Salary Or Lack Thereof !!!!!!!!

  1. hi everybody. my name is sylvia and i'm a school nurse. is there anybody out there who's as disgusted as i am about how we are treated and how little our salaries are? my custodian earns more than i do and gets a uniform allowance to boot. teachers regard us as first aiders who sit on our duffs doing nothing but applying bandaids. i'm sorry that my 1st posting is negative, but a new contract was just negotiated in my district and none of the nurses' concerns were even put on the table.
  2. Visit manettohillnurse profile page

    About manettohillnurse

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 23; Likes: 3
    School Nurse
    Specialty: Med/Surg, midwifery, orthopedics, ob/gyn

    24 Comments

  3. by   gr8danetrain
    Hi! Sylvia'

    I know what you mean about how we are treated. I've been a school nurse for 21yrs and the custodians get thanked right and left for "making the grounds look nice" when that's their job! I had to advertise National School Nurse Day and still didn't get a thank you from my principal! In NJ we are on the same pay scale as teachers with the same contract so we get all the teacher benefits as well. The districts, however, differ in salary depending on that contract. Some districts are wayyyyyyy off base. Mine isn't too bad. It only took me 21yrs to get to 72,000. We don't pay for any benefits yet. We are in a contract year right now and we are NOT getting very far with our school board. The benefit package will proabably be the next target. My high school has 1500 students with 2 certified school nurses. Our superintendent thinks we only need ONE!!!! We see an average of 60-70 a day not counting staff or phone calls. Are you active in your union? I am. This way the nurses concerns are heard at the meetings cause I bring them up.
  4. by   rossonmarcus
    I am very disgusted with the salary and recognition paid to nurses in the school setting. When I was first offered the job in June (and they called me, I didn't call them) it was for 13.44 an hour!!!! I had to laugh. They obviously could not find an RN to leave their $20some /hr positions to come to the school (no matter how awesome the school calendar is). They eventually did call back and meet my initial "I'll settle for this meager pay for the convenience the job offers my mommy lifestyle" salary request. Since taking the job, I have been blown away by the lack of respect and understanding the school nurse receives in this world of teachers. Don't get me wrong, everyone is very nice. However, it's when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it that you find out that you hold the same level on the "food chain" as the classroom aides, cafeteria girls, and secretaries. Even the janitor's and bus drivers are paid substantially more than the nurse. Once, a memo was sent out for all "professional staff" to attend a meeting in the conference room. When I showed up, everyone just sort of stared and then someone spoke up and said "Oh you don't need to be here, this is for the professional staff, you know the certified staff. I apologized and quietly left even though I was screaming inside.
    It truly is a huge change from the medical acute floor I had been working on, in more ways than one. I went from being a highly respected and valued staff member to a position where my knowledge and education are not valued or understood. I am not even considered a nurse because I do not hold a special certificate stating that I am a school nurse, but rather am titled school health aide!!!!!! It blows me away. 7 years pediatric acute and clinic experience and 9+ years medical acute experience is not enough to be considered a nurse in a school setting????
    What can we do?? Stand up. Be heard. Continually educate your peers. Be active in the union and school board meetings. Get involved in classroom health teaching to students and staff. Obtain the certificate that will allow you to be titled a "nurse" in the school (not worth it for me as there is no pay correlation with this certificate in my district).
    However, the very real possibility remains that even after you have done all of the above, nothing will change. This is partly due to the non-healthcare atmosphere that you work in, as well as the non-acute nature of the job. To quote one very well meaning teacher, "you are our resident mom...kisser of small boo-boos."
  5. by   Madame Poppy Pomfrey
    [quote=rossonmarcus;1888519] Once, a memo was sent out for all "professional staff" to attend a meeting in the conference room. When I showed up, everyone just sort of stared and then someone spoke up and said "Oh you don't need to be here, this is for the professional staff, you know the certified staff. I apologized and quietly left even though I was screaming inside.
