Show Me the Money

Nurses General Nursing


It is difficult for me to hear nurses say it isn't about the money. I can think of a lot of charities and organizations that deserve our time than hospitals and nursing homes. We all have bills to pay and financial goals, and it sure IS about the money. Managment has done an excellent job of brainwashing nurses into feeling guilty for even thinking they deserve more. Before I have ever accepted a position, when everything else has been agreed upon, I say in the words of Rod Tidwell from the movie Jerry Maguire, "Show me the money".

Now discuss...

I hope you read my reply on the overtime thread.

Our most difficult position is surely all about money. Mother Teresa.. I am not!

Any nurse that feels we have a "calling" to take of people are misguided .

Know any doctors that entered healthcare for any other reason than the "big bucks'?

Now.. if we are paid what we are worth.. the healthcare corporations just might take a hit on their all mighty profits.

Specializes in CVICU.

I did read your reply and felt this needed a discussion all of its own. I think what sets apart Doctors and Nurses from other professions is the "caring" component. My caring is top notch, but it doesn't come cheap, unless I choose to give it away. I think the confusion for a lot of nurses is that they have brainwashed into beliving that "caring" and "compensation" are mutually exclusive of each other. Wrong. Caring is a commodity.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma.

There's a VERY fine line; I'm more in the camp for people to have a calling; however understand what we are in the business for, and enough to advocate for themselves; that includes getting paid "their worth"...I'm LESS enthused for ones who crow about money, but skimp on meds (like only give IV meds, no PO meds-TRUE story) hound others and want to know what they make, just excuse a nasty disposition and may have genuine ideas but never a part of a committee, or even willing to help be the change that they seek...yeah, I give them a side eye...even to the ones who want the "calling" an recognition of having said calling and nothing else who run apathetic and can miss something crucial when they don't get rewarded for said "calling" they are JUST as dangerous.

I truly think nursing can have a very happy medium; I think they are many nurses that do; I have had plenty of positive experiences and the paycheck to BOOT; if anything that's the true "wealth" that can be spread actual pay scale and competent occupational conditions so the business that we do can always excel-it is possible for all to experience; this should be the RULE.

klone, MSN, RN

14,754 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

Know any doctors that entered healthcare for any other reason than the "big bucks'?


If physicians are only in it for the "big bucks" and not because they WANT to do it, they will burn out before they are even done with their first year of residency. I don't believe that the vast majority don't love their job or they just won't make the long haul. I think there are very few physicians who are in it just for the "big bucks".

Specializes in Med Surg.

You're taking it out of context. If it really is "all about the money" go play poker for a living, or drive a tow truck, or work in the financial industry.


504 Posts

Specializes in CEN, CFRN, PHRN, RCIS, EMT-P.

You have to like what you do, money is important but it is only part of the equation. As far as people saying we should be paid what we are worth, well there's a problem with that. What we are worth according to who? See? That's why courts don't compensate for items based on sentimental value. Also some people have an inflated self worth opinion, trust me, I'd slash some of my coworkers salaries in half if I was paying them what I think they are worth based on their poor attitude, lousy performance and attendance record LOL I guess it's good that I'm not in charge.

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

For me it's not ALL about the money; there are plenty of intangibles that I love about being a nurse. If it were ALL about the money I wouldn't be in nursing! My husband makes 3x what I do, gets bonuses bigger than some people's income, gets to travel and gets to eat high-end steak on his company's dime. And he doesn't see poop. Would I want his job (he's the CFO of a hedge fund co.) instead of mine? Never in a million years!!!

That said, I don't work for free. If I don't get a lunch break, I enter my extra half-hour. I don't clock out and then finish my charting. And I always think of Rod Tidwell when receiving an offer. :uhoh3: ;) I definitely don't have the mentality that I couldn't possibly benefit from this work because it's my calling...I earn every penny.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

6,840 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

For me it is both. It definitely IS a calling. I am passionate about nursing and if a war broke out and I never had another paycheck coming because the world had dissolved into chaos, being a nurse would keep me sane.

That being said, I do expect to be paid and paid well/fairly for my time and skills (as we are not currently in an Armageddon scenario). The world is intact and pretty messed up and frankly pretty lucky there are those of us out there who do this. Not everyone can. Certainly not everyone would. It is a commodity, not just a calling.

I don't see why people make this an either/or scenario. We can have hearts of charity and still be passionate about earning a good living from what we do.


389 Posts

Nurses are like plumbers and electricians and you don't see them hemming and hawing about charging a fee. We are licensed professionals. Perhaps, what draws us to this particular license is "special", but wanting to get paid and paid well is not a sin and it doesn't mean you are a bad nurse.

Delicate Flower

207 Posts

I think it depends on the individual and their situation. For Here.I.Stand - no offense, but based on your husband's salary, I'm guessing you can "afford" for it to NOT be all about the money. You have a family income that most likely entitles you to choose your work based on what you love, at least to a degree. Yes you want to make more money, rather than less, but I venture to say that if you really wanted to be, say, an L&D nurse, you could go for that. Hypothetically speaking.

I speak from the opposite standpoint. I am married to a zero-income earning stay-at-home dad. I am the sole bread-winner for a family of four. Based on our individual and combined history, (long, long story) we are not at an ideal place financially. In other words, we are struggling paycheck to paycheck. And often we come up short.

So I am a nurse, and I have to absolutely maximize my income. I can't just get a higher paying career now that my family needs more money. So instead, I...

-Work 2 jobs, consitently 4 to 5 12 hour shifts per week (for the last 3 years)

-Work float pool to get the extra differential (I have always wanted to be an L&D nurse, but I can't afford to give up my float pool income to go floor based).

-Work strictly night shift

-Work every possible holiday

-Work every weekend shift possible

-PTO only for when I, my kids or husband, am too sick for me to go to work - no vacation in 5 years.

I got the idea to try to see beyond our current financial nightmare and go to CRNA school. So I worked my butt off on meeting all the requirements, making myself a great applicant, taking the tests, getting the certifications, interviewed, and MADE IT IN TO SCHOOL! And then after all that, had to make the difficult decision to turn down my acceptance because my husband can't support our family on his income (if he went back to work), and beyond that, I had trouble getting approved for loans.

So I'm stuck.

I am not saying this to whine about my position. It is what it is, and I do what I have to do to take care of my family. I just wanted to point out to people that for some of us, it really IS about the money.

I am actually a second career nurse and I enjoy my jobs. I really like being a nurse. But sometimes I feel like my compassion is broken. Sometimes it is hard for me to drum up "caring" for certain patients. But what saves me (and my patients, I guess), is that I do CARE GREATLY about doing a good job. I may feel any degree of compassion for a particular patient, but I'm still going to take stellar care of them, because I have that kind of pride in the job I do.

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,939 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis.

Delicate Flower, working that much can definitely take its toll on your passion for life. I work 12 hr night shifts, 4-6 a week. Not by choice, but due to the fact no one wants to apply where I work. LTC work isn't glamorous, but I love it. Soon, hopefully, I will go back to a 3 night workweek. In the tween time, I will pray for your situation. At least I don't financially have to work as I do, just putting it in savings for tough times if needed. (((Hugs))) to you and your family

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