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Op-Ed: Let’s Pay Nurses Minimum Wage!!

Every morning I wake up and thank God that we still have some Republicans in Congress. Representative John Shadegg (R) from Arizona, is one of those blessings. He has introduced a bill in Congress called the Nursing Reform Act of 2009. The bill calls for increasing work visas for foreign nurses (and their spouses). When passed, it will eliminate the nursing shortage!

This bill is great on so many levels. For one, everyone knows that healthcare is costing us an arm and a leg (pun intended). The biggest causes are obviously nurses and nursing unions. Nurses are way overpaid, but unfortunately the healthcare corporations have not been able to break the nursing unions because of the shortage of nurses. By bringing in lots of foreigners, they can flood the market with labor, break the unions, and get nursing salaries down to where they belong — somewhere around what retail pays. If only there weren’t that law capping the number of foreign nurses we allow in the country… As a side benefit, the bill allows for nurses’ spouses to get unrestricted work visas as well, so it will help bring down salaries in all sorts of other industries as well!

The true brilliance of this bill (thank you Mr. Shadegg!) is in the way it is written. It doesn’t bring them all in at once. It starts out with 50,000 new visas the first year, which is a low enough number that people will “buy it” and the bill can get passed. Supporters of the bill have had to go to great lengths to say that nursing salaries will be unchanged, which of course will be true at first. However, the genius in the bill (evil grin) is that the number of allowable visas automatically goes up 20% per year, so it will be 60,000 visas in year two, 72,000 visas in year three, 86,400 visas by year four, 103,680 by year five, and a whopping 124,416 by year six! The bill states that “According to the Department of Labor, the current national nursing shortage exceeds 126,000.” Therefore, the nursing shortage will be solved in about six short years, and healthcare companies can get back to earning the kind of money they deserve! Incidentally, this is just the approach that was so successful in cutting the salaries earned by information technology workers about 10 years ago. Corporate profits were getting impacted by high IT costs, so our brilliant Congress increased the number of H1-B visas, and companies were able to hire cheap workers from India and other places. Thank you, Congress! Later, many of these foreign workers returned to their homelands and brought the work with them. Now, corporate America doesn’t have to pay high salaries, and they don’t even have to look at the foreigners anymore — they can just write a little check to India. Bravo! Fortunately, information technology salaries have never rebounded to the levels where they were.

But I digress. Back to nursing. Let’s face it, nursing is difficult, degrading work. Nurses sometimes have to wipe feces, for Christ’s sake. We’re Americans and we’re better that that! We can certainly find some Indians, Filipinos, or Chinese to do that work, ridding self-respecting Americans of the need to perform that dirty job. The last 20 years have been a long road, but we’ve come a long way, baby. We’ve rid ourselves of the burden of almost all manufacturing jobs, call center jobs, and as mentioned earlier, many information technology jobs. Fortunately, we Americans don’t need to do those things anymore. This bill is the first step down the same glorious road for healthcare. It was recently reported that in 2009, over 6 million Americans will travel abroad for surgery (http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/27/india.medical.travel/index.html). Once these foreign nurses are fluent in “American-style healthcare,” many can return home to help proliferate cheap healthcare services to those Americans that can afford to fly overseas. Think of the opportunities this will create for the airline industry and the beloved industries that support the airline industry — like jet fuel suppliers and Boeing!

President Obama reportedly wants to solve the nursing shortage by training unemployed Americans for these jobs. As usual, that guy has it all bass-ackwards. First of all, we Americans are too good to be nurses. Second of all, it would be tough to train enough new nurses to break the unions and get nursing wages down to retail wage levels. Only India and China, with their billions of people, are capable of rapidly flooding the market with enough labor. Third, everyone knows that the millions of unemployed Americans are lazy, good-for-nothings that are not smart enough or good enough to be nurses. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be unemployed in the first place, right? Fourth, training Americans to be nurses is expensive. Why, in Mr. Shadegg’s home state of Arizona, the high unemployment rate and falling tax revenue have forced the state funded university (Arizona State), to cut its nursing program by 26% in terms of students accepted into the program (http://nursing.asu.edu/general/deans_welcome.htm). Let’s face it, with unemployment so high, we just can’t afford to train Americans to be nurses. Perhaps if we cut taxes on all of the oppressed wealthy Americans, we could afford to train more nurses…

Opponents of this bill will probably say that John Shadegg has sold out to the healthcare industry. I say, phooey! They will probably point out that In the campaign finance cycle for 2008, he received over $244,000 from the healthcare sector, over $168,000 of which was from healthcare political action committees (http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00006425). That may be true, but Mr. Shadegg is a patriot! He would NEVER let campaign contributions influence the legislation he introduces or sway his vote in any way.

My only criticism of the bill is that it doesn’t go far enough. Perhaps it’s not too late. I would urge Mr. Shadegg to expand this legislation so that we bring in an additional 50,000 foreign doctors, 50,000 foreign dentists, 50,000 foreign lawyers, 50,000 foreign engineers, and 310 learned people for “government positions” (254 to take the Democratic congressional seats and 56 to take the Democratic Senate seats, ha ha ha!!!!!). Clearly, overpaid nurses are not the only problem we face as Americans. My fellow Americans, we must remember, what’s good for American corporations is good for America. We’ve come a long way, but there are still some high paying jobs that are held by Americans. With the help of patriots like Mr. Shadegg, we can fix that!

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116 replies »

  1. Let the nurses quit and see how fast the patients crumble at a record rate. Some people have not one clue what doctors and nurses do.

  2. Over the years I have been in contact with many doctors and nurses and its always a plus when I can understand them. Why not put our health and well being of ourselves and children in the hands of the lowest bidder. Its worked so far. (yeah right). THIS is another attack on our Middle class. The nurses are the backbone of our medical system. The LPNs and RNs get all the shit…pun intended. I am not a nurse or have anything to do with the medical field. But have had my share of contact with nurses due to injuries over the years. These are the first people we see when there is an emergency and when life is at stake. And when the chips are down, and I am sorry if its politicaly incorrect, I want my nurse, doctor, etc. to be American taught and trained. Whoever posted this blog or whatever the hell they’re called must have never been on the needing end of assistance when you could barely understand what the person is saying. And that’s over the phone renewing insurance . If the wages listed in these other blogs are accurate that sounds right to me. These people are in the thick of it. Nothing against the doctors out there, but the nurses run the show. I’m sorry if this hasn’t been all political correct. Lets not screw over our nurses and say we did. When it comes down to someone handling my newborn children I would happily pay them $25 an hour or more. Lets not target the nurses for medical cutbacks. How about targeting pharmaceutical companies.

  3. the “opinion” is sharp and funny… the comments are just plain funny. how can people not understand that this is satire?! perhaps this says a lot about our education system… let’s do the same thing for teachers! (KIDDING!!)

  4. this article is not a republican or democratic way of thinking. it’s more like totalitarianism. maybe socialistic way of thinking. it only works in the head, but when applied they realized it has become a disaster.

  5. Whoever wrote this article must be a very selfish person that doesn’t consider what it’s like in the other person’s perspective. People like this is a cancer to this country. This is obviously the most despicable article i’ve ever read. He should go hang himself.

  6. Are you insane!!! There are millions of unemployed nurses out there virtually thousands who have repeatedly applied for jobs and cannot get one!!!!!! Nursing shortage my ass they simply do not want to spend money on hiring them, that is an excuse to cut back on costs and work the butts off the poor slave nurses in the hospital who have to run to keep up the pace of the slave requirements. It is hell being a nurse, most of them hate it with a passion. Look up I hate nursing it is so overcrowed there are virtually hundreds of sites on the internet of venting underpaid slave labor nurse. Keep the fking Filipinos in the Philippines and hire American. San Francisco is hurting desperately no jobs for nurses avail. It is a joke!! Nursing shortage my ass.

