2005: The State of Nursing Salaries - page 13

from: advance for nurses survey results: the state of salaries by stephanie m. adamow, erin james & abigail scott what you are making? in our survey, nearly half of the 11,000... Read More

  1. by   cenote
    I'm a displaced nurse from New Orleans who lost their home in the hurricane. Having been forced to relocate, I moved to Lafayette, La. where my son lives. When I found out the pay here, I was appalled! They start you out at <$16.50/hour!! (I'm a new grad with just 6 weeks experience). But to top that off, one guy in my orientation class with 8 years as ICU nurse was offered $21.50/hour! I'd rather be a plumber making $45/hour . . .at least when people have toilet problems they cough up the money.
    Hospitals bill out our services hidden in room costs. Has anyone figured out what profit these hospitals make on our labor?

    Think about it. If corporations can pay travel and agency nurses what they do, then they can raise our base pay. (I realize that these temp nurses do not get benefits but that still does not account for the difference).

    So, what do we nurses do about it? We gripe . . . and gripe some more . . . and still go to work and do overtime. Remedy? I'm no Einstein but perhaps a work "Slowdown", without advertising it, might be the solution.
    It may be hard for those that must have the money, but with all things, there's a price to pay for getting what we're worth.

    So, ORGANIZE and support each other, have meeting outside of the hospital, make contacts. This takes time but be patient and pass the idea of a work slowdown around but not in a pushy way. See how it sits with your coworkers.

    Then do it. Simply put in your 36 hours/week . . . NO OVERTIME. DO NOT SCHEDULE NIGHTS, DO NOT VOLUNTEER FOR WEEKEND DUTY EXCEPT WHAT'S REQUIRED BY YOUR EMPLOYER. DO ONLY THE MINIMUM REQUIRED TO KEEP YOUR JOB. MAKE THE EMPLOYER PAY FOR TRAVEL AND AGENCY AND SUBTLELY LET THEM KNOW WHY THIS IS OCCURRING.

    DO IT FOR MONTHS OR UNTIL IT SINKS INTO THEIR BUDGET THAT IT IS EASIER AND CHEAPER TO PAY STAFF A FAIR WAGE THAN TO HIRE OUTSIDERS.

    IS THIS THE ANSWER? Will it work? I don't know, but I'll be working thru the ranks myself now that I'm forced to work in an area that pays what a busdriver earned in N.O. Yes, I'll move when I can afford to do so but right now I have family here and I need support to handle my losses . . . economically and psychologically.

    So, NURSES UNITE, we are valuable and worthy . . . let's get self empowered . . .we're worth it. Don't get mad . . .get smart.

    P.S. I'm 54 years old, a new nurse and a former business owner.
  2. by   jsteine1
    Hi there. Im also 54, an "old Nurse" ( 30 years) and left the bedside for business in 1979. Of course, your points are right on, you're simply stating the supply and demand theory. Problem is: I have seen the shortage ebb and flow over the years several times and still nurses salaries havent "corrected", so to speak. I believe this is the reason: every Hospital, clinic, whatever has what you could refer to as a "delta" level of staffing. Its ideal based on projection of acuities and census variation. In the aggregate, and when annualized, it still costs a hospital less to use travelers and agencies when needed and keeping the vast majority of professional staff at salaries just high enough to hire and maintain some level of retention. Having said that, we have seen that in almost any other line of employment, your theory would get results and in a hurry!! Run for office, I'll vote for you
  3. by   jude48
    Thanks for the response!!

    I think Florida 's wages for nurses are no going to change until Florida gets a taste of poor, poor, medicine. Florida has been lucky ... SO FAR . The lawyers are busy down here but nurse's are still holding the fort so to speak.


    I 've decided to go home to PA and end of 2006 . My husband and I will sell our home and land . I know the money I can made up North and the standards of nursing are so much better .
  4. by   Universerules
    Hi all,
    Wow, all of this negativity about the rate of pay in Florida is worrying me. I will be graduating in Feb with my ASRN and must say that I am a little disappointed that starting pay isn't a little bit better. I know that the magnet hospital around here pays about 17 for a new grad. The place I work as a tech right now pays 17.30 to new RNs but that isn't much of an improvement since I won't be able to list "magnet hospital" on a future resume. But I love my boss so I plan to stay here for a while.

    I do have a general question. I have no idea what field I should go in to, aren't there certain specialties with higher pay grades? My boss mentioned grooming me for ICU, which is excellent, but there is a LOT of responsibility and liability and potential for error there. Is the pay for a position like that (in a few years once I get more confident) worth the work it would take to gain the skills necessary?

    Thanks to all for the great input, btw!

