Nursing curriculum needs more respect! - page 2

Reading all these post makes me realize that I was not the only one who thought that nursing school was very hard. However, now being a nurse for 4 1/2 years, it sad to realize that the only people... Read More

  1. by   whipping girl in 07
    Mark, I agree that we deserve to get paid more than we get. I'm just saying that AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE I am happy where I am at. I am almost one year out of nursing school making more money than I ever thought I would. I don't like it that it won't take me long to max out though. That's why I'm planning to go back to school. I agree that some (maybe most) hospitals do treat the nurses like doormats, but for Godsake, a lot of nurses TAKE it! Never complain, never quit, never go to work for an agency. Just come to work every day and bytch about how bad things are. Won't get involved in their state organization, won't look into forming a union, won't even try to get together with their co-workers to form a united front to confront management about a problem. And people wonder why things don't change.

    Several months ago some complaints were made in my department about being pulled to other floors out of turn. Some nurses complained about it, and we finally got our department to be decentralized and got our manager on the ball about getting classes formed so more staff could be made "core," solving some of our staffing issues. Things aren't perfect, by any means, but we are at least doing our part to bring about changes. And you know what, when I get in my year of experience, if I don't like how things are going I will vote with my feet and go to work for an agency, a different department or a different hospital. When the hospitals get to the point where they can't find any employees willing to put up with crap, they will have to give in and pay better wages and provide better working conditions. I don't know how long this will take or if it will ever happen. But I DO know that it was the YOUNG nurses (relatively fresh out of school) who brought about changes in our department. They have encouraged some of the older (more years of nursing experience) to stop bytching and do something about our work environment.

    But I stand by my statement that you should still be grateful for the job you have and the fact that you CAN work.
  2. by   mark_LD_RN
    Konni my post wasmore aimed at MK2002 post. while I agree we should be happy to have a job ( in away). I had ajob before nursing and I guess that is why i do not feel such a drive to accept what ever is handed to me.
    nurses need to learn to work together and get what we deserve. if we don't the shortage will get worse so will our treatment.
    I am glad you realize you will max out quickly. the money is not to bad right out of school but you will quickly get left behind other professions.

    the one point i completely agree with is that some nurses just lay there and take it. I for one wont. I do what i like get paid a decent amount. if i don't like it I tell them where they can put it and move on. I have do agency,taught, and worked in almost all areas so it is not like i can not get a job. at worst i could go back to my previous line of work.

    question Konni where is the land o skeeters?
  3. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by MK2002
    Be glad that you have a job.
    I think you missed the point.
  4. by   Q.
    Originally posted by tonicareer
    15 dollars an hour waiting tables? No way. I agree that nurses should be paid more, but I don't know where anyone gets 15 an hour to wait tables.

    I made $2.75/hour waiting tables. On a busy night, I probably averaged $15/hr with tips. I also never heard of $15/hr base for waiting tables.
  5. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Agnus
    I think you missed the point.

    I'm not sure he did, Agnus.

    While I agree that nursing entirely needs more recognition (and this I believe will only come from US, not from the public or our medical counterparts just waking up one day - but that's a different thread) all I have to do when I'm having a "nursing pity party" is look at my MIL, who has been working at the same company for over 35 years and who gets maybe a 10 cent raise, and who makes about $7.50/hour. Her conditions are deplorable and unsafe. (she works in a factory). The problem is, it's the only gig in town so there is really no where else for employment. She lives in a small rural community in Northern Wisconsin.

    Secondly, before my husband's grandfather died, I remember having a conversation with him about employment. My husband and I always talk about finding a new job, different job, etc and my grandfather remarked: "back in our day we were lucky to even have a job." I thought that statement was very profound, and he was right.

    So, what do I do when I'm having a nursing pity party? Look at those facts and realize I am lucky. I am employed. Our bills are paid. We live in a comfortable home. We can eat what we like. We even have pets. In the grand scheme of things, it really isn't that bad. On top of doing that though, I do realize that nursing is disjointed and screwed up, and never moved past the 1950's when a nurse first suggested that we define ourselves and our knowledge. We never went any further than that. Could that be our problem? There are a lot of nurses currently who find absolutely no use for "theory" which actually serves to identify ourselves to other disciplines. How can really move forward if we have nurses who don't look at the bigger picture?

