Did you know in New Jersey a nurse fresh out of a nursing degree program can haul down $60,000 a year in starting base salary?
Nurses can also choose to work three 12 hour days in a row with four days off.
Nursing is a great career choice if you can afford the training and eventual, inevitable, humiliation at the hands of some doctors who believe they know more than you.
There is a nurse shortage across the nation and if you have the education and the talent you can work a great deal to haul down the dough.
Visas can be hard to get but did you know there is a “nursing exception” that basically allows any foreign national with a nursing degree to get a “permanent Visa” into the United States with appropriate sponsorship?
I understand several New Jersey hospitals prefer to import their nurses from Ireland because Ireland has an excellent training program for nurses and they fit in well with the American way of healing.
There’s an insider saying in New Jersey if you are sick and your nurse has an Irish brogue you know you’re in good hands because that nurse was imported to take care of you and is being paid really well to get you well.

11 Comments

  1. I am a nurse in Florida. Nurses here start around $48,000 a year. I don’t know if that’s more or less overall than Jersey when you factor in the cost of living and other stuff.

  2. My aunt is a nurse at the hospital in the city where I live, and I agree that they deserve every dollar they make. I find it amazing and sad, however, that hospitals have such a hard time getting nurses, at least in SC anyway. It’s as if they’d rather work in doctor’s offices rather than the longer, irregular hours at a hospital.
    I also know from the experience of visiting family members who’ve had their stays in the hospital that having a good nurse makes all the difference, and I’m so grateful for the care they provide.

  3. Hey Carla!
    I know a lot of nurses in the work I do for http://www.UMDNJ.edu and they are wonderful, smart, funny and under-appreciated people. The hours can be grueling.
    The job is emotionally draining.
    I hear lots of terrible stories about cruel doctors. Salaries keep going up to entice smart people to take a job that can fast drain a body’s spirit and goodwill.

  4. I see nurses, teachers and peace officers in a very simliar boat. These are professionals who (in my opinion) are underpaid in very demanding jobs. They represent the middle class and in my community are caught in an economic gap between a fairly static salary and trying to buy a home of rapidly escalating cost.
    My wife is a second grade teacher, so I admit to some bias. I also think of these professionals as having a kind of calling in their job beyond the pure salary because of the strong service nature of the profession.
    I think that paying nurses higher salaries is a good thing, and I wish the same for teachers and peace officers. Living in Northern California, our governor has “taken on” the nursing profession (and teachers and peace officers) politically. Indeed, a big part of his sudden drop in popularity has been his error in confronting the unions that support these groups.
    It saddens me to hear stories about how doctors can be cruel to nurses. I am a doctor, twenty years out of residency training, and have the most profound respect for colleagues in the nursing profession.

  5. Hi Jeff!
    I appreciate your experience on this topic and I respect that you were willing to share these moments with us.
    I am with you on paying all the service people a good wage. They do the jobs few of us are able to accomplish.
    I think the latest round of “negotiations” with the union and the mayor’s office in NYC set a record low for incoming police officer salaries at $25,100 a year down from $34,500 previously and, as the NY Times reported, “city officials had even suggested dropping it to $23,000.
    If it all happens, we’ll see how that low salary affects getting new recruits into the NYPD as a career.

  6. My mom was a nurse and I can’t tell you how many people used to tell me “I had your mom when I was in the hospital and she was such a good nurse.” It used to make me so proud of her. I guess she had a really good beside manner. Haven’t we all been in a position to know the importance of having a good nurse? My daughter works as a CNA and works long hours like you described. Most of the health professionals I know do this and they make really good money at it. But they earn every single bit of it. It’s “customer service” of a kind you just can’t know unless you’ve been there. I’ve heard lots of horror stories.
    you sure do bring us some good topics for us to think about, David. my brain feels cracked open sometimes from it, but thank you. 🙂

  7. Paula — Thanks for sharing your story with us! You have so many fascinating experiences and you have no secrets and that is the only way to live! 🙂
    Carla — It is disgusting to lowball the new recruits that way. This is a big fight between the union and the mayor’s office. It seems that to protect the upper level salaries the NYPD union is willing to give in a bit on lowering the starting salary. Sad, really, because the new cops do a lot of the community policing and having a “cop on the neighborhood beat” is very New York and vital to the community fabric.