  7. Good job with your satirical article Angry American. Unfortunately, and typically, nurses in general neither have much of sense of humor nor the sophistication to capture the power of satire in denouncing chronic social and political inequities for which the public have been desensitized or just don’t care.It is really pathetic to realize the large number of respondents that didn’t have enough interpretative skills to get the sharp ironic message of the article.

  8. Are you a moron? I am currently in Nursing school and busting my BUTT to provide the best quality care I could give to a patient. What do you do with your life? Why in the heck would I put myself through all the hard work to get paid just as much as someone who ONLY graduated in high school in retail?
    I agree with Erica above me, I’m a republican and God knows most do not think like that. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  9. It seems the nursing shortage is waning at the moment in this down economy. More nurses who were working part time are working more hours to make up for their spouses who may have lost jobs. When the economy comes back, the demand for nurses will increase and there will be another shortage = higher pay.

  10. This is the worst blog I have ever read. Nurses don’t make enough already and you want to decrease our pay to minimum wage? You have no idea what we do and what we have to know to become nurses. The high cost of healthcare is not because of overpaid nurses because we are very underpaid and do most of the work. I have nothing against foreigners, but patient outcomes are based on what type of nursing care they get, and we must admit that there is more sickness over seas than it is in America, so I wonder what type of care these people are receiving. So, go ahead and bring the foreigners over here because for minimum wage, thats all you will have. At the facility I work for, there are 6 patients to every nurse and we work 12 hour shifts. The average patient is being charged about 5000 a day. The average nurse in my area makes between 20 and 25 dollars a hour. You do the math. If I have 6 patients and take care of them for 12 hours making 25 dollars a hour, the cost of nursing for those 6 patients is 300.00 for 12 hours divided amongst them (not 300 per pateint) but the patients have been charged 15,000 for 12 hours. So nursing care for 1 day for 6 patients is 600 dollars at the most, but these 6 patients have been charged about 30,000 for 1 whole day. To sum it up in a nutshell, the average patient is being charged 100 dollars a day for nursing care but being charged about 5000 day. So, lowering nursing wages is not going to solve the high cost of healthcare. But, I’ll tell you what it will do, worsen it. Nursing is not just about wiping ass and doing IV’s. We are not just paid for our nursing skills, but we are paid for what we know. In most cases we have to know almost as much as doctors. Thats why you have to go to school for several years to be a RN and who in there right mind is going to go to school from 4 to 5 years to get a bachelor degree in nursing for minimum wage? We have to tell the doctors what to do over half the time. We are advocates for our patients. We make sure you have what you need when your doctor is not there. When shit go wrong with you, we are the people fixing it. You are lucky if you see your doctor 5 minutes a day. So if your lungs or your heart sounds bad and your doctor is not there, guess who hears it first, we do. You can even train techs to do certain nursing skills; however, they don’t have our educational backgroud, so if something goes wrong, is that tech gonna know what to do, is that tech gonna be able to realize that these meds are contraindicated, is the tech gonna know, you can’t stick there, is the tech gonna know you can only use this type of vein for this IV med, is the tech gonna know when putting down an NG tube that they are in your trachea about to go down into your lungs and instead of your esophagus, is the tech gonna know that you are not producing enough urine an hour and you are about to go into kidney failure, is the tech gonna know you are in danger of having a heart attack and stop it before it happens, is the tech gonna be able to provide teachings to you to prevent pneumonia and other things, ect. This is very dangerous because it is sooo much that goes into nursing that most people don’t realize because I could write a book on it, and thats why you go to school for several years for it, because its a lot to it. So if your life is worth saving a few bucks, go ahead and pass this stupid bill. As a matter of fact, when you are dying, I will go get somebody from housekeeping to take care of you since being a nurse is sooo easy to do. I bet you will be willing to pay top dollar for a qualified licensed nurse then.

  11. Wow. Lot of dull-witted nurses out there. Back when I was in college, they made us read Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. I guess the curriculum has been dumbed down since then and no one understands mordant satire anymore. Welcome to Idiocracy.

  12. Those of you that think the foreign nurse should come here, you just might get one for a nurse. I am not saying that all are like this, but I work with about 90% of foreign nurses and most of them work several jobs, then come to the night shift to work, but instead they sleep most of the night, chart about 4:30 am, hardly go in the room. Yes they have been reported by staff, patient and families, but we all want to be politically correct, so nothing happen. I want you to get one of these nurses to care for you, maybe you will think about this twice.
    It is the black & white nurses here that work like a dog to care for these patients, because here in the USA, we are trained to do just that.

  13. Actually, your CNA (certified nurses assistant) is the one who will wipe your feces and give you a bedbath…. Do you actually know what an RN does? Go shadow one for a day, and then rewrite this article… The only reason there is a “shortage” is because care facilities are too cheap to hire adequate staff. Contrary to your opinion nurses aren’t the doctors uneducated “help”. Many of them don’t get paid near enough for the amount of continued education and skill that they have.

  14. Can someone explain to me how you say a nurse is under or overpaid? Don’t you have ot compare the wages of other occupations? IF so, nurses have associate, bachlors, masters and phd’s in nursing. Also, most nurses I know get paid hourly. Around $25.00/ hour. About $50,000 a year. That’s totally, equal to other occupations with the same educaiton. Engineer, teacher, chemist, etc. However, alot of times you hear a nurse making 70, 80, 90 thousand a year. That’s because of overtime. Time and a half pay. IT’s true unions are for the workers and comand a higher wage. If hospitals are raking in the dough. Why not pass on some to the employees. I recognize that the have not’s will always complain about others who have.

  15. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an undercover democrat that is attempting to make the republicans look bad.. This was a horrible blog. Nurses are God’s gift to us when we are sick.

  16. I have a better idea… everybody just take care of yourselves. No more hospitals, no more healthcare, nothing. Live in caves like primitive life forms. Forget all about humanity. OK?
    OK?
    OK?
    OK?
    OK?

  17. Response to Angry American who thinks nurses should make minimum wage like retail workers and the answer to America’s nursing shortage is solved by recruiting foreign nurses.
    Comparison of Nurses to Retail Workers:
    Nurses save lives, run hospitals, make critical decisions that can initiate a chain of events for a positive outcome for a patient, or if fatigued from overtime or understaffed, may miss a subtle nuance or change in the medical status of a patient which may lead to death.
    Nurses are not selling widgets. Nurses are saving lives, bringing new life into the world, or supporting a patient through the end of life, supporting families with difficult decisions such as whether or not to donate organs, withdraw life support, or continue on with hope for a miracle. Nurses must be knowledgable in physiology and how their nursing practice impacts a patient’s condition. Nurses titrate cardiac drips according to blood pressures and heart rates and perform perform CPR and advanced cardiac life support to save lives. Nurses must be aware of National Patient Safety Goals and core measures that decrease infection rates, falls, skin break down, restraint use, and many more nursing-sensitive indicators to prevent death. We, yes I am a nurse, have extensive education and must be as fluent in our technology and communication skills as we are in our clinical skills.
    The foreign nurse debate:
    Recruiting foreign nurses to ease the US shortage is not the answer to the nursing shortage. If you have researched the main driver of the nursing shortage it is not a lack of Americans willing to enter the profession but a lack of Nurse Educators to keep up with the demand of educating new nurses. Part of this problem is to teach nursing a professor must have a PhD in nursing. Doctorally prepared nursing professors are paid a fraction of what law professors, MBA professors, and medical professors are paid- see the inequity. So a nurse who invests years (like myself currently in graduate school) in nursing education is likely to take a cut in pay to teach the future nurses. How is one to pay off student loans for master’s degree’s and doctoral degrees with reduced pay? Besides that fact, many people want to practice nursing rather than teach it.
    Lastly, draining nurses from other countries is unethical, unless they are wishing to immigrate here on their own. There is a global nursing shortage. Besides the ethical debate studies show that the communication barriers exhibited by some foreign nurses lead to poor outcomes for patients. The Joint Commission attributes a large percentage of nursing or medical errors and deaths to breakdowns in communication. Nurses from foreign countries are often trained in a hierarchial environment where they don’t question doctors orders or cower to doctors or others rather than speaking up on behalf of their patient. This is not my opinion, it is in the literature. Some American patients feel the difference in care with some foreign nurses due to communication and cultural barriers. For example, in many foreign countries the family is expected to stay with the patient, bring food and provide all personal care. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am thankful for the foreign nurses I work with and enjoy the diversity. But bringing in 50,000 is a temporary bandaid, not a long-term solution, and drains other countries of the nurses they need to run their own hospitals. Yes, nurses run hospitals too.

