at least hopefully, more for the right reasons.. . .maybe. . .hopefully. (This is something I worry about though with nurses that just want to spend a year or two in clinical nursing and then move right through an advanced practice nursing program to become a NP or CRNA. IMHO, those nurses are at a very distinct disadvantage, clinically speaking, but that's another story.)

    While IDK everything, I have heard a recurrent theme, especially from women that were recently divorced or were in the process of divorce or thinking about divorce. And trust me, I'm not knocking single women (or men) for going back to school to better provide for themselves and their families; but I have heard and seen the mentality of "It pays better than the Walmart" in quite a number of such individuals. And when they didn't say it straight out, it eventually came to light later.

    So what do these people do? They sign up at the community college, and then try to matriculate into the nursing program. A two year program is a short distance to a pretty fair jump over walmart pay for those working the register. Listen, I'm just saying. . . (I'm not all hot for the accelerated programs either, regardless of the fact that the person may have an undergrad degree in teaching or psychology or art history. That's nice in terms of electives and other GE courses, but what the Sam Hill does it have with nursing, and how in the heck do you think you can adequately educate and train someone in becoming a professional nursing, from no nursing at all, in about a year or so? To me, it's insane, but the schools make some money off of it. And that also is another story for another thread.)

    IMHE, I've found that a good percentage of people in nursing either really didn't care for it, in terms of what they are doing--core nursing fx and nursing processes, or they had some other motivation for going into the field that is not exactly altruistic. And these folks tend to be the ones that stir up the most trouble on floors or units or systems.

    The ones that really love the core of what they do as nurses aren't out to dump on others, or step on others, or put on some sort of show, or hob nob with whomever is considered the upper echelon, whether it be residents, fellows, attendings, nurse admins, managers, other admins, the rounding pharmacists, whomever. . . Those that really care about nursing are about the job, and they aren't regularly miserable or backbiting or otherwise displacing on to others.

    Of course I am speaking in my own experience and in general.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Nov 27, '12