    WHAT A BUNCH OF GOOFS! Now I'm not sure if your an RN or LPN, but regardless you had to pass boards to be either registered or licensed, just like the teachers had to take a state test to be certified well you had to take a national one and your license was issued by your state board. Where I come from most of the teachers get in because they are related to someone on the school board or they have family already well entrenched in the district, and a lot of folks burn up with how much their taxes go up because of these "fat cats" teachers sucking the life out of one's income, esp. the elderly. They make over $58,000 and don't have to pay for their healthcare, and then whine and cry when their contracts are up because there is whisper that they will have to pay for it. I say get over it and get with the rest of working America that has to pay their employer something for their healthcare. By the way I'm a new grad and have been working on a busy med surg floor (is there not any other way to describe any med surg floor!) for 2 mon, and I have kicked around the idea of being a school nurse for a few years because of the great school district perks, so that is what lead me in to this part of the forum. In reality I have no good "ins" in my neck of the woods so I don't think I would every get in anyway, but if I were to move, it sounds like salaries aren't so great everywhere and I certainly would not appreciate the lack of respect it sounds like the school nurse is shown from these other so called professionals! Good luck with dealing with these narrow minded dimwits in the future!
  6. by   DDRN4me
    I understand what you all mean.. i recently left a position because i was overworked , underpaid (45,000 yr for a 44 hr /wk position) and underrespected (not sure if that is a real word) now they are calling me and begging to have me come back...told them to show me the $$$$
  7. by   amoe1219
    Hello school nurses! I am recently researching becoming a school nurse and have just been reading around the forums to see what others are saying about the profession. First of all, as I see it you are all highly valued professionals in the school setting. At least to me. And don't worry if the teachers are looking down at you. Trust me, it is actually pretty easy to become a teacher in my opinion, I have an early childhood education degree and have taught first grade. Grad of '04 with a 3.5gpa and much class skipping the first time around. I however, am considering a career change because I have decided that it is just not for me. I love kids and I love the school atmosphere and schedule, but I just don't care for all the lesson planning and large group instruction. I have always had an aptitude for science and health and enjoy it also. I have been thinking that being a school nurse might be right up my alley. What advice can you give me about it? Do I need an LPN or RN? What can I expect to pay and how much time does it take to earn the degree? Also, is it very difficult finding a job? That is one of my biggest concerns, however I think I would also enjoy working in a private pediatrician office. Any advice??
  8. by   Me, Myself and I
    HI, I to would like to be a school nurse...mostly b/c I love kid's and love being a caregiver so 1+1=2. I live in Louisiana and am not sure of what one must do...still in school so....maybe I have time to find out. I have surfed the wwwave and still can not find any info. for my state....anyway just looking.
  9. by   manettohillnurse
    In response to your question, School nursing is a really fabulous job. Having said that, if you're looking for a job that pays well, forget it. I live and work in an affluent community where you would think that I'd be payed very well, NOT. My advice to you would be to go to your local school district and be put on their "sub. list". Hopefully you'll get your feet wet that way. Getting a position right out of school ( at least in my district) would be next to impossible. Nurses in these positions, because of the hours that allows them to raise a family and be able to work at the same time, tend to hang on to these jobs forever !!!!! I got my position because my district retired all school-nurse teachers (5) and hired R.Ns. and I'd done 4 years of subbing. I hope that my advice is some help to you and good luck !!!! Manettohillnurse
  10. by   TXNurseBSN
    I work for a really big district and I think the pay / benefits are good. I only work 185 days a year and my salary is the same as when I worked on a crazy med-surg floor in which I got nauseated right before every shift. If I break it down into an hourly rate, I actually make more. I like the idea of laying by the pool every day June-August while my paycheck keeps coming.