  18. Angry American, you have no idea, about what you have advertisd here. I wish you would fall sick to experience what nursing is like, and how much time a nurse spends with you, for the little money they make. You should be ashamed about yourself for writing something like this.
    I see that you are very racist, you have no right to condemn any nation ,moreover have you even thought that you may not even be a true American, as this soil was owned by none other that the American Indians and all others are immigrants at some point in their ancestry.
    So go find your origin before you start condemning human race.

  19. The reason for the need for nurses coming in from other countries would be that there is a shortage in America. Not because nurses in America are too good to wipe butts, but the Nursing Profession does not get paid near enough for what they do and the responsibilities that are placed on them. Nurses have to know that the orders they receive from the MD are appropriate. Nurses have to Assess, Plan, Implement and Evaluate all aspects of care. Nurses have to anticipate when a patient is in danger. Nurses are given too many sick patients to watch at any given time, placing all patients at risk. Nurses are abused day in and day out. Yes there are awesome doctors, but there are also doctors that throw bloody surgical instruments at nurses when they are having a temper tantrum in the OR. Yes there are awesome managers, but there are managers who play head games with nurses turning staff against each other and playing favoritism. Yes there are great Administrators, but there is administration who have been caught frauding medicare and dabling in illegal activities and misappropriation of funds. If anything, nurses need a raise. They are underpaid. Then if nurses were paid well to be in an abusive situation, there might not be as much of a shortage and there might not be a need to bring in nurses from other countries, etc. It has nothing to do with wiping butts. Nurses are patient advocates and keep them in the best condition possible while under their care. Nurses also risk their own health by being in this profession. There are workers comp injuries from hurting their backs lifting and moving obese patients. Do obese people think about that? There are infections and blood borne pathogens that nurses may be exposed to on a daily basis. You obviously have not a clue, Angry American. And since you titled yourself Angry American, then maybe you should attend anger management classes. This may help your own health in the long run.

  20. Dear Mr. Angry,
    I just wanted to take a moment to express my sincere disappointment. Yep, I’m a nurse. Yep, I got it, you were trying to be funny, with some witty satire. Yep, I see that you were trying to point out how backwards it is to pass legislation “outsourcing” nursing.
    But, by making a funny funny post, what you did was perpetuate the ongoing misconception of what a nurse does. You describe nurses as a group of butt wiping, overpaid babysitters with skills the equivilant of retail clerks. And while yes, in my 13 years of nursing experience I have done my fair share of butt wiping and babysitting, my daily work involves so very much more than the public understands. So let me clarify my job description for you and for the American public that you have misinformed.
    In my career I have: Sat by a patient as the only person in the room while they met their maker, and provided dignified post mortem care for them; Given a 40 year old wife the news that her husband had suffered a massive heart attack and was recovering from a cardiac cath procedure that saved his life for the third time; Told a hospitalist the orders that she needed to write for a patient suffering from Diabetic Ketoacidosis; Helped countless doctors sort through the diagnostics on their patients and helped make critical decisions in their patients’ care; Provided critical information to doctors during their patients’ sudden onset of cardiac dysrhythmias; Run countless codes; Prayed with families and patients prior to some very frightening surgeries; Packed countless gaping abdomenal wounds; Given countless doses of Morphine, Zofran and Insulin; Spotted critical errors and omissions in care and brought them to the attention of the doctor responsible for immediate correction; Informed families of impending brain death of their loved ones; Held countless hands; Held direct pressure on gushing arterial bleeds; Properly diagnosed an MI and provided proper emergency care; Attended the funeral of multiple patients; Gone running for a countless number of bedpans and barf buckets; Facilitated continuity of care by communicating with pharmacists, dieticians, CT techs, MRI techs, Xray techs, doctors, chaplains, and fellow nurses; Allowed families vent their dissatisfaction with the hospital, with their doctor, with their family members, with their church, with their government and with me; Allowed my management vent their dissatisfaction with the hospital, with doctors, with family, with the government and with me; And, I have dispenced great advice and even greater hugs freely.
    I have done all of these things during my career, and many of these things all in one week at my work. I do all of this during my 12 hour shift with one 30 minute lunch break. I am adequately compensated for my work. I am not overpaid; I am not underpaid. I don’t feel that my work is degrading or that I am too good for my work. On the contrary, I start and end each day with a prayer to my maker. And, I feel so very humbled and blessed each day to spend the most intimate moments of my patients’ lives each shift.
    So imagine my dismay after reading your ridiculous blog that portrayed my work in such a simplistic, inaccurate light…. I am dissapointed in your misrepresentation of my career. And, I hope I clarified for you what a nurse actually does. Perhaps the next time you find yourself writing about nurses, you can be more graceful and thoughtful about the group of people you post about.
    Thankyou,
    Carissa Pillow, RN CCRN

  21. ok, first off check your facts before you start making rash assumptions. The nursing shortage is a result from a shortage of teachers. If there are no teachers willing to teach, there are minimal spots avaiable for students. This problem needs to be recognized and addressed immediatly. Second, nurses should not be paid minimum wage. The skill, talent, emotional and physical work that nurses endure is tremendous. If nurses were paid minimum wage nurses would not put any effort into their work or care about the lives they were working so hard for. As two American nursing students, who put their blood, sweat and tears into their education (to care for your ass someday!!!) we are highly offended by this post. Just remember, be nice to nurses and their career because they could be saving your life one day!

  22. Then Dr.’s wages need to be cut too!! Nurses need to know almost as much as they do. Nurse are the investigators and report many signs, symptoms, reactions, and have to know what to do if the Dr. is not around. They need to know when to call the Dr. and also use some autonomy. Wages for nurses not in unions SHOULD NOT be cut!!!!! We did not go through all of the training and licensing for NOTHING!

  23. I worked a13 hour shift last night took care of young, and old very sick patients,. I worked so hard physically that I am sore! I would challenge the author of this post to try and be a waitress, doctor, nursing assistant, counselor, punching bag, and maid all while speed walking for 13 hours, that my friend is a nurse! I earn every penny I make! Also, side note if there’s not enough patients to keep us totally balls to the walls busy we get canceled with out pay or have to use our vacation! There is not a nursing shortage! The hospitals in the south give us 6-7 patients a piece, if it drops to where u might have some extra time to take with patients, they cancel one us. ( we r not supposed to tell patient’s that though) …rant from cell phone

  24. seriously thats f*** bs. In order to become a nurse you have to at least get an associates degree. Why would you go to school to get a job that pays the same as fast food, might as well work at fast food its less stress. And I say no to foreign workers, no offense. But you need to stay in your own country. Wages are low enough because of forgein workers. You can survive off minimum wage. You would have to work two jobs at minimum wage to pay the bills, and that’s just by yourself. I’m going to become a nurse and I am getting my bachelors. $7.50 no f***** way for 4 years of school at $10k a year.

