Thinking about nursing - page 2

I've read thru some of the comments here and I consistently see "low pay" and "hard work", well the hard work is something I can deal with but I don't see where the "low pay" is coming from since the... Read More

  1. by   jnette
    Originally posted by RN2007
    Also, I know for a fact that RNs in NC have similar starting wages as FL because my cousin is an RN there and has explained in detail about these things. However, obviously RNs do not get paid this much in more rural areas, etc., for what ever reason. Always do your homework before you move, take a job, etc., because you do not want any negative surprises.
    Yep.. the rural areas get waaaaaaaaay less ! I live on the NC line, and have looked at the payrates there because they are usually a couple $$ higher than my little area in Va. just north of them. But being rural, they, too, only start their RNs out at $17.00/hr with a dollar or two shift diff. Only just a very few years ago, my little corner of the world here was paying thier floor nurses a whopping $12.50/hr !!! RNs, mind you ! (they have increased here lately, tho')

    It has been explained to me that the area's common wages for the ppl who live/work there determine what the hospitals charge for services and therefor what they can pay their nurses. So if you live in a big city with a higher income base, (or a state, for that matter) your hospital can charge more, and pay the staff more.

    Oh well........
  2. by   Furball
    I've been an RN for 51/2 years. I started out at $13.25/hr...that's basically what I was making as a clerk in a grocery store! Plus I got profit sharing checks.

    Now make $21/hr....sorry...that's not enough for what I do. Keeping people alive (trust me...when you get out there you'll realise how incredibly important nurses really are, definitely not an exaggeration) so they can be sent home to enjoy life and their families again is very important....right? 2 years of education? Ha! I read up on new info DAILY and brush up as well... always taking classes. It's impossible to remember everything PLUS....things are ALWAYS changing!

    My BIL makes 70K driving a truck.

    I've never met an RN making more than 50K unless they are working lots of OT, are travellers or DON's.

    I'm just giving you the other side.......
  3. by   teeituptom
    Hmmmm Hmmmmm Hhmmmmm
    You guys make it sound like I should take a cut in pay, no way.
    I make a little over a 100 k every year and not that much OT either.
  4. by   RN2007
    Teeituptom, Do you mind telling us what type career you have, because you do not sound like you are a RN making such high wages??

    Also, I am pretty sure that I recently read in a newspaper that there had been across the board pay raise for all nurses of 8% . I read it somewhere and think it had something to do with the nursing shortage and of course many other factors. I remember the article saying that most probabbly in the future this will be the last time nursing gets such high of a raise at one time, because most of the time the raises are much smaller. You know, this may be one of the reasons why it is becoming more the norm that newly graduated licensed RNs are being paid some where in the twenty something per hour rate. So, I hope that the increase will help the lower wage nurses get a fairer wage as well.

    Furball, you mentioned about how much extra education that RN's have to have to stay on top of things. Most professions have to do the same things in order to keep their license and status in certain professional associations - they are called learning units and much of the time the licensed person must pay for it himself. Gone are the days where employers picks up the tab for a employees's learning units, etc., and the employers who used to now are changing their tune as in my husbands current situation with his employer - and he is a licensed architect.

    However, regardless when you look at all things concerned, going to school for 2 years and getting out of school and having a high probability of making around $ 20 something per hour is a big improvement for many, many people. I understand the importance of human life, etc......, but think about what the EMT and paramedics do daily, because I do not think that they make as much as RNs and their jobs are oh soooo important. If it were not for the paramedics, so much of the times, the bodies that the hospitals received would be DOA-Dead On Arrival, therefore there would not be any need for nursing or dr. care, period! And the tragedies that EMT's see on a regular basis must be overwhelming....

    I know that I really disliked the fact that I went to school over 7 years after completing HS,, getting my Masters Degree in Clinical Counseling, just to find out that people did not want to pay you enough to pay back your student loans, put food on the table, much less take care of a few children, etc., etc.... I found out in 1992, that my pay was about 1/2 what RNs in my town made that I worked side by side in the psychiatric facility. This infuriated me, and the pay has not gotten much better over the years. Maybe someone can answer, "How can someone put a price on caring for another persons psychological wellness"? My God, the drugs we throw at peoples psychological problems day after day, and ignore the benefits that therapy could have resolved, is astounding. Then, we fuss about the addictions and drug problems that many of these same people end up having, - oh well.... So, I quit that lovely profession and several times got a job in sales and marketing, and ended up making twice or more than what I was making in counseling, but of course the work was not very challenging and I became very bored. Now, here I am around 38 years of age and very happy that it will only take me 2 years of my life to go get "hands on training" in a community college nearby, in a ADN program where I can become an RN. Also, because I am a night owl, I have talked to a Nursing supervisor who works at a nearby hospital where I hope to work and she told me that I probably will be able to make around $ 27 - 28.00 per hour if I work 3rd shift and if I work weekends it will be an extra $ 2.00 per hour for Fri, Sat, or Sunday work. So, all in all, I think that this is a very good deal. I know how hard I will have to work, but this time I will not be thrown peanuts for it, thank goodness. And sure, I would love to make $ 70.00 per hr in the future, but am probabbly not willing to make the lifestyle changes it would take to make this pay. At my age, I am comfortable with my life, have our house almost paid completely off, 2 cars paid off, and I am very good at budgeting and hanging on to our money instead of being a spendthrift. I have known people who can hardly live off of $ 70,000 per year but if you see the clothes that they buy all the time, the cars that they "must have", the "big big Xmases that they feel obligated to provide their children each year", well it makes sense. I have always been kind of simple and the biggest expenditure we put out for is for my husbands love for technology - computers, etc., etc., - which can be an addiction in itself, so I watch him very carefully about spending and over the years he finally seems to understand that we budget and do not overspend so that we do not have to work sooo much overtime and so we can have a life NOW, and will have something at the end of the rainbow for ourselves, etc., because after all, it is our responsibility to think this way. We still have a lot of fun with friends, but we have a lot of potlucks, mini-vacations and share costs between families to make it easier on everyone. Now, how did I get soooo off the original topic?? Just call me w-o-m-a-n , lol....
  5. by   Furball
    Paramedics are horribly underpaid, agree totally. I guess my discontent comes from the HS grad guys in my family who make a lot more than I do with very little responsibility and very little added education requirements.
    Wow Teeitup...that salary is great!
  6. by   marilynmom
    The paramedics here make between $8-$10 an hour. Complete CRAPPY wages.

