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To be sick of the stereotype image of nurses

(93 Posts)
GoldenZoe Wed 13-Nov-19 18:45:59

... as poorly paid bed-pan changers?
Another debate on Twitter today where the media is peddling poor nurses working extra shifts and visiting food banks (which of course happens and is horrible but is not the everyday for most nurses) now giving rise to astonished cries of 'what a nurse only earns £25k'? Firstly £24k+ is the starting salary of a band 5 newly qualified nurse. This constitutes basic salary and does not include fairly generous enhancements. The top band 7 salary rises to £43,772 basic plus enhancements. Now I know a lot of nurses don't reach a 7 (or even a 6) but this media chestnut darling of the chronically under-paid nurse does my head in. For perspective my son recently graduated from Leeds university with a BSc in Economics and has a job earning £24k at the moment. So what is the uproar?
And as for the wildly out-moded public concept of the nurse as a doctor's handmaiden running round making beds and doing commode runs don't get me started! The general public have NO IDEA of how complicated and skilled most nursing jobs (of which there is a huge variety). And this fault lies entirely with media portrayal. Advanced Nurse Practitioners who have non medical prescribing qualifications who are working in posts the old junior doctors used to do. Cannulating, prescribing, placing PICC lines, undertaking complex medical procedures not to mention running wards and in charge of patient flow/beds trust-wide!
The continued false media portrayals infuriate me. Thoughts?

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KitKat1985 Wed 13-Nov-19 18:49:17

Your post in contradictory. You say you feel nurses are paid reasonably, but then go on to point out that many nurses are doing jobs that used to be done by junior doctors.

Very few nurses I know ever become band 7's by the way Most either remain band 5's or go up to band 6's.

StripeyTopRedLips Wed 13-Nov-19 18:50:38

YANBU. But threads highlighting how nurses are actually not paid as badly as people like to make out never go down well on MN!

KitKat1985 Wed 13-Nov-19 18:50:45

Oh and a minor point, but a starting nurse salary is 23k not 24k.

GoldenZoe Wed 13-Nov-19 18:53:04


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onanothertrain Wed 13-Nov-19 18:53:48

I agree with kitkat in that you contradict yourself. You do know that ANPs are generally a band 7, sometimes as low as a 6? Most I know dont do unsocial hours so there is no enhancement.

KitKat1985 Wed 13-Nov-19 18:56:13

Ahh I stand corrected I was looking at the 2018/2019 pay scales. My point remains though that you recognise most nurses are running wards and increasingly taking over parts of roles that used to be done by doctors, but don't seem to recognise that the salary isn't reflective of that.

Your son who has a starting salary of 24k from his economics degree will probably be on a much higher salary in 5 years that most nurses will be 5 years into employment. It's not great pay for the responsibility.

GoldenZoe Wed 13-Nov-19 18:56:45

@KitKat1985 sorry meant to add that Those that are ANPs or Specialist nurses are being paid band 7 money which is more in fact than the new FY1s salary. So that salary I feel Is reasonable surely and reflects the role.

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GoldenZoe Wed 13-Nov-19 18:58:09

@onanothertrain in our trust bedsite are 7s and all
Are paid enhancements. Ditto ward 6s.

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KitKat1985 Wed 13-Nov-19 18:58:34

Just to add, yesterday I did a 14.5 hour shift with no break, worked on a third less staff than I should have been, and got punched and my thumb twisted back by an aggressive patient. I sincerely doubt your son works in those conditions.

ichifanny Wed 13-Nov-19 18:58:37

I agree to a certain extent however just bear in mind I’m trained for nearly 17 years and work in critical care , I literally keep people alive and control drugs on a minutely basis that can kill someone in a few seconds , and I earn £32k and have done since 2010 , considering a bus driver or a bin man ( no disrespect ) can earn more than me Or someone dealing with money in banking over 100k , am I being unreasonable to expect decent wages and not to just scrape by ?

ichifanny Wed 13-Nov-19 18:59:41

I definitely don’t just wipe arses I calculate and make up drugs and make important decisions regarding life and death so it’s hardly getting 30k for arse wiping like the public think .

plantainchips Wed 13-Nov-19 19:00:18


MrsMaiselsMuff Wed 13-Nov-19 19:01:11

I don't think what you describe is the stereotype of a nurse, but I do think that they're underpaid for what they do. Some nurses do have to use food banks and whilst it shouldn't be the case at all, it's thankfully not the norm.

ichifanny Wed 13-Nov-19 19:01:21

And also to add my band 7 ward manager barely comes out with more than the top band 5s the extra few thousand a year doesn’t add that much more into a monthly wage , so there’s no real incentive to go for promotion . It’s not an upwardly mobile job whatsoever .

