I’m going to go over FAQs with no strings attached. In other words, I’ll answer the questions I wish I had the balls to ask when I was 18.
- How much money do you make?
I started my career making $28/hour in CA. I now make approximately $50/hour working in my Per Diem job. Some nurses in my hospital make $70/hour because our union bases hourly rates on years of RN licensure. What follows are two links showing the national picture of nursing salaries for Registered Nurses and Advanced Practice Nurses.
All that said, here is my opinion on the best way to make money in nursing: don’t try to get rich by showing up to a nursing job. I’d encourage you to work at a nursing job for a stable income while pursuing a “side hustle” for alternate sources of revenue. For example, I donate sperm, engage in blogging, write books, and sell items online to supplement my main income. My eventual goal is to make money while I take a shit (rather than showing up to a hospital, taking a shit, and then working). When I show up to my nursing job in the future, it’ll be because I choose to, not because I have to.
Many people fantasize about making six digits as a nurse. But I’ve done a calculation. Guess what’s the difference in take-home pay (for a single, male nurse with no kids) between a guy making $100k versus a guy making $150k? That’d be approximately $30k. I like to think of it this way: a nurse making $100k working on the floor only makes $30k less than a CRNA making $150k in the OR. For me to catch up to the income of a CRNA, I’d rather use passive/alternative income routes, rather than try to get paid at a higher hourly rate (and get taxed at a greater rate). So the question is: can I make $30k through a passive/alternate route so that my take home pay is similar to that of a CRNA? If I can execute on this goal, I’d actually be making more than a CRNA because I’d get taxed less.
2) If you’re smart, why didn’t you go to medical school?
I’m not going to bash the medical field because I value what doctors do. But here’s a short answer; I read an article in my 20s:
Here’s the long answer: doctors tell each other the story that “being a doctor makes me important.” The public disagrees with this story (but don’t tell your doctor). The point is that doctors inflate the importance of their jobs in order to justify their sacrifices, including the costs of medical school. People from other professions don’t need to inflate their egos because they haven’t invested as much as doctors have in their respective educations.
That said, I don’t derive a sense of self-worth from treating sick patients. I gain fulfillment from teaching and exploring, so pursuing medicine doesn’t make sense for me. In fact, I view medicine in three different lights:
- You know that Mt Everest exists. Does this knowledge compel you to try to scale that mountain? Personally, I don’t care that much for Mt Everest, and I would never invest resources to train myself to climb it. I view medicine in a similar light. That is, I’d rather spend my resources and time doing things that fulfill me. I would never climb Mt Everest only to prove that I can do it. I would also never go to medical school just to prove that I can do it. There has to be a compelling reason other than the stroking of the ego.
- I don’t get the big deal the public makes about being a doctor. Being a physician is just like being a plumber. You have to show up to a job! You’re just another wage earner, another cog in the wheel. Why would you want to put yourself into massive debt just to become another W-2 employee?
- The doctors I’ve talked to are hesitant in recommending medical school. The probability that I am so special that I would enjoy medicine is very small.
I would only try to be a doctor if the financial incentives were compelling. In truth, the numbers look very weak due to the opportunity cost of medical school. That is, you can more readily accumulate wealth through other careers, making and investing money in your 20s for compounded returns over time.
All that said, the best time to be a doctor was from the 1950s to the 1980s. In today’s age, doctors are simply cogs in the wheel. Obviously, physicians provide valuable services. But they are still a means to an end, just like dentists, pharmacists, and nurses.
I hate to sound like I’m bashing the medical field, but doctors really are a means to an end.
3) Should I be a nurse or doctor?
My neighbor once told me that if you’re a nurse or doctor, your life will suck. I’ve heard multiple nurses and doctors complain about their lives (including me), so his comments were pretty much spot on.
If you are young, I’d recommend against nursing and medicine. Instead, I’d advise you to just pursue what you’re naturally gifted in. The way to find your passion is to ask yourself: “what am I doing at 9pm on Saturdays? What do I do when no one is watching?”
