Nurse Salary vs. Teacher Salary? - page 3

I was talking to a friend this morning and she is just finishing Nursing school and said that she could have become a Teacher with better hours and the same pay? Is this true? I know as a RN we start... Read More

  1. by   EmmyBee
    I have to agree with the previous poster. I taught at the high school level for 3 years. While it may seem like the ideal work environment, it is far from that. I was required to be at the school from 7:45-3:45 but most days I was there until 4:30 or 5 trying to get ready for the next day. But your day was not over then--you still had to grade homework and tests that needed to be returned. While the parents may not be there every day, all day, they can make your life a pain very easily. Also, your success is not dependent on you alone, your success is dependent on how well a student wants to do on state testing. And you are also at work for many more days that the students are. At least 2 weeks before school starts, many days that the students are out, you are still working.
    I agree with this 100%. Both of my sisters have been in the education field for over ten years. One is a classroom teacher and the other is an assistant principal, here in South Florida.

    The one in the classroom has told me just about everything I quoted from the poster above. And I've seen her in action, so I know it's true. And as far as the parents, one year she had a student whose mother was a principal at another school. The lady made my sister's life a living hell, all because she gave her son a B (instead of an A) that he truly deserved. And in the end, she had to CHANGE the grade.

    She, along with many of her fellow teachers, quit the union a while ago. They didn't feel the $800+ a year was worth it. And their health insurance is covered, but not that of their family members, which is straight out of pocket. Also, they have no say in the size of the classes. Not at all.

    Last year she only made about $38,000. She is currently working on her master's, and has said it will only give her about a $2000 to $3000 salary increase per year. My other sister (the AP), made between $65,000 to $70,000 last year. But she just took a 10% salary cut that started last month. And they recently let go a bunch of APs throughout the county. She will soon start working on her PhD to try and become a principal, because she doesn't feel her job is secure.

    I am currently an LPN in an RN program. I made about $50,000 last year (much work was done from home, allowing me to earn extra hours), with much less stress. So to me, I don't think teachers have it all that great. I think it's a shame that anytime something has to be cut, they start with the teachers and education. They work so hard, even on weekends sometimes, and they are always getting shafted.

    I don't know how accurate this is, but I pulled it from a salary website from my county. I think this is for classroom, not administration:

    Degree level....................Year 1......................Year 6:

