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Salary a Pharmacist VS a nurse

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by wnnr1119, 08.26.06.


  1. Thanks to Crack the PCAT
  1. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    A few things to consider:

    1) I believe the demand for nurses will continue after the demand for pharmacists begins to level out. This is because legislation caps the # of patients allowed per nurse (in CA at least). Plus, nurses don't have things like mail order pharmacies to augment demand, it's pretty much purely nurse/patient interaction.

    2) When you talk about salary vs cost of education, nursing wins hands down. Where else can you spend $20 a unit for 2-3 years, and $60k for nursing school (BSN) for 2 more years and start earning $45+ per hour? Compare this to Pharmacy where you are roughly $120k in debt and start at $55/hr.

    Better yet go to nursing school in the Philippines and pass the NCLEX in hong kong, there's another money saver.
  2. steveysmith54

    steveysmith54 Member

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    UCLA just added BSN degree and CSULA also has one, i think. You can become a nurse with bachelors degree in 4 years. Chemists and biology BS degree usually gets u a job in a lab for 20 bucks an hr. :rolleyes:
  3. benhi1

    benhi1

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    Ok so for those that think a nurse makes $80 an hour are very confused. MY fiance is graduating with her BSN to become an RN in December. The test they have to take after graduation to become an RN is the NCLEX and about 85-90% pass not the low rate i heard in this thread. RNs make between 20-35 an hour starting. Pharmacists make more like 45+ an hour starting and are more respected in the hospital (if you have ever worked in a hospital you will notice how doctors disrespect nurses more often than pharmacists.

    Okie guys... It depend on where u work at.. At the place where I work.. most of the doctors have a lot of respect for nurses... We love what we do and that is what it count.. :p We are the patient advocate.. :p
  4. yazzman

    yazzman

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    Pharmacist blow nurses out of the water when it comes to wages...Do not get me wrong, nurses make outstanding wages, but pharmacists make great money.
  5. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    UCI has had their program for a year or so I think. yeah...not bad! In-state tuition is like $7k/yr, so for $30k I can get a Bachelor's degree and earn ~$45/hr? Sign me up!

    CSUF has a Master's in nursing program available for those with a BS/BA in other unrelated fields. You basically become and RN/MSN + BS/BA (your original degree) in 2 years. So you then have earning potential equivalent to a pharmacist in as little as 5 years (3 for a BS/BA, 2 for the MSN).

    But yeah...I don't wanna be a nurse, I don't like touching people and sticking things into them :(
  6. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    Now, I wouldn't say "blow out of the water" but...on the whole pharmacists do make more.
  7. Falokis

    Falokis Member

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    No where do nurses make $45/hour starting out. They make closer to $20-25. My girlfriend is a BSN and has her masters in Nursing Ed. She makes MUCH less than 80k a year working full time nursing and part time teaching. Sure, there are nurses that make $40/hour. They are supervisors or nursing admin. They have also put in many years to get that. Imagine a pharmacist working full time and PRN. What would they make a year? Close to 175k depending on where you work. Nursing isn't comparable to Pharmacy no matter how you cut it.
  8. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    haha...in kansas maybe. Job listing I found, RN only, no BSN required, 6 mo. acute care experience:

    Per Diem Clinical Nurse - SPPO
    Staffing & Patient Placement-Float Pool
    Salary: $38.86/hr
    Required:
    Current California RN License
    Desired:
    Chemotherapy Certification
    BSN

    BSN's start out more. The only way you make $20/hr as a nurse if you are bad at negotiating salary AND live in a cheap market. Granted, all of my salary numbers are for California :hardy:

    *above listing is for orange county, california...a major public hospital.


    ALSO: not to anyone in particular, but remember that "high salary" is all relative. Do not forget the cost of living AND the concept of NET WORTH. Telling someone that making $150k is better than $110k is a FOOL. A person who only spent $30k & 3yrs on his/her education to make the $110k and made good decisions about investments is in a better position to achieve high net worth by 65 than the person who spent $120k + interest + 4 years and threw all his income into depreciating assets.

