What is the complaint with nursing salaries? - page 7

I don't know, maybe I've been broke too long, but I hear alot of complaints about how you'll never get rich in nursing and how bad the pay is. Well, I look at it this way; I know nurses start out at... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    Quote from kadokin
    Good for you Tweety! Do you have special certifications, etc. that add premium to your pay? Any benies w/that? Do you travel? What is the cost of living where you are? Yeah, that tax cut, the house always wins, don't they?

    The cost of living where I live in Florida (St. Petersburg) has taken a drastic climb in the last five years, especially in real estate. Fortunately I bought a nice house before the market went bust. But everything from utilities, gas, food, etc. has climbed. But not as bad as some areas.

    I'm a med-surg staff nurse. We have "pay for skills", so I get extra from being med-surg certified, ACLS, precepting, and leadership (being a relief charge nurse). When I get my BSN I'll get a 4% raise. I've been working in this hospital for 13 years.

    New grads here make $20.00/hr, so if they work 3 12-hr shifts they make about 37,000 plus a year. As I said in an earlier post, I hear of salaries like that and think it's dreadful, for college educated people, the stress and responsibility. But when I was a new grad I thought differently, I couldn't wait to get my hands on "all that money".
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 23, '05
  2. by   southern_rn_brat
    I have to say I feel my pay rate is ok. I mean seriously, no way could they pay me what I'm REALLY worth:chuckle

    I'm in tennessee too, same as the OP. I work only 12 hr shifts on weekends and made about $38k this year after taxes.

    I can work extra if I want, which I dont want lol.

    btw Merry Christmas guys:hatparty:
  3. by   guzzebear
    Quote from hipab4hands
    It depends where you live. In California, $30,000 will barely pay for a studio apartment and your basic needs.
    In other parts of the country, you can live nicely on that type of salary.
    I live in LA and getting paid $26.00/hr with $4.00 night diff. $30.00/hr is pretty good for a new grad....with no experience... (Extra bonus....helping people and LOVING your job

    OH and after 6 months I get $28.00 with $4.00 nights.....
  4. by   featherzRN
    I get $43/hour in california per diem and $35/hour with bennies (outpatient, day shift). And that's at a low seniority job - even though I have 15 years experience, I took a stretch off and had to start near the bottom just a few years ago. Of course the cost is outrageous out here so that's a factor!
  5. by   CA CoCoRN
    Quote from hipab4hands
    It depends where you live. In California, $30,000 will barely pay for a studio apartment and your basic needs.
    In other parts of the country, you can live nicely on that type of salary.
    Right. This year, working a four day work week for most of the year, I broke the 6 figure mark. HOWEVER, in California, with housing prices the way they are, and my need for quality childcare, I haven't cleared enough to buy a house. At least a house that's not an hour or more drive from where I work and currently live.
  6. by   dreamlandeals
    Quote from rach_nc_03
    In my last career, my salary topped out at $127K a year. I didn't live extravagantly; i socked a lot of money away (was paying all the bills and supporting my husband at the time). I used all my savings to live off of in the 3.5 years after i got laid off until i graduated from nursing school. I worked during that last year as a CNA, but my salary basically covered gas and car maintenance, as i had a 100-mile round-trip commute for school every day. During this period, i also went through a divorce and had surgery- something that cost me $20-$25K out of pocket, as i had minimal private health insurance.

    My employer pays new grads $18.54 an hour, with night and weekend shift differentials. They hire new grads mostly for day/night rotation, but my schedule worked out through most of the summer and fall to be mostly weekday day shifts. thus, i've been making around $668 a week, or $34.7K a year. My non-nursing friends are horrified by this. I could make more money workin as a clerical office temp. Obviously, i didn't go into nursing to get rich- if i'd been that concerned about money, i would've stuck to my job hunt longer in my old field...in fact, i got 2 job offers from my old employer and one of it's competitors just weeks after i went back to school, making my former salary. I was tempted, but i declined.

    no, i don't think we're paid enough in this area. it's a struggle for me to meet my expenses *and* put some savings away. people think cost of living is low throughout the south, but in my part of NC, that's not really true. plus, throw a wrench in the plans (car problems, etc.) and things get all out of whack. right now i'm on unpaid leave because i had hip surgery last month. didn't qualify for FMLA, so i'm not getting paid, have to pay COBRA for my health insurance ($350/month), *and* my employer doesn't have to hold my job, or even find another position in the hospital if my job gets back-filled. we can't get short-term disability insurance until we've been there for 3 years, either. the longer i wait, the less likely it is that i'll get my job back..but if i try to go back before i'm healed, i run the risk of causing permanent physical disability.

    sorry that turned into such a rant. i'm a little overwhlemed right now.

    back to the subject at hand...$35K a year is offensive, imo, when you consider how physically, mentally, and emotionally brutal bedside nursing is. throw in some unprofessional coworkers and a hostile work environment, and it's a wonder *anyone* will do this job- for any amount of money. I know all positions aren't like this, but far too many are.

    bottom line: pursuing a career path for purely monetary reasons is never a good idea, regardless of the field. but to assert that one's *only* motivation should be a passion for caring for people is (as many threads before have discussed) a big reason nurses haven't taken action to demand better pay and working conditions. there should be no shame in nurses expecting fair compensation and respect as the medical professionals we are.
    so true