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What are you worth in pay?

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:rolleyes: I find the guilt around nurses wanting more pay to be very interesting! I live in Minnesota and this topic seems to be very hot with the threat of a strike in 12 major metro hospitals, 7700 nurses. Why shouldn't nurses be paid 50-90,000.Do we really feel we couldn't possibly ask for as much as some physicians do? Why not we provide a service to the patient the physician wouldn't dream of providing. We are the safety net for the physicians when it comes to life and death. We make the assessments and call them. This doesn't mean they resopond and so we tread water through the night till someone can round on the patient. Ask any patient that has reached a crisis in a hospital, how much their nurse was worth to them they resoundingly answer with figures much higher than we are paid. Oh and then there is the matter of insurance companies. My institution is owned by this monster company called Allina. They own the major HMO for the hospitals they own, Medica. The attourney general is going after the CEO and company for what it believes inappropriate spending of the healthcare premiums. Possibly as much as 30-50% on administrative costs that they burried into patient related care cost. Like waterford crystal for employees. When did you last recieve your crystal for nurses week? There is money in health care for nurses it just needs to be dug out! What a great advertisement to state they are spending their marketing money to pay nurses to give more superior care to the patients! I will not feel guilty when our CEO and their top consultant both make >$750,000.00/year. And they say they are not for profit! I can see where the profit goes!

Susy K

I don't think we should be compensated more than a physician either. But that doesn't mean what they make is right either. Let them fight for better wages. I'm not about to fight their battles for them. It's not right what the CNA's make either and someone need to address that.

In the Senate Committee hearings there is a brief discussion about how our society demonstrates how it values something. Ironically it is Senator Hillary Clinton that brings it into the discussion. Isn't she the one who said nurse make to much a few years ago when she was trying to redesign the health care system? Now she says, "we have a crisis in caregiving ....we have a very dysfunctional health care system in a cost effective way when it comes to paying for what we are receiving.

I urge everyone to watch the video clip of this Senate Hearing. You can reach it through this link, then click on the orange "View HealthCast" button.

SenateHearing

If you don't have time to watch the whole thing (it's about two hours) you can fast forward the video to 1:31:30 to listen to Senator Clinton. She reads a letter from an LPN in a LTC facility "doing the work of 2 nurses", it is very poignant. Then she asks, "If you could have us (legislators) do anything....what would you have us do?" I think it is imperative that we answer her. I think we should flood Senator Clintons e-mail with answers to her question from all over the United States. Let her know what you want them to do. Be it better reimbursement to hospitals, better staffing ratios, better wages, no MOT, all of it.

She continues the discussion with Michael Elsas who represents paraprofessionals, the nurse aides, who is very articulate about our need to "change how we value the work". He is speaking about the work the aides he represents do, but clearly every level of health care worker is under valued from the residents down to the aides. Senator Clinton then states, "how we value things in this society has something to do with how much we are willing to pay for them...I don't want you to be shy about that".

Well I say it is time that the powers that be "values the work" that health care workers do. It's time to stop being "SHY" about getting what we deserve. Why is the Engineer's work more valued in our society than the R.N.s? Maybe because we let it be undervalued. Well it's time to value ourselves and respect ourselves if we don't our society won't either. If we don't stand up a say enough is enough we don't deserve the respect. :rolleyes:

The discussion continues with Gerald Shea of the AFL-CIO, who asks, "are we willing to pay for the kind of system we're asking for?"

Originally posted by Huganurse:

What amount of pay do you think would be fair and reasonable for a nurse today?

There are a couple of points I would like to address about all of the previous posts.

1. Many nurses are repelled by the idea of making money. Yet we live in a society that thrives on the economic principles of supply and demand. Rarely do we ever question the motives of a retail merchant charging a price for something we want. We find a way to buy it. We somehow have attached some evil motive to the notion that nurses are worth only so much financial reward. Nurses are economic beings as well as caregivers. We deserve the fullest and most comprehensive reimbursement for services that the market will bear.

2. The idea that MDs are "paid" is slightly off the mark. MDs in private practice are reimbursed for services rather than paid a wage. Even academic medical centers where MDs were salaried in the past, have changed models to allow them to engage more competitively with the public sector MDs by encouraging reimbursement for services.

3. Nurses are generally employees. MDs are generally not. There is a huge difference. As an employee you will never achieve the level of financial success you want or deserve as a bedside nurse, assuming of course, that you are dissatisfied with your current level of compensation. The single most effective way to earn compensation at a level that is progressive and meets your financial needs is to become self-employed and move into the ranks of independent practice. Simply do for yourself what others have failed to do for you in the past. It is possible and worth the effort and risks. What would it mean for your life to make 25%, 50% more than you are earning as an employee??

regards

chas

Q.

Specializes in LDRP; Education. Has 7 years experience.

This is why I have always thought that the way to better compensation is for nurses to be contractors, rather than employees of a hospital.

Contracting is only as good as the going rate. A painter makes no riches, simply because he is a contractor. He also has to deal with self employment tax. Nurses are simply the only way a facility can operate....without nurses......????? I don't have hte answer but I can still yell that "the train is on fire! " 13.50 an hour for what we do is simpy unreasonable and an insult to our profession. Perhaps the hospital administrator should take a pay cut to subsidize nurses salaries!!!! :eek:

CEN35

Specializes in ER, PACU, OR.