    Just a rant...it's not all about salary. It's about money management and good investment choices.
  9. Falokis

    Falokis Member

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    Chemotherapy Certification? PRN? And how much do PRN Nuclear Pharmacists make? You are comparing apples to oranges. You are comparing regular pharmacy pay to PRN specialist nursing pay. Also, if Orange County pharmacists only make 95K and stay, they are the morons. Pharmacists make more than that in Alabama where houses cost about 1/4 the price or less.
  10. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    you get what you pay for? :smuggrin:

    *chemo cert and BSN are listed under "desired" i kept it to illustrate that only an RN is req'd

    you can get an RN in 2 years....my point was 2yrs of school and 6 months experience yield a qualified applicant for the above position @ $38.86/hr. 6yrs of school (2 pre req's, 4 pharm at the least) and 0 experience will yield a $55-60/hr retail pharmacy job.


    Meaning...a newly minted PharmD paid $90-100k more for the degree + spent 3 yrs out of substantial work (opportunity cost of, say, $75k/yr had one gone into nursing. So if you take two HS graduates in 2000, put one on the path of simply RN + 6 years exp, the other in a 6yr PharmD program at $30k/yr....

    At the year 2010...
    RN made -- $637,500. School debt -- high est. $20k -- ~$600k net worth
    PharmD made -- $422,400. School debt -- high est. $120k -- ~$300k net worth
    *all other things being equal, no inflation, no raises, no interest calculated.

    At the year 2020...
    RN made -- $1.3M. School debt $20k -- $1.285M net worth
    PharmD made -- $1.478M. School debt $120k -- $1.358M net worth
    Difference of $73,400.

    People do the above all the time when comparing MD's to nurses, pharmacists, etc... since their "time of no income" is longer. Basically, the nurse will have a higher net worth until both former students start pushing age 40. Add another 2 years and more $$ if pharm. schools start requiring a BS/BA (which will happen over the next decade).

    anyway time to go out...if anyone wants to get more detailed with numbers, feel free to back me up or shoot me down :D
  11. Falokis

    Falokis Member

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    You are still taking the best case for being a nurse and comparing it to the average case pharmacy job. For example, my old boss got a new job in a different state. He got $67/hour, his old benefits package paid off and a new one at the new job and got a 35k sign on bonus. This was a regular job, not PRN. I'm sure if I felt like search freak pay PRN pharmacy jobs I could find some in the $80's/hour. Hell, I've seen PRN Med Tech jobs for $40/hour, which is crazy amounts of money for that job because the national average is $25/hour. Again, you are comparing apples to oranges and using best case vs. the norm. You might think you are right, but get your 2 year nursing degree and see how much you make if you think it's a better path. Like I said, I'm dating a nurse and they don't make but about 66% (at the very best) of what pharmacist do on average. If the job market in Cali is that bad for pharmacist, they should move.
  12. yazzman

    yazzman

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    Nurse dont make as much as pharmacist....Pharmacist in california can push 200K easily....
  13. steveysmith54

    steveysmith54 Member

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    Are u kidding? There are still pharmD who start under 100K in california.

    I'd say maybe less than 5% of pharm in cali make 200, generally ones who own their own pharm
  14. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    Well paid pharmacists (the ones who own businesses) make way way more than pas. BTW, this thread is about RNs and Pharmacists. So chill out, assistant.
  15. konkan

    konkan coup de grace

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    If anybody is interested, in Michigan retail pharmacists make in average 114K (44 h/week), hospital staff pharmacists - 99K (40 h/week), RNs - 44K (37.5 h/week).
  16. yazzman

    yazzman

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    What ever my dude...
  17. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    haha gotta love all the numbers being thrown out.

    okay my last post here, i promise. My $38.86/hr was the average of all the nursing job listings i found (some were $31, others were $45) with RN only/minimal experience of 6 months. My $55/hr pharmacy pay was the average I culled from SDN's pharmacy forum for California.

    So let's assume an RN makes 66% of a pharmacist's salary (oddly enough, my numbers DO work.. 66% of $55 is about $36-37/hr), all other things being equal. The fact that the pharmacist pays $120k for a degree (which, for $30k/yr, a CA graduate is more likely to pay since the only public pharm. schools are UCSF and UCSD, vs. Western/Tuoro/LLU/USC/CA Northstate/UOP) means PharmD plays catch up until late 30's.

    Anyway, I love nurses, but I don't have the stomach to deal with some of the extreme stuff they do. My ultimate point was that pharmacists don't "blow nurses out of the water" when it comes to finances. If anything, it's more like a 2 foot wave rocking the nursing boat around.

    And my ultimate ultimate point is that pre-health students shouldn't be picking careers because of salary alone, because there are SO MANY other factors to consider. In the end, no matter what path you choose, you'll have enough money to feed yourself, pay for a mortgage with your spouse, go on a few vacations, donate to charity, etc.... but if you're doing something you hate, the stress will end up killing you in the end, and you can't take it with you.