    It's because we have food on our table and our bills are paid that we can look at problems in our profession. If we were struggling to eat, our concerns wouldn't lie with our professional problems, but where our next meal is coming from.
    So, I think we can take a look at nursing, and our curricula, and our literature and see what we can do to improve things. But while doing that I also realize I have food on my table and am paying for my education as well. If we hit a major Depression my husband and I would survive as a result of my being a nurse. I consider myself fortunate in that regard, and I can still do that, WHILE looking for change as well.
    Last edit by Susy K on Nov 3, '02
  6. by   renerian
    My daughter is a food runner, works full time and make over 600 per week with wage and tips. I think that is good........she is in college to be a biotechnologist

  7. by   Flo1216
    Waitstaff may average $15-20 an hour in tips waiting tables. Usually the base pay is low, like $2.53 an hour. That's what it is in NJ. The states where the cost of living is cheaper are going to pay their nurses less. Places like NYC and Northern NJ pay pretty well simply because it is so unaffordable to live here!
  8. by   Flo1216
    Food runners make bank! We used to tip the foodrunners 10% of our tips. A Friday night tipout on average was like $20. Multiply that by 10 servers and they do pretty well.
  9. by   nimbex
    I agree with MICU, if nursing profession is truely respected for making a difference in peoples lives, dealing with life threatening germs, exposure to HIV, hepatitis, needing to pass numerous meds with 100% accuracy while drawing labs, educating, bedpanning and dealing with families.......OH and there was a call in today, so you'll have to work short,be in charge and precept this new hire.... all while smiling and trying to set a positive example.... and don't forget to have all your charting and refrige checks done for Joint and the insurance companies.....oh, the first patient you start assessing looks like their stroking.... good luck!!!!

    yes, we are "lucky" that our profession is versatile and jobs are plentiful..... there is a reason for this..... is it truely luck? Are we truly respected? Is patient care truly respected as the priority?

    I don't think we're there yet.... but god love us, we'll still show up smiling the next day because a patient is waiting for our care. If we keep at it.... we'll get there... wait staff may make more than nurses but they don't make a difference like we can

    :kiss :kiss :kiss
  10. by   Dr. Kate
    SusyK's points are well taken. It is because we are eminently employable that we can discuss (and occasionally obsess on) the state of the profession and how well we are or are not being paid.
    As someone who remembers nurses (RNs) being laid off and jobs being seriously scarce, I think it is important to remember to be greatful to have a secure job. There are a lot of people who are not that fortunate. And for many of those people no job means no health insurance. And we all know where that leads--people coming to the hospital only on an emergent basis, without the financial and emotional resources to recover fully.

    Nursing school is hard. The work is hard. But don't underestimate what other professions have to do. Sometimes the pay for skill ratio is laughable-- required for position: a Masters in Library Science and a reading knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, and German, in addition to English proficiency. All for the grand salary of $50,000/year (no OT or shift diff, ever) and you work In Washington, DC. My question: and where do you live on that salary in that area beside the street? It helps me put it all in perspective.
  11. by   nell
    Originally posted by MK2002
    Be glad that you have a job....

    ....In modern times the average employee is expendable. Do you find that in nursing? No. You will not find any posts from nurses who worry their job is being eliminated through productivity gains.....
    It was just a few years ago that new grads couldn't get a job and there were mass layoffs of nurses precisely because of productivity.

    BTW: This past month there have been layoffs of RNs at hospitals in the South Bay.

    Do you think that you are overworked? Read a few economic news stories when you get a chance. There are thousands of Americans doing the same job that 3 or 4 employees did a few years ago....
    And nurses have picked up the slack too. We are taking care of more patients that are sicker and having to do work that support staff used to do. Lives are in our hands - that is the main reason we are angry about being overworked!

    NOW is the time to make changes in nursing. Obviously there is something wrong with the profession since people are leaving and there are few to take their places.
  12. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    I just want to throw in that I was making as much in retail as an LPN, so I decided to stay in school another 2 years to complete my RN. I was going through the LPN program, but decided it wasn't worth the financial risk just to get some pt care experience.

    I have been making between $12-$15 an hour(saturdays between 18-20) just selling things people basically came into the store for. My boss loves my production and says he's keeping me on the payroll so my vacation, sick time, and base pay will be intact in case I ever want to work any hours at any time.

    There is a shortage of retail salespeople that know how to sell, so that income will always be there when I need it.

    Why become an LPN and work pt on the weekend through RN school?

    I couldn't answer that so I opted the long route.
  13. by   whipping girl in 07
    Land o'skeeters=South Louisiana (made even worse after the hurricane).