What if you’re 18 years old and are only passionate about video games? In that case, I’d recommend nursing. It’s easier to get a job with a nursing degree than it is with a biology degree (or a degree in women’s studies). My philosophy is that the only point of college is to prepare you for a career. Learning and self-discovery should happen on your own time.
Why do I advise against medicine? First, the route of medicine doesn’t make financial sense for current young people. Second, the field of medicine doesn’t give doctors what they sought for in the first place. Most doctors I’ve spoken with tell me that they got into medicine to spend time with patients and to help them. The reality is that doctors spend most of their time charting and practicing defensive medicine. The healthcare workers that truly get to spend time with patients are physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses.
4) How fine are the women?
You will routinely see 10/10’s in nursing, especially when you go to nursing school. We’re talking about women that will have careers.
There will be three main barriers to you “getting with” such nursing females.
- You will be intimidated by the sheer volume of females around you. When I was in nursing school, I was in a class of 60 people, six of whom were guys. I had never been in a room with 54 girls before. Most of them were young and in peak physical state.
- Many of your female classmates will have boyfriends. This fact will cause you to tell yourself the story that you don’t stand a chance with these girls. However, that story is a joke. Think about it: do relationships from the ages of 18-22 really last? Is there any person in that age range who really has it together? I don’t think so. The reality is that most of these relationships will break up over time. This is where you come in.
- You will feel unqualified in the dominance hierarchy. When you get into your clinical rotations, you will engage in grunt work. You’ll clean, push, and pull on patients. In other words, you’ll feel like a human slave. Then, you’ll show up to class and realize the females around you were tugging and pulling on patients, just like you were. You may be convinced that your place in the social hierarchy has been downgraded, and that the women won’t respect you because they know you have been slaving away.
All that said, my main regret is that I didn’t try harder to “hook up” with my female classmates. I always had excuses (see the three points above). However, I had a moderate degree of success overcoming my fears and will describe how I did it.
But first, let’s go over some observations you’ll note within the first couple of months of classes. First, the women will form cliques immediately. Second, you’ll find that joining nursing clubs in an attempt to meet women will fail. Third, the guys in your class will hang together because they will be intimidated by all the women around them.
So what’s the best strategy for getting some action? Within the first couple of months of school, try to talk to every girl in your nursing class. Show up 20 minutes early to class and open conversations with three girls. After class, talk to another set of three girls, disregarding their relationship status. That’s all you have to do! Take it one step at a time, consistently opening conversations until you’ve gotten to know all your classmates. In this way, you’ll face your fear of confronting the sheer volume of girls around you. Class time is money time, because that’s when all the girls will show up.
Once you’ve talked with all the girls, you’ll find that you have chemistry with only 10% of them. So in a nursing class of 60 people, you’ll click with around six. You have the highest chances of capture with these people.
In summary, the best strategy is to talk to every female classmate, knowing you have a good chance with 10% of them. Once you’ve talked to every one, just focus on the ones you have chemistry with. Trust me, you’ll know which ones they are.
So what about females in the workplace? The 10% rules still applies: you will have chemistry with about 10% of your female colleagues. But should you try to form relationships with coworkers? I would only recommend this route if you’re going to leave your job within a year. If you’re planning on staying, then you run the risk of your manager finding out about your “in-house” relationship.
5) What is a DNP, and why should I care?
I will answer this question in the fourth and fifth paragraphs. But first, I want to liken the field of nursing to a little third grader on the playground (let’s call him John). John sees older students in the fifth and sixth grade and wants to be big just like them. He is jealous of their credentials.
Just as John wants to compensate for his “inferior” third grade status, the modern day nurse wants to compensate for his “inferior” educational level. Other healthcare fields such as pharmacy and medicine require terminal degrees for entry level practice. But what about nursing? Some people still enter the workforce as nurses with associate’s degrees! There’s a large gap in degree requirements when one compares nursing to other healthcare fields. The DNP is a psychological mechanism to uplift the face of nursing.