    ~Jenn~
  5. by   ascnbe
    Don't let the negativity get to you. Nursing is a great career. The options are virtually unlimited. The negative response to salary is based on comparitive information. The pay for starting nurses is very good compared to many other fields, the problem is that in 10 years time your increase potential is not competative with other fields. Particularly considering the fragility of a nursing license, and the fact that the state boards of nursing are not very understanding or lenient. Do not make the mistake of thinking that your state board is there for you. They are there to protect the public. They are the police of nursing and are in general headed by nurses that don't practice and hence have no concept of what the reality of nursing is in the current climate of shortages and cutback. My complaint is not with what I do, I love what I do, more than any job I have ever had. The problem is that there are auto mechanics and managers of fast food restaurants that make more than a nurse with 15 years experience. Yet they do not risk the loss of their livelyhood should they make an error, you will. We all make errors, you will more than likely be shortstaffed, working more than one job to make a decent living and every once in a while no matter how diligent you are, 2 medicines are going to be in very similar containers and you may give the wrong one. Depending on the outcome of that mistake, your years in school may be for naught as they probate or revoke your license for that lack of judgement. And for this high risk profession you will make 50-80,000 a year. My cousin is a line mechanic for an auto dealership and makes that much. My ex wife is a district manager for Waffle House and makes 95, 000 a year. If she makes a mistake, she makes a new hamburger, if I make one, I have to appear before a group of old women that haven't touched a patient in 20 years and explain why I could be so incompetent. It is irrelavent that I am supposed to have 4 patients but I may have 12, and that I had back to back trauma activations over the last 4 hours. Drs. are governed by the AMA, their own association and that assoc. deals with the licensing authority. We have nothing like that. We deal with the state board which is our licensing authority and most of them only know which end of the needle to put in the patient because they read it, not cause they did it.
    That having been said, I love it. I just wish nurses would unite, get a union and then we would have political power and protection against boards that live in an idealistic fantasy land.
  6. by   ascnbe
    Union is not a dirty word. There is power in numbers. The hospitals are progressively being gobbled up by megacorporations under various shadow companies. Nurses do not charge for their services, hence we are an expense. Drs. charge for their service so they are money makers for the hospital. They "bring their patients to the hospital and make money for the hospital" We are classified as an expense like floor wax and laundry service. Until we change that, until we unite and become an influence we will always be treated this way. Look around nurses. We are the backbone of healthcare. Drs. come in and ask the nurse about the patient. Most of the docs I know read the nurses notes and vitals to see the progress and the trends. We inform them of changes in lab values, as well as the subtle changes that only we can see. It is getting more and more difficult to see those subtle changes as the nurse/patient ratio increases and the number of other assignments increase. My paper work has tripled in the last 10 years. The hospital is increasing my patient load, expecting me to be responsible for checking meds and supplies for expiration dates to prevent inspection gigs by varies agencies, make beds, mix IVPB meds. Their strength lies in the "Florence Nightingale Syndrome" we all get pounded into us. We are professionals, we make life determining decisions. We deserve respect and appropriate pay. Get involved, find out how to get organized and do it. And whatever you do, do not cross a picket line and spit in the face of nurses that are fighting for all of us. Change can come about, but each and every one of you has to institute it. You can't change anything by quitting your job, or writing letters Bit####g about the problem. Get organized, get together. Together we are a force, we have power. 1, 000,000 nurses voting is enough to make any political crook take notice. It is time to quit being the statue and start being the pigeon.
    Last edit by ascnbe on Oct 14, '05
  7. by   jude48
    hi,
    If your boss is willing to groom you for ICU then take her up on it . ICU nurse's do better with pay in the big cities in FL. But RN's are still getting paid so little down here that I can't stay . In the North the RN's can get 40.00 for ICU and more with experience.

    Good Luck !!
  8. by   nightingale
    Thanks Karen, my daughter is organizing a report on Nursing and this data will help!
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    2005: the state of nursing salaries was conducted by advance for nurses magazine.


    hot off the press:

    additionally, check out the us governments preliminary report:

    march 2004 preliminary findings: 2004 national sample survey of registered nurses (published december 2005)
  10. by   nightingale
    Cool! Thanks Karen!
  11. by   Tigger Nurse
    Quote from jdkaos
    Well I am in the wrong state!! The average wage in MI is around 45,000 a year. But that is not including overtime.

    Well, I "might" be in the wrong state, but than again, maybe not. I work regular part-time, which is three 9 hour shifts per week. Occasionally I'll pick up an extra day to help out, but my total gross income for this year was right at $45,000. Anybody want to come to a rural area in the Rocky Mountains?
  12. by   AlexandraRN
    Hi there I live in MN near the Mpls area. I have been a nurse for 29-30yrs now and I make 44.00/hr.Can anyone else reply from MN? I have not seen a Minnesota reply yet? Any other Minnnesota nurses here?
  13. by   nightingale
    AlexanderRN:

    I am not from Mn but here is a link to our Mn Nursing forum:

    https://allnurses.com/forums/f155/

    You may be able to find out the specific info you desire. Good luck to you and let us know how we can help. Feel free to PM me or another Staff Member if we can help further.

    night :=)
    Last edit by nightingale on Jan 1, '06

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