    Peace, yeah? :luck:
  18. SPharmN

    SPharmN

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    Don't worry, wrrn. Since you're pre-dental, you'll be the man with real big bucks, defeating nurses, pharmacists, AND many doctors.
  19. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich Gold Donor

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    No matter you what said, I am still going to Pharmacy. I love this job. I enjoy doing research on drug. I do not go for money. As long as I have enough money to live and have a comfortable life, I am good to go.
  20. andrewattheU

    andrewattheU

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    ok everywhere that a nurse is making that $40 or whatever high wage you say a pharmacist is making $60 (i.e california), and pharmacist demand will not level out anytime soon as most analysts are predicting a higher shortage of pharmacists in coming years not a decrease. But money aside, the career you choose should be based on what interests you not solely on money as you can make a good living in either field
  21. RNtoPharmD

    RNtoPharmD Love

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    Nurses work twice as hard as pharmacists and get less pay (at least physically for the bedside positions).

    Money is not everything. I will try to get into pharmacy school even if I will get the same pay as the pharmacist.
  22. Idesiretosling

    Idesiretosling

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    What does physical labor have to do with anything? Healthcare providers' salaries are not based on how much manual labor they perform.
  23. Falokis

    Falokis Member

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    Housekeeping would be making bank if that was the case. :)
  24. Toomeke

    Toomeke

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    Pharmacists make more $$ because the demand:supply ratio is greater than that of nurses...length of schooling doesn't factor in to it UNLESS you look only at nursing...there are 2-, 3-, and 4-year nursing degrees, with increasing pay grades respectively.

    Look at how many pharmacy schools exist today (currently 99) vs the number of nursing schools (in the hundreds). So less pharmacists plus exponentially-growing need for pharmacists = more $$ for pharmacists.

    It's all economics. If companies, hospitals, etc needed nurses more than they needed pharmacists, then nurses would be getting more pay.
  25. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member

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    No, nurses dont have mail order to augment their demand, but they also dont have cheap labor from overseas that I can ship in overnight, or competition versus PA (who not only makes more but dont do physical stuff), and technical workers (medical assistants). Lets admit it, the only reason why nurses are still relevant is their strong lobbying power. You are comparing so many things that you list for pharmacy, but dont list for nurses.

    For example, nursing school in the Philippines might not be as expensive as a nursing school in America (somebody forgetting about community colleges), but the cost of living from an Ameriacn outside going there, and then trying to come back is a lot more. Talk about plane tickets just for visiting your family.
    Another example when you are talking about shortages and demand, you still have more nursing schools than pharmacy schools. There has always been a shortage of nurses (since the start of history), and there always will be. However, you dont seen the wages going up because ultimately, they will still be paid what they are worth. You are not going to have a nurse salary going over 100k in MOST cases because the hospital can just hire a PA, a NP, or spend a little bit more and get a doctor.
    For lost wages in your economics, dont factor in what you will be making as a nurse or pharmacist as lost wages because you havent gotten your degree yet. You have to base it on other factors as if you were working as a pharmacy tech or a medical assistant. You are also missing the prestige factor, and level of advancement. Who is more prestigious? If you say nurse, nothing I will say would convince you in the end.

    Nurse who makes 20k (first 4 years), and then 50k(lets admit it, you are a starting nurse, and why calculate for California only? Why not calculate for the rest of the states?), and goes to school for 4 years. . . 180k, plus a debt of 20k.
    Pharmacists who makes 20k (for 6 years), while going to school for 6 years, 120k plus 120k debt. However, I come out with a salary of 120k, and you have a salary of 60k. . .with advancement. See the big difference here?
  26. Pharmcdc

    Pharmcdc Troches & lollipops

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    I cant believe this discussion is still going on. Oh well, I guess I will contribute.

    In San Antonio, the retail average is $108k for pharmacists. My wife is a nurse and makes 26hr/weekdays and 35/hr weekends. Even at the weekend rate for 40hr your talking 72K. I have lived in the south, notheast and now southwest, these rates are very indicative of BSN's. Not 45/hr.(yes with some sort of specialty)

    2. At walgreens(not saying I will work here, or that I wont) pharmacist earn around 50-55/hr. Thats 108k entry level, no certifications etc. Only a nurse director, or MSN can even think of these numbers unless they work some serious overtime. If a pharmacist is on salary, he/she still gets TIME + 1/2(at walgreens) So, 10hrs overtime which is very easy to aquire even without trying. $75+ an hr...... so another 39K a year= 147k a year. ( I am sure you could get 120 base, have a friend who just did so that would be 159)

    There is no comparison. Sorry. By the way, my wife will soon be an MSN and is looking at earning around 80-85k, still not comparable. Sorry.

