I empathize with you. I have to observe,however,that living in SF,or anywhere for that matter is a personal choice - it's about lifestyle. If the place you choose to live is outrageously expensive,then of course $34 an hour isn't good - it isn't even enough. Your dollar will go a lot farther elsewhere. A little research on national costs of living will bear that out( Cities Ranked and Rated by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander is somewhere to start) What is the average U.S. wage? I think not as high as $68,000 annually. I think DMR as well as those who have posted here about lifestyle/life choices(# of children,etc.) have a point. Also, everyone has to pay for mortgage/rent,utilities,auto/transportation,food,medical,taxes,etc. Not just nurses. If most people make less than $34/hour,then those who make $34/hour are doing better - some would even say they are doing well. This does not mean we shouldn't be paid more. When we aren't saving lives,we're improving them. I'm all for nurses making more. Can't help but notice,though, that some people manage their money better than others - that,I think, is the bigger problem here.