  25. I am a current nursing student and I feel that if the gov cuts nurse’s pay you will surely have a crisis on hand. Who is going to put in all the time and training for minimum wage?

  26. YOU ARE AN UNEDUCATED ARROGANT IDIOT. Enough said. Trying to educate you with valid points would be a waste of time because your selfish, backwards head is so far up your own ass you would have no idea how to process the information.

  27. BTW, nurses deserve every amount of compensation they deserve. They train hard and work hard to not only save lives, but monitor their vitals and extend care where needed. I agree with the above, let’s put you at minimum wage and see how far you get Angry American blog writer. Or how about next time you’re in need of dire care and you have a minimum waged nurse taking care of you…let’s see how much that nurse will want to care or give a damn for your sorry ass.

  28. Ignorance. That’s what this article is. I would like to see this author live one day in my shoes and then pay him minimum wage for all of the physically and mentally taxing work he had done. Let’s see how much you’d want nurses to get paid minimum wage then! We save lives. I think that’s just a little more important than working in retail, don’t you?

  29. My wife is a nurse and if it wasn’t for her my family would probably not be eating. I got laid off in manufacturing and I took alot of pride in my work, then they ship the jobs overseas. Alot of people I know have gotten into the healthcare industry after being in manufacturing because you can make a living. I have had to move across the country to look for work in my field and eventually all of it will be gone. If they start reducing nursing wages how are we going to survive,basicly I think its all about big business, if the health care insurance is not making money they try to pay off the politicians to get them to pass laws that work to their favor. As my dad always said “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” As my mom always said “We’ll all be picking shit with the chickens pretty soon”.

  30. Additionally, have you ever even spent a day in a nurses shoes. I am a full time ER nurse and a PRN ICU nurse on my way to getting my Masters degree and you want to pay me minimum wage? I take care of children, adults, trauma patients, minor care patients, and critically ill patients. A day doesn’t go by that we aren’t swamped, understaffed, overworked and have more high acuity patients to care for than what is probably safe. I’ll tell you, once you go to work and have to clean poop, vomit, suction gobs of mucous from tracheotomies, get blood on you, watch people die, console their families, have patients manipulate you for pain meds, watch patients who truly are in pain, get yelled at, have psych patients attempt to harm you and do it all between the hours of 7pm and 7am when the rest of your family is home sleeping and then come home just in time for them to leave. Tell me then that you still think nurses should be paid minimum wage. And everyday, I come back to work because I still LOVE my job. I love helping people get better, or have someone be with them and care for them when they are dying. I love saving lives and I love my co-workers. I even love night shift but I promise you, paying us 7.50 and hour would definitely increase the nursing shortage. No one should ever choose nursing for money…if you don’t like to take care of people then it’s not the job for you but it’s damn well worth more than minimum wage.

  31. Let the lawmakers and the management of healthcare shadow a real bedside nurse for a couple of days and they would not feel like we are overpaid!!! Let them watch us for 6 months of nursing and classes to maintain our skills, mandatory meetings, mandatory yearly competencies, pressure to meet all the standards of the review boards, fielding complaints from patients and families that think they are the only sick ones the nurse deals with each day, and they will be begging to get our salaries increased!!!!

  32. Why don’t we politicians and government employees get paid minimum wage since they don’t deal with what half the nurses deal with on a daily basis? then maybe they could walk a day in a nurse’s shoes and get another job like the rest of the people. or why don’t we cut their salary by one million dollars and every movie star or sports stars’ salary by one million dollars and dump into the federal debt and that might make a difference. lord knows none of them would miss one million dollars. it is prob all sitting in a bank account anyway.

  33. I hope the author of this article gets to be hospitalized and cared for by one of the minimum wage, outsourced nurses he so highly speaks of and then lets see how he feels. I worked hard for my license and I’ll be damned if I am treated like all I do is pass out band-aids. Perhaps we should lower some other over inflated salaries like celebrities, politicians and pro-sports players.

  34. He is probably educated. But he is definitely misinformed. He didn’t do his research about what nurses really do and why they should get paid more than what they are currently getting. Minimum wage? You have no idea!
    He is racist as well. Americans are too good to be nurses? What are you good then for?

  35. Is this a joke? Who is the author of this ridiculous article? It is very evident that the person who wrote this has no clue about the nursing profession, nor does he or she have any regard to humanity. The profession of nursing is what makes up the core of the delivery of healthcare. Nurses get paid 1/3 of what Physicians get paid to do three times as much work as any doctor. “Nurses are overpaid” …Seriously?
    But yet, it is mentioned later on “everyone knows that the millions of unemployed Americans are lazy, good-for-nothings that are not smart enough or good enough to be nurses.”
    This article is a just a pile of contradicting garbage written by an obviously uneducated individual.

  36. Nurses should not make minimum wage, but they are very well compensated. Consider that even with an associate’s degree they can earn more than 40k, when teachers with a bachelor’s degree often don’t earn as much. It is critical work, and requires much more than cleaning feces (which the CNA’s help with), but they are well compensated.

  37. This person obviously wouldn’t put their actual name on this article because even he/she is aware of how completely ludicrous and ignorant their words are. To whoever you are I am truly sorry that you know so little about the world. But please, until you get even the slightest hint of a clue, don’t write anything else.

  38. Lets pay Investors; in kind services to them and their Families. Lets pay CEO’s Peanuts as it would motivate them to get off their lazy ass’s and improve Health Facilities.Cost Containment,Patient Safety,staffing,Medical Error, and Hospital Acquired Infections.
    Such Mis direction is exactly what has brought Quality of Care from No#1 to No#38 among forty industrialized Nations. The Idea to outsource nurses at a fraction of a average of $25.00 dollars and hour or greater; would undermine our progressive economic status and further compromise patient Care.
    The Changes need to be from the top down.Any other way is wrong!!!

  39. What a load of crap! You don’t have the first clue about what being a nurse means. Its emotionally and physically difficult. You can’t just train any body to be a nurse, they have to be willing and able and understand what they will be dealing with. I don’t see any of this stuff you have talked about happening.

  40. It takes a special person to be a nurse. It requires intelligence, ability to process to information quickly and under pressure, it takes physical agility, it takes an assertive but not aggressive personality and it takes an exceptionally compassionate person. They should be celebrated!

  41. I guess when you post specific jobs you are removed for advertising. Just to make a point, I don’t think people really get the picture that U.S. licensed NCLEX passers do make as low as minimum wage in some parts of what is considered U.S. soil. The starting salaries, (I do have a number of specifics of which I am not affiliated) from a private doctor at a clinic located inside the hospital in the Northern Mariana islands has an open position for an U.S. licensed R.N. from $6/hr to $10/hr. Also, there is a private home health service that has an open posting for an unlicensed R.N. for $5/hr to $5/hr. This is not a joke or satire, it is really happening. Currently there are over 400,000 nursing graduates (many of which have passed the U.S. NCLEX) in the Philippines alone and many would work for much low salaries if given the chance. Salaries are as high as they are for nurses due to low numbers of visas being given. If unlimited visas were given, salaries would actually drop dramatically.

  42. Just one more comment. You may not have health care or you may not have affordable health care or you may not have health care that cannot be arbitrarily “downsized” by the health care industry-But, you do have a VOTE!
    Remember who voted against health care, regardless of why! Vote accordingly!
    However, everyone wants the House and Senate to change but not “their” Congressman or Senator.
    Oh, yeah, I forgot what I said in my last comment about stupidity in America. Never mind!

