Do you feel that Nurses are underpaid and overworked? - page 2

Do you feel that Nurses are underpaid and overworked? Or do you think nurses are adequately paid and worked? Let hear your opinion, post a reply to this message. ------------------ Brian... Read More

  1. by   dch
    I can only add the the reply's you have. They all are the real picture. Nurses have no control of the major life and death issues that they are responsible for. I work in an institution where on any given day I may be responsible for 30-35 very ill residents. I am to make sure their med. is right, their treatments have been done, and attempt to really know what their needs and wants are and then to meet those needs and wants. You tell me how any nurse can actually do such for this number of clientele and then document every detail, change in condition, and behavior. Not in just one place, but in the nurses notes, the MAR, treatment records, any ongoing logs, and write any telephone orders (often putting the same information in as many as 5 places). I do my job to the best of my ablitity and give my heart and soul but I follow many things others leave undone and am sure I haven't always been perfect. I do try to prioritize and delegate any resonable task. But, it ususally is left for me to do as the staff who are assigned to help are out to smoke their 10th cigarettee and administration won't take any disciplinary action because they are short staffed and don't want to cause any waves. I love to help people and want to do a good job. But, there is a human limit. When do nurses finally get to make a difference. Not to mention I have been a RN for >12 years and now make only $1.00 more per hour than I did as a new graduate. I have went back to school and obtained a BSN, but in the rural town I live none of that is of any matter. Yes nurse are overworked and underpaid.
  2. by   LAS
    I feel that I am fortunate, in that I
    making a decent salary and that I am
    able to comfortably support myself.
    It is unrealistic to think that you
    will become indeoendently wealthy in
    nursing. But nurses are overworked
    at times for all the reasons already
    posted. But nurses do have the power
    to bring about change but it is not
    easy. Nurses have to be willing to
    stop just complaining and to get
    involved. The nurses of the CNG
    (Concerned Nurses Group) are working
    to bring about change.
  3. by   Rae
    I have been with the same organization for over 20 years. I make $27/hr and am maxed out. There is no incentive for retained good employees to stay. I look at the new grads starting at $15-$16/hr and wonder how as a profession are we so undervalued. My son who is a HS graduate makes more installing windshields than my new grad RN's do. We can only change things through legislative lobbying. At my facility (being 70-80% Medicare patients)because of the government cutbacks in reinbursement, we have much less money coming in. Also, with competing HMO contracts, they too are able to pay less to the hospital for care delivered. All of these things can only be changed by nurses becoming a strong voice to the lawmakers. If Christian men groups can meet with numbers in the 100,000 or more for a belief, so can nurses. Have we ever met in mass to address our concerns? The time is ripe for nurses now to show our force. I know nurses historically don't want to "rock the boat" for fear of being fired. How can facilities fire anyone when they can't find enough staff. And why aren't individual nursing associations making more noise? It's sad to say I will be moving into a new profession soon. I am studying to become a paralegal. Maybe from that standpoint I can show that nurses are overworked and underpaid.
  4. by   cole
    Yes, I too agree that for the most part nurses are overworked and underpaid. Our profession has grown and advanced and we find ourselves with more and more responsibilities. How many of us have saved a patient and/or the doc's butt not once but time after time? I've been an RN for 31 years specializing in critcal care and trauma. After trying to take care of too many ill and injured people and document it all correctly, without enough staff, I'm out of it. I'm going into another field. Fortunately, I've never "had" to work to support myself or family. It's a good thing--in my area, a small town, most jobs are held by LPNs and an RN is lucky if she makes $15.00/hour. It annoys the hell out of me to see thousands and thousands of dollars to go into landscaping and other decorating, but the staff can't be decently compensated. The lack of compensation wouldn't bother me as much if we had enough staff to give good, safe care to our patients. Most smart nurses I know no longer do direct patient care.
  5. by   Carol Hann
    I agree with all of the above comments. The old saying that "Nurses eat their young" is very much alive. Nurses historically have not worked together or helped each other. Anyone who gets promoted is alot of times resented by their colleages instead of being supported. I think the reason for this is that it is a female profession and lets face it females were not taught to work together as a team. We were taught to be in competition with each other. In my long career, I have found other nurses to be jealous, catty, backbitting of other nurses that have gone on the get their degrees and were respected by the medical staff and others for their knowledge and expertise. These small minded people have made it their mission to distroy these nurses. Consequently, these good nurses have left their facilities because they could not complete their jobs. Until nurses start respecting each other,leaner to work as team, and allow expression of ideas, we as a profession will always be undervalued and not be respected, and therefore underpaid.
  6. by   jducci
    I'm Italian ICU Nurse and I think we are underpaid and overworked.
    I'd to exechange experiences about ICU to other ICU nurses. Thanks to all and happy new year.

