Do Nurses Earn Big Money? You Decide. - page 5

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   charli_appleRN
    ....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

    Sorry, but I work in social services and the government is not handing out money like You pretty much have to be starving to death to qualify for anything. In my state, a person making $12hr with one child would only qualify for childcare assistance and medicaid for the CHILD. They'd be expected to cough up $200 a month of their income towards the childcare. If they are living a lifstyle equivalent to an RN it has nothing to do with welfare and everything to do with their under-the-table side hustle. No one can live on or come-up off of government assistance alone.

    Correction, a person making $12/hr with one kid no longer qualifies for childcare assistance.
    Last edit by charli_appleRN on Nov 27, '12
  2. by   Joe V
    Nurses do earn more money - just like police, programmers, etc.

    Would you rather be working in a factory earning minimum wage?
    Would you rather be cleaning toilets earning minimum wage?
    Would you rather be at the farms on your knees all day picking vegetables earning minimum wage?

    If somone tells me that, "You're rolling in the big bucks!" I would have to agree. I came into this profession because I knew the potential was there to earn big bucks.

    On top of that, you have the opportunity for advancement - to earn more big bucks. Compare that to the advancement of a factory worker, a toilet cleaner, or a farm worker.

    When a person says, "You're rolling in the big bucks!" take it as a compliment.
  3. by   VICEDRN
    Drives me crazy... My mother is a flight attendant and makes twice what I do in a job that requires no real training whatsoever. And I earned more as a paralegal which also requires no training or licensing exam to do. We really settle for too little in this profession and horrible working conditions to boot!
  4. by   classicdame
    when I see this type of question or hear a similar comment about nursing salary it makes me think they are really asking is if nurses DESERVE the income they receive. Only a nurse can answer that and I have not met one yet who felt they were overpaid.
  5. by   somenurse
    Quote from RNEMT-P
    The problem with this statement is that it does not take into account where the dollar came from to begin with. In order for the government to spend a dollar, it must first do one of three things. One is to steal a dollar from the economy in the form of taxation. In this case, the dollar would have been spent in some way without government intervention; the government is only choosing who gets to spend it. The second option is to borrow a dollar. In the current ways of DC, that dollar typically comes from China or another foreign nation, meaning that at a future date a dollar plus interest must be taken from the economy to pay for the loan. The final option is to print a dollar. Here, the laws of supply and demand dictate that because of this new dollar (since we are no longer on the gold standard), all other dollars are worth less than they were the day before, further depressing the economy because everyone's spending power is hurt in the process. If something cost $1 before the printing, but the devaluation of the dollar makes it now cost $1.10, it does not help the economy. If what you said was true, the recession should have been fixed after TARP I&II, ARRA, and the auto bailouts. These programs helped the poor with jobs, mortgage assistance, and other assistance. Hundreds of billions, maybe even into the trillions, were spent on these programs, therefore the problems should have immediately gotten better rather than worse. So, to say that government spending helps the economy is to focus only on one half of the story while ignoring the other half.

    Also, people do complain about corporate welfare. True conservatives and libertarians do all the time. It's Republicans and Democrats who ignore it. The rich send money overseas because that is where it is most profitable. If the government stepped back and allowed it to be profitable here, there would be no need to send it offshore.

    The problem with this statement, is the word "immediately". The multiple and vast US economies are like giant ships, and do NOT turn on a dime, but, are now headed in a more healthy direction. Some economists argue the deficit is not big enough to solve the unemployment problems, ("normal" unemployment, btw, is 6%, not zero, it's NEVER zero)
    and some argue that a weak dollar actually helps manufacturers sell overseas, and the trade deficit, but, that is more than i can fit into a post.

    The recession hadn't even hit bottom yet, when the first TARPS were released, we were still going over the cliff. Many say the TARPS were too small. The auto bailout was hugely successful, but, in a nation of over 300 billion people, one industry can't employ them all.
    Keynesian economics does work, but, all economists do agree, turning an economy as huge as the nations's economoy, as deep in recession as we were/are around, does take Time. All markers of an improving economy are going on, increased GDP, decreasing unemployment, housing prices are stabilizing after the bubble popped, manufacturing is increasing, retail sales are up, the gushing job loss has now had 32 straight months of job growth, lots of markers
    that the once raging house fire,
    Is now just a smoldering pile. completely healed? oh heck no, not at all, but, most experts do believe that the worst is over.

