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She doesn't have a clue!


Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Infusion.

I was talking to my next door neighbor last night, who happens to be a religion teacher at a parochial school (grades 1-6). School starts today, so I casually asked her if she was ready to go back to school. She said to me, "NO! A ten-week break is just not long enough to recover from the previous school year!" I replied, "Hey, you're talking to someone who only gets 2 weeks vacation a year." Her response: "You just don't understand how stress can wear a body down. We need at least 3 months to recover." My response: "I don't understand stress? People recover from open heart surgery in less than 9 weeks. Get over it."

Now I don't want to hear from everyone how stressful teaching can be, for I would not be a teacher today for any amount of money in the world. BUT don't be telling me I don't understand stress! I AM A NURSE, FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!

Thanks for letting me vent some stress!

Your pal,




Specializes in Mental Health.



Specializes in All Surgical Specialties.

Any teachers who read this, please correct me if I am wrong.....

Teachers also have excellent medical benefits, a union, and public employee retirement benefits with a low years in service limit. All the nurses I know couldn't feed a large dog on their monthly retirement income.

:o Just a note..teachers, low pay? SHOOT they get the summer off !!!! Besides that in this state the teachers make MORE than the regular RN ! Stress is however likened to pain I suppose....maybe you should use the pain scale on your neighbor......" well let's see now. You have stress? On a scale of one to ten......" LMAO

I am a teacher. It is stressful. Yes, we get summers off, and that is wonderful, and we honestly need the break from kids (parents too, and all that goes with it) But it's not all that great! I am leaving teaching to become a nurse. Why?

Well, teaching for me is not very challenging. I don't think teachers aren't intelligent, but for me it's not challenging. You pretty much know what is going to happen every hour of every day. The spontaniety and fast paced nursing environment would be more of a challenge for me. I would like to be able to work my shift (I know sometimes it gets stretched in nursing), and not have to go home and do hours of prep. The pay is O.K., but we are on salary, and I would like to get paid by the hour, and would like to get a decent pay increase. I get about 400 more each year! The biggest reason why I am getting out of teaching is the huge range of opportunities I will have with nursing. I am very limited as to what I can do. I can each 7 different grades (K-6), but most schools are set up the same. Can you even tell me how many different nursing opportunities I will have?

All in all, I am not happy with teaching, but there are many people who say they wouldn't dream of doing anything else. ( I think I've heard the same thing from nurses!) I can say for sure that you have to be a special kind of person to be a nurse, or to be a teacher. I hope to be a passionate nurse someday, like I see others around me who are passionate teachers.


Has 36 years experience.

Actually, I think the stressors of teaching and nursing are similar! As many of you know, I work in a school doing drug prevention and here are some of the similarities I see:

Both female dominated with males moving up on the food chain more quickly.

Both are jobs women SOMETIMES use between college and having babies and because sometimes the women use the profession as a temporary stop, they get treated like a temporary condition (that is, ignored).

Both are held accountable for outcomes they cannot entirely control. The QA process in education consists largely of telling teachers that they must "find a way" to teach every child. I tell teachers all the time that when I was in nursing school that we were told not to try to teach people who are in pain and many of these kids are--not physical pain, but psycho-emotional pain. Some are stressing over chemical abusing parents, their parents divorces, family upheaval, older sibs pregnancies and other dramas, chaos in the household, absent parents due to shift work and other problems, language barriers and having to be the family interpreter. In some cases, it is simply a matter of "you can lead a horse to water, but ya can't make 'em drink."

Both are expected to take an awful lot of c*** from the public and keep smiling. It isn't easy to keep smiling when an uneducated person tells you that you don't even know what you are doing.

Both do an essential life-saving service BUT if people don't take advantage of what is offered, it can harm their entire life outcomes. If you doubt that, look at the correlations between poor school performance, juvenile delinquency and crime. Teachers sometimes feel more distress over a high school students refusal to participate in the educational process than students themselves.

In both professions, it takes a large numbers of professionals to deliver the product (health care, education) and their is very little "status" to go around.

Lots of responsibility, little power.

Teachers carry a huge burden of the need to do preps every or many nights and grade papers. (And students expect to be amused, so they have to be "on" all of the time when they present.) Nurses carry the burden of weekends, nights and holidays. We take verbal and literal sh**. Administrators expect us the be "on," too. PR is god over all.

I agree with nurse s when she says teaching is not challenging. I know teachers that love it and they love it every day and they would be scandalized to see that in print. But for me, when I go into the classroom and say my drug prevention speech to a class room of 8th graders who don't want to hear it--5 times in a row I say the same thing!!!!--it is simply, "Stick a fork in me, I am done!" (Part of my boredom with my speech is that it is highly scripted and doesn't allow me to address some patent truths, like teens will drink. But "research" shows that least harm interventions "are not effective"... And this is?)

Don't bang on our colleagues in teaching. They made a choice; we made a choice. Teaching just wouldn't be enough for the "adrenalin junkie" in me, but I am really grateful for the great teachers in my son's life who are willing to do preps and grade papers, even though in slices into their lives.

