Why not satisfy with the pay?

Nurses General Nursing


Hi everyone,

I Know some of you may disagree with me but I have to ask. Why all those complaints about the pay? Some of you are saying that you can't live comfortable with your salaries but dont you think it depends on how you use the money. People that are making $5.00 dollars per hour don't complain as we do. Yet, they take of their needs. What would those that are complaining expect when they buy one or two 2001 cars, buy a $300.000 house and expect to buy brand name clothes and shoes? I'm sure there are valuable stuff out there that don't ask us to go to the extreme. Live a comfortable life does not mean to be able to buy or do all the things desire but to live a life we can afford. Those that are making $5.00 per hour knows that they are not making enough to buy a $300.000 dollars house. Consequently, they buy a condo for $50.000 depending where they live.

I know that nurses do too much work for their little salary. However, we need to learn to live with what we have.

Those making $5/hr usually get food stamps, welfare checks, work for cash, get governmental assistance such as low income housing, help with utility bills, a LARGE tax refund etc. etc. (just to name a few). I am in this by myself with no help from Uncle Sam except to keep me informed when my student loan payments come due!!! I NEED A RAISE, which I might add, should be more than just the COLA.

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

I have to agree with Level2Trauma. My husband and I don't get any tax breaks or any assistance. We have to pay full price for everything, as compared to other individuals. Not only to we pay for ourselves, but we pay for others as well via taxes. We live within our means - we have 95 and 96 cars (small cheap ones I might add - a Cavalier and a Prizm). We put our money into our home that appreciates, not depreciates.

Senior citizens get a property tax break - why?? Typically senior citizens should be in a much more stable financial situation than young married couples. There homes are paid off, they have sufficient retirment income, etc. As a young couple we aren't close to that at all. So why don't we get a tax break? We don't even have children who utilize the school system.

And for pay, I am not satisfied with it not because I can't build a bigger, all-brick home, but because I run my butt off, do charge nursing, orientate, resource - and don't get compensated fairly. My facility increases the new grad rate pay but doesn't adjust the current scale for exisiting employees accordingly. Nurses may start off ok with an ok salary, but as they gain experience or take on additional responsibilities, roles, projects, or education/certifications, aren't compensated for those as other professions are. There is no incentive to be charge nurse, be a preceptor, return to school, other than personal satisfaction. That may be ok for some, but those things require money to do (going back to school, continuing ed). Therefore there is no return for your investment.

Hi Level2trauma and Susy K,

Level2trauma not everyone that are making $5.00 per hour have all those priviledges. I

know people that are making that kind of money who don't get none of those priviledges. Yet, they live comfortable.

Susy K, I understand things can be so tough for you but I bet you if you did send your children to public school you could of use that extra money for other things. Everyone would love for their children to have the best of everything but going to the extreme is not good way to give it to them.

And again I'm saying nurses do a lot of work and received so little in returned. However, it's up to us to know how we're going to use that little we received because trying to live too large is not a good idea.

Specializes in LDRP; Education.


I agree with living within your means - totally. I am all about that. Like I said, that's why we don't put our money into poor investments, like cars and techotronic crap. We built our first home a year ago, utilized a VA loan so we didn't need a down payment. That's why we didn't want to keep putting our money into rent. We view a home as a very good investment - already in one year we have $8,000 in equity. Cars certainly don't do that! My husband's little Cavalier is paid off, my little Geo Prizm is close to it. We fix our cars ourselves to save money.

We can pay our bills with our income as it is. However, as the cost of living increases each year with inflation, so should our income. My husband's does, but mine has remained the same for 3 years. Why? Luckily with a home our mortgage payments stays the same so each year it gets easier and easier - but still - why do I have to work overtime, not have benefits and still barely make 40K? My husband has a salaried position and gets full benefits and makes twice what I do. WHY??

It all boils down basically to not being compensated for what we are worth - not for wanting more "things."

Also, I didn't mean to imply we have children. We don't - that was the point. But if I did I sure would send them to a private school, unless we could afford to a better public school district. Again, certain things to me are worth paying more for because they are an investment. I don't think spending additional money on my children's education is a poor one.

[This message has been edited by Susy K (edited April 26, 2001).]

I agree with the above responders. I think what they're saying is, everyone is entitled to get paid what they're worth, not the absolute minimum on which they can live.

Hi Fergus51,

I understand that we worth more than what we're getting. No doubt about that.

And it is certainly ok to feel that way. However, complaining about it isn't the way to get a better pay either. Does it matter if you will ever be able to buy a house or a new? Even though you should have been able to do all those things but since you can't why not make the best of what you have. Either way you look at life, it's not fair anyway. I'm sure you love your job and don't want to quit at this point. Consequently, why don't you try to invest the little that you have. Someday, you might be able to do all that. Don't expect your degree to do it all for you because there is a lot of other way out there to reach your goal.

I realize that we have chosen to work in this field, but we spent so much money and time to get where we are. Not to mention the amount of responsibility we have. We are responsible for our patients lives.We get sued and lose our license if we make a mistake.We just don't make enough. Isn't that part of the reason we have a shortage? What is the average income of other professionals??? Alot more than nurses.

I am a secretary and earn $41K per year. Good company, great benefits but work is totally unchallenging and unrewarding. Wrapping up my all my prereqs and coreqs so I can sttart Nursing program in Jan '02.

Specializes in ER, NICU, NSY and some other stuff.

Why do we complain about salaries?

Well it is a little discouraging when you see ads for fast food making not much less than we do as nurses. Do they have to worry about being drug into court? Do they deal with life and death? Do they get held over for an extra shift? Do they need a college degree to do their job?

I do not wear designer clothing, I do not have a $300,000 dollar house and I do not drive a 2001 ca. Yet I am barely eeking by from paycheck to paycheck. I am supporting myself and my children and we do not live extravagantly as you seem to assume.

Those folks you know who get by on their $5.00 hr jobs usually live on some form of public assistance, no they don't have a health plan, which means that those of us who are paying taxes are paying for their health care, or just paying for it with the pay increases that our employers don't give us with no profit marins for the amount of indigent write offs they must absorb.

I am not asking to live the life of a movie star or top-level exec, I would just like to be able to pay all my bills on time each month without having to work overtime each week. Is that so greedy or unrealistic?

Hanginginthere, Let's see, House payment 350.00/mo, lights 100.00/mo (on a good month), student loans 200.00/month, car insurance 75.00/mo, health insurance 174.00 month for my wife. WHOA, HOLD ON, I have already ran out of my $5/hr income. OH ME!!! I am already over budget and I haven't even bought groceries, gas, miscellaneous items for the household such as toilet paper (unless of course you want me to use the newspaper). In addition, I haven't paid the cable bill (or are we not allowed to watch TV), the water bill (you do want me to bathe, don't you), the childrens' school money, my internet service provider. There are others if I sat down and took time to engage my brain. The point is WE DO NOT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY!!! If you don't want anymore money, thats fine. As for me and my family, WE DESERVE MORE. If you can find someone who can live comfortably on $5/hr, you might want to look at what kind of moonlighting job they have. BOTTOM LINE, You can't live comfortable on $5/hr without help.

Why???? I am a trained professional and am in charge of lives. If someone went into cardiac arrest on my floor am I not supposed to call a CODE and do my utmost to save their life?

Not everyone can do the job that I am trained for. Being a nurse is more than pushing pills. I have to give medications that are highly toxic and can kill. I have to be a secretary, caretaker, maid, BSer, and a host of other descriptions that I did not expect while attending "nursing" school.

So please forgive me if I feel I have the right to demand a little more than a low salary for all that comes with my chosen field.

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