Do you feel that Nurses are underpaid and overworked?

  1. 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 Short
    WORLDWIDE NURSE: The Internet's Nursing Directory

    [This message has been edited by bshort (edited January 13, 2000).]
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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,431; Likes: 16,404 founder; from US
    Specialty: 18+ year(s) of experience in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele


  3. by   nurse97
    Yes! I KNOW nurses are underpaid and overworked. Good grief! My husband didn't even finish high school and he makes way more money than I do. I had to finish high school AND go to nursing school 3 years.
    As far as being overworked, they give you 2 or more jobs to do and a lot more! My goodness, why pay two people if you can get one to do it. Never mind that they can't do a good job, a complete job. Just ride their behinds and constantly tell them they're just too slow and that they need to prioritize and manage their time. Most of all make them feel like they are just no good at what they're doing and they need a lot of improvement and make them feel that they're worthless human beings and infer they OUGHT to be grateful for a job and a piddly little paycheck.
    And then, just for comparison's sake, pay a person who runs up and down a playing field with a small oval ball (and gets all sorts of injuries by running into and over a bunch of other people on the same field) millions of dollars. And to further the comparison, have this worthless, underpaid nurse nurture and help heal this so valuable person , doing the things that this person would do for themselves if they hadn't been injured doing their oh-so-important job of running that ball down that field. Meanwhile, make plenty of money charging this person for the care this worthless nurse provides for him, BUT pay this nurse only a small portion, 'cause she's not worth much anyhow. I mean, after all, what kind of worth is a person who bathes, cleans behinds, feeds, and turns patients over. (Ask around and see if this isn't what folks think that a nurse does. When you tell them what you do, they're stupified and stammer "Gosh I didn't KNOW nurses did that! I, Ha Ha, thought all you did was empty bedpans.")
    'Nuff said! Unless we ALL pull together and stand united and demand respect and educate the public just what we do do, we can't expect any better....

  4. by   jdecker
    No one really knows what nurses really do, not even our families, except other nurses. Hard work never frightened me. Being exhausted after the 14th hour of work and trying to remember what the blood pressure was on the patient I just checked frightens me. I am always amazed when I read what other people do for the money they make. Nurses make critical decisions everyday that affect people and their lives in the most important and significant events that can happen to people. Part of the responsibility for nurses not being viewed as important is that we have failed to prepare and present ourselves as professionals. Until we educate ourselves professionally and then perform research to indicate what we do has value, we will not reimbursed what we know we are worth and viewed as necessary members of the health care team.

