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NURSE SALARIES... RN, NP, CRNA, etc...

Nurses   (874 Views | 15 Replies)

erwindt has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

2,299 Profile Views; 44 Posts

Numbers does matter.  Many people, not just nursing, choose a profession that (1) have high salaries (2) and something they like.  Many would disagree, but I am just laying out the facts.  First and foremost, I am blessed to be a registered nurse, especially during these unprecedented times.  So many people are unemployed right now and I feel terrible in, still, search for a career that will pay me more $$$, so that I can retire early.  When I was a young nurse, I had a goal of going to CRNA school, just like the majority.  Obtained all the requirements and even re-took my sciences, but after shadowing CRNAs in action in the O.R., I realize the profession was not for me.  I attended ACNP school, but left the program, knowing it wasn't for me also.  I needed a challenge, but at the same time, I didn't like the whole nursing thing anymore.  Just fed up with how nurses treated each other.  My hospital pays 100% of nursing tuition (e.g., BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD, even Pharmacy) with the exception of no more than 18 credits/year.  It's a great deal, you just have to be a full-time staff and give them a year after finishing your degree before leaving, otherwise, you will have to pay all that tuition back, which is fair.  I did my MSN in Administration and did not pay a single dime. Now, do I want to be a manager or a director... hmmm, not yet.  I was offered to be nurse educator for critical care, but turned it down.

So, my post is about nursing salaries.  I remain a bedside nurse, because of union benefits (e.g., retirement, school, health, etc...).  I practice as a vascular nurse specialist, aka PICC nurse to the majority.  It's a good gig, very low key, work independently without an NP responsibility.  I am practically a ghost.  I only come out when I get called for PICC or Midline insertions.  Been an RN for more than 10 years now and my salary as a bedside nurse is $120,000 with 10 OT every year, which is not bad.  A lot of NPs start with this salary and they do a lot of work.  I admire these nurses, and alike.  At one time, due to short staffing, I did a lot of OT my salary reached $170,000.  Any thoughts on other specialties with high salaries that doesn't do much.  Don't know about you guys, but as a nurse, we work like horses, often forgetting our own health.  I left ICU 6 years ago because I had shoulder issues, which I needed surgery on it eventually. 

What's your own story or input?

Edited by erwindt

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erwindt has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

44 Posts; 2,299 Profile Views

I oriented a new RN in our ICU many years ago, but only stayed in nursing for 5 years.  He is only 28 y/o and informed me last week, he is already planning his big retirement party at the age of 30.  This kid found the secret of wealth.  His monthly take home salary is more than $60,000, which is the starting salary for many nurses in other states.  I know for sure, money doesn't buy happiness.  CRNA are the highest paid nursing salaries that we all know, but reading a lot of them, leaving their jobs because of the stress.

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ICUman has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

1,688 Posts; 54,772 Profile Views

31 minutes ago, erwindt said:

 He is only 28 y/o and informed me last week, he is already planning his big retirement party at the age of 30.  This kid found the secret of wealth.  His monthly take home salary is more than $60,000, 

 

How was he able to accomplish that?

Edited by ICUman

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erwindt has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

44 Posts; 2,299 Profile Views

He works in real-estate.  He makes well over $600,000/year.  It is sick, but he is very happy.

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Undercat has 41 years experience as a BSN, MSN, CRNA and specializes in Retired.

170 Posts; 743 Profile Views

Only problem is....real estate is BORING.  Also, you are never off.  It's like being on call all the time. bHooe the money is making him happy.

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531 Posts; 2,411 Profile Views

On 5/18/2020 at 12:19 AM, ICUman said:

 He is only 28 y/o and informed me last week, he is already planning his big retirement party at the age of 30.  This kid found the secret of wealth.  His monthly take home salary is more than $60,000, 

 

How was he able to accomplish that?

I suspect someone who's making that much money at that age won't be happy living off investments but I could be wrong. Edit: and that's hardly the usual salary of realtors.

Edited by Elaine M

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WestCoastSunRN has 24 years experience as a MSN, CNS and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

1 Follower; 472 Posts; 5,254 Profile Views

You make a good salary for being able to be a "ghost".  I'm guessing that is why you didn't like CRNA or ACNP - bc APRNs work their tails off, and in some cases are not compensated as well as they were when they were bedside (true for NPs, not for CRNAs).  Generally speaking, if you want to make a lot of $$$ you have to network, work hard, and often do things you don't necessarily "like" - and a lot of it has to do with being in the right place at the right time.  

I think there are three kinds of work people - 1) people who like work and working hard - as in, they gain satisfaction from the actual act of working -- and 2) people who work because they have to pay the bills or it is a means to some other end (early retirement, etc) -- and 3) a combo of 1 & 2.

I could be wrong, but it seems like you are a #2 or #3 -- in which case, you are doing GREAT!  If you live simply (you don't say if you are supporting a family, etc) and invest wisely, you probably could retire early!  

Very few of us get to 'have it all'.  There are trade-offs most of us have to make.

My own story?  I'm a #3, and one who really likes to work, married to someone who really likes to work.  For me - I enjoy living beneath my means in such a way that allows me to take some financial risk with my job - job satisfaction trumps salary for me (because I like to work).  I haven't had to do that yet (risk), but I'm a newly minted APRN, so the risk is around the corner.