    Bachelor's.......................$36,250.......... .........$37,538

    Master's..........................$39,250......... .........$40,538

    Doctorate.......................$43,250........... ........$44,538

    *When viewing these numbers, keep in consideration such benefits as full dental, long-term disability and quality health insurance. Secondly, these are salaries based on a 190-day or 10-month work year. We encourage you to explore what each school district has to offer you, take into consideration the area in which you wish to live and do the math to see if you will be satisfied. Good luck! (<----- From the site. LOL)
    Last edit by EmmyBee on May 24, '09
  2. by   Angela.RN2B
    No Being a Nurse is the best choice for me and my family. I cannot even live in my town a suburb of St.Louis on that salary. The average Salary here is $80,000...I love the neighborhood and I hope to live and retire here. I appreciate all the wonderful debate. Thanks for all the wonderful advice which allowed me to really think things over in different points of view.
  3. by   changeofpaceRN
    Around here, teachers start out making the same as new RN's. Since the public ones are hired by the county, they have great benefits whereas my benefits don't even come CLOSE and I'm the one dealing with the sick and injured.. they have many perks. On the flip side, they can't work 3-11 or 11-7 if they need to avoid daycare or do whatever else. I am able to work those hours and go to school and run errands. I chose not to work 12's but in that case, you'd have more days off as a nurse :-)
  4. by   Cinqly
    It is interesting to me that this discussion came up. I just completed a second bachelors degree (BSN) after refusing to get a teaching degree the first time around (music major....long story). Anyway, I was always glad I never did become a teacher because despite the fact that I could have been working all these years, I know I would have been miserable. In my city, large urban city with a HUGE public school district, teachers are treated like crap. I think the starting salary now is around 38,000 for bachelor's and 40,000 for master's. OH so worth getting the master's degree!! My friend has taught in the city schools for three years and has been shunted around from school to school (4 schools in 3 years I think). The pay is awful, the hours are awful, and the conditions are awful. While Nurses around here work 36-40 hours per week with overtime, teachers regularly put in ten or more extra hours per week that are unpaid. Grading, meetings, etc are NOT payed for with overtime pay. The classrooms have TONS of kids, there is bad administration, and no support for continuing education. In fact, during her summer break she is going to be taking A&P to see if she is of the ability to go to nursing school!!?!!! Nurses start out between 21-23 per hour, plus shift diff, plus overtime. Plus at the end of the day I don't go home and spend hours grading and making lesson plans. The hospital benefits are great, and they pay for student loans AND continuing education. Guess it just depends on where you live.......!!!
  5. by   sunray12
    Quote from lindarn
    That may be true, but teachers have far better benefits than nurses do, have pensions that they can actually live/retire, on, have control over their class sizes, and have a union that actually sticks up for them with adminstration. You don't see teachers having to deal with parents insisting on staying in their child's classroom for the entire school day, and trying to control/interfere in the classroom dynamics on a daily basis. I am not saying that parents cannot be PIA's it is just that teachers have the conrol to prevent this from becoming out of control the way it has in hospitals. Nurses wish we had what teachers have. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    ^^A friend of mine, former special ed teacher left teaching because she was overwhelmed by demanding parents. When parents turn a disabled child over to a teacher they want improvement yesterday and it doesn't always happen that way. Try being the teacher who has to tell a parent that - and keep telling them that. So I wouldn't say that this is not an issue for teachers.

    I live in a right to work state and many teachers aren't in unions.

    In my area teachers and nurses start out at about the same pay but nurses can substantially bump up their salaries with OT in just a few years. e.g. A nurse can be making close to six figures in 3-5 if s/he works a lot of OT. A teacher would not come close to those wages until close to retirement 25 years down the line. There are pay differentials for different degrees and years of experience - but the difference in my school district between a Bachelor's and a Phd is on average about 5-6K/year so a little more than the ADN vs BSN differentials but not by a massive amount. Someone said something about one teacher making 23K and a teacher next door making 86k. It sounds to me like the teacher making 23k is part time and the teacher making 86k has 30 years with the school district and a phd.

    Teacher retirement is better because most teachers work for the state and don't tend to job hop as much as some nurses do. Also teacher who ends up dissatisfied may take a different job for the next school year but if it's in the same state then it's all the same retirement system. So that's the difference with regard to retirement.

    I know elementary teachers who work 7am to 7pm and they are salaried so if 12 hour days spell OT! for you then avoid k-6.

    Teaching is not a better job than nursing or vice versa. It's all in what you want and which field is a best fit for your skills.
  6. by   Spacklehead
    Quote from flbeau
    Two free periods are often take up with meetings, lesson plans, grading and trainings. Lunch is thirty minutes and that is from when you start walking your kids to the cafeteria until you pick them up approx 24 minutes later.
    I definitely wouldn't mind getting some free time to sit in on a meeting or free training - then I wouldn't have to come back in on my day off to do so.
  7. by   eriksoln
    I know a couple teachers who left, went into nursing school and decided to return to teaching.

    When they first thought nursing would be a better choice, they sited lack of support from their school facility with regards to dealing with out of control students (I'm talking about being attacked, not just someone not doing homework) and too many "politics".
    One quit nursing school and went back, said he realized the error of his judgment about half way through his second semester. It was during clinical rotation, as he observed the chaos of a M/S daylight shift and how the nurses kept things under control.....barely. His exact words were "This isnt healthcare, it is a warehouse............a PEOPLE warehouse, and the nurses are the warehouse workers."
    I wouldnt fret too much over which one gets paid more. Figure out which one you'd rather be doing, and do it. You sound like you prefer teaching, so do it, and make the money work.
  8. by   Ginger's Mom
    I have taught several teachers who once saw what nurses do they left nursing.

