Nurse: Worst Job in Science

Don’t believe me? Believe Popular Science:

Nurse – Popular Science

In our Internet-based summons for readers to top (bottom?) last year’s “Worst Jobs” list, nurses nominated themselves in droves: “Still a no-respect profession. Doctors treat you like slaves.”? “The pay is substandard for all the training.”? “Just look at the current shortage.”? Indeed, the government estimates that we’re short 110,000 nurses, and that by 2008 we’ll need half a million more.

Numerous studies echo the dissatisfaction of our nurse readers. Nurses are fleeing the profession because of stress, long hours, low pay and lack of advancement opportunities. The cost? A recent University of Pennsylvania study found that surgical patients at hospitals with the worst nurse-staffing levels (ergo the most overworked nurses) have a 31 percent greater chance of dying. If this trend doesn’t improve, we might soon find “patient” topping our list.

(emphasis added)
And if you don’t believe me, believe the nurses who nominated themselves.


  1. In the UK there are similar stories about the working conditions for nurses, but at the same time there are complaints from the NHS management that they can’t stop nurses are going to the US for work (the unsaid implication is that they move for better terms of employment.

  2. There isn’t a job in the world I’d rather do than what I am now — er and life flight nurse.

    Of course, I may well be crazy. :)


  3. “Still a no-respect profession. Doctors treat you like slaves.”? “The pay is substandard for all the training.”

    Awww, poor things. If they think they have it bad, they should try being a Paramedic.
    Half the pay for the same education as a nurse, treated even worse by medical professionals, including nurses, and basically thought of as the red headed step children of the medical profession.

    There is a national shortage of Paramedics as well, and its going to end up worse than nurses as people leave EMS for Nursing for the higher pay and better working conditions. Not to mention who would go to college for an EMS degree when they can go for the same length of time, get thier RN, and make 2-3 times as much.

  4. Nurse Kelley says:

    Well, I would like to echo Diana’s sentiments that I love my job. The doctors we work with (GruntDoc being one of them) do not treat us as slaves, they treat us as colleagues and friends. My job affords me a myriad of opportunities for growth, both professional and personal, and I work with and for an astonishingly brilliant group of women and men. Everyday I look around at them and marvel at the things I could learn from each one of them. I would do my job for free, just don’t tell Payroll.

  5. As a hospital administrator and physician I understand some of the nurses’ frustrations. However, pay is no longer one I can accept. The average nurse in my facility is making $80,000/yr and with no BS degree. Not bad! Congratulations to the unions…we need a union in medicine!