:p The last time I got a raise, and I waited 2 years for this raise; it added up to 250.00 for the year. No I was not being reprimanded...I was not on probation. We were simply having our yearly cutbacks.

I don't want to get into the whole teachers vs nurses riff I've seen on other boards. I would like to point out that in my state teachers make far more than nurses right out of school. In addition to the summer vacation they get large numbers of days off throughout the year. Also, they have the most powerful union in my state and an excellent retirement program.

Nursing has none of this. After 25 years, I left the private and non-profit sectors to take a government job. I did it for the excellent pension which I have just enough working years left to qualify for. Based on the retirement plans of my former employers, I'd be selling pencils and eating catfood in retirement without my current job. Health benefits at the hospitals I worked at were shockingly poor. And since I am in a new job, I am back to 2 weeks vacation. Sigh.

Nursing needs to look at teaching and demand the best of what they have done....increased pay, benefits, retirement and time off.


Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

I find it interesting to see how bitter some nurses can get just at the mention of the word teacher. I think it has alot to do with the fact that teachers are a lot more empowered and united than nurses.

Additionally, many nurses want the world to know how bad they have it and that they are the REAL victims and nobody could possible understand how they suffer. Then, immediately after proclaiming her status as a member of the worlds most victimized profession, she turns and stabs the nurse next to her in the back.

Uhhh, hello? Teachers work 6 hours a day, get 3 mos off in the summer, 2 weeks at easter, 2 weeks at xmas, and a whole bunch of other days during the year, teachers in this area make $75,000/year with tenure and a masters (mandatory in this area), and $100,000 if they get a phd on top of that. Kids are getting stuipider and stupider and more coddled than ever.


Has 36 years experience.

Well, I guess teachers have highly variable benefits. I am on a teacher contract and I have not made such poor money since I was out of school 5 to 6 years. $75 thou? Try $26,500. I am lucky my husband makes decent money or I wouldn't even consider this job but it is worth it to stay home in the summer with my kid. Also, if I were a sole wage earner I could not afford to have health care on this wage. Also teachers accrue no vacation (except for that 2 1/2 month hiatus and many of them work another job or go to school during that time) save for a one day personal leave. They do get sick leave, but even sick they have to have an "autopilot" plan that a sub who may know squat about their subject matter can teach. Any papers assigned, they get to grade. "All those days off" include a significant number of contract time days which you spend working on quality assurance projects OR attending a school wide inservice that is designed to meet your schools QPA goals (but not necessarily your own). Also, kewlnurse, good teachers take home papers to grade and do prep _on their own time_ that is, plan their presentations al a dog and pony show--today's kid does not want to spend their time listening to a "boring" lecture. And I'll grant you some teacher's have lesson plans that consistently start with "Play video tape of_________" but many of them don't. I know many good teachers who are constantly tweaking and improving their lesson plans to "bring them alive" and "make them more experiential." The teachers in my high school may have 3 to 5 "preps" meaning they have to prep for 3 to 5 different class contents for 2 to 3 days each week (we're on the block).

Frankly, you couldn't PAY me enough money to be locked in a room with kids of any age 5 days a week for the 7 3/4 hour per day that is our teacher's contract. Our hs teachers get a 90 minute prep period per day. Middle school gets about 53 minutes prep time per day and grade school teachers get NO prep time per day. Class room presentation is a sliver of what I do, but if it were the whole enchilada, I'd be "hasta la vista, baby." I do like to talk to kids MUCH better one on one and even that is pilgrim's progress in my area (drug prevention).

I have to admit that I get a little smug and smiley on the four days per year when we are at school for 12 hours/day for parent teacher conferences. Teachers do complain incessantly on those days about the "long day". Ah well--try it during the night while defying your innate bio-rhythms.

Trust me ladies and gentlemen NEITHER teachers or nurses live in utopia. Ya just pick your problems, that's all.

Neither do I know of a teacher that makes the mega bucks! When comparing education requirements a nurse makes far more money than a teacher. An ADN degree is usually a 2 yr degree when a teaching degree is minimal 4 ys. However the 4 most underpaid jobs consist of nursing, teachers, police officers and firefighters.

I am a nurse, but am leaving the profession to become a teacher. I am currently doing a high school teaching programme. I used to be really passionate about nursing - love my job etc. But after working in places where charge nurses rarely speak to me and a mangement who doesn't give a toss....I just weanted to get out.

In my last job management were invited to come and talk to us on the ward. I asked what were they going to do to keep nurses working at that hospital as so many, especially young nurses were leaving the profession. The response was....that it was a ward responsibility to give staff that support. Wow that was really going to happen in that place when the charge nurse talked to me only twice in the whole 14 months I worked there....not! In my last job I had hoped that I would feel like a team player, but I was just treated like one of the many flock of sheep on the ward.