Well on the subject of residents......who cares if they are getting paid 30,000 a year. That is part of schooling IMO. If you don't finish your residency, you cannot go out and practice on your own. That's why some residents requirements are longer than others. The bottom line is......its part of their training, did anyone pay you for your training? ummmmm let me guess? NO! LOL! :)

Anyways, I thouroughly agree, we shold be paid more. I think about $30/hr would be be adequate. (without working for an agency) I am saying, as a full time employee/part time employee with prn's to get a little more.

Somebody mentioned being contracted out, rather than a hospital employee. There is one HUGE disadvantage to that theory. If you are a hospital employee, they are legally responsible for any action you make. You can be sure, if you screwed up and it caused a permanent injury or death, the hospital would be named in the suite. If you are contraced (which means you agreed to provide your services....just you) that is a private agreement. Under the same error, the hospital would most likely claim you are not their employee, and therefore they are not responsible for your actions. Bingo!!! The cash is going to have to come straight from the contracted person.........(i.e. you!) That would cause malprcatice insurance to skyrocket, taking more pay out of that nice check.

Guess I am just thinking of all the options and scenarios to some of your replies.

:)

Absolutely agree with above. The residents get 30,000 to do internships, but hey we got nothing to learn to be a nurse. In some parts of the country that same 30,000 is a nurses salary!!!

I also do not believe contracting with agency is the way to go. Not for nurses anyway. It is a nice perk for the hospitals, they get staff....pay a little higher rate, but they dont have to pay for benefits and are not responsible for any liability. It is a great perk to them, thats why they dont blink an eye when the fee is 75.00 an hour per nurse.

Somebody mentioned being contracted out, rather than a hospital employee. There is one HUGE disadvantage to that theory. If you are a hospital employee, they are legally responsible for any action you make. You can be sure, if you screwed up and it caused a permanent injury or death, the hospital would be named in the suite. If you are contraced (which means you agreed to provide your services....just you) that is a private agreement. Under the same error, the hospital would most likely claim you are not their employee, and therefore they are not responsible for your actions. Bingo!!! The cash is going to have to come straight from the contracted person.........(i.e. you!) That would cause malprcatice insurance to skyrocket, taking more pay out of that nice check.

Guess I am just thinking of all the options and scenarios to some of your replies.

The wonderful thing about boards like this is that we can share different perspectives around key issues. Regarding litigation and mal-practice, the issue always comes down to "did the nurse follow policy and procedure?". Whether you are a hospital employed nurse or a nurse in independent practice, you work based on the accepted industry standards and the standards imposed by the hospital. I have been in independent private practice for over a year now and I can say that my risks have not increased, nor has my liability. If anything, I am much more acutely aware of my own performance standards and clearly have found them to be more rigorous than the employed nurses with whom I work. Face it, there is liability on all fronts. Being employed by a hospital in no way minimizes that liability.

As for earning more income, I have total choice in my work life now. I certainly have more income, but more importantly, I have many more opportunities for a satisfying and fulfilling nursing career. Independent practice is clearly not for the faint of heart...but for those who choose independent practice for their careers, the journey is worth it.

best regards

chas

Originally posted by Mijourney:

[QB]. I became irritated anytime a new graduate was hired in making only pennies less than I did. ]

If I quit my job now and returned in 6 months I would start at a higher wage AND get the $10,000 sign on bonus being offered!

:rolleyes:

Originally posted by codebluechic:

If I quit my job now and returned in 6 months I would start at a higher wage AND get the $10,000 sign on bonus being offered!

:rolleyes:[/QB]

So do it!!!! :)

I agree nurse4kids! RN/LPN pay should be different, but based on performance and experience. I am an LPN, have been for 7 years, just finished my RN program and I just got a raise in pay, $1.00 per hour for now, and then another $1.00 per hour when I pass my boards. That brings me up to a whopping $15.oo/hr. I cried when I found out that was all my boss thought I was worth! (I work directly for a physician) It felt like a slap in the face to be honest. I worked my a** off for eighteen months, going to school full time and working full time with a family to take care of as well. I think I deserve at least $18.00/hr, if not $20.00. I am a VERY good employee, proficient nurse, and perform various other roles at our office other than my primary nursing job.(employee health nurse, occupational exposure and illness nurse, CPR instructor). WHEW! venting feels GOOD! thanks for the opportunity!

nurs4kids

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation. Has 20 years experience.

Originally posted by fergus51:

So do it!!!! :)

Be careful and calculate whether it's worth it or not. I did the same a year ago after I had my last child (planned to be a stay@home mom). After four months at home, I decided I just wasn't the @home type. So, I called my boss up and went back to work. Yes, I got better pay but I also lost 12yrs of benefit accrual time and this past christmas we got a bonus based on time worked. I got $50 as opposed to $400 that I would have gotten had I just taken FML instead of quitting. Also, my retirement is no longer fully vested. It nauseates me to even think of how much those four months cost me.

The grass is always greener....

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