  43. Ya know, after reading the letter on “let’s pay nurses minimum wages” in it’s Mark Twainism flavor, I understood, immediately, what the author was attempting. I also realized that some readers would not understand that this was intended sarcasm. I was, however, amazed at some of the “responses” and the intellectual black hole from which they apparently originated.
    Asking Americans to intelligently comment on a subject akin to the nurses shortage in the U.S.and what can possibly be done about it, is like asking them to comment on the trajectory and logistics of the intended manned trip to Mars; asking them to recognize it in sarcasm, apparently,is like the same question only squared in complexity.
    Americans have been “dumbned” down to the point that they can no longer think critically or creatively for themselves anymore and are thus at the mercy of media talking heads everywhere.
    America’s “Humpty Dumpty” of intellect has fallen and I fear cannot be put back together again. But then what do I know?

  44. This was satire. The poster was not serious. Are you all out of your minds? The person who wrote this was commenting from what those of us in the health care industry consider a demented form of thinking. Capitalism is American, and American is good. So outsourcing is good. So making sure we take care of enormous corporations that really just want to make more money is good.
    I used to be a registered republican, because I believe in the basic principles of the party. Now, registered independent…people actually think this post makes sense in the Republican party. Those advocating no change in health care are advocating big business-friendly politics. Care to explain how that is good for the people of America? Up to this point it sure hasn’t been, and how much money you have shouldn’t be the sole factor in quality or depth of care.
    And nurses are amazing. For the most part, they give massive amounts of emotional and physical care to people in all states of need, and ask only that themselves and their families be able to afford a decent life. The poster of this entry would agree with this. Word.

  45. Now that you all have the info so nicely provided get up off your butts and make sure that the republicans get the same message of this past election; enough of your selfish BS! Call your elected officials and kill the proposed bill!

  46. Nurses are leaving the profession because of comments like these. Nurses suffer extraordinary stress related to impossible tasks for thankless healthcare management. Making 30.00 an hour is not even close to being “overpaid”. Nurses in ERs/ORs and critical care areas are worth ten times that! Unbelievable work loads! Incomprehensible stress. You try it for a day. Let me know if you can find a reason to stay

  47. Oh no, I agree that Nurses should get higher pay. They do way too much work to get such low pay. They work so hard!!!!
    And whoever told me to die, you need to die you wierdo. Clearly you have no opinion. However, if that comment was not to me. Still thats quite rude! If u did not understand my comment or “Angry Americans” comment why are u replying? So Go away IM OUT OF HERE AND WILL NEVER RETURN.
    BUT nurses are strong workers and should definetly get paid higher!!!

  48. ALL health care positions require a criminal background check. How do you do a criminal background check on someone from a country that does not keep background records?It sounds like they want to put our health care system in more jeopardy than it already is in.

  49. I am appalled by the lack of caring that some people exibit when a dollar sign comes between them and the care that they or a loved one will receive in a health care establishment. Nurses are degreed professionals who (as was stated before) must have a high degree of technical knowlege in addition to having the ability to show compassion to people who are ill or in pain. Not everyone has this ability, and that is what nurses are paid for. Obviously some people think that the only ones who should make decent money are layers and congressmen.
    There are nursing practitioners whos earnings are at the level of retail. They are called CNA’S

  50. Excuse me (the person who started this)
    incase you havent noticed you made a racist comment saying basically “let the indians,philliponos and chinese do the dirty work” clearly you need to take a long holiday in a different country..and out of America!!!

  51. You folks need to watch the Colbert Report.
    This is satire…spoof…irony.
    The writer is on the RN’s side and is ridiculing the Republicrook and his goofy bill.
    One of the hallmarks of good satire is that it generates discussion…therefore this is good satire.
    Becoming an RN requires compassion, intelligence, hard work and devotion to duty. Remaining an RN requires more of the same and add diplomacy and physical and mental endurance to the list.
    No nurse is paid quite enough in my opinion.

  52. Hmmm. If you pay a nurse minimum wage; whether it be a foreign nurse or American nurse, you will definately get what you pay for. You would have to take away the education requirements and the continuing education requirements for the job because no one could afford to stay in the field nor would a nurse want to stay. I have been a nurse for almost 30 years and have not had a physician near me always while watching a patient nearly die in front of me. I have used my education to make critical judgement calls through quickly providing hydration fluids, titrating pressors to stabilize blood pressure, monitoring deadly heart rhythms and shocking their hearts back into normal rhythm quickly to name a few. Nurses not only wipe feces they make critical judgement calls in patient’s lives daily. Wouldn’t you want an educated individual making your judgement calls rather than an uneducated minimum wage individual. Besides, having educated nurses does improve outcomes in patient care. How could it save money by utilizing minimum wage nurses?

  53. Yeah, so you should probably kill yourself. You clearly have no idea about what a nurse goes through or the education required. I don’t know what planet you’re on, but nurses are very respected where I am. Nurses are the only people that actually give a damn about the sick and hospitalized. I hope that you end up in the hospital soon with a shitty nurse who “accidentally” gives you the wrong dose of Heparin so that you bleed out and die. Have a nice day and go play in traffic.

  54. It’s kind of sad that all these nurses are getting offended. I appreciate nurses dearly but c’mon! If you’re taking this post literally instead of sarcastically, go back to school & take a common sense class.

  55. LOL @ myself. I saw the heading and read a few lines and said OMG and didn’t bother to read the rest. After reading it all I realised it was satirical in nature. LOL. Good show! By the way don’t be mad @ all Canadians for my comment. Just be mad @ me if it rubbed you the wrong way.

  56. I’m an RN in Canada and work in and ER. I think that the poster of this blog is an serial killer in hiding. The way I see it, in order to pay nurses $7.50/hr the US would have to forfeit all educational requirements for nurses. Hence nurses would have no qualifications, leading to gross negligence and increases in hospital mortalities. I think you must get your kicks from knowing that you’d be part of something that would cause injury and death to millions. Oh and when this blows up in your face please stay on your side of the border.

  57. Its unfortunate that most people perceive nurses as “Doctor assistants.” Do you realize that most doctors do not know how to administer medications and titrate drips, provide necessary care to patients that keep them from developing pressure ulcers or hospital infections, set up and monitor arterial lines, CVP, etc… Although they can prescribe the medications, nurses routinely stop doctors from over or under medicating your loved ones by calling the doctor to challenge a dosage that we know is wrong only to get yelled at by an embarrassed doctor who was caught in error. Do you know that if your loved one has a situation where they stop breathing or their heart stops, or they come anywhere close to that, it is NURSES who run codes, give life-saving medications and CPR while doctor is on the way. I work in a high acuity ICU and I’ll tell you that you would rather have one or two competent nurses at your loved one’s bedside than a whole group of doctors. I work with some of the smartest, most vigilant nurses out there that manage the 18 IV pumps, ventilator, and chest tubes in your loved one’s room for weeks on end while they come back to you from death’s door. Trust me, a nurse’s salary (not nearly as high as you think it is) is a reflection of the intensity of the work we do, the continuing education the health care field requires, and the capabilities a nurse must possess to manage the complicated team of doctors, physical therapists, dieticians, respiratory therapists, techs, and others that are there to deliver care to patients. I’m not keen on the changes that are coming in health care reform, but if you want to know if this reform is good for nursing, ask yourself if it would improve the care given if it was your grandparents, parents, son, daughter, or spouse lying in the hospital bed.

  58. This comment by angry American is either a joke or this person is out of their mind! I have been a nurse for 20 years and I can tell you I have never been overpaid in my life. Most of the population has no beginning of aclue as to what nurses do on a daily basis. Nurses are the backbone of any health care facility or situation, we are the physician’s eyes and ears and often times we are the only ‘family’ a sick or elderly person has to be with them at the bedside. Whoever thinks that all nurses do is clean feces has no clue about the nursing profession for which we are highly skilled and educated. We are responsible for people’s lives every day, if something happens to them while we are working we are the first people sued and blamed. No amount of money can ever compensate nurses for the level of work we do. It’s a sad shame that GREED and selfishness of corporations and politicians are costing people their lives and robbing them f adequate health care.