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erwindt has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

44 Posts; 2,299 Profile Views

Hi WestCoastSunRN.  I believe in faith and majority of my nursing career was preparing myself to get into CRNA school 6 years ago.  I got my CCRN and I work in ICU for 7 years, primarily CCU and SICU.  I used to work for a very busy city hospital, 28-bed CCU and 14-bed SICU.  Did all the works... Swanzs, IABPs, CRRTs, lots of Hypothermia cases (sometimes 6 in one shift) because we were a level 1 trauma hospital.  I hardly get report from the ED, majority of my reports are cases from other hospitals that were very sick.  The door was so wide for me, applied to CRNA once, injured my shoulder in ICU, then vascular access nursing came to the rescue and I've been doing it since.  I strongly believe that vascular access was a calling to me.  I love and miss my ICU patients.  I love to work because (1) yes, the money was there and help me obtain my other dreams in life, such as home ownership and having my own car, and paying off school loans... something that my parents or anyone can't provide to me; and (2) nursing is an evolving experience and I thirst for knowledge.  I learned early in nursing that many nurses fear, especially floating to other units because (1) they are not familiar with the unit/system, and (2) lack of knowledge of the patient population in those units.  I didn't like that idea, so I wanted to be comfortable or have a wide knowledge, so that I am ready to face whatever situation I was in when I go to those units.

I got my MSN in administration, but I utilize it in educating future nurses, so that when I reach that time of my life, I want these nurses to be able to save me, if I still have 150 years to live (LOL).  Venous access is one thing that every patient receive when they enter any healthcare system.  My skills and knowledge in vascular nursing help me improve patient care and their satisfaction, and that is why I love my job.  During this COVID19 pandemic, I placed majority of the lines in our ICUs, peds, and other floors.  I would be inside these confirmed COVID patient rooms for hours placing their PICCs, Midlines, and PIVs.  It was a traumatizing experience and I hope it will NEVER happen again.  

"Let your career guide you.  Don't guide your career.  Everything will just come into place." 

Edited by erwindt

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LibraNurse27 has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

1 Follower; 324 Posts; 3,520 Profile Views

Just curious why you would like to leave your current job? Sounds pretty sweet! And you're right, the vascular access team is a lifesaver, especially in emergency situations where we don't have time to search and need someone who will quickly find a vein and get it first try!

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WestCoastSunRN has 24 years experience as a MSN, CNS and specializes in CVICU, MICU, Burn ICU.

1 Follower; 472 Posts; 5,254 Profile Views

13 hours ago, erwindt said:

 

I got my MSN in administration, but I utilize it in educating future nurses, so that when I reach that time of my life, I want these nurses to be able to save me, if I still have 150 years to live (LOL).  Venous access is one thing that every patient receive when they enter any healthcare system.  My skills and knowledge in vascular nursing help me improve patient care and their satisfaction, and that is why I love my job.  During this COVID19 pandemic, I placed majority of the lines in our ICUs, peds, and other floors.  I would be inside these confirmed COVID patient rooms for hours placing their PICCs, Midlines, and PIVs.  It was a traumatizing experience and I hope it will NEVER happen again.  

"Let your career guide you.  Don't guide your career.  Everything will just come into place." 

Maybe I misunderstood the point of your first post, or maybe you were looking for a sounding board/confirmation that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.  Regardless, you sound like a GREAT nurse and pretty contented!  I'm glad you are using your MSN to educate - you sound exactly like the kind of educator nurse/nursing students need and appreciate.  

Your post reminds me of a friend who now has multiple advanced degrees (nursing and otherwise).  He was telling me how his most contented work/life balance was when he was working bedside and teaching as an adjunct professor.  Like you, he has a thirst for knowledge, but like you, he also appreciates the practical considerations of salary v. time and effort making it.  You sound like you are in a pretty great position right now - and you explored other possibilities because you knew you had the ability to succeed in CRNA or NP, but ultimately decided it wasn't going to be worth it.  Kudos to you for figuring that out before you invested so much to obtain either one.  There have been others who miscalculated and now are underpaid and unhappy.  

Also, I love the vascular access nurses -- especially the ones who love what they do.  🙂  

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erwindt has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

44 Posts; 2,299 Profile Views

Hey WestCoastSunRN.  My experience with the pandemic of COVID-19 was an eye opening or game changer for me.  I saw how fragile life was and how it can just disappear in a matter of seconds.  $$$ is great, but the big question is, "are you happy and maintaining your life healthy?"  Time is something that is more valuable than $$$ and is something you can never get it back.  As nurses, we work our butts off.  Nursing is no easy job.  But as nurses, we need to prioritize our life by putting our family, friends, and most of all, ourselves.  Bless to all the nurses and doctors, and frontline workers.  I pray that this virus or another virus alike will never appear again.

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My sister and best friend died unexpectedly a week apart just a couple of weeks ago. And although I have been sad over my loss, the biggest take away for me is learning to be happy right here, right now. Not 5 years from now when I have a good retirement or my car paid off or whatever. So I guess I’ve learned that if you’re not happy, it’s time to change. 

My friend worked as a travel nurse for 25 years and had just retired and didn’t get the time to enjoy it. 
 

I worked on the Navajo reservation for many years and their motto is “Walk in Beauty.” I try to practice that every day. 

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