GoldenZoe Wed 13-Nov-19 19:01:54

@ichifanny i see your point. However can you also see that junior doctors are not paid much even at Registrar level see attachment so band six and 7 nurses are doing very well by comparison

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anothernamejeeves Wed 13-Nov-19 19:02:14

Ahhh another opinion to put the tin lid on the shite week I've had

ichifanny Wed 13-Nov-19 19:06:10

Yes but junior doctors only earn that for a year or two after the get to Registrar level in a few years they can go up to 70k a year . It’s not race to the bottom though . Medical staff aren’t remunerated properly for the work they do in this country either .

Lifeisabeach09 Wed 13-Nov-19 19:07:27

It's relative, OP.
It's low in terms of the responsibilities and duties involved as pointed out above.
It's also low in terms of cost of living in places (such as the southeast) where a full-time take home wage of c.1550 per month is a struggle for those with a rent of £900 and children, iyswim.
And not all trusts offer generous enhancements.

Curtainly Wed 13-Nov-19 19:08:46

£24k isn't a great graduate wage to be honest, especially for shift work. In terms of food bank usage, it depends on the circumstances. Even with London weighting, it's not hard to see why a new nurse starting out in the city might not be able to afford both rent and putting food on the table. Add on in other places the ridiculousness of having to pay a lot of money just to park, or for erratic childcare due to not working a standard working week, and it doesn't take a huge amount of imagination to see why. Plus as their wages haven't risen in line with the cost of living, some probably have gone from having affordable mortgages, to choosing whether to pay the bills or have a hot meal. This is also true for other professions, but for some reason people seem shocked when it's nurses, as if they are paid huge sums.

GoldenZoe Wed 13-Nov-19 19:08:57

@KitKat1985 also ALL ED ENPs (band 7) across the land work unsocial - are there no 6s or 7s on weekends? ENPs work weekends and nights all the time as well as 6s. Flow coordinators are 7s and they work all hours 24/7 as do bedsite which are 8as if they prescribe too.

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Troels Wed 13-Nov-19 19:09:14

It's alright saying they earn 24k but that is still just over £12 an hour £3+ an hour over minimum, they have a degree and student loans, they don't earn enough.
I've been a nurse sine the 80's I'm earning £15 ph. I'll never be a band 6 or 7 I'm part time and moved to the private sector. to get a pay rise.
sadly we need more nurses, lots of them. Where I work we have two nurses in their 60's and the rest of us a oddly the same age, 57 so in a few years we'll have all retired.

Goodnightseamer Wed 13-Nov-19 19:09:42

Yanbu. Nurses are paid fairly. Doctors are paid more than fairly. They're not martyrs, they're not heroes, and some of them are neither nice nor competent.

Cornishbumpkin Wed 13-Nov-19 19:10:12

I think the biggest difference is nurses work all hours of the day and night with very limited wage increases or bonuses. We also have to pay to retain our registration and carry an extremely high amount of life or death responsibility, the people I know that have worked in careers such as economics have very clear career paths where their salary increases fairly quickly and when the company does well they get bonuses (sometimes in the thousands). I don't think our wage is aweful but when you look at inflation and the pay raises other jobs have got over the last years in comparison we are quite worse off! I agree that doctors are shockingly poorly paid too but just because one sector is poorly paid does not justify another.

@KitKat1985 I agree with you too we end up having to put up with disgusting levels of verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis which I definitely don't get paid enough for!

Curtainly Wed 13-Nov-19 19:11:00

Also nursing is both physically and emotionally challenging, I don't think many people think they just change bed pans, but do think they are underpaid; which is fine as they are. I don't see what riles you so much about that.

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