from the hrsa report 7/2002 projected supply, demand, and shortages of registered nurses:2000-2020
declines in relative earnings:
salaries are likely playing a role in the declining supply of rns. while actual earnings for rns increased steadily from 1983 through 2000, "real" earnings -- the amount available after adjusting for inflation -- have been relatively flat since 1991. thus, on average, rns have seen no increase in purchasing power over the last 9 years. (see chart 7) in contrast, the average salary for elementary school teachers has always been greater than that for rns and is growing at a faster pace.  .in 1983, the average elementary school teacher earned about $4,400 more than the average rn; by 2000 this had grown to the point where elementary school teachers earned about $13,600 more. 
it makes me pretty darn angry. can you believe it!
and teachers have better retirement benefits to boot! i'm amazed there are any nurses left
Sep 15, '02
1. The point is this a government study and is credible.
2. It studied "nurses" and found an "average". (So shygirl congrats you are on the high end, the majority of us are not)
3. Nurses "real" wages have not, I repeat, NOT INCREASED in the last 10 YEARS!!! Elementary teachers wages have increase about $1,000 each year. That's not including benefits. ( Shygirl check your retirement package and see if it offers health benefits with prescription coverage)
4. And shygirl while I may not agree with the way sjoe said it your response does show a disconcerting lack of concern about the "average" nurses who make up the majority of the profession
5. The unionized hospital aren't much better off, from what I've seen
6. mrh1953 according to the study nurses average $41,000/12mo., teachers $54,700
7. imenid I could be wrong but I don't think you need a Masters to be an elementary school teacher
Last edit by margaretmary on Sep 15, '02
Sep 15, '02
Carleigh: I like the bit about your body already being trained. So true.
I know I wouldn't be able to stand teaching myself, and my hat is of to those of you who can. Not only the things you mention, but the chaos and emotional neediness of the kids, the demands and second-guessing of administrators, parents, and school boards. The community gossip "Did you see her at the drug store today. I don't think she combed her hair before going shopping! And did you hear...?"
At least nurses are a bit more anonymous in the community.
Best wishes in your new career. You'll have plenty of opportunity (and hopefully some time) to do a lot of patient education.
PS. Doesn't it seem rather skewed that those people who most directly impact the health and lives of others (childcare workers, healthcare workers, EMTs, military, school teachers, etc.) are so often treated with little respect (except in theory), inadequate pay, and as interchangeable commodities?
Last edit by sjoe on Sep 15, '02