    [This message has been edited by jducci (edited January 02, 2000).]
  7. by   pattik
    I have been scanning some of the responses to the overworked/underpaid question and I am amazed at the similarity of them. There is a lot of anger and frustration out there, but little concrete suggestions for solving the problem. There are so many nurses in the US that we should be able to have a significant voice in legislation, and a significant voice in our work situation. Why are we so content to "have a job"? Baloney. There are jobs everywhere to be had. With a huge nursing shortage pending, CAN start demanding what we want. It just takes courage. Unionize...protect yourself a little. (you do have the protected right to suggest,search out and lobby for a union in you place of work.) And yes, there have been marches on Washington led by Laura Gasparis. Were you there? I was. Get Revolution Magazine. There's lots of support in it for all of us. Don't just sit back and complain, get moving. If you can do what you do in your job and risk your life every day (firemen are more protected than we are) then you can stand up to the administrators who place such little value on your job.
  8. by   callisgang
    After working the past 2 PM shifts I would say without hesitation, YES we are overworked, underpaid and underappreciated! We are in the midst of an Influenza A crisis in our area and we are inundated with it. And because I am on a Peds/Medical floor we also have babies with we have differing types of isolation all over the place...and when one pt gets discharged we have another waiting for the room within minutes. We are so busy we sometimes don't have time to properly gown, glove etc. and are then dragging the bugs from room to room and exposing ourselves also. I am completely exhausted from just 2 nights in a row and am supposed to be 'on call' tonight. I don't feel like the administration is supportive of us and aren't giving any consideration to how hard we are working and how unsafe we could potentially be because of that. When we report how overwhelmed we are the response is usually "everyone is" and we know that but how long can we work under this stress? I love my job but feel like all I am doing at this time is playing med nurse, dropping off meds in one room and then on to the next. The parents of my peds pts could use some emotional support but I don't have time available for much support,,,and isn't that what we nurses need too??? Sorry so long but very tired and frustrated nurse here.
  9. by   callisgang
    How many jobs do you know of that when you arrive to work someone tells you "You are going to work short today, you will be doing the work of 2 or maybe 3 people, you will get no help and no extra money for this and if the next shift is short you may have to stay BUT you had better do a good job because the patient satisfaction survey is due out soon and everyone better be happy!!" No one actually verbalizes this but it is the silent message we each receive when we get there...and should you go to the director with concerns that you are perhaps working unsafely she tells you about all the other units that are understaffed and overfull too! What happened to support for your employees?
  10. by   mn nurse
    Nobody can deny there has been a decline in the quality of nursing care patients receive as a result of higher patient/nurse ratios. Are we angry and frustrated? Yes. Are we overworked? Yes. Underpaid? Some days, it sure feels that way!

    I do feel the need to respond to the previous post, which states "the nurses that are staying around usually have very poor attitudes and don't really care about the patients, only the paychecks". That is certainly NOT true in my case! If I didn't care about the patients, I wouldn't be so frustrated. In fact, I wouldn't still be in nursing, because there are certainly easier ways to bring home a paycheck! (Better hours, too!) I feel this is true of 99% of my colleagues, too. I would go so far as to say the only ones left in nursing are the people who are extremely devoted to the patients. Everybody else bailed out.
  11. by   samerry
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by bshort:
    [B]Do you feel that Nurses are underpaid and overworked? Or do you think nurses are adequately paid and worked? Let hear your opinion, post a reply to this message.

    Yes, a BIG YES. I'm not currently working as a nurse but in my 28 years experience as an RN I have seen a lot. A lot has changed and will continue to change. But one thing I see is that nursing is no longer what it has been. Medical Care is now a business rather than a caring industry. The bottom line is money. I know hospitals have to stay current with equipment, etc but the patient is actually the one who suffers. Yes, they get the latest technological tests that are available, they get state of the art diagnosis and treatment from physicians but the care they receive in the hospital is awful. And it is not the nurses fault. Administration has put such a work load on the nurses they can only do the very bare minimum for the patient and they are rushed to get them out of the hospital as soon as they know their name again and you don't think they are going to die. The practice of nursing is going by the wayside because of this money crunch. We ask so much of nurses that they are crumbleing under the stress and a lot of them are leaving nursing because they can't take any more. The nurses that are staying around usually have very poor attitudes and don't really care about the patient, only the paycheck. And yes, they are underpaid for the work they do and the responsibility they carry day in and day out. I was just in the hospital for a short stay myself and I had to be very dilligent in making sure I was given the right medication at the right time, etc. because the nurses were so heavily burdened with the number of patients they had to care for and they are so rushed, mistakes are inevitable. I just hope I'm never there and unable to know what is going on around me. Who will protect me then.
  12. by   Suzanne
    I am an Australian clinical nurse who has been working most of the last 25 years.
    For my position I believe the pay is reasonable with shift penalties etc. I double my husbands salary.
    However working conditions stink here too.
    I am in the general medical area, and from my experience money goes everywhere but here.
    The numbers of available staff is dwindling but beds are not closed.
    We found out a year or two ago the only way to close a ward is to remove the beds from it and store them.
    We are being refurbished and redeveloped at present so beds are tight as it is but staffing is tighter.
    How would you like to do our next roster with 54 deficit shifts at present count.
    Our patients acknowledge we run.
    For the first time ever, I slept till 10am in the morning after a late shift and still felt I could sleep for another 4hrs.
    I love my work as no doubt do most of us that stick around.
    I dread to think what happens next, my age group is the one due to cause a massive drop when we retire.
    I'd say I can't wait, unfortunately I may be one of the poor souls in need of nursing by then and where will they be for me.
    Like I said I love the job though. Wouldn't trade it for quids, I wouldn't get anyone stupid enough to trade probably anyway.

  13. by   clover
    Hello fellow nurses: I DO believe we are over worked and underappreciated. I don't necessarily believe we are under paid, maybe only for the responsibility we have. What I feel strongest about and I've shared this with nurses I've worked closely with is how nurses are not nice to each other. Why is that? Is it part of a master plan to keep nurses from uniting and gaining a voice and a lobby in Congress? If anyone has any comments or anything, please feel free to e-mail me at any time. Let's work together and revive the art of caring! *_*