I’m not sure why we as nurses hold on to this image so fervently. Recently I was in a discussion about new nurses who go into nursing hoping to “make money”.  Note the “make money” is the EVIL part of this phrase. And the readers were appalled that the motivation was money (I guess and not indentured servitude?).

I didn’t quite understand what was so awful about that statement. I don’t think earning a decent wage and paycheck and expecting decent working conditions negates one’s ability to do their job or care about another human being.

The conversation spiraled into, “when I was a nurse I made $5.40/hour”; “Yeah, well I made $3.20 and slept under a bridge [I added the bridge part]” and so on and so forth.

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For some reason nurses don’t think they can make money AND make a difference in the world.

A friend of mine said to me one day that she was a single mom (like me) who struggled for a long time.  She needed to rely on the help of others, but now she was in a place where she could give back.

It made me realize that people always need our help and we give as much as we can. But, we never stop and think about what we need and how to get it.

Nurses are not doing any one any favors by slaving away at 12 hours a day and not making ends meet or acting as if the only way to deserve the paycheck is to be exhausted and burnt out.

You see this when nurses swap war stories and try to out-do each other with the most horrific conditions they endured to change a bedpan.  Really?

The only thing that this kind of thinking does is make nurses feel small and inferior. After all who wants to listen to the advice the overworked, burnt out worker bee that every one is barking orders at?

You don’t have to be exhausted and burnt out. There are other ways to make money in nursing. We need more nursing role models who are strong, confident leaders who aren’t afraid of making money.

Is that you?