A few incidents have recently made me sit back and reflect on the perception the
general public has of the nursing profession. The first incident centred on a discussion about the levels of wages between the industrial sector and the NHS. Apparently, experienced distribution transport managers are in equally short supply as are anaesthetic and recovery nurses. In a large organisation a transport manager would have similar work patterns and responsibilities as that of a Charge Nurse or Sister in a busy operating theatre. The going rate for such hard to find skills is about £35,000 basic - not bad at all. However, when I asked the individual how much they thought a charge nurse or sister got paid, they replied ‘oh, about £30,000 these days.’ After I had picked myself off the floor and told him the true value, he was horrified. He had been left with the impression that nurses had had a ‘good deal’ in the recent pay awards - I wonder where that information came from?