I know that nursing is stressful....another reason for wanting to get out of it. However teaching is incredibly stressful to. I am up to 3am most nights preping for the next day's lessons. Teachers also are expected to give up their evenings, Saturdays and sometimes whole weekends to be involved in extra-curriculum activities.

It is not easy! Some people find that working shift work really works out for them. For me it has never worked out for me. SInce I qualified 4 years ago, I haven't had any Christmas's with my family, 1 new year and very few special times with them. Most of my family live a long way away and so getting together is tough. I found that doing shiftwork I could never get involved in anything as life revolved around shiftwork. I had hoped that I might actulally get a life when I became a teacher, but I think I am sadly dis-illusioned.

I will get slightly more money as a teacher. Also I believe that as a teacher that being a team-player is even more vital, no matter how junior one is as a teacher.

I also aways wanted to be a respected member of the community and to feel I made a difference. Despite the fact that as a nurse we are supposed to be altrustic, I found that this trait of me no, longer exists because of the way management treats its' staff and me.

I believe that once a nurse, always a nurse. I may return to nursing one day. But not until I find somewhere that appreciates me and my 110 % I attempt to give.

Just a thought



Has 36 years experience.

Originally posted by JenMarie

....I know that nursing is stressful....another reason for wanting to get out of it. However teaching is incredibly stressful to. I am up to 3am most nights preping for the next day's lessons. Teachers also are expected to give up their evenings, Saturdays and sometimes whole weekends to be involved in extra-curriculum activities.

It is not easy! Some people find that working shift work really works out for them. For me it has never worked out for me. SInce I qualified 4 years ago, I haven't had any Christmas's with my family, 1 new year and very few special times with them. Most of my family live a long way away and so getting together is tough. I found that doing shiftwork I could never get involved in anything as life revolved around shiftwork. I had hoped that I might actulally get a life when I became a teacher, but I think I am sadly dis-illusioned....


Hey, Jen, I do think the preps get better after you've taught the class once, since you're not always inventing things--at least that's what I see. But the prep and the paper grading is an ongoing need and even experienced teachers collect new classes to teach over time.

Between this job and the hospital, I worked community health and then did case managemet. Community health really taught you that you had to be part of your community to be effective. The case management job, because I traveled through such a wide area, exposed me to alot of communities but I did not get to become a part of those communities and I barely knew the community I lived in. The school job--one aspect I do love is that you are definitely are part of your community because schools are so integral to their community. Look out for jobs that will allow you to put together teaching and nursing--like that school counselor job. 'course our counselors are so busy coordinating the endless testing of students (which, over time, interferes with their learning) that many of them complain that they have less and less time to do personal student counseling.

I don't think teachers routinely do preps til 3 am, so I do think that will get better. What are you going to be teaching?

I have been thinking we should write to Pres Bush and try to get him educated on the OTHER largest unappreciated profession in the USA ...nursing. Like one msg stated...we couldn't feed a large dog on our retirement income. Why is it that nurses can work in the ?profession for 25 years and because of some nincompoop insecure manager utilizes dirty pool to get rid of the nurse by making it so miserable she/he moves on to another nursing job and loses any benefits at that facility..and there is NO recourse??? There is something wrong with this picture. In Fl there is the major stations broadcasting the "shortage of nurses" while there are many nurses trying to cope with the above type managers and many nurses would rather dig ditches than return to nursing, but because of their inability to make any kind of wage in that field they take it and take it until they finally die or go back to school and get a different career. I think that the government should start looking at the lack of qualified nurses in the field is not because of the money but the way they are treated by the idiot managers these corporation bought hospitals are hiring to axe the most experienced nurses to save money and hiring the new "naive" nurses looking for a job. I have tried to contact the TV channel many times to enlighten them but they have not replied. I guess the only way to let the public know the REAL reason for a nursing shortage is to write a book. I am making notes for that purpose and any input would be appreciated. Thanks :rolleyes:

So she will go into teaching as a novice and "make slightly more" than she does as a nurse with 4 years experience. I am curious are you just comparing base salary to base salary? Or are you factoring in how many hours you will actually work for the money?

My sister is a teacher in a private school, and the pay REALLY stinks. She's is a CPA who left the profession because of long hours, never seeing her kids/husband, etc. (Any of this sounding familiar?)

However, I worked with a male nurse once whose wife was a teacher. They were both "fresh" from college. We sat down and compared salaries of the two of them once for fun (he was a really nice person who didn't mind us "up in his business"). When you factored ACTUAL HOURS WORKED/yearly salary, his wife was making slightly more. Now, she taught the lower grades where there wasn't as many complex papers to grade like in middle and high school, so that may have been a factor, I'm not sure.

And like many of the previous posts have stated, she had EXCELLENT benefits that were far better than anything offered to us at the hospital.

Before I get slammed, I just want to say that is my LIMITED experience/knowledge of teacher pay/benefits issue. I think that regardless of how you break it down, someone who I am going to trust with my kids for 6-8 hours a day should be getting more, just like people (nurses) who you entrust your life to when ill should get more.

And about day care pay......:D

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