Where do you stand on "Nurses don't get paid enough"?

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by DK123 DK123 Member Nurse

Specializes in ACE.

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To me I am on the fence about it. When I was a student, we were taught not to complain, if we complained in our clinical about too much work we would get a warning, or be kicked out for not being competent. Now that I am working its much different. I have a union who will stand up for me.  So now workers like me, often complain about workloads, and being overworked asking to come in, working lots of hours etc..

Here in Ontario we have Bill 124 where the Government froze our wages. I saw many Nurses protest this, but of course we cannot go on strike as lives will be on the line which is not good. One nurse said that they don't just change diapers, but they keep patients alive and are closely monitored, while being spat on, and yelled at. 

So this begs the question, are you becoming a Nurse because you like it? Or are you doing it for the money? I don't think Nurses are underpaid, I do think they are worth more than they currently are. 

T-Bird78

Has 6 years experience.

I think, for what I do and the hours I have and the area I live, that I’m fairly compensated. I’m making the most money I’ve ever made in my life. I think, or at least would like to believe, that most of us get into nursing as a calling and to help pts, not just to chase a fat paycheck. It’s a bit much to pick this profession for the money considering what all we put into the schooling and the toll it takes on us.  

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

Speaking as an American, I think pay rates are okay as long as you're actually paid for all the hours you work. So many people chart "off the clock" and give free labor to their employers...

For the nursing work I felt like the pay wasn't terrible. Many of us do really enjoy patients and nursing. However, it's hard to say what kind of pay would compensate for admin's pretend reality and condescending disregard. On that basis, what they want to pay is not worth it to me.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 19 years experience.

Well I just got a pretty decent raise - so I can't complain!

morelostthanfound, BSN

Specializes in CVOR/General Surgery. Has 29 years experience.

9 hours ago, DK123 said:

"I don't think Nurses are underpaid, I do think they are worth more than they currently are."

     This doesn't make much sense...it's one or the other.  However, to answer your question, if you feel direct care nurses are fairly compensated when their actions/inactions often determine if a patient lives or dies, and their (nurses') careers, livelihoods, and financial futures hinge upon these very decisions, I think you've sold yourself and your fellow nurses short.  Sorry, but commensurate with the amount of stress, responsibility, hardship, and workplace hazards (exposure to infectious patients and assaults), I think we all deserve better.  I've said many times; CPAs, engineers, IT....all pretty much require the same length of educational preparedness, but most enjoy much more respect, better hours, and working conditions, and less hazards for the same or better pay.  

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

6 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Speaking as an American, I think pay rates are okay as long as you're actually paid for all the hours you work. So many people chart "off the clock" and give free labor to their employers...

not me! Nope. The liability is too great. IF something happens to people who do this they are not covered and could actually get in trouble with, their employers.

Why people do this is beyond me.

JBMmom, MSN, NP

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I'm a second career nurse, and I left my previous career after 17 years. At my hospital right now nurses with 5+ years of experience are getting approximately $42/ hr, with all the differentials on top of that. In my previous position the entry level was a master's degree, and after 17 years with mostly reviews exceeding expectations, my salary was in the range of $44/ hr. So I think the pay, comparing nurses with an ADN and five years of experience, is not really underpaid. 

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

PS I am not on the fence. Most nurses in this country are grossly underpaid for the responsibilities taken on and the abuse also taken by us.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 9 years experience.

We got a blanket $3 raise and then lots of opportunities for very well paid OT. 

I am making more money than ever now. I have no complaints. 

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

I also think it depends on geographical area.  Many nurses in the union-wary South are making crap wages, but are told that the increased pay found in other states is evened out with increased cost of living.  This is true in some cases, and patently false in others.  There are also vacation and sick policies, quality of health insurance, typical staffing levels, and many other factors to consider.  Many nurses work in facilities where it's just the norm to literally never take a break, not be able to take vacation time or call out sick, etc., which is just insane, but they're conditioned to think that could never change.  But as a whole in the U.S. in general I think RN pay is reasonable.  There are just pockets of deplorable working landscapes where I'd never go.

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 6 years experience.

LOL. No we are not paid well for what we do

I have a BSN and have been a nurse for almost 7 years. My pay for both my jobs is 30.XX-32.XX. Base. I am exposed to all kind of diseases, I deal with idiotic management and administration, and rude patients and their families. 

My boyfriend? He has a BS in accounting with his CPA. He has been in his field for 14 years and makes approximately 130k per year ($62/hr) base. A nurse with his amount of experience would make about $36-$38/hr. Sure, he is salaried and doesn't have overtime opportunities, BUT he gets to work from home and not deal with 1/4 of the BS that I make.

And he isn't even "saving lives."

My engineer brother came out of the gate making 87k per year. That is what some NPs make starting out in my area (MSN and years of nursing experience).