  59. It seems futile to even waste my time on such an ignorant viewpoint. I am a critical care nurse and have 16 years experience. My daily duties include taking care of the WHOLE person, and meeting thier emotional, physical and spiritual needs as well as their loved ones. I have brought someone back to life 6 times in one shift. I have comforted a mother as she watched her son pass away. I have separated arguing families screaming and punching each other. Even after all this I can say without hesitation, I love being a nurse! It is a job I have to work hard at every day. And I am proud to say I have worked with many different types of people from many different ethnic backgrounds. They are all talented professionals that are just as dedicated as I in providing exellent care. Hopefully you will never be sick and won’t need someone to wipe your butt. But if you do nurses will be there to care for you anyway because we believe every person should be treated with dignity.

  60. I worked in construction for 15 years and I thought that was hard work until I became an RN. I would like to see those that think that we are overpaid deal with the stress that we deal with, take care of 4 to 6 patients a day, pass their morning meds, assess them, check lab work, and monitor vital signs, all of which should be done in 2-3 hours. Then deal with some arrogant doctors and catch the mistakes they make. Let them do that and then say we are overpaid.

  61. You are just a sarcastic idiot. Let’s just look at the sports industry, movie industry etc. YOU talk about over paid !!!!! Why should some drug or alcohol addicted person or person of the crazy set, who can get a reality show just for being crazy, be able to make that kind of inflated money. What is there contribution to be worth millions. Nursing on the hand may save your life, policemen may save your life, firemen may save your life, what the hell is wrong with this picture. What is more important in this, your life or your entertainment factor. Nursing is a hard profession and if you think you want to put your life in the hands of a monkey so be it. I have seen nurses do miraculous things, things YOU will never know about. Why don’t we all just earn minimum wage!!!!! Why does medical care cost so much TRY GREED. Hospitals triple the price of everything, drug companies GREED charging idiotic prices for drugs, insurance companies GREED, High priced lawyers telling every Tom, Dick and Harry they should sue if a doctor or nurse looks at them cross-eyed, at least for several million of which they get more than minium wage. You need to know what your talking about before you yell “fire”. Get a life.

  62. Nurses probably save more lives than doctors do..they are with the patients more and their skills in observing conditions and changes are the base of the doctors treatments….saving lives.

  63. There are current job postings for BSN U.S. licensed Registered Nurses with 2 years experience for $4.55/hr. in the U.S. territory of Saipan. The cost of living in Saipan is higher than the national average. Saipan currently has control of their immigration until Nov. 28th of this year, when USCIS takes over. Flooding the market with foreign nurses could actually bring salaries down as far as the sarcasm in this post.

  64. This posting appears to be satirical. Why is everyone so “up in arms?” The poster is making light of the idea of bringing in more forgein trained nurses by taking the idea to an extreme. I found it quite amusing, and I got the point.

  65. ha-ha, next time you’re in the er or admitted into the hospital,we’ll remember you, when you’re in pain and you want meds, when you have to pee, and when you have to vomit after surgery….

  66. The article “Thank God…” was obviously written by someone NOT in healthcare; really P.O’d about someone he/she knows is a nurse; is an idiot (already a PUB er Republican); and had nothing else to do but bring idocity into the world of the net. I think God would say, “Think!”
    By bringing in lower waged nurses from other countries, the only people reaping the benefits, again, would be the insurance companies. Of all people who need to speak the English language, it’s healthcare workers.
    You think it’s bad when McDonald’s gets your order wrong, what do you think they’ll do with your life?
    Hahahaha….I work with some of these nurses.
    It’s pathetic!

  67. I am amazed at the number of people commenting on this post who can’t seem to recognize satire when they see it. I guess Angry American needs to work on his Jonathan Swift impression.

  68. This is a truly offensive attempt at sarcasm. Without nurses there is no healthcare system. Nurses are in the trenches 24/7, day and night, weekends and holidays. We should pay nurses more, alot more for what they do and are responsible for.Maybe if the compensation was better there would not be a shortage!

  69. The union who said the average working RN made $100,000 a year must of been referring to all the overtime RN’s work. I am an RN and I made $78,000 in a year once and I stress once. That is the most I ever made in my life. The reason behind this is because the hospital I worked for is a union hospital. The hospital made a hiring freeze and did not hire any new nurses for 1 year. I was taking care of patients 1:8 to 1:10 patient ratio. No CNA’s etc. The work was grueling and extra long hours. No CNA’s means bathing the patient,turning the patient to prevent skin breakdown (finding someone to help you turn the patient is another issue), passing food trays, feeding patients that can’t feed themselves and taking care and following orderes written by the doctor. Pre-oping patients for surgeries, taking vitals after surgery, passing medications, and making sure you document on everything you do in a days time. We all know if it isnt documented it isnt done. If you dont document well it could come back to haunt you if there is a lawsuit and it usually falls in the nurses lap, not the hospital of course. I was working sometimes 80 hours a week, 60 hours at the least. Lucky to get to eat or even pee. Nursing is not like any job anyone has ever had. It is not like a fast food chain or other retail facility where if you dont like the job you can walk out. You as a nurse would lose what you worked so hard for your RN credentials for patient abandonment. Nurses are the front face of a healhcare cooperation. They have to appoligize for not answering the call light in time or a patient having to wait so long for something like pain medicaton but yet they don’t have any say so over what happens. I would like everyone who puts down the nursing profession and says they make too much just walk in our shoes for a day or two and see how long they last. IMO nurses do not make a enough! They risk the chance of taking a dreaded disease home to their own family, not to mention the time away they spend away from their family. I would like to see the bill passed as long as the foreign nurse can read and speak fluent english to provide safe patient care. That is the dream of a great nurse, to have enough help to provide safe and effective patient care. Is that too much to ask for? That may be the backbone for the reason that there is such a high demand for nurses. They dont make enough money for what they do. If they made more money there would people waiting in line for these positions that are available. Or maybe if there were laws that were enforced that would make a nurse to patient ratio a law providing a better work day for the nurse.

  70. I hope this is a joke, because it’s incredibly disrespectful to the men and women who work excruciating hours in a high-stress environment for relatively little money. Not to mention the overt xenophobic tones.

  71. Funny. I got the joke. Maybe it had to do with the overuse of exclamation points.
    Not irony. Sarcasm. Or perhaps a corner of mocking satire.
    But. It’s not actually funny, on account of it’s too close to the right-wing argument for, say, doing the same to the IT industry, of which I am a part.
    Cheap labor has been the thrust, parry and over-head feces-flinging of the terminally Reaganesque for 30 years. That time is over.
    Now it’s about people. Not accounts.

  72. Why not just ship all the sick folks to Mexico. Anybody seriously Ill is a big drain on our economy, at least after their health insurance runs out. Actually India might be a better idea. They don’t make as much money as Mexico, and they have a lot more Physicians. Who needs nurses anyway. You can visit your relatives by Youtube.

  73. Worst idea I have heard in awhile. In fact, it is difficult for me to even express how truly awful it is. This is the first time I have read your blog and I truly hope it was a joke.