    Interesting you do feel conservatives complain about corporate welfare, as i never ever hear this from them, Ever!!!! I DO hear liberals complain about it, pretty much weekly, but never conservatives,
    but, there you are.

    I'm kinda new here, not sure if ^this is too much of a derail, sorry if it is, but i saw my post was quoted, wanted to respond.

    back ON topic,
    i do think
    considering the education req'd,
    the stresses incurred, (especially when one considers the "What's the worst that can happen if you mess up at your job?" type of job comparisons for many jobs)
    and the demands placed on nurses,
    that yes,
    nurses are underpaid, imo, compared to many other professionals.

    To be a nurse, imo, you have to be in it for some Other reason than becoming rich. I know tons of nurses, and none of them are 'rich',
    unless they are in management, and those aren't quite what most ppl would call 'rich'.
    unless they are married/partnered with another income maker,
    unless they are childless,
    unless they are fiscally clever,
    unless they started off with financial advantages,

    it's pretty hard to see many 'rich' nurses around.
    but, then again,
    like so many have pointed out,
    'good money' is kinda relative, isn't it. It DOES beat minimum wage.

    Yeah, i do think, we all go into nursing for other reasons than becoming super wealthy.
    Last edit by somenurse on Nov 27, '12
  6. by   BluegrassRN
    I have the best income and job security amongst my peers. No, I don't make 6 digits. I do have a few friends who do or have made the true "big money". Two are now out of work (insurance industry), one of whom has lost their home and is close to financial ruin; and two work 60-80 hour weeks in the investment industry. I work three days a week. If I worked 10-12 hours days 6 days a week, I'd make a 6 digit salary, too. I don't want to work that much.

    My only acquaintances who make more than me either have more advanced degrees (with larger debt) and/or have a job where they work longer hours, or have an unstable employment situation.

    So, yes, in the grand scheme of things I think I make big money. I certainly make enough money to have a decent home with a modest mortgage, drive decent cars, not worry about where the next meal is coming from, live debt free (except for the mortgage and that will be gone in 12-15 years) and I've put some away for retirement and for my kids' college.
  7. by   Bluebelle74
    I think for the most part when people talk about nurses making good money they are referring to the fact that in terms of 2 yr degrees...70,000+ a year IS a good amount of money.
    IF Carla wasn't a single mother...and say married with 2 kids [like myself]...with a husband earning 80-90,000+ a year....when you add that 70, is life-changing.
    I went from making 15.25/hr as a CNA to going thru nursing school and 2 yrs later making twice that wage hourly. I am now working on my BSN...and plan to transfer to a position as a homecare CM..which in our company make in the 40-45/hr range.
    So in comparison to what I was making before going to school for my would classify as good money.
    We all have bills to's easier to pay them at 70,000 a year than 30,000 a year.
    Especially when you take into account the fact that not everyone gets financial aid, food stamps, childcare assistance, etc. Some of us struggle like crazy and work our way thru school while paying our own bills without the government.
    Life is only harder when you make more money IF you were relying on govt assistance or not handling your money well to begin with. IMHO.
  8. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    When I first started in MS, (2003 ADN) I made less than a Texas LVN. I once got a (second/side job) working as a doctor's nurse at a University Hospital in a Deep South State; I made $13.75/hr. I think our area back home is still $17-20/hr capping at $22 definitely for full time RN, LPN $11-13/hr, CNA $8-9/hr (sometimes minimum wage at county hospital's LTC). So, when I did my first contracting in Louisiana for $34, North Texas $39, It felt unreal. Mississippi has a long way to go. We have an overloading of new grads each year with 22 ADN programs for a state with 4 million people. There are sooo many who want to move home, but simply can't afford to. Cost of living is a little better, but a "nice" apartment here runs $800-950 for a 2B 2B. I won't be able to go anywhere near home until retirement. I bought a condo on the Gulf Coast where working in New Orleans and Mobile were possible (40% pay difference!), and I still hit the road 6mos per year to keep up. Once I would have thought $20/hr was great! Then figure a house payment, an iPhone and landline bill, insurances, car payment(paid off Yay!), groceries, Utilities, Medical, (school loans for some), daycare, and all the other I can't think off it doesn't leave much "disposable income" there for anyone.
  9. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from RoseAllen
    IF Carla wasn't a single mother...and say married with 2 kids [like myself]...with a husband earning 80-90,000+ a year....when you add that 70, is life-changing.
    The major issue is that the average man/husband in the U.S. does not earn anywhere near $80,000 to $90,000 yearly (and never will). I know of many female nurses who are married to men with very low incomes (cooks, groundskeepers, security guards, tree trimmers).
    On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $758 in the third quarter of 2012. Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $685, or 82.7 percent of the $828 median for men.
    Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $633 per week, or 74.1 percent of the median for white men ($854). The difference was less among women, as black women's median earnings ($590) were 82.9 percent of those for white women ($712). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($556) were lower than those of blacks ($606), whites ($780), and Asians ($915).
  10. by   Sehille4774
    Absolutly Commuter. It is a topic of fascination for the public. I also hear "I wish I was getting paid big bucks like you to take care of people".