    Cant believe this is still going on. Ultimately, if you want to be a Nurse, become one. If you want to be a pharmacist, become one.
  27. WhiteSnows

    WhiteSnows Think Right and Grow Rich Gold Donor

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    If a pharmacist makes $100,000/year, how much taxes will he have to pay?
  28. Knickerbocker

    Knickerbocker

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    That's in places like California and NY, of course. In places with a lower cost of living, you get the equivalent, which is about $5.85/hr :smuggrin:
  29. Knickerbocker

    Knickerbocker

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    The AACP has a list of tuition rates charged by all pharmacy schools in the US. I put the in-state tutions into excel to produce some statistics.

    The average tuition is $17858.73 per year. The median is $16412, so there is a a skew to the cheaper end. Only 13 schools (about 13% of all schools) are $30k or more per year. 66% of schools are $20k or less per year. 50% are $15k or less.
  30. krsnyf

    krsnyf

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    CSULB's combined BSN +MSN program total 3 years.
    USN's BSN program is ~16 months.

    They are really cranking out those nurses and quickly too!


    I read in the WSJ recently that the middle class is losing out, with high wages earned by the two ends of the spectra (intensive labor and executives). No wonder why we have immigration problems.
  31. Gwalla

    Gwalla

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    i like that quote
  32. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    Depends how stupid or how smart he/she is with respect to his/her money management.

    I had a pharmacist the other day (floater) that didn't know what a 401k/company match/advantages thereof was (they just started working a month ago or so). I was like....are you forreal? :scared:
  33. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    yeah...this is why i listed california as the example, because most of my friends are applying california only, and so the skew with them is toward the $30k/yr degree.

    correct scientific random sampling is neither guaranteed nor implied :)
  34. cdpiano27

    cdpiano27 Senior Member

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    Bottom line. Do what you want. Even though nursing may be less money than a pharmacist, if you really like nursing, do that.

    There are higher levels of education for nursing as well. In all, do what you are happy with.

    If unsure, volunteer in both settings.
  35. andrewattheU

    andrewattheU

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    yes pharmacists don't catch up till late 30s but in the long term pharmacy is a better investment as most people work till mid 60s not late 30s so that is still 20-25 years of making more than a nurse
  36. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member

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    Depending on the state for a single individual without any deduction, someone making 100k a year will probably take home about 65000 - 70000. In NYS, a pharmacist base pay for a retail is 120k (not including bonus). The pharmacist can expect to take home about 75k.

    Note that a nurse and a pharmacist is in the same tax bracket unless you or the nurse is making below 30k or over 170k.
  37. Sparx

    Sparx

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    Woa Woa Woa Nurses And Pharmacist are in the same pay catagory based on education in canada lol

    Starting Bsn/Rn With Specialization is 55-65$ per hour
    Starting Paramist which is equal education as above starting is 60-70$ per hour :D

    but all n all doctor trumps both ^^
  38. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    You resurrected a terrible thread from two years ago to make an equally terrible comment about salaries in a foreign country? Boggles the mind.
  39. movie098

    movie098

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    I think its funny how everyone in this thread is lumping all pharmacists in one group and all RN's in another group and then saying which they think gets more respect. It's not that simple people, you will still need to EARN the respect of your peers. At the hospital I work we have a pharmacist who is a complete moron, no one in the hospital respects that POS. Then we have some incompetent nurses that everyone rags on. But at the same time there are both pharmacists and RN's and LPN's at the hospital that get lots of respect. Getting your Pharm.D. or RN license isn't going to guarentee that you get the respect of people, you have to EARN it every day!
  40. 168533

    168533

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    I sooooo want to make an inappropriate joke right now. :smuggrin:
  41. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    dang this thread is old, and yeah the idiot who resurrected it had a horrible first post.

    anyway, i chose my words so you could make jokes, go for it :smuggrin:
  42. Kaxa2000

    Kaxa2000

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    My mom makes 140K a year as a nurse, but she has like 15-20 yrs experience. I think it grew overtime. I wonder what a pharmacist with 15-20 years of experience would make.
  43. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    I think I posted this before...there are laws in place that mandate patient to nurse ratios in many states. Therefore, a lot of institutions have no choice but to either a) hire more nurses or b) put those nurses on OT. I haven't seen such explicit ratios for pharmacists (or physicians, though I could be wrong).