  74. As a registered nurse with over 25 years experience, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University, I am appalled at this posting. At first, I thought it might simply be poor satire, but as I continued to read, I can’t help but feel that even in satire, there is a glimpse of the truth. If the Angry American doesn’t agree with this, there is still the issue of the bill being championed by Mr. Shaddeq.
    I can only hope that neither of these gentlemen ever experience the pain of having a loved one ill in the hospital. In addition to cleaning feces, the nurse’s responsibilites include monitoring vital signs, continually assessing patients for changes in their physical condition, giving medications, knowing all the possible side effects and interactions of said medications, monitoring lab values and reporting changes to the physicians because we serve as their eyes and ears 24/7 when they are not at the bedside, giving up our nights, weekends and holidays to spend with your family members and making sure their recovery is smooth, or their death is as painless as possible, while providing emotional support to family members, and trying to control our own feelings about these patients in our care.
    In all the years I have chosen to nurse, I have never felt it to be degrading, or beneath me-it is a job which I am proud to do, and a job I do to the absolute best of my ability. No one ever goes into nursing to become rich-I have worked overtime or 2 separate jobs for a good portion of my career, in order to provide for my family. Overinflated salaries in one part of the country don’t mean that all of us are making $100,000.00 a year. If you want to look at overinflated salaries, look at Wall Street, the NFL, MLB or other sports industries. Perhaps they should start paying their members minimum wage. After all, they are just catching a ball, right?
    Intelliegence and ability are not measured by salary potential-nurses have to know why they are doing the tasks they perform at all turns. We are the patient’s last safety measure-if a medication is ordered which is incorrect, we are responsible to catch that error before it harms a patient. We can’t hide behind the fact that it was ordered-we are expected to know better. For most of my career, I have been fortunate to work with many fine physicians, who truly regard nurses as their colleagues in healthcare, and I have never felt this career was beneath me. However, it will certainly be beneath me to read any more postings from Angry American. Stay healthy sir- I wouldn’t want you to have to endure any nursing care.

  75. In a bizarre way, this brings up a topic worthy of serious discussion. I would not go as far to say that nurses are overpaid, but I don’t like the leverage they have as a result of the shortage. It’s unhealthy in a time when our costs are too high to begin with.

  76. Nurses overpaid? Then why is there a shortage? The supply and demand laws do apply.
    The anonymous author, Angry American, is misinformed.

  77. Roger, maybe this has something to do with it;
    “The median price for an existing, single-family home in the region was $620,000 in December, down 4.9 percent from $652,000 a year ago, DataQuick said. The resale median dropped in every county except Santa Clara, where it was up 4.6 percent.”
    “Including condos and new homes, the median was $587,500, also a 4.9 percent drop from a year ago, when it stood at $618,000. It has now fallen 11.7 percent from the peak of $665,000 reached in July.”
    Article from San Francisco Chronicle, January/08.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/01/18/BUQ7UH3V8.DTL

  78. I want nurses to be fairly paid and their work is important, but..
    When some nurses union in the SF bay area struck for a few days a couple of years ago, the news said that the *average* nurses salary was $100K.
    How many professions that average $100K go out on strike?

  79. i thought this had to be an april fools joke… if not, why are the people worried about the ‘overinflated’ salaries of nurses and not athletes or even congressmen and women?

  80. There is a direct link between the level of nursing care and the levels of reoccurance, infection control and mortality. As hospitals cut nurses all these factors increase. Some hospitals have as many as 10 patients per nurse. Time and time again, we learn that cutting nursing increases the long term cost of healthcare. Cutting nursing is short sighted. But that is a republican point of view.
    There is a nursing shortage that was created in the late 80’s and early 90’s by hospitals that believed that LPN’s and CNA’s could do an RN’s job. This discouraged potential RN’s from racking up the cost of nursing school.
    Nurses need to complete two years of Prelim’s before they can APPLY to nursing school. So they are required to take four years of school to get an associates degree.
    Another reason for the nursing shortage is the lack of capacity in Nursing Programs.
    The average nurse starting pay is only $34,000. Is this all you’re willing to pay for the primary caregiver for you sick spouse or child?
    Wake up! I don’t want some 3rd world, under-educated individual who is the result of degree mills taking care of my family.

  81. This article is yet another reason as a registerd IND voter, the Dems have been recieving my votes and support. In the 1990s when I decided to enter a new career, I chose radiography and enrolled in a local Community college program. It took me about 3 years for the total schooling and between winning esay contests and scholorships for excellent grades, I think my total tuition costs were under a thousand for the whole thing.
    While in comunity college I met many nursing students, mostly women , who were busy studying and raising their families. We usually took the same pre health classes like anatomy, math, english , chemistry for health sciences before the actual LP or RT classes. It only took about 18 months for the LP class, 2 years for the X-Ray program I chose and another year or two for an LPN to become a RN.
    While working as a temp at several local hospitals, I met several of these women who were now RNs and were doing great work and very happy with what their education has brought them.
    I hate to say this, but how did we come to this time in history when a GOP congressman finds it easier and a solution in their logic of a American shortage of solid middle class profession by importing cheap labor instead of offering the required funding and sholorships or grants for American people to attend a properly funded , low cost community college nursing program and then advance later in more education?
    Why does it take such a long sentence like the one I just wrote instead of me just saying that the GOP should just remove their American flag lapel pins as I find this to be as anti American as if they just burnt a flag and stomped on it.
    Out of a country of over 300 million people, we can’t find tens of thousands of people who want to enter new careers? We can’t find thousands of young HS graduates who want to work in high tech fields , help people and make money? We can’t find returning US military veterans who are among the smartest soldiers in world history, operating multi million dollar equipment who would jump at the opportnuity to use their benefits to persue a career in health care?
    FU GOP. It only took me a few days at Broward Communtiy College to find hundreds of students who fit that description. I tutored many of them for free in library study groups and during class breaks. My X-Ray class was filled with former Airline hostesses, out of work factory workers, day laborers and women who wanted to learn something so they could renter the labor force after their new born babies were old enough for day care or school. The money I as a taxpayer paid to provide scholarships and assistance to these out of work people in 1993 has been more then repaid in their entering the middle class of taxpayers and people who are no longer on the dole.
    In Broward county, we have magnet schools which are filled with local kids who want to enter health care. These are the kids I want to see working those jobs after the attend college.
    Representative John Shadegg (R) how about you march into those classrooms and explain to those kids that in the time it takes them to work hard to learn some skills, you may get enough votes to start this importation and boot their asses back to the unemployment lines.
    Yes my former GOP officials and friends, I have lifted myself up from the dirt by my bootstraps. However, after lacing them up, we now can give you the boot. Middle class people like myself gave you the boot in the past few elections and you will be getting more and more boots in the ass in future elections as you become more and more irrelevent.
    Tell me Representative John Shadegg (R) were you sitting on your ass and hissing with the GOP delgations during Obama’s address to the House and Senate when he announced how we now have more coverage of children in the USA because the SCHIP bill passed?
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29011620/

  82. Hey Angry American-
    Do you hate women or justice or both?
    Also at least have the decency to reveal your identity
    PATHETIC POST -SURPRISED THE EDITORS OF THCB PUBLISHED IT!
    Dr. Rick Lippin
    Southampton,Pa

  83. I read this article as satire and I presume the author is against the bill and for nurses. Based on other responses I am overthinking it, if it is not satire than the the author is underthinking the issue.

  84. It is shocking that we don’t investigate the root cause of nursing and doctors shortage and import talent while depriving our own students. Why aren’t there more training programs? Most foriegn docs have no medical debt and end up taking up primary care postions. Many U.S grads have to go to Carribean etc if they fail to secure a med school spot and them come to join residency. We have the fundamentals backwards. There are plenty of students willing to work hard if we can have more nursing and med schools. Shame that we are caught up in some political games and not enough attention to this matter.