Do dentists call themselves “advanced practice dentists?” Do pharmacists call themselves “registered pharmacists?” Of course not. But in nursing, we call ourselves “advanced practice nurses” and “registered nurses.” The DNP simply adds another layer of complexity: the “doctorally prepared nurse.”
Back to question four. The DNP is a nursing practice doctorate. The DNP is the twin brother of the nursing PhD.
I think you should only care about a DNP if there’s a specific change in nursing you want to effect. Your DNP degree might matter when you sit in front of a hospital board and are surrounded by people with terminal degrees. In other words, the DNP degree will help your credibility.
That said, If you get a doctoral degree, you won’t escape being a nurse. Furthermore, getting a DNP won’t put you on an equal playing field with physicians. Getting a DNP will only mean one thing: you got a DNP.
6) Should I be a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthetist?
Yes, you should. The only reason I say this is that people, in general, regret acts of omission rather than acts of intentionality. So if you are wondering about what the NP role is like (and you don’t do anything about it), you will regret it. The same principle applies to the CRNA role.
If you are battling between the NP and CRNA careers, you should take the route that aligns with your personality. But if I had to recommend one route over the other, it’d be the nurse practitioner route (not because the NP route is great, but because the CRNA route leaves much to be desired). My experience with nurse anesthesia is that CRNAs are limited in their scope of practice. That is, CRNAs are constantly battling against anesthesiologists for a piece of the anesthesia pie, with the anesthesiologists usually winning. That said, why would you pursue a doctoral degree for entry level practice as a CRNA, only to find yourself limited in your career once you get your degree? The main drawback of the CRNA route is that you’re trying to play the doctor’s role (while incurring anesthesia liability) without actually being a physician. Even if you get a terminal degree, you still won’t be a physician.
NPs are also limited in scope of practice, but they get to prescribe medications. At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if you want to have meaningful relationships with patients. If so, the NP route will likely suit your needs better than the CRNA route will.
Let’s be clear: if you become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist, you won’t be a super nurse or a quasi-doctor. You will still be a nurse.
7) How much ass wiping will I be doing as a nurse?
You will be doing a lot more ass wiping than you originally thought you’d do. If you work in an acute care setting, expect to wipe ass at least three times a week. If you work in an ICU, expect to dip your hand in shit at least once a shift.
If you think you can show up to your nursing shift and delegate all anus-wiping to the nursing assistants, you will be disappointed (been there, done that). In my experience, nursing assistants will sense your aversion to the anus and exact revenge on you by NOT helping you with the very anus wiping you are trying to delegate. Be warned: nursing assistants communicate with one another about who is trying to avoid anus-wiping. If they sense that one of them is YOU, they will collude with one another and find a way to make sure you do some anus-wiping. Specifically, nursing assistants sabotage nurses by avoiding contact or by showing up late to anus-wiping sessions (so that the nurse will have to do the job).
8) Just how big is the demand for nurses?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm). Overall employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is projected to grow 31 percent from 2016 to 2026 (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm). In other words, the demand is pretty big. However, the demand only exists for nurses with experience (new nurses will have a MUCH tougher time finding jobs). In practical terms, I receive daily emails from hospitals about job openings and nursing career fairs. So get some experience and you’ll have job security.
9) What is it like to date a female doctor?
I have never dated a female doctor, so I don’t know. But I’d imagine it would suck. Let me explain.
The reality is that nurses sit below doctors in the struggle for power in healthcare. Men are naturally attuned to the dominance hierarchy. Therefore, men fuck across and down, not up. Women, on the other hand, fuck across and up, not down. For instance, it is very common for female nurses to date male doctors, since women naturally target men of higher social status. Male nurses, however, hardly ever date female doctors because (let’s face it) it sucks to date someone one step ahead in the dominance hierarchy.