    One thing teachers don't have to deal with is working in inclement weather, weekends, or holidays. That is a big plus.

    Both jobs are stressful and have to deal with people and should be compensated well.
  9. by   CodyRN
    I am going to graduate with a BSN and I thought that it was the better choice when I started nursing school but I'm a little concerned that I won't be making more than ADN because I have over 50K in student loans that the ADN won't have. It just costs more time and money to get a BSN so I think that we should have some sort of compensation for that in the workplace. I'm not saying that the work is any different or that one is better than the other, I'm just saying that if you take the extra time and effort and expense to get the BSN, you should have some hope of paying your student loans when you graduate.
  10. by   tinybabynurse
    I know of many teachers that have left teaching to become nurses. I don't know any nurses that have left nursing to become elementary or high school teachers. I'm sure they exist, but speaking from experience I can't imagine why you would do it unless you had absolutely no idea what you were getting yourself into.
  11. by   greenfiremajick
    Quote from Angela.RN2B
    I was talking to a friend this morning and she is just finishing Nursing school and said that she could have become a Teacher with better hours and the same pay? Is this true? I know as a RN we start at $20 an hour. Is this the case for Teachers. I have always been told RN's are paid so well and Teachers not so well. Was I always misinformed? I googled this very question and I didn't get any clear answers. I would love to teach and also get my RN degree and possibly be a RN part time if thats the case.
    From what I can tell, if we looked at an RN starting at $35,000 annual and a teacher starting at a rate of $35,000 annual, teachers make less.

    Here's how I figured it:
    One poster said (and i believe they are right, teachers normally put in aprox 55 hrs per week. That means they are putting in about 2200 hours over the 10 month teaching period (and don't forget about the job I did, which was teaching SPED and attending regular IEP meetings in the afternoon). So back to hours....
    Teachers put in 2200 hours over 10 months. That means aprox 220 hours per month. Being paid 3500 month means the teacher is making $16 hr.

    Nurses put in about 36 hrs per week, totaling 144 hrs per month (1,728 hrs per year), which when calculated at $35,000 per year, means $20.25 per hour minimum......
    All of this is without considering taxes, medical, etc......

    Think I'll stick with the whole idea of nursing!
  12. by   HappyBunnyNurse
    I taught school for six years before leaving to do get my BSN. I will make more money in this, my first year of nursing than I did in my sixth year of teaching. Now when I work overtime I actually get paid overtime! I am still amazed that many days(not all, but most) I actually get thirty whole minutes for lunch. I also don't have to "hold it" nearly as often (if no one is in distress I can actually go to the restroom). I really loved teaching and actually had good test scores but I just couldn't take the lack of respect anymore. I was only physically assaulted once but verbal assaults were daily from both parents and students. All those people who act crazy at the hospital also have children and act pretty much the same way at school. Nurses at least get some respect for our education and knowledge. People seem to have an inherent lack of respect for teachers based on the many misconceptions about the job. Some of those misconceptions have actually been posted on this thread. I miss many things about teaching and nursing is by no means an ideal job. However... when I've had a really bad night at work I drive by my former school on the way home and remember it could be worse!
  13. by   Lovely_RN
    I like nursing better than teaching at least as a nurse my hours off are MY hours. Dismissal was at 2:45pm but sometimes I would work at home until 9pm or 10pm at night. The difference with nursing is that I can't take the patients home and I really appreciate being able to leave my stress at the time clock. For me being an elementary school teacher was like being a mother to 33 children. When you are in the classroom there is no escape. No unplanned bathroom breaks or the ability to sneak off for even 3 minutes to gather your thoughts. If you're not on prep or lunch your stuck with the kids and sometimes you just want to get away but you can't.

    The salary for teachers when I started out in 2003 in NYC was 39k annually. I think it's about 43k now so it's roughly equivalent to what I make as an LPN with no OT but far less than a new grad RN 63k-65k with no OT or differentials. I think that's kind of disrespectful considering that it took me 11 months to get my LPN and 4 years to get my B.A. I will make at least 20k more as a new grad RN and I only have an ADN in nursing.