    You can't automate or make nurses "more efficient" as the law is fairly inflexible, so that's why nurses can make so much right out of the gate. With annual raises over 10-15 years + the OT differential, an experienced nurse can make $$$$. I've seen nurses work 14 hour shifts and make 1.5x on hours 8-12, and then 2x for hours 12-14 + flat $100-$200 bonuses for working OT in the first place.

    The key is opportunity...I don't know any pharmacists who would be worked 14 hours even if they volunteered, but I know a few hospitals that would love it if you worked 14 as a nurse. This is from 2 hospitals in CA, someone else chime in please.
  44. Transformer

    Transformer

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    At the hospital where I work, Most Pharmacists work either 8 hours or 10 hours. Anything over a 10 hour shift is possible but not preferred by the pharmacy supervisor/director.

    So, Yes Pharmacists who are given the opportunity and who chose to work what we call a "double shift," can work over 14 hours. One inpatient pharmacists I know worked 14 to 16 hours straight! (Keep in mind, doubles are not the norm for pharmacists and commonly, happens if another pharmacists calls off last minute).
  45. xiphoid2010

    xiphoid2010

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    obviously it depends on location. But also a lot of it depends on your experience/specialty.

    Years ago when my mom when to nursing school (even though she had a masters in another field). It was because the hospitals in the area were so short of nurses, they would hire lawyers to get you green-card/citizenship if you are a nurse. (they were literally important nurses from foreign countries).

    Now the shortage isn't acute any more, so the free ride to citizenship stopped 10 years ago. Where what is still in short supply are nurses that are specialized/experienced. My mom constantly have to work over time because they just don't have nearly enough surgical/oncology nurses. She tries to turn it down, but an extra 10 hr/wk minimum is unavoidable, and they constantly call her at home. Made $90K last year, she does have 16 years experience.

    She tells me that she like being a nurse, but is frustrated with the unavoidable overtime/long shifts. She's approaching 60, has arthritis, early stage of macular degeneration... she wants to work less because the job is wearing her out, but it's impossible. Every year when I make my annual visit home, she's aging so fast, it's painful to look. :(
  46. 168533

    168533

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    That's one thing that kept me away from nursing. They get worked to death sometimes with all the overtime and stuff. Plus, you deal with a lot of stuff from the patients and the doctors. It just doesn't seem worth it sometimes. My mom use to push me so hard to be a nurse. She would probably jump up for joy if I quit pursuing pharmacy school to go to nursing school. :rolleyes:
  47. Kaxa2000

    Kaxa2000

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    Why would she not be happy with you as a pharmacist?
  48. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    She wants you to clean bed pans everyday? :laugh:

    Nursing would suck, yes their pay is pretty good but their work is nasty and dealing with patients that closely would just suck...the pay isn't worth the work.

    However there is ONE thing good about nursing and PA. They usually have little to no debt. They make good money and don't have to worry about paying back any student loans. Its not hard to graduate with a nursing degree, PA or Bachelors degree with no loans, but as a PharmD you will make a little bit more then a nurse BUT you will owe a TON of loans. :(
  49. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    PS. dental hygenist makes 80K a year and they have no student loans either...but do you guys really want to have a nasty career just to aviod loans? lol...I don't think its worth.
  50. 168533

    168533

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    She says nurses are in demand, and they don't take as long to graduate. Also, I won't be in a ton of debt if I went into nursing. She tried to bribe me to go to nursing school by offering to pay all my tuition and fees for two years. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I want to help people, but I can't deal with stuff that they see.

    My mom is very centered on money, but in the shortest amount of time without having to worry about debt. Nurses get paid well here, and you don't have to worry about debt here because the hospitals are in so much need that they're willing to reimburse you for tuition. However, I know I wouldn't be able to accomplish what I want to with just a nursing degree. Even with being a PA, CRNA, NP you have to work under the supervision of a doctor, and I plan to be in charge of something or own a business.

    I never knew they made that much? :confused: I thought they made about $40-50k? I use to think about being a dentist. That didn't work out either. :p

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