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Nurses are truly underpaid

LPN/LVN   (63,330 Views | 47 Replies)

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I've been an RN for nearly 35 years. I've worked NICU, ER, pre/post op, and as a flight nurse. I now work in a factory as an Occupational Health nurse. A factory worker with a high school education makes more an hour than I do. One such worker actually called me "easy money" because he thought I just sit and look at a computer all day. What he doesn't know is that I can intubate, put chest tubes in, scrub in an angioplasty, literally bring someone back to life....and have many times. I have been cussed at, swung at (with a few connections), spit on and caught Hep C from an HIV positive patient because he was pissed he couldn't get meds fast enough while I was staring his IV and jerked his arm back causing me a needle stick.

I have 2 degrees and still make less than a factory worker. I'm not here for money or praise. I do it because once in awhile, I go to sleep thinking I may have made a difference in someone's life. Ask a teacher, a cop, a paramedic, a social worker, or a fire fighter and I'll bet you get a similar answer.

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BuckyBadgerRN has 4 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical.

3,520 Posts; 38,065 Profile Views

Three months in? You have NOT tried every area of nursing available to you and have given none that you have tried a fair chance!

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Murse1975 has 4 years experience and specializes in Peds, psych.

11 Posts; 514 Profile Views

First of all, let me say that you were going to deal with snarky people anywhere, especially when you work with a bunch of women. No offense, as I am a great admirer of the fairer sex, but it's the simple truth. There is always one ****-stirrer somewhere or someone who tries to screw others over (some men do it too).

As far as pay, simple economics dictate that a place will only pay as much as they have to to keep staff. Even not for profit places are seeking profit no matter what they say. Nurse unions would be beneficial if everyone would ban together and flex our collective muscle. Facilities could be shut down in a heartbeat and then conditions will improve because they would have no choice.

That being said, there are still good jobs to be had out there, though I think it would definitely aid your search if you progressed to becoming a registered nurse as that opens a lot more doors. There are still going to be brutal days, and co-workers who rub you wrong regardless of the level of education and the facility.

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1 Post; 196 Profile Views

I totally feel the same way. I left being a medical coder to pursue my LPN and all I can find is crappy bad nursing homes hiring, or per diem only without any benefits....and a student loan to pay back. Now at the crossroads of do I scrap it or pursue a BSN at 36 and create more debt. You're not alone.

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littlelimabean01 has 5 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Geriatrics, Trach Care, Diabetes.

69 Posts; 2,680 Profile Views

I am an LPN and work LTC I was happy with my pay at 16.50 and hour when I had 20-24 residents. I got upset and pay was not the issue when they assigned me to 32 patients!! Really?! That is not safe for my residents nor my license. I put in my resignation and landed a lovely job working with 1-15 nurse to patient ratio, for a dollar more an hour. My previous ADON and DON called begging me to come back for a $2 more and hour. I was stunned. But my priority as a nurse is to provide optimal patient care. Pay is important, but me leaving at the end of my shift knowing I did a good job is what matters most.

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2 Posts; 177 Profile Views

Let me start by saying "I am sorry you are having a bad experience".

Nursing has the highest burn out rate of any profession out there. Unfortunately, you will run across many with bad attitudes. There needs to be a course given with nursing education on how to treat others with respect. I have been a RN with a ADN for 17 years and have switched my disciplines many times over to learn all I could. Unfortunately, that was looked down upon too because of not staying with one job for extended periods of time.

The best advice I can give you is too search your heart deeply and figure out what area interests you the most. For me, it was emergency me and in 2011 I finally took the step in gaining that oppurtunity and I like it more than anything else I have done. Yes, you may have to go back to school if what you decide on requires that education and I wish you luck.

One piece of advice I can give you if you decide to pursue nursing further is the following. Keep your personal business your own, letting others know too much about you will give them advantage to use it against you and they will. Keep a smile on your face even when you don't feel like it. Always follow policy and procedure no matter what, no short cuts.

You are correct about the pay. Nurses don't get paid for their worth especially if you choose bedside nursing. I currently practice er nursing as a travel nurse and I am struggling just to put food on the table. I am currently fighting to figure out my place in this field each day I wake. I will be 50 this year and wonder how much longer I can hold on but when my patients tell me "You are a awesome nurse" or "You are the best nurse I have ever had" it gives me a reason to push on. I may not be able to change the nursing world but I know in my heart I give my patients the best care I can, I talk with them and I hope somehow I have made a difference in their lives.

Nursing is a work of the heart for us who are true nurses. Good luck to you and all the choices you may make in life and in your career. Keep your head up. I have faith you will make the right choice for you.

Sincerly, Melody Freshour RN

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3 Posts; 144 Profile Views

There is an expression that nurses eat their young. When a newer nurse comes on board we need to embrace them and teach them and support them. All LTC is pretty much the same. The good news is it gets easier and you get a routine. You are not going to finish on time all the time. You just keep going and going and you will flourish. Just keep in mind why you ate there. Your med pass may be late after you get a routine because other things will take priority. Hopefully you have a team that will help and back you up during those tough days. After getting to know your crew this will usually happen. Keep your head up and don't give up. You are new and will learn the ropes. Just keep swimming!

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3 Posts; 144 Profile Views

I am curious as to what everyone considers good pay? I went to school to make at least twenty an hour and won't take less. I am guessing before nursing school you knew what others in the field made. I choose long term care cause I live it and it pays well. I was a Cna for 15 years...if anyone is underpaid it is them. They are the eyes and ears of nursing. I love being a nurse now and I work hard for it. The worst kind of nurses are those there just for the paycheck. People should go into nursing because they have a drive to help others and improve their health so they may live a happier healthier life. Although not everyone sees it this way this is how I feel. Yes air went to nursing school to make more money bit air knew it wasn't going to buy me a 500,000 dollar house but I am rewarded in many other ways just by a smile or helping someone leave this world comfortably and also to help out their family at ease.

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

4 Followers; 226 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 320,206 Profile Views

The LVN program may be 12-14 months (mine was 12 straight months with no summer break!) But I guess you forgot to consider the prerequisites
The LVN program that I completed was 12 months long and required absolutely no prerequisite coursework for admission.

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chevyv has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Gero Psych, Ortho Rebab, LTC, Psych.

1,645 Posts; 17,075 Profile Views

3 months is hardly enough time at one place and you have had several positions. Perhaps you need to give one place some time. It takes time to build trust with coworkers.

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Ljudelpn has 13 years experience.

1 Post; 51 Profile Views

I'm an LPN for 13 years. I can tell you if there is a Staffing agency near you, that's a chance to make great money. But I found my niche in Home health. I do pediatrics, make my own schedule, 1:1 ratio, overtime is as much as you want. And I made 60,000 last year. Never saw the need to further to RN.

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artifex has 10 years experience.

9 Posts; 411 Profile Views

I actually think LPNs are paid way above what they have been trained to do when compared to RNs as evidenced by the fact that LPNs are in class for only 12-14 MONTHS whereas RNs today study for 4 YEARS! The pay difference between the two designations is not enough to justify an RN's need to have two or three more years of education.

Not really, though? The first two years are prereqs and general ed requirements. I had prereqs for LVN school, too. I'm in an LVN to BSN program now, and the only gaps I needed to fill in were two government classes (Texas core requirement for any bachelor's), and an art class. Otherwise, I had the prereqs required for the BSN already covered by my LVN schooling.

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