  85. fyi, “Sarah” above at 7:11:12 is spam. I’m culling a growing number of similar comments at my place. I think actual people are being hired to spread these messages. The global slowdown must have produced a population of laid-off call center workers.
    And I agree with tcoyote. Whoever left the screaming comment by “Hello” obviously didn’t read the post or comments.

  86. My theory is that, like periodic spam postings on “why aren’t we considering single payor” that seem to come out of nowhere, replete with urls, the real source of the post was a California Nurses Association propagandist.. Note the “bust the unions”, anti-outsourcing, “self respecting Americans” , “sold out to the healthcare industry” , “What’s good for corporations is good for America” themes.
    Not subtle, Angry American. Get thee hence . . .

  87. Wow, not only was this degrading to nurses, but it was racist and ethnocentric at the same time. I can’t believe this was serious at all, but I’m not taking any chances. I’m sending this particular post to every nurse I know, and I know a lot of nurses, and if I knew what city you lived in I’d make sure to print it out and send it to every hospital in your area. Then I’m deleting it from my blog reader and I’m never coming back. Then again, you could care less, as I’m a minority, and bigots could care less what we think.
    “Americans are better than that”; wow,…

  88. I COMPLETELY DISAGREE. NURSES WORK THEIR BUTTS OFF TO HELP SAVE SOMEONES LIFE EVERYDAY! SO WHOEVER POSTED THIS DOESNT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. THEY ARE NOT ON THEIR FEET FROM MORNING UNTIL NIGHT TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK. THEIR LICENCES ARE ON THE LINE EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY. THEY HAVE TO CHART ON EACH PATIENT AND ENSURE THAT THEY ARE BEING TAKING CARE OF WELL. SO NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO POST SOMETHING UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE POSTING ABOUT BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH.

  89. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
    Sarah
    http://blanket.ws

  90. Chill, Brandy. This comment thread is mostly a cascade of tongue-in-cheek spoofs, triggered by the rather tasteless post above, intended to be cute.
    I think I can speak for everyone posting here when I say we all appreciate the truly essential work done by nurses. And I’m sure no one would seriously suggest that nurses are overpaid.
    Go back and read the post and comments with new eyes, looking for a rather grim attempt at humor.
    As for compensation, I learned years ago that no matter what we are paid, we earn a lot more for what we put up with than what we actually do. I guess in your line of work, that means physicians with supercilious attitudes and goofy bloggers and their comment threads.

  91. As a senior year nursing student, I would like you to tell me where you are getting the idea that nurses are overpaid?? I’m going to be graduating 80k in debt for all of the education I have gone through to become a RN and I think you are off your rocker if you want nurses to be paid retail wages, which require very little knowledge about anything. Also, nurses do more than wipe feces. Sometimes, in some areas of nursing, it’s required to help someone out in need but there are many other things that nurses do that aren’t “degrading”. How about we take money away from the 10 million dollar a year salary of an overpaid athlete that can throw a basketball in a hoop or a NFL football player and put that towards healthcare costs?… Those are overpaid careers… not nursing… your comments are crazy and make anyone that’s a republican look bad if thats their mindset on the matter. Also, don’t you think foreign countries need their own nurses? Stop being so ethnocentric and think about the whole picture.

  92. This post seems to come from outer space, but it does raise a point – why aren’t more nurses trained in this country? The nursing organizations’ standard answer is that there are not enough nursing instructors. Why are there not enough nursing instructors? Supposedly because a master’s or PhD is required to instruct, and nurses with these degrees can make much more $$ elsewhere (like in hospital administration).
    I cannot vouch for the validity of these arguments, but I do not believe there is a shortage of American applicants for nursing school.
    My own experience is that foreign nurses have been with us since my days in medical school in the 70’s, when many were recruited from Vietnam. So I am not sure whether there has been a nursing school instructor shortage for the last 40 years, or what. Perhaps Congress needs to investigate this before a knee-jerk reaction to import more foreign nurses – especially with our current jobless rate.

  93. There is a much simpler solution to this without offering any visas. Your worried about finding people to wipe ass and care for others for minimum wage, I can do you better.
    Pass a law outlawing illegal nannies in CA, NY, NJ, and other liberal bastions of arrogance, I know it seems strange to outlaw something that is already illegal but when it comes to raising their kids and their gardens liberals love them illegals. These nannies already have the experience wiping ass and caring for the spoiled entitlement class, the uninsured should be an improvement for them. And a large number of them already make less then minimum wage so we could save even more money.
    There is also a huge gain on the other side, unlike liberals, especially those appointed to office, most corporations actually pay their payroll taxes. Instead of hundreds of thousands of illegal nannies making less then minimum wage and having no taxes paid we will have nurses contributing to care and the tax base. This is win win for everyone except the liberal elite who will actually have to deal with their entitled brats now.

  94. hehe Dan; “but it is short sighted republican B.S.”
    look up the word sarcasm. This was written by a far left progressive who thinks to highly of their comedic skill. Nice job attacking the right for left side projection though!

  95. I became an RN in 1977 & have been working full time since then. Today I make $26.26/hour. Please please tell me where the nurses are “overpaid” so I can move there! Quick.

  96. Splendid post!
    I’ll see your minimum wage and raise you!
    http://hootsbuddy.blogspot.com/2009/04/minimum-wage-as-economic-stimulus-part.html
    Seriously, after working in and around health care during seven years of post-retirement, it is my observation that the industry would crash and burn without its many immigrant workers. That bit about “…we Americans are too good to be nurses” may not be too far off the mark. Most of the world has cultural values aimed at taking care of others, especially the elderly, that we seem to have left behind in a rush to care only for ourselves. To many of us have a blame-the-victim mentality, whether it be aimed at those with low-paying jobs, poor health or limited education.
    (But hey, we sure keep up with afternoon TV and sports like no place else on earth!)

  97. Do any of you even know what nurses deal with on a day to day basis, or the care level that is provided from the different training levels. This letter is not only sorely off the mark, but it is short sighted republican B.S. cut nurses salaries and die in the hospital. I am all for healthcare reform, but you can’t refute the evidence that nursing care is the number one determinant for better outcomes in hospitals. So you can cut the schools, and cut the wages and you can all die in the hospital hoping that your overworked physician comes in and finds the small bleed developing in your stomach from the fact that the medication tech has not gotten to your protonix. Or when your mother is dying in the hospital I hope chatting with the 18 year old GED qualified bathing tech will comfort you in your time of need and explain why the 18 tubes emerging from her are needed. I also feel sorry for the physicians who will be forced to actually sit in hospitals for 12 hours shifts because they are getting their asses sued off from the wrongful deaths left and right. I also wonder what your ED will look like when under-trained and experienced EMTs are your only hope during a heart attack.
    This article is not only a joke, but written by an poor angry soul with not insight into what heatlhcare really is, and no idea how to fix it. Maybe you should look at the over paid physicians, or the over priced supplies, or the needless waste of hospital spending and start working on solutions to save lives, not take them.

  98. Brava! But there is an much cheaper way. Instead of bringing so many low-wage immigrants over here, you can just set up phone centers in Bangalore and have people get their medical care through VOIP:
    “Press 1 if you have a pain in your head. Press 2 if you’re feverish. Press 3 if you feel nauseated….”

  99. While I agree that nursing wages are inflated, I highly doubt that reducing their pay to minimum wage would help the nursing crises. Who in their right mind would go through all the training, endure wiping up feces, and shoulder the emotional burden dying patients all for 7.50 an hour?
    Opening the doors to more foreign nurses sounds like a great way to cut short term costs and temporarily boost their ranks. However, over the long term, such a proposal would worsen the nursing shortage.

  100. You have links in this article for everything but the Nursing Reform Act of 2009. I checked Shadegg’s site and Googled the phrase and can’t find anything. Can you please provide a link to the legislation or a news source that covered it?

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