OC_An Khe 1,018 Posts Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED. Has 40 years experience. Dec 29, 2002 There are two issues in this thread, the first is real wages and the second is wage compression (difference between beginning pay rates and expirienced pay rates.) Both are serious problems that need to be rectified if we are to attract and retain people to our profession.Both problems need the reallocation of enormous amounts of capital and a shift in national priorities.Nurses must become knowledgeable regarding the ecnomics of health care and be able to prove their economic worth not only to the administrators but to the American public as a whole.Some of the recent JAMA studies on nurse/patient ratios and the impact that this has on morbidity and mortality are important and are useful. You need to understand the impact that this has on the finances and economy as a whole.Unions have helped in this area but even they won't be fully successful unless we as RNs convince the nation of our economic value.