Modesto-area nurses weigh in on high salaries, reality

August 24, 2013 

In response to "Salary survey says Modesto RNs are nation's 2nd-highest earners" (Aug. 14): As RNs who have worked in hospitals in Modesto for many years, we wish to weigh in. The story doesn't address the root causes behind the phenomena, which the public deserves to understand.

Health care has changed dramatically, placing the bottom line before patient care. RNs have a professional obligation to be patient advocates. The best way we can do this is to follow in the footsteps of RNs across the Valley and throughout the state who have organized with the California Nurses Association.

Studies don't reflect the realities of our lives. Nurses are often the primary if not sole wage earner in our households, who often have two jobs, work overtime and sometimes work night shifts that pay a higher rate but cuts into time with our families.

Most nurses, including the two of us, don't make those top salaries, which are skewed and include nurses who work in management.

And aren't nurses, who bear the responsibility of ensuring the health of our loved ones, worth every penny? Take a look at how much Tenet, Sutter and Kaiser are taking from our community in profits. At least nurses will spend their money locally.

MELANIE THOMPSON

Modesto

ROBIN COOPER

Ceres

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