    Alot of Jealousy out their if you make any kind of decent salary but 50K lets say, is not the same 50k as it would have been 5-6 years ago. I just feel like...ok. Well, why hate on me? Go to nursing school then if thats what you want to do. People forget the things that WE Give up to earn that salary...things such as family time and holidays that MONEY cannot replace.. And it is not worth it half the time to me.

    How about the personal risk we take exposing our selves to dangerious pathogens all the time..quantify the dollar amount for that! What about the toll the stress and the job takes on many nurses minds and bodies? i have come to learn is no substitute for good health.

    Someone actually asked me the other day..."What dollar value would make it worth it to you to work more for us"..and I thought to myself know...I am not sure that their is ANY dollar amount that would make me want to work more then the huge amount of hours I already work and give up any more free time.

    That is not to say that I regret the extra hours I work above 40...I certainly do it becasue I WANT to..and I do Like picking up the extra salary. But Many times that I work extra hours it is not so much that I want to but it is desparetly needed for someone to go in.

    When you consider the 5 years I gave up in college...potential income earning years that I could hardly work very much with school...that is probablly 70k in income I lost...then add the 50k just in student loans I have and I havent even come close to breaking even yet.

    So no. I feel zero guilt accepting my salary. I dont think you could get alot of people to do this job if they were not well paid.

    Great topic. Thanks for posting!
  11. by   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.
  12. by   OnlybyHisgraceRN
    Compared to those making 9 bucks an hr. our 25-30 hr IS big money to them. I don't think nurses are paid enough for what we do. I'm grateful for my hourly wage however, not nearly enough to claim that I'm rich.
  13. by   eroc
    Sure i'm gonna get hate for this, but here's my thoughts.

    I have been an shipyard worker, worked for years in construction, and run my own business for many years.
    And for the benifits nurses get...I consider them fairly compesated.

    I seem to hear alot of complaining about how hard the job of a nurse is, and I agree I don't fully know yet, but it can't be harder than a much more phsyically demanding job, that also requires heavily dealing with customers. I only have my wife to gauge how tough it is, beacuse she has worked along side me, as well as being a RN for the past 2 years, (she works in the ER now) And she feels as though nurses tend to complain more than is necessary about how tough their jobs are, especailly since they are fairly compesated.

    Now i still need to take the Nclex-RN and pass, but I highly doubt is going to make me want to go back to Sandblasting steel ships in 100+ degree weather, filthly to the point of being black from dust, for LESS MONEY.

    Thing is if you think you have it bad....someone else has it worse.

    Everyone thinks they should be paid more...

    BTW, I have made $65k a year without a high school dipolma...working 80+ a week. So I know all the factors, of taxes. And I wouldn't ask for a handout making $10 an hour.