    I have learned quickly not to take disrespect from teachers. I sent out a letter last week detailing exactly what I am responsible for. They don't know unless you tell them. When they try to give me slack, I explain my educational background. I had a friend who was getting her degree in elementary education at the same time I was in nursing school. Even she said, getting her degree was a cake walk compared to my experience. I like to share that story!
  11. by   manettohillnurse
    In response to TXnurse. I too have given my teachers a list of what I do, but somehow it doesn't get through to them that I need to go to the bathroom or lunch. If I'm not in my office every instant of the day, I've been reported as not being available to the children. I used to stay in my office for lunch and was interrupted at least twice. I now leave the building and finally the teachers have realized that a nurse is indispensable. No matter that when they have a personal problem, they come running to me for advice. I was told a couple of days ago that teachers are jealous of my job because I can sit and read the paper all day!!!!!!! My answer was that they could sit in my office and deal with the nosebleeds, vomiting and all the the other problems for $45,000. and this is after 22 years on the job. If I sound grumpy, I'm really not. It's the one or two teachers who can really bum me out.
  12. by   Keepstanding
    Quote from manettohillnurse
    In response to TXnurse. I too have given my teachers a list of what I do, but somehow it doesn't get through to them that I need to go to the bathroom or lunch. If I'm not in my office every instant of the day, I've been reported as not being available to the children. I used to stay in my office for lunch and was interrupted at least twice. I now leave the building and finally the teachers have realized that a nurse is indispensable. No matter that when they have a personal problem, they come running to me for advice. I was told a couple of days ago that teachers are jealous of my job because I can sit and read the paper all day!!!!!!! My answer was that they could sit in my office and deal with the nosebleeds, vomiting and all the the other problems for $45,000. and this is after 22 years on the job. If I sound grumpy, I'm really not. It's the one or two teachers who can really bum me out.
    Sounds like I could have written this !! I guess it must be a universal way to treat school nurses....I don't know ?? I deal with the same problems with teachers every day. I guess I sound like I have a bad attitude, but Lord knows I have tried to make everyone happy here.
    I know that is an unrealistic goal. Seems like there is a lot of manipulation on the teachers part to get their way and only their way is the best. They do not recognize that we have trained, tested and gotten degree's just like them. Now I know some will say that we will get the respect we deserve when we stop complaining and act professional. But I do act professional here each day, to no avail. I think teacher's have a superiority complex and because they direct 23 little bodies every day, they think that gives them the right to control everyone else who is around them. I am so tired of the daily grind of trying to reason with some teachers. I find the older seasoned teachers are less apt. to abuse the clinic. The newbies are always scared to not tell a student that they need to stay in school (malingerers).
    Anyway, it is good to vent some here. We all need someone to bounce our feelings off of don't we. Hang on Christmas is coming !!
  13. by   sjt9721
    [quote=Madame Poppy Pomfrey;1942524]
    Quote from rossonmarcus
    and a lot of folks burn up with how much their taxes go up because of these "fat cats" teachers sucking the life out of one's income, esp. the elderly. They make over $58,000 and don't have to pay for their healthcare, and then whine and cry when their contracts are up because there is whisper that they will have to pay for it...........I certainly would not appreciate the lack of respect it sounds like the school nurse is shown from these other so called professionals! Good luck with dealing with these narrow minded dimwits in the future!
    Hey, can my mom transfer to that district? I graduated nursing school making more her...a 20 year teacher! Now, after >30 years of teaching, she's finally hit the mid-40's with her salary.

    And by the way, your use of "so called professionals" and "narrow minded dimwits" doesn't do much for your portrayal of professionalism.
  14. by   manettohillnurse
    LPN90. You must have been a fly on the wall in my office !!!!!!! You are so correct about the "newbies" being the worst people to deal with. You are so on the mark when you say that these teachers need to tell a "frequent flyer" that they need to stay in school. Now I am not discouraging a teacher from sending children down to my office but when they recognize a pattern in a child who visits the nurse frequently, they need to contact the parent or I'm more than willing to do this for them. When I do call a parent about "a frequent flyer", they become abusive and trot right along to pick up their child for the slightest sniffle. Don't ever fondly imagine that you will please everyone, it's just not going to happen. DO remember that you are the one who has a right to be called a "professional" since you have to be relicensed every 3 years, teachers don't. I don't know about you, but I have to be recertified every year in the use of Epi-pens, First Response, and AED use. I don't want this to turn into a forum for teacher bashing, that is not my intent. I want respect for my extensive knowledge (44 years) my training, (I'm also a State Certified Midwife, English trained) and not to be expected to stay chained to my desk. I need to go to the copying machine and go to classrooms to observe certain children without being accused of not being available to children.
    Thanks so much for letting me vent. I've had a particularly rough week.

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