  5. by   spadilla76
    Let's put it this way: if any department in a given hospital doesn't want to do its job (for example, housekeeping doesn't want to clean room because there was a big BM accident, or phlebotomy can't make it to the floor in time to do a routine blood draw, or laboratory doesn't have a tech to pick up labs, or pharmacy can't seem to deliver medications at the appropriate, and so on...), NURSES are the ones who have to make up for other ancillary departments' lack of teamwork, interest, and general presence of a work ethic. It gets to the point where we are no longer just nurses, but we are the housekeepers, and the lab techs, and the pharmacy staff, and etc... But, why spend time complaining about it??? - it MUST get done, and NURSES do it. We are integral to the functioning of a hospital system. We are the backbone of any medical establishment. But, unfortunately, we are also mostly comprised of women in what some archaic and common-sense-compromised minds seem to think is "women's work"... so, we are underpaid, overworked, and expected to carry on some strangely subversive gendered subtext that too many people still buy into so much that it is no longer questioned by the people who know best: NURSES. So, in answer to the question at hand, yes we are... that should be obvious. But the question SHOULD have been: "What are we going to do about it?"
  6. by   SMORROW
    Yes, I agree that nurses are underpaid and overworked. I believe that's where they came up with the words BURNOUT and FRUSTRATION! Nurses need to unite and stand up for themselves. I've always heard alot of talk about this topic from other nurses, but no one is willing to act. As long as we are willing to put up with this, the politicians will never change a thing. A few people will never be heard, but the majority can.
  7. by   medpuppies
    I have worked for over 25 years in the nursing field. You bet, I have had many jobs and I've never felt that I've been treated fairly when it comes to getting paid what I feel I'm worth. It seems the more that you do for your employer the more they expect and use you to get their job done. In the last 25 years, I dare say that I have never had a job that actually gave you your 30 minute lunch break and your two ten minute breaks that the Department Of Labor says we are entitled too, just like all other employed persons. Why is it, that we allow the employer to take advantage of us by shortchangeing us, not only in paying us less, but also by demanding overtime? Let's see. Two ten minute breaks each day, multiplyed by 10 days, equals the sum of 200 minutes. That's a total of three hours and 10 minutes you didn't get payed for. Now, multiply this amount by 26 and you now have the colosal grand total of 86.66 hours that we should have been paid for but we gave away. Does any of this make sense year after year after year? And the employer says that they aren't making any money. Well, someone is and it isn't me. Is it you?
  8. by   CVSDnurse
    I have only recently gone from Long Term Care to a Cardiac Step Down unit. I think that one example of how nurses are over worked and under paid is that RN's are now resposible for rmoving arterial sheaths after coronary catheterization rather than Physcians. We are taking on the time consuming and very risky task that was once only for physcians so that they can "process" more patients. How nice it must be to be paid "per case" rather than per hour-how much better would nursing incomes be on days when there is shortages of staff if we were paid per paitent and task(I would charge for each call placed to an on-call MD when we have to explain the patient and tell the doctor what it is that we think the patient needs if only they will"give" the order.
  9. by   shee1a
    I agree with the above statements. Nurses as a whole are overworked and underpaid. the overworked part dont bother me, if we were getting compensated appropriatly for our activities. Unlike doctors, we will never get rich from this profession.
    As far as one letter up above, I also have a husband and a brother who both have H.S. diplomas that make twice what I make and have the potential for alot more with stocks options etc.
  10. by   askater
    I'm the opposite. The overwork bothers me more than how we're paid. I've been in nursing 4 years. I had a couple positions prior where I was overworked. And NO EVEN IF I WAS COMPENSATED better I would not stay in nursing. Since then I've found a R.N. position that I'm satisfied with. And I work with a great group of nurses. There are changes going on my unit that makes me nervous. Cuts. But so far I'm very happy with my position.

    Anyways, I went into nursing to give good, nurturing care to my patients. Prior positions I was not able to give adequate care. I would leave work everyday exhausted and disgusted that I was unable to give good care.

    Yes nurses do pick up a lot ancillary work. When they cut the housekeeping. Yes I'm picking up garbage off the floor. When the P.C.T's are unable to draw blood. Yes I'm in the room drawing the blood. (sometimes often) When pharmacy doesn't carry a medication the doctor ordered. Yes pharmacy has the nurses call the dr. And etc. etc. etc.

    My main concern is the overworked nurses. And inadequate care because one day it may be my loved one in the hospital.
  11. by   Roach
    Yes, over-over and over-worked. The pay could be a lot better. Agency is the way to go now a days if you can deal with the unknown and change floors often. (and if you don't need the benefits) It's too bad we have to give those things up if we want better pay.

  12. by   shee1a
    I was looking at agency work recently, and some actually offer benefits now. They to have felt the nursing crunch and are trying to be competitive. FYI.
  13. by   Blue11RN
    Yes, I agree, we are OVERWORKED and very UNPAID!!! Many of you fellow nurses have expressed your feelings about being tired of the BS and we need to ban together to change it. Well, has anyone thought on how we can ban together??? What can we do as nurses to be heard and to make people know we are serious? How can we use this forum to ban together to get our voices heard?? I think we need to start here and then really ban together.We need to stop just saying we should do something and get going and REALLY do something!!!! Any ideas????? Where should we begin? I am willing to help in the fight and help nurses be heard!!!!
  14. by   Darlene Jones
    The only time I have seen real results happen in any profession,is when the workers go on strike. I think that is about the only thing that will change things for Nurses. It's unfortunate but many of us cannot afford to strike. Just an idea....Darlene