    Still those RN who are making $20 an hour and few and far totally depends on where you live. I do NOT live in a rural area and RNs here start at $15.50 an hour.

    Like I said read over some of the older posts where everyone was stating how much they made and most did NOT make anywhere near $25 an hour.

  7. by   marilynmom
    Originally posted by RN2007
    Also, because I am a night owl, I have talked to a Nursing supervisor who works at a nearby hospital where I hope to work and she told me that I probably will be able to make around $ 27 - 28.00 per hour if I work 3rd shift

    I have known people who can hardly live off of $ 70,000 per year but if you see the clothes that they buy all the time, the cars that they "must have", the "big big Xmases that they feel obligated to provide their children each year", well it makes sense.
    Ya but what you are not understanding is that most RN do NOT make anywhere near $20 an hour. Here they start at $15.50 an hour and with a family you can not even LIVE off that (and I do not live in a rural area, I live in the city here). So to make assumtions that most are making that much money and just blowing it on "big xmases" or "must haves" is simply not true in a lot of places.

    Now some RNs here do make that much if they work for an agency or float (again with NO benifits and most people do need benefits) and there IS money to be made in nursing but certainly most floor nurses around the country and NOT making anywhere near that. Just call some hospitals or ask RN from all over and you will see why they are saying they are underpaid, because most simply are.

    Not trying to argue or anything but those who are making $20 an hour to start dont think that everyone else is cause we are not, not at all.

  8. by   marilynmom
    Originally posted by teeituptom
    Hmmmm Hmmmmm Hhmmmmm
    You guys make it sound like I should take a cut in pay, no way.
    I make a little over a 100 k every year and not that much OT either.
    LOL I'm moving to where ever you are!! What do you do to make that much? That is impressive.

  9. by   marilynmom

    Hope my post didn't sound to grumpy...I really didn't mean it that way so I'm sorry if it did.

    I personally think the RNs here do need to be paid more ($15.50 an hr is not cutting it), if you are able to make $20 something an hour I think that is GREAT and if people are griping because they made that much then I think that is ridiculas!! And the more education you get the more you can make, with nursing it is endless IMO (just look at what CRNAs make)

  10. by   marilynmom
    Hey you guys, I just BUMPED up a post where everyone was talking about starting salaries where they live. I was mistaken...most are starting around $20 an hour....not bad at all IMO.

    But I think on the other nursing forums (Would you Recommend Nursing as a Career, and General Nursing) they stated what they made and it ranged anywhere from $12-$50 an hour so maybe check that out too.

  11. by   LeesieBug
    I refuse to work a job that does not pay me what I feel I am worth. After receiving a BSN, I simply will not accept a job that pays $15 an hour. I believe that if we let employers get away with paying those kind of wages, they will keep on doing it. I will go where I feel valued as an employee...even if it means moving. But in my area, that is not really an issue. Here, average starting pay for a new RN is mid-40's.

    I think nurses in some areas are struggling for increases in pay because nursing started out as (and by some is still seen as) a "woman's job". As more men have entered the profession, the salaries have begun to rise, more slowly in some places than others. I don't think it is a coincidence that nurse anesthetists are among the highest paid nurses (around here, between 100,000 and 120,000 to start). That is a field that has quite a bit of men. I enourage men to enter nursing because I know that the more we get, the higher our pay will go!

    Anyway, as far as salary goes, no complaints here! I think it is a personal issue. One person may think 40,000 is a fortune while another thinks that it is peanuts.
    Last edit by LeesieBug on May 25, '03
  12. by   marilynmom

    I agree. I will also have a BSN degree and knowing I will only be making $15.50 an hour to start kind makes me sick...I cant afford even a decent house and a car making that But still I want to be a nurse!

  13. by   LeesieBug
    That really stinks, marilynmom, that they have the nerve to pay people such low wages! How long does a nurse generally have to work in that area before they can move on to something that pays a bit better?

    Maybe once you are close to graduating you will get lucky and get a job offer that pays a bit more than the standard.