What RNs say about their work and Earnings
What The Industry says about RNs and Earnings
Global RN earnings
Table of Contents
Relevant links within these pages.
|RN earnings have been identified in these
pages as one of the causative factors
fueling the shortage
"According to standard economic
theory, shortages only arise if the price, or in this case wage, is prevented
from rising. By this view, if there are not enough nurses to fill all the
vacancies then it is due to the fact that employers are not willing to
pay the market wage.It is interesting that Congress feels the need to
intervene in the labor market for nurses, keeping their wages down by increasing
the supply of nurses. In the case of doctors, it took the opposite path.
deliberately restricted the number of students that go to medical school
and the number of foreign doctors that are allowed to enter residency programs
in the United States in order to keep the wages of doctors from falling.
The average wage of doctors is currently about $200,000 a year, more than
four times the average pay of nurses. Since doctors' salaries in the US
average more than twice the level of western Europe (the wages of nurses
are comparable), by this measure there is a much more serious shortage
of doctors than nurses."
Nursing is often referred to as a calling, and nursing organizations will sometimes say nurses are "not about money". Management will imply or say directly that nurses "recognize they are a service force" implying nurses sign on for low pay when they sign into nursing school. When expressed by nursing itself, often in an effort to garner support for legislative change regarding environment [ the other alpha factor] these sentiments appear to be utilized to make the profession appear pure and dignified, selfless as well as reasonable, aware of complicated economic factors driven by finite currency; It reinforces the image of nursing as service oriented and the holder of high moral ground. But this is not the entire truth and we are not fully served with this presentation; in fact we are hurt by it. Not only have nurses never been paid sufficiently for the work [see history of nursing] , wage adjustments in previous shortages meant to lessen their impact have been quickly undermined in years following thus reinforcing the underlying alpha factors allowing the shortage to again take hold. The modest wage adjustments occuring in the shortage of the 80s quickly eroded-Nurses lost income in the decade following. It is clear that the industry has not been able to respond to the market force, and claims inability to do so. Only the solution to alpha factor two will address this very fundamental aspect of the nursing shortage.